Recently Archaeology firm AINW was called in to do a report for the road widening and culvert replacement between NE Grant Street and NW Evergreen Road in Hillsboro, Oregon. As it turns out not much was found along the roadway but clearly the area it was in included two well-known donation land claims. The history reported by AINW is nice to have as it comes from experts and is well sourced. You can read the entire 2014 report right here.
Historical Background Euroamerican settlement in the Northwest began after Hudson’s Bay Company established the Fort Vancouver trading post in 1825, drawing fur trappers to the Tualatin Valley (Bourke and DeBats 1995; Tualatin River Watershed Council 2001). During the 1830s and 1840s, Catholic and Methodist missionaries came to the region with the intent of converting Native populations to Christianity (Bourke and DeBats 1995). Their accounts of the region’s fertile soil triggered a massive migration of families westward along the Oregon Trail. The resulting population disparity and the declining fur trade eventually led the British government to accept the Oregon Treaty, which ceded the Oregon Territory to the United States in 1846 (Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies 2014). The ratification of the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 encouraged Euroamericans to settle and secure claims within the Tualatin Valley (Bourke and DeBats 1995).
The project APE encompasses portions of two Donation Land Claims (DLCs) associated with founding families of Hillsboro. Reverend John S. and Desire S. Griffin established a 645.33-acre DLC (No. 56) in 1859 (Bureau of Land Management [BLM] 1859; General Land Office [GLO] 1862). Undeterred by an unsuccessful application to the American Board Commission for Foreign Missions, Reverend Griffin began an independent missionary program loosely associated with the Congregational Church in 1839 (Bourke and DeBats 1995).
Isiah and Winey Kelsey secured DLC No. 41 in 1865 for 605.09 acres (BLM 1865; GLO 1862, 1882). Kelsey, born in Barren County, Kentucky, ventured from Missouri to the Pacific Northwest with the Williams family, who established a settlement adjacent to the Kelsey homestead (Bourke and DeBats 1995; GLO 1862, 1882).
ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING AND LAND-USE HISTORY The project APE is located in the city of Hillsboro, in Washington County, within Sections 30 and 31 of Township 1 North, Range 2 West, Willamette Meridian (Figure 1). The project APE is a residential neighborhood and includes portions of two parks, the U. J. Hamby Park and the Harold Eastman Memorial Rose Garden, as well as the Jackson Elementary School. The project APE lies within the Willamette Valley physiographic province, an area characterized by broad alluvial flats separated by groups of low hills (Franklin and Dyrness 1973). It is bordered by the Oregon Coast Range to the west and the Cascade Range to the east (Alt and Hyndman 1995). The project APE is situated in the northern portion of the Willamette River basin within the Tualatin River Valley, which extends eastwards from its source on the slopes of the Coast Range to the Willamette River at West Linn, Oregon (Hulse et al. 1998). Within the broader Tualatin River Valley, the project APE is situated in the Dairy-McKay watershed (Hawksworth 1999). McKay Creek tributary drainages cross the project APE in three locations. The southern drainage meanders through U. J. Hamby Park before crossing under NE Jackson School Road. The northern tributary near NE Hood Street is surrounded by low terraces altered through landscaping. McKay Creek south of NW Evergreen Road flows through a reinforced concrete culvert. Vegetation within the project area has changed over time as the result of agricultural and residential developments of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Aikens 1993; Hulse et al. 1998). Prior to Euroamerican settlement of the area, prairie and oak woodlands dominated the Tualatin Valley landscape. This open prairie landscape typifying the Tualatin and Willamette Valleys was partly the result of centuries of annual grassland burning by Native peoples of the area to facilitate the growth of important food plants and to attract wild game (Bowen 1978; Boyd 1986; Franklin and Dyrness 1973). Gallery forests containing brushy thickets, marshes, and ash openings grew along the floodplains of major rivers and their NE Jackson School Road Improvement Project September 10, 2014 Hillsboro, Washington County, Oregon AINW Report No. 3322 -3- tributaries. General Land Office (GLO) maps depict that much of the current project area was converted into agricultural fields by the end of the nineteenth century (GLO 1862, 1882).
Currently, the much of the area is landscaped. Maple trees and mowed grasses line NE Jackson School Road throughout the project APE. Natural vegetation is limited to oak and alder trees along NE Jackson School Road and the tributary creeks. Soils of the northern Willamette Valley are thick sedimentary deposits that date to the Pleistocene. During this epoch, repeated flooding events associated with failures of ice dams on glacial Lake Missoula flooded the Willamette Valley, leaving extensive silty deposits throughout the region (Allen et al. 2009; Franklin and Dyrness 1973). Soils on the valley floor developed from silty alluvial and lustrine deposits under grassland vegetation. These soils in conjunction with low slopes often results in areas of poor drainage (Hawksworth 1999). Four soils, all silt loams, are mapped for the majority of the project APE: Aloha silt loam, Amity silt loam, Dayton silt loam, and Woodburn silt loam (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service [USDA-NRCS] 2006a, 2007, 2009a, 2009b). With the exception of the moderately well-drained Woodburn silt loam, these soils are poorly drained. Two silty clay loams are mapped along the McKay Creek tributaries; these are the Cove and Verboort soil series (USDA-NRCS 2001, 2006b). Both soils form on low terraces and are very poorly drained. CULTURAL SETTING Native Peoples – Prehistoric Period Although archaeological evidence of earliest inhabitants of the Willamette Valley is sparse, the presence of Clovis fluted projectile points identified in the region suggests that prehistoric populations settled the Willamette Valley around 12,000 years ago (Ozbun and Fagan 1996). During the Early Archaic period, which dates from 11,000 to 6,000 years ago, prehistoric peoples participated in a broad-spectrum, hunter-gatherer subsistence strategy (Aikens et al. 2011). Sites dating to this period are small, reflecting temporary camps, and are typified by leaf-shaped projectile points referred to as Cascade points (Aikens 1993; Aikens et al. 2011; Minor et al. 1982). By the Middle Archaic period, beginning approximately 6,000 years ago, subsistence patterns began to align with those of the Kalapuya people during the contact period, with an increased emphasis on vegetal foods, including camas and acorns, and ground stone technology to process these foods (Aikens 1993; Aikens et al. 2011; Minor et al. 1982). Active landscape management through controlled fires intensified during this period and increased available foods by favoring the growth of camas, huckleberries, and fire-resistant acorn-bearing oaks rather than woody perennials. Sedentism increased during the Late Archaic period (approximately 2,000 to 200 years ago) with the development of seasonally occupied villages and temporary base camps. Accumulated debris reflecting domestic activities such as hideworking, lithic tool production, and food processing reflects the continuous residential use of settlements (Aikens et al. 2011).
Native Peoples – Contact Period The project area was historically occupied by the Kalapuya, a people with 13 linguistically distinct divisions. The traditional Kalapuyan territory included the Willamette Valley, its tributaries, and portions of the Umpqua River drainage (Aikens et al. 2011; Mackey 2004). Each group occupied a stream drainage beginning in the foothills and extending across NE Jackson School Road Improvement Project September 10, 2014 Hillsboro, Washington County, Oregon AINW Report No. 3322 -4- the valley to the Willamette River. This settlement pattern allowed each group access to resources across different environmental settings, including river, gallery forest, grassland, oak grove, foothills, and montane woodland (Aikens 1993; Aikens et al. 2011). Residential patterns centered on using resources within these regions throughout the annual cycle. During the spring to early fall months, households transitioned between temporary field camps to target subsistence resources as they became seasonally available across these environments. The Kalapuya inhabited semi-permanent villages throughout the winter months during which they depended on stored goods amassed during the previous seasons (Aikens 1993; Zenk 1990).
Game such as deer, elk, black bear, small mammals, and birds were hunted. A variety of fish species were also included in the diet breadth, including trout, suckers, and lamprey eels. Salmon was not a significant resource for peoples of the Willamette Valley, although it was a subsistence staple for many Native groups in the Northwest (Aikens 1993; Zenk 1990). Salmon was either procured through trade or in limited quantities along the Willamette River and its tributaries (Zenk 1976). Vegetable resources, such as camas, wapato, hazelnuts, acorns, and a variety of seeds and berries, were significant to the Kalapuyan diet.
Camas and wapato were typically roasted in pit ovens dug into the ground. Dried and pressed into cakes, these resources were stored to be consumed or traded later (Zenk 1976).
The spread of epidemic diseases began to affect Native populations in the late 1700s and early 1800s (Bourke and DeBats 1995; Boyd 1985). Patterns of traditional life continued to change as the fur trade entered the region under the Pacific Fur Company in 1812 (Mackey 2004). Beginning in the 1830s, Euroamerican settlement accelerated in the Willamette Valley, leading to the displacement of Native groups (Mackey 2004; Zenk 1990). Historical Background Euroamerican settlement in the Northwest began after Hudson’s Bay Company established the Fort Vancouver trading post in 1825, drawing fur trappers to the Tualatin Valley (Bourke and DeBats 1995; Tualatin River Watershed Council 2001). During the 1830s and 1840s, Catholic and Methodist missionaries came to the region with the intent of converting Native populations to Christianity (Bourke and DeBats 1995). Their accounts of the region’s fertile soil triggered a massive migration of families westward along the Oregon Trail. The resulting population disparity and the declining fur trade eventually led the British government to accept the Oregon Treaty, which ceded the Oregon Territory to the United States in 1846 (Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies 2014). The ratification of the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 encouraged Euroamericans to settle and secure claims within the Tualatin Valley (Bourke and DeBats 1995).
No houses, barns, or other features are shown on the maps in the current project APE. A road within the vicinity of the current NE Jackson School Road is depicted as crossing through the Kelsey and Griffin land claims on the 1862 and 1882 GLO maps. By NE Jackson School Road Improvement Project September 10, 2014 Hillsboro, Washington County, Oregon AINW Report No. 3322 -5- 1915, the road shifted to the current alignment of NE Jackson School Road, although it was not labeled as such until a 1954 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) map (USGS 1915, 1940, 1954). By 1961, NE Jackson School Road had experienced rapid growth as farmsteads transitioned for greater residential and recreational uses (USGS 1961). The road was named for the Jackson School District, established in 1851 by H. Lyman on a portion of the Jackson DLC (north and outside of the project area) (Jackson Elementary School 1990).