Friday, July 10, 2015

Cemetery Sagas

Friends of Champoeg create "Cemetery Sagas", an annual fundraiser that's lots of fun.  We've been hoping to attend and finally got our chance this year.  Much like Lone Fir Cemetery's Halloween tour, historical reenactors representing various residents of the Butteville and Champoeg cemeteries regaled visitors with tales. In this case, they all told stories about their fathers, each a notable pioneer and a colorful character. This proved to be a splendid idea because while the children of these pioneers are all buried in these cemeteries, the majority of the fathers are not.  They got a chance to talk about some of the larger than life characters that helped shape the first settlements of Oregon from the perspective of their children. Afterwards, we were brought back to the lovely Donald Manson Barn for some pioneer music and generous servings of strawberry lemonade and strawberry shortcake.  Delish! The historical programs presented by Friends of Champoeg are always first rate. A volunteer confided that grants that supported them in the past are no longer awarded, and dedicated organizers are working hard without pay to create these programs. Since we began homeschooling, I've been astonished to notice how many wonderful things exist solely because of the hard work of volunteers. Bravo!  They provide wonderful opportunities for teens and adults to become part of their magic.
James P. Feller tells us about his father Francis X. Feller.
Four daughters told stories about their father F. X. Matthieu, a French Canadian who voted to make Oregon part of the United States. He was the last surviving man who voted for the provisional government. 
Arsinoe Clark LaRocque told us about her father, blacksmith Stephen Clark.
(This actress was amazing!)
Robert Newell Jr. told us about his legendary father, Robert Newell Sr., who
was one of Oregon's founding fathers.
James Manson told us about his father Donald Manson, who built the
Donald Manson Barn.
Isaac Ogden told us about his father Peter Skene Ogden, for whom
Oregon named a scenic area and Utah a city.
Norbert Bernier told us about his father Francois Bernier.
The 1860's Kitchen Garden.
Donald Manson Barn.

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