Draining Lake Labish

In 1981, I took a job weeding onion fields out Hazelgreen Road on the outskirts of Salem, Oregon, as one of my first jobs. In the summer after high school got out, I began cycling out Cordon Road, on my Raleigh Reliant, from my house near Sunnyview Drive, at 7 in the morning. From my doorstep, I would arrive at the onion fields in about 45 minutes of hard riding through the cool morning fog. The onions, likely Wallawallas, were large and grew in long rows in near-black soils. The weeds too grew large as the soils were rich in … Continue reading Draining Lake Labish

Santiam Forks Band of Molalla

The Santiam Forks Band of Molalla is not as well known as the Northern Molalla. We have had a few stories and while there is some information in families genealogies of Chief Coastno, it is a rare subject. This essay will focus on this small tribe and reveal the available information. The most information was have about this tribe of Molalla is contained within the 1851 treaty journal; Champoeg May 3rd 1851 Saturday Afternoon, 2 o’clock, the chief and principal men of the Santiam Band of the Moo-lal-le tribe of Indians, having been assembled the Board of Commissioners met them … Continue reading Santiam Forks Band of Molalla

Missing Pages: Additional Signatory Tribes to the Willamette Valley Treaty

For more than 166 years the following pages were missing from the history and legal record of the Grand Ronde Tribe. It appears that sometime in early March 1855 Joel Palmer secured additional signatories to the Willamette Valley Treaty from two Molalla tribes and two other tribes on the Columbia River, The Klatskania tribe (Clatskanie) and the Ne-pe-chuck band. These additions were hinted at in a letter from Palmer on January 9th of 1856. “One village of Indians in the vicinity of St. Helens have not yet signed the treaty of the 10th January 1855 but are ready to do … Continue reading Missing Pages: Additional Signatory Tribes to the Willamette Valley Treaty

Horatio Hale’s Description of Oregon Tribes

Horatio Hale has been the subject of much attention by me in recent months, in particular his Ethnology and Philology volume 6, United States Exploring Expedition, 1846. His description of the Molala peoples is noted by many scholars as to the original source of the territorial and pre-historic descriptions of the Molala tribe. I have noted previously that Hale spend no time in his research with natives identified as “Molala” and received most of his information from fur traders at Hudson’s Bay Company and from missionary Dr. Whitman. Further research continues to confirm this as well as Hale’s reliance on … Continue reading Horatio Hale’s Description of Oregon Tribes

Ancient History of the Molala (La’tiwi)

The Molala (Mollala, Molalla, Molele, La’tiwi) are a tribe of Western Oregon. They lived on the eastern periphery of the Willamette and Umpqua Valleys. There were at least five concentrations of them: The Northern Molalla were situated in Dickie Prairie on the other side of the ridge from the contemporary town of Molalla, their village called Mokanti; the Crooked Finger Molalla, situated in Crooked Finger Prairie southeast of Scotts Mills; the Santiam Molalla, situated on the southern side of the Santiam River near the town of Stayton; the Tufti Band of Molalla, situated east of Springfield near the town of … Continue reading Ancient History of the Molala (La’tiwi)