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Thanks Jack. Apparently both volumes 1 and 2 have been published and are available in spiral bound to those in the Sage library system in Oregon, but they don't appear on Amazon or with other booksellers, and aren't listed for sale at the Interpretive Center. I've written them for further information and will post something if I get a response. The Center has incorporated much I believe of Jim Windsor's fine research on the family. |
By the way, I recently wanted to focus on Imans down the line from the Virginia and Illinois ones I've known more about. As you know, Jay and I are down the line from Theodore Columbus. This got me more deeply involved in some of the family mysteries and to sorting out what has seemed to me a bit mythical. In order to understand the historical and community context, I did what I could to explore what's known about the lives and fates of most of the first neighbors from 1852 on. Some things emerged which really surprised me.
Generally when we think of homesteading claims and western settlements, we think of self-sustaining farmers, though agriculture had little to do with the interests of the neighbors. And what a crew the neighbors were! Many were lawyers and business folks with little interest in settling the area, for they were out to make fortunes and then to move on. Some in fact arrived after trying their hand, none too successfully, with California gold-differy.
For the most part, the neighborhood was about building the first Oregon monopoly and even the conflicted interests of the Bradfords et. al. had a strong impact on corporate governance and style in the Gilded Age. We had lawyers who put a crimp in the career of Governor Stevenson, as the wealthier neighbors built beach resorts in Southern California, built toll roads to Boise, opened mines that were the foundation of towns in Eastern Oregon, ran railroads back east, and opened engineering and construction firms in Washington DC a short block or two from the Whitehouse.
Getting into some of the stories has helped me get better perspective on the places and times out there. Theodore's marching back and forth to Oregon City has started making more sense, though I can't for the life of me figure out where his wife, the widow of Mike Rosier wound up. I'd never realized how much time Theodore had spent in Western Washington, moving around between logging communities long before returning home to live with his sister only toward the end. in all of this, he was only following many of his sisters and brothers, who I think spent a good share of their life moving around between lumber camps and mills.
While most think of the whole idea of migrating west was to find a parcel of land, settle down, and develop a self-sustaining life, Felix was right that it may have been an era for entrepreneurs and businessmen -- for he was certainly living among some sharp ones. That second generation though wasn't so much a self-sustaining lot as they had been made given the environment to become more or less wage slaves and laborers, moving around to find work where and when it might be available.