“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Ione in Morrow County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)

Fourmile Canyon

Blazing heat, bitter cold and blustery winds

Fourmile Canyon Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 1, 2017
1. Fourmile Canyon Marker
Caption: (upper right) Oregon Trail Mile 1755
Inscription.  Fourmile Canyon witnessed the westward passage of wagons across the Columbia Plateau during the late summer and early fall. By this time on their journey, the emigrants had alternately been exposed to blazing heat, bitter cold and blustery winds. In an effort to avoid the late summer heat, some emigrants traveled in the relative cool evening, often by moonlight.

Traveling west beyond the Umatilla Riverl the weary travelers faced a long three day trek before reaching the crossing of the John Day River, twenty miles from this point. Fourmile Canyon was passed on the second day as most wagons moved between the established camps of Willow Creek and Cedar Spring along the trail.

Sabbath day, we remained in camp (Willow Creek) until three o'clock when we filled our water casks and started on over the bluffs, and encamped at noon PM. having traveled about seven miles. The dust was so dense that traveling in the night was rather dangerous as the ground was full of chuck holes which in the dust and darkness we could not see. We found no good grass and but little of any description. -- Abigail Scott, September 12,
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Continued our tedious journey ... sixteen miles this day encamped on the hills wood plenty a little dry grass but no water ice nearly an inch thick this morning Mount Hood a peak of the Cascades loomed in the sky covered with snow Henry and myself are just able to move and that is all -- Lydia A. Rudd, September 23, 1852

Tuesday Started at 2 o'clock this afternoon. Have a 15 mile drive to make for water. Will make part of it this evening. Leaving the creek (Willow Creek) ascended the bluff dividing the Blue and Cascade mountains. These bluffs are very high. The first hill we ascended was two miles long. We had a toiling drive until after dark, when we were compelled to camp without grass, as we could not go on farther. Our cattle were to tired and faded, but there was nothing for them to eat or drink! -- Esther Belle McMillan Harris, August (?), 1852

Erected by Bureau of Land Management.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Oregon Trail series list.
Location. 45° 37.32′ N, 120° 2.634′ W. Marker is near Ione, Oregon, in Morrow County. Marker is on Fourmile Canyon Road, on the left
Fourmile Canyon Kiosk and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 1, 2017
2. Fourmile Canyon Kiosk and Marker
when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ione OR 97843, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rocks, Sand & Wind (a few steps from this marker); Willow Creek Campground (approx. 4˝ miles away); This Marks the Crossing of the Old Oregon Trail (approx. 5.9 miles away); Arlington Oregon Trail Kiosk (approx. 10.3 miles away).
More about this marker. The Fourmile Canyon kiosk is in the middle of nowhere; though maps name the road Fourmile Canyon Road, there are no road signs to identify it.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 27, 2017. It was originally submitted on December 27, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 551 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 27, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Feb. 29, 2024