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

Coyote Creates Willamette Falls

Santiam Kalapuya

 
 
Coyote Creates Willamette Falls Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 25, 2017
1. Coyote Creates Willamette Falls Marker
Caption: (bottom right) Designed by Jordan Mercier, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.
Inscription. "Let us make a waterfall across the river." Meadowlark said to Coyote. So they made a rope by twisting young hazel shoots.
Holding one end of the rope, Meadowlark went on one side of the Willamette River; holding the other end, coyote went on the other side; and carrying the rope between them, they went down the river until they came to a place near where Salem is now. There they stopped. "Let us make the waterfall here," Meadowlark called across to Coyote. But she spoke in Clackamas, and Coyote knew only the Kalapuya language. He misunderstood.
Instead of making a waterfall, he turned some animals into rocks. They could be seen along the riverbank near Salem until not long ago.
Meadowlark and Coyote walked on down the river until they came to where Oregon City is now. "Let us make a waterfall here," Meadowlark said. This time she used the sign language too. Coyote understood.
So they stretched the rope tight. Coyote pulled hard. Meadowlark pulled with all her strength and pressed her feet hard agains the rock she was standing on. Then Coyote called on his powers and turned the rope into a rock. The river poured over the rock. That is how Willamette Falls happened to be made in Oregon City in stead of at Salem.
Meadowlark pressed her feet on the rock so hard that she made footprints. Her footprints stayed
Coyote Creates Willamette Falls Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 25, 2017
2. Coyote Creates Willamette Falls Marker
there for hundreds and hundreds of years. They could be seen until the locks flooded the flat rock where she stood.

From "Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest" by Ella E. Clark as told by John B. Hudson, Santiam Kalapuya, 1952.
 
Erected by End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.
 
Location. 45° 21.869′ N, 122° 35.707′ W. Marker is in Oregon City, Oregon, in Clackamas County. Marker can be reached from Washington Street near Abernethy Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1726 Washington Street, Oregon City OR 97045, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Coyote Creates Willamette Falls (here, next to this marker); The Confederate Tribes of Grande Ronde Today (a few steps from this marker); Oregon (a few steps from this marker); Dr. John McLoughlin (a few steps from this marker); To The Banks Of The Willamette (a few steps from this marker); The Trail of Tears (within shouting distance of this marker); Wagons (within shouting distance of this marker); Clackamas Chinook (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oregon City.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located next to the End Of Oregon Trail Interpretive Center facing outward towards Abernethy Green.
 
Categories. Native Americans
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 13, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 13, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 69 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 13, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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