One hundred years ago, on March 10, 1917, the Oregon Lewis and Clark Chapter dedicated a historical marker at Coryell Pass. Today, most of us do not know the significance of the Pass.
The name of Coryell Pass was used after the arrival of Abraham and son, Lewis Coryell to the Oregon Territory in 1847. The Coryells established their claim of land about three miles from the confluence of the Middle and Coast Forks of the Willamette River and operated a ferry until about 1853. Coryell Pass refers to a gap near the river where emigrants and their wagons passed on their way to Polk County or Oregon City.
The Coryell Pass was part of the Southern Oregon Trail which was opened in 1846 by Levi Scott, Jesse and Lindsay Applegate. This trail, today called the Applegate Trail, enabled ox‐team emigrants to travel southwest from Fort Boise to the Rogue River and then north to Polk County instead of floating down the perilous Columbia River. After established all travel from Oregon City to south took this route including those who traveled to the gold fields. Eugene’s founder, Eugene Skinner staked his claim on the south bank of the Willamette River also in 1846 as did Elijah Bristow who founded Pleasant Hill.
After our March chapter meeting, we will travel to the present location of the marker for a rededication. Wildish Sand & Gravel moved the monument in 1980 because it was on their property. We are pleased that our State Regent, Alice Miles, will be in attendance. A group of Daughters will spruce up the monument and the area surrounding it prior to our visit. More information as to time will be coming later when the details are worked out.