Marion County celebrates 175 Years of Service
On May 2, 1843, early settlers gathered on the bluff overlooking the Willamette River to determine whether a provisional government should be established. After two votes, with 52 to 50 majority, these pioneers put in motion the beginnings of Oregon's first provisional government. Two months later on July 5, 1843, the Organic Act was formally adopted and the Oregon Country was divided into four districts including Tuality, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Champooick, which was later renamed Champoeg and finally designated as Marion County in 1849.
In the intervening 175 years Marion County has played an integral role in Oregon's history. In 1857 the first of Marion County's three courthouses hosted the Oregon Constitutional Convention; Salem, Marion County's largest city, was designated the capital of the Oregon Territory in 1851; and the annual state fair has been held in Marion County since 1862.
On May 2, 2018, exactly 175 years after the historic vote a Champoeg, we kicked off our "175 Years of Service" celebration for the remainder of the year. We're planning special festivities as part of the annual Marion County Fair, a self-guided tour of Marion County, 175 things to do in Marion County, and more. We hope to see you as we tour the county in many of the fairs and festivals occurring this summer.
Marion County Board Session at Champoeg on May 2, 2018
Native American Historian David G. Lewis provides an historical perspective of the Kalapuya people who inhabited the Mid-Willamette Valley when French-Canadian fur traders and American settlers first arrived.
Greg Leo, Friends of Historic Butteville, describes the historic vote at Champoeg on May 2, 1843, and the forming of Oregon's first provisional government.
Historical interpreter Michael Tieman, from the Lewis and Clark Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, represents Gen. Francis Marion and reads the proclamation recognizing the anniversary of Marion County's founding in 1843.