Scappoose 1830-1852. The Beginning.
Scappoose has a history that dates back to the original
inhabitants who were the Chinook Indians and other Northwest
tribes. Scappoose's name* is derived from the Chinook Tribe and
means "gravelly plains". Our area served as prime Indian
hunting grounds and was lead by Chief Concomley. The Chief
held stewardship over his people and the land.
At one time Scappoose was covered with wild grasses and
ancient forests and fed herds of elk and deer. The river
supplied spawning beds for salmon and other migrating fish.
While we still enjoy the wildlife and fishing the ancient forests
The area was a meeting place for the Tribes to gather in what is
known as a "Pow Wow". Until recently Scappoose honored this heritage by our annual Pow Wow/Summerfest event, last held in 2015.
When Chief Concomley died in 1830 Chief Cassino of the Kiersinno Tribe (who was married to Leche, the eldest daughter of Chief Concomley) became the highest ranking chief of the Northwest Chinook Tribes.
The first non-native to arrive was Thomas McKay, stepson of John McLaughlin of the Hudson Bay Company. He was a trapper and hunter and created a special bond with Chief Concomley. In later years Thomas married Tomee, the daughter of Chief Concomley.
Starting in 1828 the abundant natural resources of the Northwest called to the early settlers. They came from Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and other Eastern states.
In 1842 the first covered wagons rolled into Scappoose. As the area settled folks came from as far away as Czechoslovakia and Switzerland and developed a large presence in early Scappoose.
1852 marks the arrival of the Watts Family.
*There are also references to the name Scappoose being derived from a Chinookan village, on the west side of the Multnomah Channel, called Skáppus. Reference: Oregon Encyclopedia, article by Cessna (Duke) Smith
In 1852 the first industrial business started in Scappoose. The building of the saw mill by Timothy Lamberson and Malcom McKay brought the birth of a town.