John Day

John Day

One of the famous pioneers of Oregon is a man named John Day. He was a trapper who came to Oregon with a large group and fell into a smaller group heading West while travelling along the Columbia River. He was born in Culpepper County Virginia. He travelled West through Kentucky to the Spanish Upper Louisiana which is now Missouri by the year 1797. By 1810 he joined the Pacific Fur Company as a trapper becoming part of their overland expedition West under lead of Wilson Price Hunt. They travelled from Missouri to Fort Astoria along the mouth of the Columbia River in 1811-1812. While in company of Ramsay Crooks, they were robbed and stripped naked by Indians along the Columbia River at the Mouth of the confluence. The infamous robbery gave the area to be named after him. In 1812 he was assigned to accompany Robert Stuart back East to St. Louis but was left on the Lower Columbia River where he went mad. He returned to Fort Astoria and spent the remaining 8 years hunting and trapping in the Willamette Valley. He died in 1820 at the winter camp of Donald MacKenzie’s Snake Country Expedition into the Little Lost River valley of today’s Butte County, Idaho. The John Day River is named after him and his history follows the four branches of the river in eastern Oregon. The cities of Dayville and John Day are also named after him, as well as the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

John Day Fossil Beds site – clarno unit info board: “Who was John Day? John Day came to oregon in 1812 as part of an overland expedition to the new pacific fur company post in astoria. The once large party split up and into many small groups before reaching the Oregon territory. While camped where the mouth of the mah-hah river meets the Columbia, John Day and Ramsay Crooks were robbed of all their belongings, including clothing. Luckily they were rescued by a party of trapper also headed to Astoria. John Day became well known at the trading post. Whenever others would pass the spot of the incident, they would point out where he had been robbed. Thus the mah-hah river became known as the John Day river. John Day never came here. It was Thomas Condon who named this area the John Day fossil Beds because of the river’s role as a landmark and its importance in eroding and exposing fossil bearing rock layers. “The Pallisades ( – Clarno Unit – John Day Fossil National Monument ( Volcanic Legacy: Chronicle 25 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Oregon. Photos taken August 2, 2016. To read the adventures, visit To read reviews, visit: All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 – by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions. All rights reserved.

~ Article by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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