Park Heritage Notes–Collier Memorial’s frontier campers (2010)
On your next visit to Collier Memorial State Park, look for two historical markers that tell the stories of famous 19th-century campers.
One identifies an 1855 campsite used by a Pacific Railroad survey party. The Williamson River, which flows through the park, was named for the party’s leader, Lieutenant R.S. Williamson. His fellow campers were Phil Sheridan, George Crook and J.S. Newberry. Sheridan served at Fort Yamhill (now a state heritage area) and in the U.S. Civil War. Crook County is named for George Crook, also known for his Civil War service and later duty in the Pacific Northwest. Newberry was a geologist and explorer. Newberry Crater in central Oregon is named in his honor.
The other marker traces the travels of chief Hudson Bay Company trapper and explorer Peter Skene Ogden. His expeditions also are noted in markers at Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint north of Redmond, and a spot on U.S. 20 just east of Juntura in eastern Oregon.