Browse Exhibits (8 total)

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Learning from the Land

12,000 BC - 1900s 

Learning from the Land is a two-part exhibit that provides information on Indigenous and Settlement-Era land history, specifically concerning the Carson homestead in Benton County, Oregon. The first page, "Indigenous History" chronicles the Soap Creek Valley and its Indigenous significance as the traditional homelands of the Ampinefu Band (also known as the Mary's River band) and Luckiamute band of Kalapuya. The second page, "Settlement Era Land History" teaches us of the time after the forced removal of Indigenous people, and the consequences of white settlement on the Soap Creek Valley Lands.

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The Carson's Soap Creek Valley Homestead

 1814 - 1905

The Carson's Soap Creek Valley Homestead is a two-part exhibit that explains Letitia and David Carson's journey from Missouri to the Soap Creek Valley. The first page, "Letitia and David Carson" provides audiences a glimpse into what we know about Letitia and David before, during, and after their travels to the Soap Creek Valley via the Oregon Trail. The second page, "Life in the Soap Creek Valley" paints a picture of the living conditions, community, hardships, and lifestyle of settlers on Oregon land in the 19th century. 

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Letitia Carson v. Greenberry Smith

1852 - 1856

Letitia Carson v. Greenberry Smith is a three-part exhibit dedicated to telling what we know about the two lawsuits Letitia Carson filed against the administrator of David's estate after his death. "Death of David Carson" provides context to his unexpected passing, what this meant for Letitia, and how it fundamentally altered their time on their Soap Creek Valley Lands. It details how Oregon’s exclusion laws and the whites-only provision of the 1850 Oregon Donation Land Claim Act forced Letitia Carson off her land. The latter pages tell audiences the intricate details of her successful fights against Greenberry Smith, including many primary sources that provide a deeper understanding of arguments, rebuttals, and the outcome of this first case. 

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Letitia in Douglas County

1853 - 1888

Letitia in Douglas County is a three-part exhibit that chronicles the time after Letitia's forced removal from her Soap Creek Valley home. "After David's Death" looks into Letitia's move from Benton to Douglas County, including her time as a midwife and domestic servant with the Elliff family before she claimed her own land as part of the Homestead act of 1862. "Letitia's Homestead" details her five-year homesteading journey as told through primary documents and accounts of her work to create an improved piece of Oregon land and become a homeowner. "After 1870," tells of the last years of Letitia's life as her children became adults, married, and had families of their own around Oregon. 

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Carson and Lavadour Genealogy

1780 - 1900s

Carson and Lavadour Genealogy is a two-part exhibit that details the family tree of both the Carsons and the Lavadour family, which Martha Carson married into on January 19, 1868. The first page, "Carson Family" tells the story of the Carson siblings, including David Carson, and their stories after they immigrated from Ireland to the United States. While we don't have all of the information on every family member, there is a relatively clear narrative that can be traced through the Carson bloodline, teaching us about their lives. The second page, "Lavadour Family" follows a similar path and teaches readers about the Lavadours before Martha became an in-law, as well as after.


Zybach and Meranda Historiography

1989 - Today

Zybach and Meranda Historiography is a two-part exhibit that seeks to teach site visitors about the man behind the history, resource collection, and preservation of precious historical memory and material. The exhibit illustrates Dr. Bob Zybach and Janet Meranda’s tireless work on the history of Letitia Carson. Additionally, it points to other key figures who maintained and contributed to the establishment of the Letitia Carson story in Oregon history. Without those like Jane Kirkpatrick, Letitia's legacy would have been dimmed in the public light.

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Who was David Carson?

1800 - 1852

Who was David Carson? Is a two-part exhibit that teaches site visitors about the life of David Carson before and during his time with Letitia Carson, up to his death in 1852. It contains information on his immigration, family, time in North Carolina, Missouri, and then Oregon Country. The second part informs readers about his land ownership in Platte County, Missouri.

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Soap Creek Valley Land After 1852

1852 - 2021

Land After 1852 is a three-part exhibit that details the history of the Carson Homestead site since David’s death in 1852. The first part, “Carson Homestead 1852-1910” describes Greenberry Smith’s ownership, the 1857 sale of the land, and the start of the Glender family homestead. The second section, “Carson Homestead 1910-1945” details the land as the Glender family owned it, up until it was used by Camp Adair from 1942-46. The final section, “Carson Homestead 1946-2021” tells more about the OSU beef ranch in Soap Creek Valley and how the land has been used prior to the work of the Letitia Carson Legacy Project.