Well, it’s official — I am trading one Portland for another. Well, sort of. Obviously, having been born and raised in Portland, Oregon, I have developed a deep love for the city and its history, as well as the state as a whole. But the wife and I have recently begun talking about getting a place on the East Coast — an oasis where we could get away for a few months at a time. Some friends of ours bought a place just outside Portland, Maine, a few years ago, and they rave about it, so we figured we’d do the same.
Being so far away, it wasn’t an easy process and we really needed to work with a real estate company that we trusted. I give you Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Reality.
Legacy SIR specializes in sales of coastal and waterfront estates in Maine. We were originally looking for a summer rental leading to the possible purchase of a permanent residence in the future. Our search brought us to various Maine real estate brokers. After careful consideration, we decided to put my faith in the able hands of SIR. Our real estate agent guided us through the entire process from the beginning. His expertise, and the knowledge of the area, helped my wife and I make the final decision and choose a home in the area that is perfect for our needs. The company has a premier portfolio of distinctive properties located virtually in any area of Maine in all price ranges. SIR pays attention to detail and exercises pricing analysis leading to multiple showings and rapid sales.
The company is represented by over 50 brokers and agents, and many of them have an experience spanning over two decades. SIR has a unique vision of providing the service globally while servicing the Maine real estate market. International clients are highly encouraged to engage the services of SIR as their superb skills cannot be matched by any other competitor within the area.
The agents employed with the company extend their services to sales of island and resort properties, new construction and investment properties. Their extensive relocation experience has helped many clients from various areas of the country to transfer their belongings to Maine, including arrangements made with moving companies and temporary residency during the move. Business-oriented buyers are offered an extensive collection of projects currently available on the market.
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The most valuable component of my relationship with SIR is their confidentiality and security commitment. Upon contract completion of the Maine coastal property for sale, all pertinent information, such as social security number, was erased both electronically and manually. We were fully satisfied that all transactions and exchange of information was handled properly.
If you are looking for property along the “other coast” as well, contact Legacy Properties at http://www.legacysir.com.
Archaeologists tell us that Oregon has been inhabited by humans for at least 15,000 years, but the modern history of European settlers in this West Coast American state can be said to have begun shortly after the visit of the historic Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived and wintered in Fort Clatsop in 1805.
In 1811 British-Canadian fur trader David Thompson became the first European to travel the entire length of the Columbia River. He claimed the region of what now includes Oregon for Great Britain America’s first multi-millionaire, John Jacob Astor, also established a trading post in Oregon in 1811.
By 1818 the British and American governments had agreed to joint control of the Northwest Region. For the next several decades, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest was dominated by the fur and trapping trade. But 1842 was the year when settlement by American pioneers began in earnest.
The mass migration of American settlers was made possible by the establishment of the Oregon Trail, a route that began in Missouri and spanned what is now Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and Idaho. The Oregon Trail had gradually been established over the previous four decades by explorers and the trapping trade.
Thousands of Americans moving into Oregon brought forth the issue of ownership. The never easy agreement of sharing the territory between America and the British Empire came to a head in 1846, and the two countries nearly went to war again as both hoped to retain control of this region of rich land, natural resources and abundant wildlife. But the matter was resolved peacefully when both countries agreed to sign the Oregon Treaty, which made the region a U.S. Territory.
Historians generally set Oregon’s pioneer era from 1809 to 1890. Oregon became a state in 1859. Mass migrations involving settlers in wagon trains began in 1843. In that year, 100 covered wagons arrived from the east. Keep in mind that people and cargo continued to enter Oregon from the west and by sea.
It is also important to remember that Oregon and the entire Pacific Northwest was once owned by Native Americans. The vast majority of these people were wiped out by diseases contracted from white settlers. The U.S. Army also played an aggressive role in pacifying what was left of a devastated Native population. It was often by violent force that land was given over to European-style farming, cattle ranching, timber cutting, fishing and other methods of developing the landscape. The military and economic overthrow of the Native people’s or Oregon will remain a source of pain and controversy for centuries to come.
The unimaginable hardships of getting to Oregon from the east — and navigating the Oregon Trail — by white settlers in covered wagon cannot be overstated. American pioneers endured dangers, hardships and privations that few today could even began to fathom. The Oregon settlers banded together in parties to provide themselves safety in numbers. Many of these groups were tightly knit consisting of large extended families, and people from eastern communities who knew each other well.
The Oregon settlers needed to be able to bring along an enormous supply of provisions, be ready to fight off attacks by Native Americans, find ways to get wagons, oxen and horses across treacherous mountain passes – and one they arrived, they faced the daunting challenge of scratching out a living from the raw and undeveloped countryside.
By the end of the 19th Century, Oregon had become a well-established and extremely prosperous American state.
The life of the pioneers in America is recounted with a great deal of romanticism. This should not be considered surprising since the image of the trailblazing pioneer places a human face on the American ideals of rugged individualism. While many have a general idea about the life of the pioneer in American history, most do not know exactly life during the era was like. Once the truth about pioneer life in America is learned, many will become surprised at how arduous it was.
The life of a pioneer was one that was filled with quite a bit of uncertainty. The pioneers traveled west into the uncharted and unsettled areas of what is now modern America. In order to create a life in such regions, a settler had to figure out a way to tame the land in order to actually live in it. Only through being self-supportive and self-reliant was it possible to survive in such an unsettled region. This is why so many pioneers were comprised of trappers, farmers, and the like.
Of course, much of the life of a pioneer entailed traveling. This was very difficult because the pioneers had no real definitive idea as to what existed ahead of them on their travels. The rough road of travel meant dealing with harsh weather and difficult conditions until a proper settlement area could be found. Once a viable settlement region was discovered, the next step would be to actually tame the land so it could be livable.
Settlers that traveled in large groups of people would have to create towns in which collectives of people could live. They could work together to also create farmland in order to grow, harvest and store food. Over the ensuring decades, these pioneer towns would grow into the major cities that exist today. For the solo and single family settlers all the work required to create a farm was solely the responsibility of the family and it was a major responsibility Without reliable farmland and a good harvest, the settlers would not be able to survive.
As most would likely assume, many pioneers had to invest time in hunting in order to eat. They would also have to hunt and trap to acquire the skins of animals in order to make clothing. The right clothing was necessary to deal with the potentially harsh winters.
Over time, both the newly built towns and single family homesteads would become better developed. The earlier days of the pioneers were quite difficult but these early and long days yielded a great deal of experience regarding how to live in such an environment. Success built on prior successes making the ability to expand settlements further west. A byproduct of this would be the understanding that settler towns and homesteads had to work together through commerce. A market system was developer for the expansion of trade and commerce revolving around food, clothing and other items of value.
The various settlements would eventually be unified under uniform federal and local laws further making it possible to establish states in the territories. With such progress, the untamed life of the pioneer eventually edged closer to the modern one we know today.
In a society where it seems the old is nearly always destroyed to make room for the new, it is very important to ensure that those monuments, buildings, artifacts, and historical sites that tell the story of America are preserved so they may continue telling their stories to our grandchildren. Not only do these sites and structures act as beacons that guide our youth to the truth about our past conflicts and transitions in terms of major events, but also of the general lifestyle, architecture, and mindset of early American pioneers. It is from these stories we came to be who and where we are today. To lose track of these stories through loss of historically significant places and objects would mean losing track of ourselves.
There is a national, not-for-profit organization in this country whose purpose is to ensure preservation of these sites, buildings, and artifacts. Pioneer America Society: Association for the Preservation of Artifacts and Landscapes (PAS: APAL) was founded in 1967 to bring awareness to the fact that important symbols from our past are being lost every year at an alarming rate. PAS is feverishly recording and documenting all the information it can about the ingenuity and resourcefulness of our pioneering ancestors in an attempt to ensure our children and grandchildren understand the events, society, and various culturals that came together in that magical time to form the great melting pot of the world.
According to their website, Pioneer America Society is not in existence to stop the world from progressing, but to ensure we all remember from where we came. Being the free market society that we are, profits sometimes win out over other more noble choices. The “bulldozer mentality,” as it is dubbed on their website, threatens to destroy all evidence of the past in lieu of profit. PAS has been formed to raise concern for this issue and preserve that sense of self reliance and responsibility inherent in the minds of the American pioneers.
Each year, PAS has an annual meeting where like-minded members from all different disciplines, ages, and socioeconomic levels come together to share thoughts and ideas about this subject. The 2013 annual meeting, which will be the 45th annual, is scheduled for October 9th – 12th in Mohawk Valley, New York.
Pioneer America Society is supported solely through membership dues and donations. The cost for membership is as follows:
Individual – $50
Student – $25
Institutional – $90
Lifetime – $450
Anyone interested in joining this all important organization should visit the following website: http://www.pioneeramerica.org/newmembership.html and fill out the short downloadable PDF form.
Just as stories tend to change as they filter from on person to the next, so do the stories of our past as they are told over and over again to each encroaching generation. Without symbolic reminders such as artifacts, historical buildings and sites, important elements of these stories from our past would be lost with each passing generation until they are far removed from their original version. It is appalling to think how far removed from ourselves we would be in merely a few short generations if not for those people who believe in preserving our past to ensure our future.
The question of who were the first settlers of America is an intriguing one, because, aside from historic facts, it can lead to prehistoric speculations. However, the first human settlement in America, proposed by scientists and historians alike, seems to have been of Paleo-Indian origins. Nonetheless, it is a generally accepted fact that America was first settled by people who migrated from Asia – long before Christopher Columbus discovered the New World.
We could consider that America had three categories of first-time settlers. The first such people are definitely the Asian migratory people. However, the exact origins of these people remain uncertain and, most likely, will remain one of history’s unsolved mysteries. Second, if we were to consider the first sophisticated civilizations that flourished across the Americas, the Aztecs and the Mayas would certainly come to our mind.
Due to the elaborate social aspects of these civilizations, they may be considered as the first civilized settlers of America. However, a third social category that, depending on a historic context, may be taken into account as the first American settlers, in a more modern concept, is the society resulted after the colonization by the European monarchies.
As previously outlined, you should know that Christopher Columbus was not the first voyager to cross the Atlantic. In fact, the first settlers of America most likely crossed the Pacific Ocean and started to populate the new-found land from West to East. However, many scientists and historians alike dispute this theory, due to the unlikeliness of technological possibilities necessary for the crossing of the Pacific Ocean.
Back in prehistoric times, when it is supposed that the first settlers came to America, the planet and its continents looked different from what they look nowadays. If we take into account the fact that in that time the continents were geographically connected to one another, the theory that Americas first settlers came through Beringia (now, the Bering Strait) becomes viable.
From a historic and scientific point of view, the Clovis people seem to have been the first American settlers. At least that is how far scientific tracking can go back in time. However, it is not known how many migrations were necessary for these people to establish themselves as tribes and small nations. What is known about this culture, is that it crossed almost the entire northern American continent and that it settled down in the area that today is New Mexico. Archaeological artifacts pointing to the Clovis people date as far back as approximately 9100 BC.
The question of whether the first settlers in America came by land or by sea remains a scientific speculation, because neither historians nor scientists found solid proof that would favour one of these two possibilities.
Nonetheless, the concept of settlement involves a certain degree of civilization, which brings us back to the people the European explorers found on the American continent in the last decade of the 15th century. Only after the first decades of the following century can we refer to the first settlers of America as an emerging society – a society that grew continuously and became what it is today.
Life was extremely difficult for people who first settled in America, but their sweat equity laid the groundwork for future generations to spread out all across the country and populate this great land from coast to coast. Many early pioneers took great risks to come to America, leaving behind family and possessions that they could not bring with them in exchange for the promise of a better life and the chance to make their fortunes.
There were people from many different European countries where there were not a lot of opportunities for them to get ahead. They came to America for many different reasons, including:
The opportunity to homestead – live on vast expanses of land and farm the land in exchange for free land.The promise of riches beyond their wildest dreams with the treasure of gold just waiting to be discovered;They could start a new life far away from their homeland across the ocean and be or do anything they wanted to.
Upon landing on the East Coast of the USA, many pioneers settled into a new life. When the Gold Rush started in the 1880′s many large wagon trains travelled across the country towards the west where the Gold was being harvested. One of the more famous and tragic stories of wagon train travel was of the Donner party who became trapped in the Sierra Nevada mountains due to harsh weather conditions and massive amounts of snowfall.
The Donner party symbolized the strength and challenges faced by pioneers. The group of 87 faced exposure, disease, trauma and ultimately starvation. As people passed on, they were buried in the snow, and several groups from the Donner Party attempted to leave the mountain in search of help, each time facing failure. The survivors were forced to resort to cannibalism to survive and were not rescued until nearly nine months later. Only 48 of the original group of 87 people survived.
One of the harshest realities of pioneer times was that there were no grocery stores or other conveniences that we enjoy today. It was up to each family to grow and preserve their own food and ensure that the family was fed. Women spent a large portion of their day baking, canning (preserving), washing clothes by hand, sewing clothing and mending clothing. They also had to feed the livestock, collect any eggs from their chickens, and ensure that firewood was prepared and ready for each day. If they had any other time in between, they would use that to pick any fruit or berries that were in season.
Pioneer men would leave for the day to work at whatever their trade was – mining, logging, ship building, and worked long hours. Everyone rose in the morning when the sun came up and went to be when the sun set, or used candles for light if they wished to read or play cards. Whatever money was earned by the family would be used in the nearest settlement or town to purchase supplies from a mercantile – such as flour for baking, livestock feed and material for clothing.
Homesteaders had to build their own homes with all of the necessary conveniences with whatever materials that they could find on their own land. Trees were chopped down by hand and stripped. If a local neighbor had the tools for milling lumber could be cut, otherwise, many settlers built crude log cabins from trees on their property, stuffing the cracks in between with mud and moss as insulation.