The main purpose for my new blog iPentimento was to have a central location where people researching Oregon state history, the Holmes surname, or Oregon City history, could find a well-sourced biography of my 1st cousin William Livingston Holmes. William was one of the first sheriff's of Clackamas County when it was still Oregon Territory. Just this last weekend I uploaded the files for his biography to a page on iPentimento. I have also included some pictures I took at Rose Farm, the house William Holmes built; also included on the page is a two generation family tree for the Holmes family.
William and his wife Louisa, along with there three children were members of the 1843 Oregon Trail wagon train that left Missouri in late spring and traveled many months to get to the end of the Oregon Trail at Oregon City in November of that year.
It was a long and arduous trip for them, and it is likely they walked most of the way. One thing that many people may not think about is that when the wagon trains left Missouri the land was somewhat flat and the travelers were fresh, as were the oxen teams pulling the wagons. It is a sad fact that as the trip wore on, the terrain was more difficult to traverse, and their energies were flagging by the time they got to the Columbia River. They would have to either try to make it overland to Oregon City, or lower their wagons and livestock into the treacherous river and hope that they didn't drown in the process. A good book to read about this wagon train is Blazing a Wagon Trail to Oregon: A Weekly Chronicle of the Great Migration of 1843 (Paperback) .(ref)
This family was just one of 1000 souls who were on this particular wagon train, the first organized one to make it to Oregon City. There are some great Oregon Trail web pages online. One of them is Stephenie Flora's Oregon Pioneers page. She has been kind enough to link to the William Holmes page from her site.