Champoeg's 615 acres of oak and conifer woodlands along the Willamette River harbor shady picnic areas and 10mi of appealing trails, but the park's main claim to fame harks back to 1843. Americans and a few others who wanted to form a provisional government, with an eye to eventually joining the United States, called all male Willamette Valley settlers-which included British subjects and French-Canadians-to Champoeg for a May 2, 1843 meeting. By a 51-50 vote, they decided to create a democratic government, an act that eventually led to the creation of Oregon as a US territory in 1849. This turning point in Oregon's history is chronicled at the park's museum, housed in the visitor center.
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