Photo courtesy of Jan Hodgers.

Historical Crossroads: The Hindman Family + Camp Polk Meadow

May 10, 2019 by Deschutes Land Trust
In honor of historic preservation month, we continue to celebrate the beginnings and look forward to the future of Central Oregon.

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Camp Polk Meadow has been a historical crossroads for thousands of years. From early traditional use, through homesteading, to its current era as a wildlife refuge, Camp Polk Meadow continues to be a place where the community comes together to share and honor its resources. Who lived here over the years? Where did they come from?

First, the meadow supplied plentiful food and water for generations of Native American tribes. Then, it became a hub when explorers, soldiers, entrepreneurs, and settlers moved West to build the community we see today.

Travel through time with these photos to take a glimpse into how Camp Polk Meadow came to be what it is today. Adapted and reprinted with permission from Martin Winch's 'Biography of a Place.'

The history of a place is complex and winding, but looking into the perspectives of the peoples who called this place their home gives this land even more depth and meaning for the future. Whether it is thinking about the daily activities that may have happened within the Hindman Home or looking up to the remains of the Hindman Barn, we can see the changes that have happened in our community. As Central Oregon continues to grow and we face challenges like climate change we can think back to the resilience and knowledge of the peoples who have come before us to inform and inspire our future.

Join the Land Trust to dive deeper into the history of the Hindman Family and early settlements in Central Oregon on one of our upcoming walks + hikes. Explore the same lands from long ago and discover the history of this place and learn more about our plans for its future.

Many thanks to the following for their help with this Camp Polk Meadow history project: The Oregon Community Foundation Oregon Historical Trails Fund, the Roundhouse Foundation, and private donors. Martin Winch and his amazing book Biography of a Place. Carol Wall for researching and sharing the Hindman family story with our community. Jan Hodgers for sharing her personal photos of the Hindmans at Camp Polk Meadow. Ed Barnum for sharing his original architectural drawings and photos of the Hindman Barn. The Deschutes County Historical Society and Bowman Museum for help with research and photography.

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