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Mark Saturday, May 10, at 1 p.m. on your calendar. That’s when the Champoeg Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will dedicate a historical marker for Madame Marie Dorion at the St. Louis Catholic Church.


The church is located near the corner of Manning Road and St. Louis road in Gervais.

The dedication marks the end of the chapter’s three-year project headed by Lois Streimer, Kris Nelson and Diane Root.

Jane Kirkpatrick, author of the Tender Ties trilogy about Dorion; Jennifer Gobin-Bailes, a descendant of Marie Dorion; Ellen Hopkins, state regent for the OSSDAR, and others will speak. Entertainment and refreshment will follow the ceremony.

Marie Dorion, an “Ioway” woman, headed west from St. Louis, Mo., when her husband, Pierre Dorion, signed on with the Wilson Price Hunt Expedition of 1811 which founded Astoria.

After the expedition was over, she faced a harrowing ordeal when Pierre and the other men of their party were murdered. She escaped with her two young sons and spent weeks in the snowy wilderness of the Blue Mountains. After her first husband’s death, she remarried twice, once to Louis Venier, and later, to Jean Toupin. She settled in the French Prairie region of the Willamette Valley near St. Louis, Ore., and was a highly respected member of the community. The marker commemorates her life and her burial in the original St. Louis Catholic Church.

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