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John Painter

"Mr. John Painter, an Englishman who as a young man had been shipwrecked and washed ashore on one of the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaiian).

There he married a native girl of a Kanaka tribe by the name of Kakolohe and from this marriage four children were born, one boy and three girls. The Painters lived happily in their island home until the dreaded disease of leprosy broke out and threatened the separation of their family. They escaped with their family by securing passage to America, landing in Portland. By taking up a homestead in the rugged country of the Columbia Basin, they settled above Rooster Rock in 1873.

The Painters arrived at their homesite by following an Indian trail which led from Rooster Rock to the bluff above, this trail later because the first road leading from the Columbia basin to the country above. It became known as Staggerweed Mountain.

The Painter cabin was about half way up the mountain lying to the north and west of the Deaver farm at the top of the mountain.

The Painter Farm was purchased by our late Governor, Julius L. Meier, from Samuel Painter, the only one of the children to escape the dread disease of leprosy, the others including their mother, all died from the effects of the disease.

The 3 girls along with their father and mother are buried in the field marked only by a little wooden fence and an apple tree. The wooden fence is now gone and the only identification as to where the family were buried, is the old apple tree.

The Painter homestead is now known as Menucha, owned by the Presbyterian Church.

Samuel Painter, known as "Sam," died in 1939 and is buried in the Pounder Cemetery at Corbett.

Kamo Luau

After Mr. John Painterís death, Mrs. Painter married Kamo Luau, better known as "Kanaka Jim." He also was a native friend from the Islands who had followed the Painters to their promised land in 1879. He had lived in a cabin on the Painter farm. The Luaus raised an adopted son called Jimmie Luau who died quite young. He is also buried in the almost lost and forgotten cemetery on the old Painter farm.


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[SOURCE: From a compendium of biographies hand typed and distributed by the East Multnomah Pioneer Association in about 1972, pp. 143-44..  Submitted by Dorothy Keefe.]