From tilling the valley's virgin soil to building a widely proclaimed opera house, the Bushnell family started with so little and built so much. In the prequel to this book, A Continent Between Us, James and Elisabeth each traveled west on separate wagons trains, each surviving many perils. They were finally reunited again in Oregon.
In this account, they homestead together in the southern Willamette Valley. In their early years, they endured floods, diseases, many deaths, and devasting fires. They built homes, churches, and schools. They were blessed by faith and family. James never gave up and kept envisioning a better life for all those he knew and loved. He and his next wife, Sarah, dreamed and worked until they had a small city to be proud of, including a city water system, stores, banks, hotels, a ballroom, an opera house, churches, many schools, and a university that lasts to this day.
The James Bushnells were just one industrious family surrounded by other determined pioneers. Yet, this amazing family provided so much for others, then and now. They led their community in faith, vision, and perseverance in ways that still stand strong more than a century later.