Sarah King Chambers Plaque

Following is the inscription on the plaque placed at Sarah King Chambers' gravesite:


SARAH KING CHAMBERS

    Sarah King Chambers was born July 25, 1823, in Madison County, Ohio, to Naham and Serepta King.
    In the spring of 1845, she, along with her husband, Rowland, and their children Margaret and James, joined other members of the King family on their migration west.  Their destination was the Willamette Valley of Oregon, for a new beginning in a land which held great promise.
    With about 1,000 other emigrants and 200 wagons, the King party chose to follow Stephen Meek in an ill-fated attempt to cross central Oregon on their way to the upper Willamette Valley, near present-day Eugene.  Meek convinced them that this new route would avoid many hazards of the Blue Mountains, the restless Cayuse Indians, and the perilous journey down the Columbia River.
    Their group became known as the "Lost Wagon Train of 1845."  Not really lost, but desperate for water in these high deserts, they abandoned their plans for a new route and turned north toward the Columbia River and established trail to Oregon.  They arrived at the mission in The Dalles in October in a most deplorable condition.
    Sarah could not complete that journey.  She died on September 3, 1845, and was buried here, alongside the "Terrible Trail."  The cause of death was not recorded in contemporary accounts.
    There were twenty-three other known deaths along the cutoff route from where they left the Oregon Trail at the crossing of the Malheur River (in present-day Vale, Oregon) until they rejoined the Oregon Trail at the mission at The Dalles.

Research, Funding, and Signing by the
Oregon-California Trail Association
1991