The Cow Creek Story
The Cow Creek Umpqua lived in the Pacific Coast Range in Southwestern Oregon.
Map 1 indicates the territory of the Cow Creek Umpqua Indians on the planet Earth.
Map 2 indicates the territory of the Cow Creek Umpqua Indians within the United States of America.
Map 3 locates the territory of the Cow Creek Umpqua Indians in Southwestern Oregon.
Map 4 defines the Cow Creek Umpqua territories within Douglas County, Oregon. On Map 4 note the locations of the Umpqua River, both its north and south branches as well as the location of Cow Creek itself.
Map 5 gives a rough characterization of the main topographical features of the state of Oregon.
By five thousand years ago rivers and streams had eroded the Coast Range into narrow valleys with steep sides, separated by low ridges and peaks, rising up to three to four thousand feet. Further east the higher peaks of the Cascade mountains rise to nine to ten thousand feet. Narrow steep-sided canyons with cold, snow-fed, fast flowing rivers cut through the Cascades as they begin their journey to the sea.
The forests of southwestern Oregon's Coast Range consisted of dense stands of huge Douglas fir, cedar and hemlock trees, some well over three hundred feet tall. The underbrush consisted of alder and maple trees, berry patches, salal, elderberry bushes and large ferns. Downed trees and rotted logs contributed to making the forests all but impenetrable, except for the hidden footpaths and trails used by the Indians.
Deep in the forested canyons rain fell as mist during the six month winter rainy season. Sunlight during the dry season might never reach the forest floor because of the canopy of vegetation.