Born in Michigan in 1823 to Nathan Nye, he accompanied his brother Nathan B. Nye (1831–1913) to Lagtown, El Dorado County, California in 1849 or early 1850, during the California Gold Rush to work claims in that area. By 1852, Nathan had arrived in a pioneer party in Oregon, and Chauncy may have come with him. It's certain Chauncy was in Oregon by 1860 where he is listed, age 37, in Jackson County.
He is known as the first person to publish an account about Crater Lake:
In 1862, Chauncy Nye and his party of prospectors also came upon the lake. Nye wrote the first published article about the lake, stating "the waters were of a deeply blue color causing us to name it Blue Lake."
By 1870, Chauncy had given up hunting gold and settled down on a farm with his wife Amarantha, who was born about 1834 in Illinois or Michigan. The family lived for at least thirty years at Flounce Rock, Jackson County, Oregon. Their children Etta (1867), Nelson (1871), and Elsie Amarantha (1879). In 1882, Chauncy completed his homestead at Township 33S Range 2 East.
He is buried next to his wife, at Nye Cemetery in Jackson County.
- "1860 United States Census of Jackson County". United States Census Bureau.
- History of Crater Lake by the USGS
- 1870 Federal Census
- Federal Census of Jackson County, 1860-1900
- 1880 Federal Census
- "Nye Spring". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey.
- "Nye Ditch". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey.
- History of Crater Lake by the Park Service
- 1870, 1880 and 1900 US Census, online at www.ancestry.com
- Cemeteries of Jackson County
- Place Names in Oregon
- Death Certificate (extract) of Nathan Nye
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