Chauncy Nye

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Chauncey Nye (1823–1900) was a pioneer of the U.S. state of Oregon who was best known as the first person to publish an account about Crater Lake.


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.[citation needed] By 1852, Nathan had arrived in a pioneer party in Oregon, and Chauncy may have come with him.[citation needed] It's certain Chauncy was in Oregon by 1860 where he is listed, age 37, in Jackson County.[1]

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."[2]

By 1870, Chauncy had given up hunting gold[citation needed] and settled down on a farm with his wife Amarantha, who was born about 1834 in Illinois or Michigan.[3] The family lived for at least thirty years at Flounce Rock, Jackson County, Oregon.[4] Their children Etta (1867), Nelson (1871), and Elsie Amarantha (1879).[5] 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.


Nye Spring and Nye Ditch are both named for him.[6][7]


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