"The Willamette River from Inspiration Point"
by Theodore Gegoux   (1850 - 1931)
Photo by Theodore Gegoux © All Rights Reserved - 2001

    800 x 600
Oil on board, 18 inches by 47 1/2 inches, oil on masonite board, completed in about 1920, unsigned.  The perspective of this painting appears to be from "Inspiration Point" looking east.  This painting hung over the fireplace in the memorial house during the later part of Gegoux's tenure as caretaker of Champoeg Park.  It was offered for sale with 13 other small paintings in 1925.  George Elwood Abernethy acquired the painting from Gegoux at Champoeg.   Elwood left the painting to his daugther Ellene Abernethy who married and became Mrs. George Parsons.  Ellene had the painting treated by Joan Samuels of the Portland Art Association in 1981, and upon Ellene's death in the year 2000, the painting was inherited by Ida Tetro.
May 3rd, 1900 - On the Willamete River bank near the place known as "Inspiration Point" with Francios Xavier Matthieu, Governor Geer, and George Himes.  These men surveyed the Champoeg site to find the location where the 1843 meeting took place.  Photograph by James H. Eaton of Portland, Oregon.  Shown here courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society © All Rights Reserved.
This photo is also listed in the Oregon Historical files as "Inspiration Point".  Shown here courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society © All Rights Reserved.
"The Willamette River From Inspiration Point" shown hanging over the fireplace of the Memorial Building at Champoeg, in the month of April 1921.  Photo by Mr. A. M. Prentiss © of Portland, Oregon.  In a letter to George Himes, Gegoux described Mr. Prentiss, "He is an expert".  This is high praise from a fellow photographer, especially from one with Gegoux's talent.
Gegoux filed for a copyright on "The Inception of the Birth of Oregon" in January of 1920.  By this time he had finished the essential work and revisions of his masterpiece.  Although Gegoux did not sign and date his masterpiece until 1923 when he and his son Frank completed the frame, it is clear that he considered it sufficiently complete to take up other projects.  Two such efforts were "The Abernethy Farm" and its sister painting the "The Willamette River From Inspiration Point" seen above.  My grateful appreciation to Nap & Ida Tetro for their permission to photograph this painting and for providing provenance information.