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The first people to settle in the Eugene area were known as the Kalapuyans, also written Calapooia or Calapooya.
They made "seasonal rounds," moving around the countryside as appropriate to collect and preserve local foods, including acorns, the bulbs of the wapato and camas plants, and berries.
Strict racial segregation was enforced and mixed race people, known as Métis in French, had to make a choice between the reservation and Anglo society.
Native Americans could not leave the reservation without traveling papers and white people could not enter the reservation.
At this time the settlement was known by Anglos as Skinner's Mudhole.
It was relocated in 1853 and named Eugene City in 1853.
As the demographic pressure from the colonists grew, the remaining Kalapuyans were forcibly removed to Indian reservations.
Eugene is surrounded by foothills and forests to the south, east, and west, while to the north the land levels out into the Willamette Valley and consists of mostly farmland.
The city is also noted for its natural environment, recreational opportunities (especially bicycling, running/jogging, rafting, and kayaking), and focus on the arts.
Eugene's official slogan is "A Great City for the Arts and Outdoors".
It fell victim to two major fires in four years, and after the second fire, the college decided not to rebuild again.
The part of south Eugene known as College Hill was the former location of Columbia College. The town raised the initial funding to start a public university, which later became the University of Oregon, with the hope of turning the small town into a center of learning. Henderson donated the hilltop land for the campus, overlooking the city.