"Oregon Fever" broke out around 1840, when trains of covered wagons moved westward. The offer of free land brought many settlers. Between 1850-1855, the Donation Land Claim Act granted each white male citizen over the age of eighteen 320 acres of land if he was single and 640 acres of land if he was married.
The first settlers to the Albany "Prarie" (sic) were farmers who came in the 1840's. Oregon settlers went south for gold, leaving the old men, women and children to hold down many farms. When they returned home they had nuggets and dust which started a new era in the Oregon Country.