The first hops, used to provide flavor in the making of beer, were planted in the Willamette Valley in 1865. When the hops were harvested brewers raved about the quality, claiming the hops grown in the rich soil and under the sunny skies of Oregon, had a superior flavor.
Oregon hops were sought after on the world market. But growing hops was labor-intensive and farmers sought any able-bodied worker to work in the harvest. Many homesteaders left their farms and worked and camped in the hop fields.