George D. Spong was the eldest son of Alexander and Margaret Spong who came to Oregon on a wagon train in 1851. Shortly after arrival, the Spong's took up a land donation claim along the Willamette River and started a ferry enterprise. Drowning seems to be an ironic fate for Geo. whose family capitalized on the river's prospects. Salem's bridges gapped the geography between Salem and West Salem and eventually forced the Spong's out of business. Today, Spong's Landing Park, west of Keizer, still serves as a popular kayak/canoe launch site and swimming hole.