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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Ainsworth State Park, Oregon"
Includes ... Ainsworth State Park ...
Image, 2014, Ainsworth State Park, Historic Columbia River Highway, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Picnic area, Ainsworth State Park, Oregon, Historic Columbia River Highway. Image taken June 5, 2014.


Ainsworth State Park ...
Ainsworth State Park, with day-use and campground facilities, is located along the Historic Columbia River Highway at River Mile (RM) 139. Downstream is Horsetail Falls and the Oneonta area, and upstream is the Oregon communities of Dodson and Warrendale. Further upstream is John B. Yeon State Park, another Historic Columbia River Highway park.

Early Ainsworth State Park ...
The land of Ainsworth Park was donated to the State of Oregon in 1933 by John C. and Alice H. Ainsworth. John C. Ainsworth was a prominent Oregon businessman and the son of an early Oregon pioneer Captain J.C. Ainsworth. Captain Ainsworth was one of the founders of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company.

Historic Columbia River Highway ...
Ainsworth State Park, with day-use and campground facilities, is located along the Historic Columbia River Highway at River Mile (RM) 139. Downstream is Horsetail Falls and the Oneonta area, and upstream is the Oregon communities of Dodson and Warrendale. Further upstream is John B. Yeon State Park, another Historic Columbia River Highway park.

[More Historic Columbia River Highway]
[More HCRH Route]

Image, 2014, Ainsworth State Park, Historic Columbia River Highway, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Historic Columbia River Highway mileage marker, Picnic area, Ainsworth State Park, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2014.


Drinking Fountain ...
According to the 2000 National Historic Register "Historic Columbia River Highway" Nomination Form:

"This semi-circular masonry trough and faucet provided water for visitors and their vehicles. It was part of a fountain construction project conducted along many Oregon state highways in the 1920s."

"Motorists driving along the highways in the State of Oregon will occasionally pass a sign notifying them that there is good drinking water 300 feet ahead. At such places they will find an artistically designed drinking fountain erected by the Oregon State Highway Commission and a water supply which they may feel safe in using. ...

The fountains have bubblers for drinking, and a pool from which water for filling radiators may be dipped. ...

The water used is from live springs and is tested by the State to ascertain its suitablility for drinking before the erection of a fountain ...   ample parking space is provided so that cars may be parked off the highway. ...

At present there are some 30 fountains along the Oregon highways, and additional ones are placed wherever suitable conditions are found. The construction of these fountains by the Oregon State Highway Commission is in line with their policy of developing the scenic features of the highways of the State."

Source:    T.M. Davis, 1930, Highway Engineer, U.S. Bureau of Public Roads, "Drinking Fountains Along Oregon Highways", IN: "Public Roads", April 1930.


Image, 2014, Ainsworth State Park, Historic Columbia River Highway, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fountain, Ainsworth State Park, Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2014.
Image, 2014, Ainsworth State Park, Historic Columbia River Highway, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fountain, Ainsworth State Park, Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2014.
Image, 2014, Ainsworth State Park, Historic Columbia River Highway, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fountain, Ainsworth State Park, Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2014.
Image, 2014, Ainsworth State Park, Historic Columbia River Highway, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fountain, Ainsworth State Park, Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2014.


Ainsworth State Park in 1946 ...
AINSWORTH STATE PARK

"Ainsworth State Park entered at Mile Post 35.20 is the next one eastward. Practically all of this tract lies above the highway, with the highway and railroad rights-of-way clipping off a small triangle at the northwest corner. It is described as being in Section 3, Township 1 North of Range 6 East, W.M., in Multnomah County, Oregon containing forty acres. This area was a gift to the State of Oregon by the late J.C. Ainsworth, and Alice H. Ainsworth, his wife, by deed dated July 29, 1933.

The tract is well wooded, rising with a moderate slope near the highway, which increases in steepness in its southward ascent. Its special feature is a splendid, very cold, free flowing spring which wells from the hillside, below the highway surface level. To make this excellent supply of pure water available to the public, space was excavated for the installation of a concrete basin, with surrounding floor space, easily reached by a few downward concrete steps.

An old railroad grade at one time covered the spring, and a short distance westward, this has been widened to provide a limited parking space and a small, but very pleasant picnic area, where a table or two and a stove have been set up for public use in a bower of cool shady alders.

The wooded area above the spring has been cleaned up and is a delightful restful place for anyone who enjoys the quiet peace of a pleasant, secluded forest.

The picnic area facilities, fire breaks, fire hazard reduction along the road and trail sides, camp ground clearing and lineal survey were all done by CCC forces in the second, third and fifth periods, in 1933-34 and 35. The water installation was also by CCC forces."

Signed:
W.A. Langille, State Parks Historian.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
"This is a wayside and possibly a few more tables might be added. Search should be made for a hillside contact of the spring developed by the wayside. If found, a fountain could be constructed at highway level, and the present spring development abandoned."

Signed:
S.H. Boardman, State Parks Superintendent, March 25, 1946.


Source:    W.A. Langille and S.H. Boardman, 1946, State Parks Historical Sketches: Columbia Gorge State Parks, courtesy of Oregon State Archives website, 2014.


Ainsworth State Park in 1965 ...
AINSWORTH STATE PARK

"The original portion of Ainsworth State Park, a 40-acre tract, was donated to the state by J. C. and Alice H. Ainsworth of Portland. The Highway Commission accepted the generous gift on August 8, 1933. Mr. and Mrs. Ainsworth thought that this area would serve the traveler as a place to rest and leisurely examine the flora of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. It has served that purpose for many years past and will continue for many years to come.

Logging operations were started in 1946 on some adjoining land to the east of the park. This served as an impetus for acquisition of a 6-acre tract lying between the original tract and the highway. This parcel contained a good stand of fir timber and it was deemed necessary as a part of the park. It was purchased from Joseph A. Bucher on May 6, 1947. At the close of 1963 a total of 46 acres comprised the park.

Ainsworth Park was named to honor the donors. It is a beautifully timbered area adjoining the original Columbia River Scenic Highway right of way about one-half mile west from Dodson in Multnomah County. On the area and near the highway is a good spring which was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps with elaborate stone work, steps and a fountain. Tables were placed nearby and trails provided throughout the area.

The land is an alluvial fan formed by debris from the canyon wall. It rises upward on a gentle slope to the south beyond the park limits to the base of the canyon wall.

Attendance during 1962 totaled 54,990 day visitors. No count was made in 1963.."


Source:    Chester H. Armstrong (compiler), 1965, "History of the Oregon State Parks: 1917-1963, published by Oregon State Parks.


Views ...

Image, 2014, Ainsworth State Park, Historic Columbia River Highway, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Picnic area, Ainsworth State Park, Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2014.
Image, 2006, View north from Ainsworth State Park, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
View north from Ainsworth State Park, Historic Columbia River Highway. Image taken September 23, 2006.
Image, 2014, Ainsworth State Park, Historic Columbia River Highway, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Campground, Ainsworth State Park, Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2014.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 2, 1805 ...
Examined the rapid below us [from their camp at Fort Rains, looking at the Cascade Rapids] more pertcelarly the danger appearing too great to Hazzard our Canoes loaded, dispatched all the men who could not Swim with loads to the end of the portage below, I also walked to the end of the portage with the carriers where I delayed untill everry articles was brought over and canoes arrived Safe. here we brackfast and took a Meridn. altitude 59 45' 45" about the time we were Setting out 7 Squars came over loaded with Dried fish, and bear grass neetly bundled up, Soon after 4 Indian men came down over the rapid in a large canoe.     passed a rapid at 2 miles & 1 at 4 miles opposite the lower point of a high Island on the Lard Side [Bradford Island], and a little below 4 Houses on the Stard. Bank, a Small Creek on the Lard Side [Tanner Creek] opposit Straw berry Island [Hamilton Island], which heads below the last rapid, opposit the lower point of this Island [Hamilton Island] passed three Islands covered with tall timber [today there are two, Ives and Pierce] opposit the Beatin rock [Beacon Rock]    Those Islands are nearest the Starboard Side, imediately below on the Stard. Side passed a village of nine houses [indentified on Atlas map#79 as the "Wah-clallah Tribe of Shahala Nation", location near today's Skamania and Skamania Landing], which is Situated between 2 Small Creeks [Woodard Creek and Duncan Creek], and are of the Same construction of those above; here the river widens to near a mile, and the bottoms are more extensive and thickly timbered, as also the high mountains on each Side, with Pine, Spruce pine, Cotton wood, a Species of ash, and alder.     at 17 miles passed a rock near the middle of the river [Phoca Rock], about 100 feet high and 80 feet Diamuter,     proceed on down a Smoth gentle Stream of about 2 miles wide, in which the tide has its effect as high as the Beaten rock [Beacon Rock] or the Last rapids at Strawberry Island [Hamilton Island],- Saw great numbers of waterfowl of Different kinds, Such as Swan, Geese, white & grey brants, ducks of various kinds, Guls, & Pleaver [today just below Beacon Rock is Franz National Wildlife Refuge]. ...     we encamped under a high projecting rock on the Lard. Side [Rooster Rock, with Crown Point rising above it],     here the mountains leave the river on each Side [leaving the Columbia River Gorge, Steigerwald Land NWR is on the north and the Sandy River delta is on the south], which from the great Shute to this place is high and rugid [Columbia River Gorge]; thickly Covered with timber principalley of the Pine Species. The bottoms below appear extensive and thickly Covered with wood.     river here about 2 miles wide.     Seven Indians in a Canoe on their way down to trade with the nativs below, encamp with us, those we left at the portage passed us this evening and proceeded on down The ebb tide rose here about 9 Inches, the flood tide must rise here much higher- we made 29 miles to day from the Great Shute [Cascade Locks]-





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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:    Armstrong, C.H., (compiler), 1965, "History of the Oregon State Parks: 1917-1963, published by Oregon State Parks;    Davis, T.M., 1930, Highway Engineer, U.S. Bureau of Public Roads, "Drinking Fountains Along Oregon Highways", IN: "Public Roads", April 1930;    McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2004, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland;    U.S. National Historic Register "Historic Columbia River Highway" Nomination Form, 2000;   

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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September 2008