Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Aldrich Butte, Washington"
Includes ... Aldrich Butte ...
Image, 2004, Aldrich Butte from North Bonneville, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Aldrich Butte, from North Bonneville, Washington. Image taken October 27, 2004.

Aldrich Butte ...
Aldrich Butte lies on the Washington side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 145. Cedar Creek flows along the Butte's north and north-west base where it merges with Hamilton Creek on Aldrich Butte's west side. Hamilton Creek then flows southeast between Aldrich Butte and Hamilton Mountain towards Hamilton Island and the Columbia River. Bonneville Dam and the Washington community of North Bonneville lie south and southeast, and Table Mountain lies upstream. Hamilton Mountain, Beacon Rock and Pierce National Wildlife Refuge lie downstream. Aldrich Butte is 1,141 feet elevation.

Early Aldrich Butte ...
Aldrich Butte was persumably named after an early settler Marion M. Aldrich who acquired a land donation claim in 1906.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records, show a Marion M. Aldrich being issued a land title on March 5, 1906, for 155.7 acres of parts of T2N R7E Section 17 (the northeast slopes of Aldrich Butte), under the 1862 "Homestead Entry Original".

The 1880 Skamania County census lists the family of "M.G. Aldrich", age 47, school teacher, and "Margaret J. Aldrich", age 35, wife/house keeping, and their three sons and one daughter. One of the sons is Marion Aldrich, age 8. Mr. M.G. Aldrich's obituary appeared in the November 15, 1909 "Morning Oregonian".

"CIVIL WAR VETERAN AT REST. -- The funeral of Matthew Gray Aldrich, veteran of the Civil War and a member of Sumner Post, No.12, G.A.R., was held yesterday morning from his late home, at Tremont Station on the Mount Scott line. Services were conducted by his comrades of Sumner Post, and interment was made in Multnomah Cemetery. Mr. Aldrich was 76 years old. During the war he was a member of Company A, Twenty-sixth Volunteer Infantry, and made a creditable record. His widow and four children survive him. The children are: Logan W. Aldrich, of Salem; Stanley M. Aldrich, of Table Rock, Wash.; Marion M. Aldrich, of Scotts Mill, and Mrs. Rosa Marguerite Jahr, of Douglass, Arizona. Mr. Aldrich lived in Multnomah County for 30 years, following farming until 15 years ago, when he retired."

Source:    "Morning Oregonian", November 15, 1909, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, Univeristy of Oregon Libraries, 2016.

In 1893 Stanley and Marion Aldich lived in Cape Horn, Washington.

"Stanley and Marion Aldrich of Cape Horn, are in the bearberry bark business, getting it and preparing it for the market. We believe the price paid for it when dried is $55 per ton."

Source:    "The Dalles Weekly Chronicle (The Dalles, Or.), July 7, 1893, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2016.

Views ...

Image, 2004, Pierce National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pierce National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. View includes Beacon Rock (left), Hamilton Mountain, and Aldrich Butte. The wildlife refuge is along the water. Image taken from Beacon Rock boat dock. Image taken August 1, 2004.
Image, 2016, Aldrich Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Aldrich Butte as seen from Beacon Rock boad launch, Beacon Rock State Park, Washington. Pierce National Wildlife Refuge is in the foreground. Image taken September 26, 2016.
Image, 2004, Aldrich Butte from Bonneville Dam, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Aldrich Butte, Washington, as seen from Bonneville Dam, Oregon. Image taken October 27, 2004.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 31, 1805 ...
A Cloudy rainey disagreeable morning I proceeded down the river to view with more attention [Cascade Locks area] we had to pass on the river below, the two men with me Jo. Fields & Peter Crusat proceeded down to examine the rapids the Great Shute [Cascade Rapids] which commenced at the Island on which we encamped [Ashes Lake, now under the waters of the Bonneville Reservoir] Continud with great rapidity and force thro a narrow chanel much compressd. and interspersed with large rocks for a mile, at a mile lower is a verry Considerable rapid at which place the waves are remarkably high, and proceeded on in a old Indian parth 2 miles by land thro a thick wood & hill Side, to the river where the Indians make a portage, from this place I dispatched Peter Crusat (our principal waterman) back to follow the river and examine the practibility of the Canoes passing, as the rapids appeared to continue down below as far as I could See, I with Jo. Fields proceeded on, at a mile below the end of the portage [Fort Rains] ...     at 2 miles lower & 5 below our Camp I passed a village of 4 large houses abandend by the nativs, with their dores bared up, ...     from a Short distance below the vaults the mountain which is but low on the Stard. Side leave the river, and a leavel Stoney open bottom Suckceeds on the Said Std. Side for a great Distance down, the mountains high and rugid on the Lard Side this open bottom is about 2 miles a Short distance below this village is a bad Stoney rapid and appears to be the last in view I observed at this lower rapid the remains of a large and antient Village which I could plainly trace by the Sinks in which they had formed their houses, as also those in which they had buried their fish- from this rapid to the lower end of the portage [vicinity of Fort Cascades at the lower end of Hamilton Island] the river is Crouded with rocks of various Sizes between which the water passes with great velociety createing in many places large Waves, an Island which is Situated near the Lard. Side [Bradford Island] occupies about half the distance the lower point of which is at this rapid. immediately below this rapid the high water passes through a narrow Chanel through the Stard. Bottom forming an Island of 3 miles <wide> Long & one wide, I walked through this Island [Hamilton Island] which I found to be verry rich land, and had every appearance of haveing been at Some distant period Cultivated. at this time it is Covered with grass intersperced with Strawberry vines. I observed Several places on this Island where the nativs had dug for roots and from its lower point I observed 5 Indians in a Canoe below the upper point of an Island near the middle of the river Covered with tall timber [???],    which indued me to believe that a village was at no great distanc below, I could not See any rapids below <for> in the extent of my view which was for a long distance down the river, which from the last rapids [Middle Cascades] widened and had everry appearance of being effected by the tide,- I deturmind to return to Camp 10 miles distant [on an island by Ashes Lake, across from Cascade Locks, Oregon], a remarkable high detached rock Stands in a bottom on the Stard Side [Beacon Rock] near the lower point of this Island on the Stard. Side about 800 feet high and 400 paces around, we call the Beaten rock.     a Brook [Hamilton Creek] falls into the narrow Chanel [Hamilton Slough, today's Greenleaf Slough] which forms the Strawberry Island [Hamilton Island], which at this time has no running water, but has every appearance of dischargeing emence torrents &c. &c. Jo. Fields Shot a Sand hill Crane. I returned by the Same rout on an Indian parth passing up on the N W. Side of the river to our Camp at the Great Shute [an island near Ashes Lake, across from Cascade Locks, now under the waters of Bonneville Reservoir]. found Several Indians from the village, I Smoked with them; Soon after my return two Canoes loaded with fish & Bear grass for the trade below, came down from the village at the mouth of the Catterack River [Klickitat River], they unloaded and turned their Canoes up Side down on the beech, & camped under a Shelveing rock below our Camp ...

This Great Shute or falls [Upper Cascade Rapids] is about a mile with the water of this great river Compressed within the Space of 150 paces in which there is great numbers of both large and Small rocks, water passing with great velocity forming & boiling in a most horriable manner, with a fall of about 20 feet, below it widens to about 200 paces and current gentle for a Short distance. a Short distance above is three Small rockey Islands, and at the head of those falls, three Small rockey Islands are Situated Crosswise the river, Several rocks above in the river & 4 large rocks in the head of the Shute; those obstructions together with the high Stones which are continually brakeing loose from the mountain on the Stard Side and roleing down into the Shute aded to those which brake loose from those Islands above and lodge in the Shute, must be the Cause of the rivers daming up to Such a distance above, <and Show> where it Shows Such evidant marks of the Common current of the river being much lower than at the present day

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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

  • "Firelookout.com" website, 2006;
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management website, 2006, General Land Office Records;

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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October 2016