Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Bachelor Island, Washington"
Includes ... Bachelor Island ... Bachelor Island Slough ... Bachelor Island Unit, Ridgefield NWR ... "Bachelor's Island" ... "Green Bryor Island" ... "Cath-lah-poh-tle Island" ... "Quathlahpotle Island" ... "Columbia Island" ... "Piscou Creek" ... "Pigeon Creek" ...
Image, 2009, Bachelor Island, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bachelor Island, Washington, on levee looking west. Image taken March 13, 2009.


Bachelor Island ...
Bachelor Island lies along the Washington shore of the Columbia River and stretches from River Mile (RM) 88 to RM 91.5. The island is part of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and is accessible only by boat. It is closed to the public during the winter. The northern end of Bachelor Island features one of the largest Great Blue Heron rookeries in the Pacific Northwest. Numerous small lakes are located on Bachelor Island, the largest one being Canvasback Lake. Bachelor Island Slough runs along the southeast side of Bachelor Island, merging with Lake River before merging with the Columbia. Sauvie Island, Oregon, lies directly across the Columbia from Bachelor Island. On the ridge to the east of Bachelor island is the Washington community of Ridgefield.

Lewis and Clark and Bachelor Island ...
Lewis and Clark gave today's Bachelor Island two different names, one being "Green Bryor Island" (trip downstream in 1805) and the other being "Cath-lah-poh-tle Island" (trip upstream in 1806).

On November 5, 1805 Lewis and Clark called the island "Green Bryor Isd", separated from the shore by a "narrow Chanel", today either Bachelor Island Slough or Lake River.

"... N.30oW. 3 miles to the South West Side of an Island Seperated from the Stard. Side by a narrow channel     river widens to about 1 1/2 miles    Green bryor Isl.. [Clark, November 5, 1805, first draft]

"... passed an Isld. Covered with tall trees & green briers Seperated from the Stard. Shore by a narrow Chanel at 9 miles     I observed on the Chanel which passes on the Stard Side of this Island a Short distance above its lower point is Situated a large village, the front of which occupies nearly 1/4 of a mile fronting the Chanel, and closely Connected, I counted 14 houses in front     here the river widens to about 1 1/2 miles." [Clark, November 5, 1805]

On March 29, 1806, Lewis and Clark called the island "Cath-lah-poh-tle Island" when they visted a large village of 14 wooden houses and 900 inhabitants on the mainland behind the island.

"... we set out & continued our rout between this island, which we now call Cath-lah-poh-tle after the nation, and the Lard shore." [Lewis, March 29, 1806]

The draft map [Moulton, vol.1, map#89] labels the island "Green Bryor I.", and shows only 7 Indian houses. The route map [map#79] shows 14 houses labeled as the "Quath lahpolte Nation" (note, web author's spelling interpretation) but leaves the island unnamed.


Image, 2003, Bachelor Island, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bachelor Island, Washington. View from Sauvie Island. Image taken September 13, 2003.


The Bachelors ...
From the "History of Clarke County Washington Territory.", Published by The Washington Publishing Company, 1885.

"... BACHELORS' ISLAND. This is called Columbia Island on the maps, but is more generally known as Bachelors' Island, it having received this name from the fact that its original settlers were three, unmarried men named S. Hendricks, B. O. Teal and George Thing, who took possession in 1849 or 1850. In 1851 a man named Northrup took up his abode on the island, and in 1853, George W. Burrow, a pioneer of 1850, located on the farm now occupied by his son, John Burrow, while, in 1854, Robert Conolly came to the place. Columbia or Bachelors' Island is at present owned by John Burrow, G. E. Tyszkiewrtz and Messrs Ladd & Reed of Portland. ..."

From "Historylink.org" website (2011), the Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History:

"... In 1839, three more bachelors arrived [note: the first being James Carty who built on the east side of Lake River], all of whom were emplyed in sawmills downstream at St. Helens, in what is now Oregon. These three, Stillman Hendricks, B.O. Teal, and George Thing, built separate cabins on an island in Lake River near Carty's mainland abode. Although often referred to as "Columbia Island" on early maps, it has come to be known as "Bachelor Island" after these three spouseless settlers. ..."

Early History ...
In 1805 Lewis and Clark called the island "Green Bryor Isd", separated from the shore by a "narrow Chanel", today's Bachelor Island Slough, or possibly Lake River. In 1806 during their return trip they re-named the island "Cath-lah-poh-tle Island" (March 29, 1806) upon their visiting a large village of 14 wooden houses across from the island, and themselves camping in the vicinity. (See more above.)

In 1841, Charles Wilkes of the U.S. Exploring Expedition, called the island "Pasainks Island" and Bachelor Island Slough was "Piscou Creek".

In 1849 or 1850, three bachelors, Stillman Hendricks, Benjamin O. Teele (or Teel or Teal), and George M. Thing, settled on the island, giving rise to the name "Bachelors Island".

The 1854 On Washington Territory cadastral survey (tax survey) map for T4N R1W, Bachelor Island is "Columbia Island" and Lake River is "Vancouver Slough". Bachelor Island Slough is depicted but not named. The 1862 and 1863 cadastral surveys gives no name for the island but lists the slough as "Columbia Slough".

The 1863 Washington Territory's cadastral survey for Bachelor Island for T4N R1W, shows 5 claims -- George W. Burrows (549.44 acres, Claim No.39), Benjamin Teel (276.37 acres, Claim No.40), Robert Connelly (219.54 acres, Claim No.41), S. Hendricks (161.5 acres, Claim No.42), and George Thing (160.86 acres, Claim No.43).

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database (2011) shows George M. Thing being granted title to 160.5 acres of T4N R1W Sections 23 and 24, on September 1, 1865 (1850 Oregon-Donation Act). Also on September 1, 1865, the Heirs of George W. Burrow and Hannah Burrow were granted title to 549.44 acres of T4N R1W Sections 10, 11, 13, 14, and 15 (1850 Oregon-Donation Act), and Benjamin Teele and Maria R. Teele were granted title to 276.38 acres of T4N R1W Sections 13, 14, 15, 22, and 23 (1850 Oregon-Donation Act). Stillman Hendricks was granted title to 161.5 acres of T4N R1W Sections 23 and 24, on June 30, 1873 (1850 Oregon-Donation Act), and Robert Connolley was granted title to 219.54 acres of T4N R1W Sections 26 and 35 on March 14, 1883 (1850 Oregon-Donation Act).

An 1888 Plat Map shows "Bachelors Island" and "Bachelors Slough". It also shows five Donation Land Claims (DLC) -- the northernmost DLC being that of G. Burrow, then B. Teele, G.M. Irving, H.Hendricks, and the southernmost that of R. Connoly.

The 1888 U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey's "Sheet No.5, Kalama to Fales Landing" shows "Bachelor's Island" and "Bachelor's Island Slough". "Canvasback Lake" is shown in the center of Bachelor Island.

In 1914 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Bachelor Island" the official name.


Views ...

Image, 2009, Bachelor Island, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Lake/Slough, Bachelor Island, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken March 13, 2009.
Image, 2009, Bachelor Island, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Widgeon Lake, Bachelor Island, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken March 13, 2009.
Image, 2009, Bachelor Island, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mount St. Helens as seen from Bachelor Island, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken March 13, 2009.


Bachelor Island, etc.

  • Bachelor Island Slough ...
  • Bachelor Island Unit, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge ...
  • Birds ...


Bachelor Island Slough ...
Bachelor Island Slough forms the southeast border of Bachelor Island, separating the island from the Washington State mainland at Ridgefield, Washington. The slough merges with Lake River approximately a mile from Lake River merging with the Columbia. An early name for Bachelor Island Slough was "Pigeon Creek".

Image, 2009, Bachelor Island, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bachelor Island Slough, from Bachelor Island, looking downstream. Image taken March 13, 2009.
Image, 2009, Bachelor Island, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bachelor Island Slough, looking downstream, as seen from bridge. Image taken March 13, 2009.


Bachelor Island Unit, Ridgefield NWR ...
Bachelor Island is a Unit withing the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. The Unit is managed to maximize habitat for waterfowl and other wetland wildlife.
[More]


Birds ...

Image, 2009, Bachelor Island, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Oak tree, Bachelor Island, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Note Red-tailed Hawk (top of tree, left) and Great Horned Owl on her nest (right). Image taken March 13, 2009.
Image, 2011, Bachelor Island, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Black Phoebe, on the road to Bachelor Island, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken June 10, 2011.
Image, 2011, Bachelor Island, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Black Phoebe, on the road to Bachelor Island, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken June 10, 2011.
Image, 2011, Bachelor Island, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
American Goldfinch, Bachelor Island, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken June 10, 2011.
Image, 2011, Bachelor Island, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Cliff Swallow nests, Bachelor Island, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken June 10, 2011.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 5, 1805, first draft ...
N. 30 W. 3 miles to the South West Side of an Island <near> Seperated from the Stard. Side by a narrow channel river widens to about 1 miles Green bryor Isd. [Bachelor Island]


Clark, November 5, 1805 ...
Rained all the after part of last night, rain continues this morning, I [s]lept but verry little last night [Post Office Lake, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge] for the noise Kept dureing the whole of the night by the Swans, Geese, white & Grey Brant Ducks &c. on a Small Sand Island [one of the islands of the Ridgefield Refuge] close under the Lard. Side; they were emensely noumerous, and their noise horid- we Set out <at about Sun rise> early here the river is not more than 3/4 of a mile in width, passed a Small Prarie on the Stard. Side [quite possibly the location of today's Campbell Lake] passed 2 houses about 1/2 a mile from each other on the Lard. Side a Canoe came from the upper house, with 3 men in its mearly to view us, passed an Isld. Covered with tall trees & green briers [Bachelor Island] Seperated from the Stard. Shore by a narrow Chanel [Lake River or Bachelor Island Slough] at 9 [8?] miles I observed on the Chanel [Lake River or Bachelor Island Slough] which passes on the Stard Side of this Island [Bachelor Island] a Short distance above its lower point is Situated a large village [Cathlapotle Village, near where Lewis and Clark camped on March 29, 1806, a place now known as Wapato Portage], the front of which occupies nearly 1/4 of a mile fronting the Chanel, and closely Connected, I counted 14 houses in front here the river widens to about 1 1/2 miles. ...    about 1 1/2 miles below this village on the Lard Side behind a rockey Sharp point [Warrior Point, Sauvie Island], we passed a Chanel 1/4 of a mile wide [Multnomah Channel] which I take to be the one the Indian Canoe entered yesterday from the lower point of Immage Canoe Island [Hayden Island, at this point Lewis and Clark had not discovered Hayden Island and Sauvie Island were two separate islands]     a Some low clifts of rocks below this Chanel [St. Helens, Oregon], a large Island Close under the Stard Side opposit [Lewis River floodplain, home of Woodland, Washington, possibly more of an "island" in 1805 ???], and 2 Small Islands, below [today's Burke and Martin Islands], here we met 2 canoes from below,- below those Islands a range of high hills form the Stard. Bank of the river [Martin Bluff], the Shore bold and rockey, Covered with a thick groth of Pine     an extensive low Island [Deer Island], Seperated from the Lard side by a narrow Chanel, on this Island we Stoped to Dine I walked out found it open & covered with <Small> grass interspersed with Small ponds, in which was great numbr. of foul, the remains of an old village on the lower part of this Island, I saw Several deer ...     below the lower point of this Island [Deer Island] a range of high hills which runs S. E. forms the Lard. bank of the river the Shores bold and rockey & hills Covered with pine, [Lewis and Clark are passing Goble, Oregon, and the area around the Trojan Nuclear Power Facility     The high hills leave the river on the Stard. Side a high bottom between the hill & river [Kalama, Washington]. We met 4 Canoes of Indians from below, in which there is 26 Indians, one of those Canoes is large, and ornimented with Images on the bow & Stern. That in the Bow the likeness of a Bear, and in Stern the picture of a man- we landed on the Lard. Side & camped [near Prescott Beach, Oregon] a little below the mouth of a creek [Kalama River] on the Stard. Side a little below the mouth of which is an Old Village which is now abandaned-;     here the river is about one and a half miles wide. and deep, The high Hills which run in a N W. & S E. derection form both banks of the river the Shore boald and rockey, the hills rise gradually & are Covered with a thick groth of pine &c. The valley [Columbian Valley] which is from above the mouth of Quick Sand River [Sandy River] to this place may be computed at 60 miles wide on a Derect line, & extends a great Distanc to the right & left rich thickly Covered with tall timber, with a fiew Small Praries bordering on the river and on the Islands; Some fiew Standing Ponds & Several Small Streams of running water on either Side of the river; This is certainly a fertill and a handsom valley, at this time Crouded with Indians. The day proved Cloudy with rain the greater part of it, we are all wet cold and disagreeable- I saw but little appearance of frost in this valley which we call <Wap-pa-too Columbia> from the root or plants growing Spontaniously in this valley only ...     We made 32 miles to day by estimation-






Clark, March 30, 1806 ...
we got under way verry early [from their camp near Wapato Portage] and had not proceeded to the head of the island [Bachelor Island] before we met with the three men of the Clan-nar-min-a-mon's who met us yesterday brackfast at the upper point of the Island [Bachelor Island] we met Several of the Clackstar and Cath-lah-cum-up in two canoes. Soon after we were overtaken by Several Canoes of different tribes who reside on each Side of the river the three above Tribes and the Clh-in-na-ta cathy-lah-nah-qui-up & Cath-lah-com-mah-tup reside on each Side of Wappato inlet [Multnomah Channel] and back of Wappato Island [Sauvie Island] which Island is formed by a Small Chanel which passes from the Lower part of Image Canoe Island [Hayden Island] into an inlet which makes in from the S W. Side, and receves the water of a Creek which heads with the Kil a mox River. this wappato Island [Sauvie Island] is about 18 or 20 Miles long and in places from 6 to 10 miles wide high & furtile with ponds on different parts of it in which the nativs geather Wappato. nearly opposit the upper point of the Isld. behing which we encamped last night, or on the Wappato Isld. is Several Camps of the nativs catching Sturgion. about 5 miles Still higher up and on the N E. Side we halted for brackfast at the place which We had encamped the 4th of November last [near Post Office Lake, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge]. here we were visited by several canoes of Indians from two Towns a Short distance above on the Wappato Island [Sauvie Island]. the 1st of those Tribes Call themselves Clan-nah-quah and Situated about 2 miles above us, the other about a mile above Call themselves Mult-no-mah ...     at 10 a. m. we Set out and had not proceeded far before we came to a landing place where there was Several large canoes hauled up, and Sitting in a canoe, appearantly waiting our arival with a view to join the fleet indian who was then along Side of us. this man informed he was a Shoto and that his nation resided a little distance from the river. we landed and one of the indians pointed to the Shoto village which is Situated back of Pond [Vancouver Lake] which lies parrelal with the river on the N E. Side nearly opposit the Clan-nah quah village. here we were also joined by Several Canoes loaded with the natives from the Island who Continued to accompany us untill about 4 oClock when they all returned and we proceeded on to the place the Indians Stole my Tomahawk 4th Novr. last [Hayden Island] and Encamped in a Small Prarie ["Jolie Prairie" where Fort Vancouver and Pearson Airpark would some day be located] above a large Pond on N. E and opposit the Center of image Canoe Island [Hayden Island]. capt Lewis walked out and Saw Several deer. Jo. Field Shot at Elk he killed and brought in a fine duck. ...     we made 22 Miles only to day the wind and a Strong current being against us all day, with rain. discovered a high mountain S E. Covered with Snow which we call Mt. Jefferson [Mount Jefferson, Oregon]





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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: Hay, K.G., 2004, The Lewis and Clark Columbia River Water Trail, Timber Press, Portland; "Historylink.org" website, 2011; Hitchman, R., 1985, Place Names of Washington, Washington State Historical Society; NOAA Office of Coast Survey website, 2005, Historical Map and Chart Collection; Oregon Bureau of Land Management website, 2005; "Rootsweb.com" website, 2005; U.S. Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) website, 2006; Washington State Historical Society website, 2004, "Lasting Legacy"; Washington State's Secretary of State website, 2007, "History of Clarke County Washington Territory.", Published by The Washington Publishing Company, 1885.

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 2011