Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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, difficult to read, 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 ...
Edmund S. Meany wrote in "Origin of Washington Geographic Names" (1923, University of Washington Press):

"Bachelors Island ... in Clarke County. On Saturday, March 29, 1806, the Lewis and Clark Expedition gave this island the name Cathlapole (one spelling being Quathlapotle) Island after the Indian nation of that name, who lived near there. The Wilkes Expedition, 1841, named it "Pasauks Island" and what is now Bachelor Island Slough was called Pigeon Creek. Recent charts carry the name Bachelor for both features."

Robert Hitchman wrote in "Place Names of Washington" (1985, Washington State Historical Society):

"Bachelor Island (T4N R1W) ... An island between the main channel of Columbia River and Lake River, 11 miles north by west of Vancouver, west Clark County. On March 29, 1806, Lewis and Clark named the island Cathlapole for a local Indian tribe. In 1841, the Eilkes Expedition mapped this feature as Pasauk's Island. The present name is of local origin, and there is some evidence that it was named for an unmarried man who took a donation claim here. Early maps show it as Bachelor's Island."

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
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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".

Robert Hitchman wrote in "Place Names of Washington" (1985, Washington State Historical Society):

"Bachelor Island Slough (T4N R1W) ... A channel between the main channel of Columbia River and Lake River, forming the southeast boundary of Bachelor Island, west Clark County. An early name 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
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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
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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 ...





Clark, March 30, 1806 ...




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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;
  • Meany, E.S., 1923, "Origin of Washington Geographic Names", University of Washington Press, Seattle;
  • 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) database, 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