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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Bingen, Washington"
Includes ... Bingen ... Gorge Heritage Museum ... Broughton Flume ...
Image, 2013, Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Live, Work, Play" ... Bingen, Washington. Image taken March 24, 2013.


Bingen ...
Bingen, Washington, is located at Columbia River Mile (RM) 171 and is located four miles west of a massive geologic feature called the "Bingen Gap".

Locale ...
Across the Columbia River from Bingen is the mouth of the Hood River and the community of Hood River. Slightly upstream on the Oregon side lies Stanley Rock, once the home to "Koberg Beach", an early Columbia River resort. On the Washington side on the ridge above Bingen lies the Washington community of White Salmon, and 10 miles upstream lies the Klickitat River and the community of Lyle. Downstream lies the mouth of the White Salmon River and the small community of Underwood.

Image, 2014, Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bingen, Washington. Image taken February 22, 2014.


Bingen Gap ...
The Bingen Gap is a constriction of the Columbia River located on both sides of the Columbia River just upstream of Hood River, Oregon and Bingen, Washington. The gap is a large anticline/syncline feature of Columbia River Basalt through which the Columbia River carved its channel.
[More]

Lewis and Clark and the Bingen Gap ...
Lewis and Clark passed through the Bingen Gap and the Bingen area on October 29, 1805. They came through again on their return on April 14, 1806.

"... miles to a high Clift of rocks Std bend ..." [Clark, October 29, 1805, first draft]

"... I joined Capt Lewis and the party at 6 miles, at which place the river washed the bottom of high Clifts on the N. Side. ..." [Clark, April 14, 1806]

Early Bingen ...
In 1892, the Washington community of Bingen was established by Theodor and Phillip Suksdorf and named "Bingen-On-The-Rhine", after a familiar German city.

Early Bingen residents had to get their mail from the White Salmon Post Office. The White Salmon Post Office had was established in 1873 and initially was located at Warner's Landing on the Columbia River (later called White Salmon Landing and in the 1890s called Bingen Landing) one and 1/2 miles east of today's community of Bingen. In 1880 the White Salmon Post Office moved up the hill to the C.M. Wolford store. Between 1880 and 1895 Bingen residents had to climb the hill to get their mail. Finally in 1896 the Bingen Post Office was established with Theodor Suksdorf as the first postmaster.

In 1924 the Town of Bingen was incorporated and Theodor served as its first mayor.

The train station is called "Bingen-White Salmon Station".


Mural ...
Still looking for information about the mural (March 2014), but possibly Sacajawea ??? --- note the silhouettes of Lewis and Clark in the lower right corner.

Image, 2014, Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mural, Bingen, Washington. Image taken March 12, 2014.
Image, 2014, Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mural, Bingen, Washington. Image taken March 12, 2014.

Note: Lewis and Clark are in the lower right corner.


Bingen, etc.

  • Bingen Harbor ...
  • Bingen Marina ...
  • Bingen Point ...
  • Bluff Stairway ...
  • Broughton Flume Section ...
  • Gorge Heritage Museum ...
  • Sailboard Park ...


Bingen Harbor ...
Bingen Harbor is located on the east side of the community of Bingen and is owned by the Port of Klickitat.

Image, 2014, Bingen Harbor, Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bingen Harbor, Bingen, Washington. Image taken July 26, 2014.
Image, 2014, Bingen Harbor, Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bingen Harbor at mouth, Bingen, Washington. Looking upstream along the Columbia River. Image taken July 26, 2014.


Bingen Marina ...
The Bingen Marina is located at the northwestern tip of Bingen Harbor. It is owned by the Port of Klickitat and provides basic boating facilities, including a two-ramp boat launch, restrooms, and parking area for boat trailers. Bingen's Marine Park is located next to the Marina. Future plans (as of 2014) call for the development of additional facilities including transitory and long-term moorage, a fuel dock, pump-out facility, and other amenities.

Bingen Point ...
Bingen Point lies south of the community of Bingen and bordered by the Columbia River. The Bingen Marina, Bingen Harbor, Sailboard Park, and Marine Park are located at the point. Bingen Point is owned by the Port of Klickitat and is located at Columbia River Mile 173.

Image, 2014, Bingen Point, Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bingen Point, Columbia River Mile 173, Bingen, Washington. Image taken July 26, 2014.
Image, 2014, Columbia River, Bingen Point, Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River looking downsteam from Bingen Point at Columbia River Mile 173, Bingen, Washington. Stanley Rock is off the Oregon shore in the distance. Image taken July 26, 2014.


Bluff Stairway ...
At one time a wooden stairway linked the two Washington communities of Bingen (below the bluff) and White Salmon (on top of the bluff).
[More]

Image, 2014, Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bluff Stairway trace between Bingen (at base of bluff) to White Salmon (on top of bluff), as seen from the Hood River Bridge. Image taken July 26, 2014.


Old stairway path is visible on the left and goes from red-roofed house down to the river, appearing here ending at the bridge/railing junction.
Image, 2011, Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bluff Stairway trace between Bingen (at base of bluff) to White Salmon (on top of bluff), as seen from the Hood River Bridge. Image taken February 2, 2011.


Old stairway path is visible on the left and goes from red-roofed house down to the river, appearing here just above and to the right of the road sign on the left.


Broughton Lumber Flume Section ...
[More]

Image, 2013, Broughton Flume section, Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Broughton Flume section, Bingen, Washington. Image taken March 24, 2013.
Image, 2013, Broughton Flume section, Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Broughton Flume section, Bingen, Washington. Image taken March 24, 2013.
Image, 2013, Broughton Flume section, Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Broughton Flume section, Bingen, Washington. Image taken March 24, 2013.


Gorge Heritage Museum ...
"The Gorge Heritage Museum is housed in the former Bingen Congregational Church, which was dedicated in May, 1912. The Museum was established in 1984 by the West Klickitat County Historical Society to promote interest in the legacy passed to us by the native people and the immigrants who settled and traded in the mountainous river valleys and along the Columbia River."


Source:    Gorge Heritage Museum website, 2014

Image, 2014, Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Gorge Heritage Museum, Bingen, Washington. Image taken March 12, 2014.
Image, 2014, Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Gorge Heritage Museum, Bingen, Washington. Image taken July 26, 2014.


Sailboard Park ...
According to the Port of Klickitat website (2014), Bingen's Sailboard Park is a 1.75 acre park located along the Columbia River near the eastern end of Bingen Point. In the mid-1990s, this park was the place for windsurfing and played host to the "Gorge Games" and several speed competitions.

Image, 2014, Sailboard Park,  Bingen, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sailboard Park, Bingen, Washington. Image taken July 26, 2014.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 29, 1805, first draft ...
a Cloudy morning wind Still from th West not hard, we Set out at day light [from their camp on Rocky Island at Crates Point] proceeded on about 5 miles and Came too at a Lodge of a Chief which we made at the upper village at th falls about his house there is Six others ...    

N. 55 W. 4 miles
to a Lard. point, pasd a run on Lard Side West 8 miles to Rock Island near the middle of River passed 7 Houses of Indians about 50 men at 1 mile on the Stard Side. Brakfast Those people fish at the last narrows, & have but little pounded fish, Som dried and buries

Those people are friendly gave us to eate fish Beries, nuts bread of roots & Drid beries and we Call this the friendly Village [Dougs Beach] ...    

at 4 miles further we landed to Smoke a pipe with the people of a village of 11 houses [Lyle, Washington area] we found those people also friendly Their Village is Situated imediately below the mouth of a River [Klickitat River] of 60 yards water which falls in on the Stard. Side and heads in the mountains to the N. & N, E, the Indians inform us that this river is long <but> and full of falls no Salmon pass up it. They also inform that 10 nations lives on this river by hunting and on buries &c. The Countrey begin to be thinly timbered with Pine & low white oake verry rocky and hilley- We purchased at this vilg 4 dogs- at the end of this Course is 3 rocks, in the river and a rock point from the Lard. the middle rock is large and has a number of graves on it we call it the Sepulchar Island [Memaloose Island].     The last River we call Caterack River [Klickitat River] from the number of falls which the Indians inform is on it The Indians are afraid to hunt or be on th Lard Side of this Columbia river for fear of the Snake Ind. who reside on a fork of this river which falls in above the falls a good Situaion for winter quarters if game can be had is just below Sepulchar rock [Memaloose Island] on the Lard Side, high & pine and oake timber the rocks ruged above, good hunting Countrey back, as it appears from the river Indian village opsd. of 2 Lodgs     river 1/2 mile wide at rocks

S. 60 W. 5 miles
to a point of rocks Island in a Lard bend, passed 2 rocks in the river-     passed 2 Houses at 1 mile on the Stard Side and 2 at 4 miles on the Stard. Side     Countrey on the Lard. Side has more timber than common and looks well for huntg.     high and ruged.-

S. 80 W. 6 miles
to 4 Houses in a point of a timbered bottom on the Lard. Side at a large creek or River 40 yr. [Hood River]     passed a bottom on the Stard Side the distance in which there is 14 Indian houses-     The falls mountain covered with Snow is South [Mount Hood]

S. 70 W. 6 miles
to a high Clift of rocks Std bend [Bingen area] passed a large creek at 1 mile on the Stard. Side [White Salmon River] in which the Indians catch fish, a large Sand bar from the Lard. Side for 4 miles [below Hood River], at which place a small stream of water falls over a rock of 100 feet on the Lard Side [Wah Gwin Gwin Falls, the location of today's Columbia Gorge Hotel]     passed 4 Indian Houses at 5 miles in a bottom on the Lard Side ...

S. 56 W. 6 miles
to a point of timbr. bottom on the Lard. Side, passd. a Stard. point at 2 miles Here the mountains are high on each Side, the high points of those to the Lard. has Snow

Came too at 3 miles on this Course at 3 Houses of flatheads and Encamped on the Stard. Side [near Drano Lake and the Little White Salmon River], a Pond lies back of those people in which we Saw great numbers of the Small Swan ...






Clark, April 14, 1806 ...
This morning at 7 oClock we were joined by Sgt. Pryor and they three hunters they brought with them 4 deer which drewyer had killed yesterday. we took brackfast and departed at 9 A. M. [from their camp near Dog Mountain]     the wind rose and <proceeded on> Continued to blow hard all day but not so violent as to prevent our proceeding. we kept Close allong the N. Shore all day. the river from the rapids [Cascade Rapids] to the Commencement of the narrows [The Dalles] is from to of a Mile in wedth, and possesses but little Current. the bead is rock except at the enterence of Labiech's river [Hood River] which heads in Mt. Hood [Mount Hood, Oregon] and like the quick Sand River [Sandy River] brings down from thence Vast bodies of Sand     the Mountains through which the river passes nearly to Cataract River [Klickitat River] are high broken rocky, particularly Covered with fir and white Cedar, and in maney places very romantic scences. Some handsom Cascades are Seen on either Side tumbling from the Stupendious rocks of the mountains into the river. I observe near the river the long leafed Pine which increas as we assend and Superseeds the fir altogether about the Sepulchre rock [Memaloose Island]. We find the trunks of maney large pine trees Standing erect as they grew, at present in 30 feet water [Submerged Forest]; they are much doated and none of them vegitateing. at the lowest water of the river maney of those trees are in 10 feet water. the Cause I have attempted to account for as I decended.     at 1 P M. we arrived at a large village Situated in a narrow <village> bottom on the N. Side [between the White Salmon River and Bingen, Washington] a little above the enterance of Canoe Creek [White Salmon River]. their houses are reather detached, and extend for Several Miles. they are about 20 in number. those people Call themselves Wil-la-cum. ...     We halted at this village Dined ...     after dinner we proceeded on our voyage. I walked on Shore with Shabono on the N. Side through a handsom bottom [Bingen area].     met Several parties of women and boys in Serch of herbs & roots to Subsist on maney of them had parcels of the Stems of the Sun flower. I joined Capt Lewis and the party at 6 miles, at which place the river washed the bottom of high Clifts on the N. Side [Bingen Gap]. Several Canoes over take us with families moveing up. we passed 3 encampments and came too in the mouth of a Small Creek [Major Creek] on the N. Side imediately below a village and opposit the Sepulchar rock [Memaloose Island]. this village Consists of about 100 fighting men of Several tibres from the plains to the North Collected here waiting for the Salmon. ...     made [blank] miles





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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:    "a2zgorge.info" website, 2005;    Gorge Heritage Museum website, 2014;    Hitchman, R., 1985, Place Names of Washington, Washington State Historical Society;    "Rootsweb.com" website, 2005;    U.S. Forest Service Website, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, 2006;    U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) website, 2006.

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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July 2014