Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
Campbell Lake, Vancouver, Washington"
Includes ... Campbell Lake ... Roth Unit ... Ridgeport Dairy Unit ... Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge ... Fales Landing ...
Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sandhill Cranes in the Campbell Lake area, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Ridgefield NWR Refuge "Sandhill Crane Tour". Image taken October 12, 2007.


Campbell Lake, Vancouver, Washington ...
Campbell Lake is a nearly 2-mile-long lake located on the flood plain of the Columbia River stretching from approximately River Mile (RM) 92 to RM 94. The northern half of the lake is located within T4N R1W, in the Roth Unit of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and the southern half of the lake is located within T3N R1W, in the Ridgeport Dairy Unit of the Refuge. An old Columbia River landing site, Fales Landing, lies west of Campbell Lake while Lake River lies to the east. North (downstream) of Campbell Lake is Hathaway Lake, better known as "Rest Lake", and south (upstream) of Campbell Lake is Post Office Lake. Rest Lake is located within the River "S" Unit of the Refuge, and Post Office Lake is located within the Ridgeport Dairy Unit. During the fall and early winter, the Campbell Lake area supports large flocks of Sandhill Cranes.

Roth Unit, Ridgefield National Wildlife Area ...
The northern half of Campbell Lake lies within the Roth Unit of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. The Roth Unit was acquired from Rosa Roth in 1969 and 1970 and has preservation of the natural Columbia River floodplain as its goal.

Early Campbell Lake ...
Lewis and Clark passed the Campbell Lake area on November 5, 1805. They described the area as

"... early here the river is not more than 3/4 of a mile in width, passed a Small Prarie on the Stard. Side ..." [Clark, November 5, 1805]

An 1863 cadastral survey (tax survey) for T3N R1W shows 34.96 acres belonging to J.H. Campbell (Claim No.40) in the extreme northeast quarter of the T/R, near the middle edge of Campbell Lake. Earlier cadastral surveys (1860 and 1862) show Lake River cutting through this acreage, and this acreage of this claim just miss bordering Campbell Lake (depicted but not named).

The 1863 cadastral survey for T4N R1W shows 105.33 acres belonging to J.H. Campbell (Claim No.47) in the extreme southeast quarter of Section 36. An earlier 1863 cadastral survey shows "Vancouver Slough" (today's Lake River) flowing through this claim, and again, the Campbell claim just misses touching the edge of today's Campbell Lake.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records website (2012) shows J.H. Campbell being granted title to 96.55 acres of T3N R1E, parts of Sections 5 and 31, on December 20, 1867 (1820 Sale-Cash Entry). Records also show J.H. Campbell and Mary E. Campbell being granted title to 380.28 acres of T3N R1W, parts of Sections 1 and 36, and T3N R1E, parts of Sections 5 and 31, on August 27, 1871 (1850 Oregon-Donation Act).

An 1888 Clark County Plat Map (found on "Rootsweb.com") shows "Campbell's Lake" with J.H. Campbell having a Donation Land Claim (DLC) to the northeast of the lake, and includes the northern tip of the lake. The DLC of Campbell spans T3N R1W, T3N R1E, T4N R1W, and T4N R1E. A later Plat Map (about 1922) shows ownership of this property belonging to D.K. Abrams.

The U.S. Board of Geographic Names made the name "Campbell Lake" official (over Campbells Lake) in January 1915.


"Sandhill Crane Tour" ...
During Ridgefield's "Birdfest and Bluegrass" festival, the Refuge leads Sandhill Crane tours to Campbell Lake.

Image, 2007, Ridgefield Birdfest, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Sandhill Crane tour", Ridgefield Birdfest, Ridgefield NWR, Ridgefield, Washington. Image taken October 12, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield Birdfest, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Sandhill Crane tour", Ridgefield Birdfest, Ridgefield NWR, Ridgefield, Washington. Image taken October 12, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield Birdfest, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Sandhill Crane tour", Ridgefield Birdfest, Ridgefield NWR, Ridgefield, Washington. Image taken October 12, 2007.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

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-





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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:   "Rootsweb.com" website, 2012, Clark County, Washington; U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records website, 2012; U.S. Geological Survey Board of Geographic Names website, 2012;

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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January 2012