Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Chamberlain Lake, Washington"
Includes ... Chamberlain Lake ... Chamberlain Lake Rest Area ...
Image, 2013, Chamberlain Lake, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Chamberlain Lake as seen from Washington Highway 14, Washington. View looking east from moving car. Image taken June 15, 2013.

Chamberlain Lake ...
Chamberlain Lake is on the Washington side of the Columbia and stretches between River Mile (RM) 179 and RM 180. Chamberlain Lake Rest Area is downstream of the lake, as well as Hewett Lake, Major Creek, and Catherine Creek. Upstream is the mouth of the Klickitat River and Lyle, Washington. The mightly basalt cliff of the Rowena Gap, once known as "Cape Horn" lies across from Chamberlain Lake.

Chamberlain Lake Rest Area ...
The Chamberlain Lake Rest Area is off of Washington State Highway 14 downstream of Chamberlain Lake. The Rest Area offers good views of Rowena Gap and Memaloose Island.

Early Chamberlain Lake ...
Chamberlain Lake was named after R.H. Chamberlain.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database shows Robert H. Chamberlain being granted title to 80 acres of T3N R12E, Section 21, on April 12, 1913 (1862 Homestead Entry Original). This property lies northwest of Lyle.

The 1934 klickitat County Map (Metsker Maps, courtesy "HistoricMapWorks.com") shows "R.H. Chaimberlain" property north west of Lyle plus more property on the north side of the SP&S Railway line.

Early Maps ...

Historical Map, 1934, Klickitat County, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1934, Columbia River from Major Creek to the Klickitat River, Washington. Map shows the property of "R.H. Chaimberlain", today the location of Chamberlain Lake. Metsker Maps. Original map courtesy "HistoricMapWorks.com" website, 2017.

Rowena Gap from Chamberlain Lake Area ...
Great views of the basalt flows of the Rowena Gap can be seen from the Chamberlain Lake Rest Area, and from the hills at Chamberlain Lake.

Chamberlain Lake Railroad Tunnel
The Chamberlain Lake Railroad Tunnel, originally built as Tunnel No.9 for the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Line, (now the BNSF) lies downstream of Chamberlain Lake. Heading east the tracks exit the tunnel and continue over a causeway separating Chamberlain Lake from the Columbia River. The west portal can be viewed from the Chamberlain Lake Rest Area.

Image, 2005, Railroad Tunnel at Chamberlain Lake, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Woldson's Tunnel", BNSF Railroad Tunnel No.9, at Chamberlain Lake. West portal of the railroad tunnel at Chamberlain Lake. View from the Chamberlain Lake Rest Area. Image taken June 4, 2005.
Image, 2005, Railroad Tunnel at Chamberlain Lake, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Woldson's Tunnel", West Portal, BNSF Railroad Tunnel No.9, at Chamberlain Lake. View from the Chamberlain Lake Rest Area. Image taken June 4, 2005.

Columbia River Basalts ...

Image, 2004, Basalts near Chamberlain Lake Rest Area, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Basalts near the Chamberlain Lake Rest Area. Image taken November 11, 2004.
Image, 2010, Basalts near Chamberlain Lake Rest Area, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River Basalts near the Chamberlain Lake Rest Area, Washington. View from Tom McCall Nature Preserve, Oregon. Image taken March 6, 2010.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 29, 1805 ...
A cloudy morning wind from the West but not hard, we Set out at day light [from their camp on Rocky Island at Crates Point], and proceeded on about five miles Came too on the Stard. Side at a village of 7 houses built in the Same form and materials of those above, here we found the Chief we had Seen at the long narrows [The Dalles] ...     they are hospitable and good humered Speak the Same language of the inhabitants of the last village, we call this the friendly village [vicinity of Dougs Beach]. ...     after brackfast we proceeded on, the mountains are high on each Side [high basalt cliffs of the Rowena Gap, with Rowena Crest on the south and the Chamberlain Lake area on the north], containing Scattering pine white oake & under groth, hill Sides Steep and rockey; at 4 miles lower we observed a Small river falling in with great rapidity on the Stard. Side [Klickitat River] below which is a village of 11 houses [today the town of Lyle is on the upstream side of the Klickitat], here we landed to Smoke a pipe with the nativs and examine the mouth of the river, which I found to be 60 yards wide rapid and deep, The inhabitants of the village are friendly and Chearfull; those people inform us also those at the last village that this little river is long and full of falls, no Salmon pass up it, it runs from N. N. E. that ten nations live on this river and its waters, on buries, and what game that Can kill with their Bow & arrows

we purchased 4 dogs and Set out- (this village is the of the Same nation of the one we last passed) and proceeded on The Countrey on each side begin to be thicker timbered with Pine and low white Oake; verry rockey and broken [passing Mayer State Park on the Oregon side]. passed three large rocks in The river the middle rock is large long and has Several Squar vaults on it. we call this rockey Island the Sepulchar [Memaloose Island] - The last river we passed we Shall Call the Cataract River [Klickitat River] from the number of falls which the Indians say is on it- passed 2 Lodges of Indians a Short distance below the Sepulchar Island [Memaloose Island] on the Stard. Side river wide, at 4 mile passed 2 houses on the Stard. Side, Six miles lower passed 4 houses above the mouth of a Small river 40 yards wide on the Lard. Side [Hood River]    a thick timbered bottom above & back of those houses; those are the first houses which we have Seen on the South Side of the Columbia River, (and the axess to those dificuelt) for fear of the approach of their common enemies the Snake Indians, passed 14 houses on the Std. Side Scattered on the bank- from the mouth of this little river which we shall Call Labeasche River [Hood River], the falls mountain [Mount Hood] is South and the top is covered with Snow.    one mile below pass the mouth of a large rapid Stream on the Stard. Side [White Salmon River], opposit to a large Sand bar [from Hood River], in this creek the Indians above take their fish, here we Saw Several canoes, which induced us to call this Canoe Creek [White Salmon River] it is 28 yards wide, about 4 miles lower and below the Sand bar [Hood River sandbar] is a butifull cascade falling over a rock of about 100 feet [Wah Gwin Gwin Falls, location of the Columbia Gorge Hotel],

[On the route map (Moulton, vol.1, map#78) a "C___ Spring" is shown on the north side of the river, today the location of Spring Creek and Spring Creek Fish Hatchery, with no mention of it in any text. On the south side, at the location of Wah Gwin Gwin Falls, only "Cascade" is labeled and "4 Houses of Indians".]

a Short distance lower passed 4 Indian houses on the Lard. Side in a timbered bottom, a fiew miles further we came too at 3 houses on Stard. Side, back of which is a pond [today the location of Drano Lake. The Little White Salmon River empties into Drano Lake.] in which I Saw Great numbers of Small Swan, Capt. Lewis and went into the houses of those people ...     Here the mountains are high on each Side, those to the Lard. Side has Some Snow on them at this time, more timber than above and of greater variety.

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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


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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May 2017