Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Clatskanie River and Beaver Slough, Oregon"
Includes ... Clatskanie River ... Beaver Slough ... Wallace Slough ... "Fannys Bottom" ... Clatskanie/Beaver Slough Floodplain ... Clatskanie ... Port Westward ... April 13, 1949 Earthquake ... Point Adams Fish Station ... Andunde Island ... Campsite of March 25, 1806 ...
Image, 2005, Mouth of the Clatskanie River-Beaver Slough, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clatskanie River at Point Adams. The Clatskanie River merging into Wallace Slough. View from Point Adams Road bridge, with the Westport Slough floodplain on the left and the northwestern tip of Anunde Island on the right. Image taken February 21, 2005.


Clatskanie River ...
The Clatskanie River is a tributary of Beaver Slough. The mouth of Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough enters Wallace Slough near the upstream end of Wallace Island, at Columbia River Mile (RM) 50. Wallace Slough separates Wallace Island from the Oregon shore. Four miles upstream on the Columbia is Port Westward and Crims Island. Further upstream is Green Point and the small Oregon community of Mayger. Four miles downstream is Puget Island. The Oregon community of Clatskanie lies at Clatskanie River Mile (RM) 3.

Views ...

Image, 2012, Clatskanie River near Wallace Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clatskanie River near Wallace Slough. View of the main branch of the Clatskanie River (often seen labeled "Beaver Slough"), just upstream from where it merges with the Wallace Slough. View from Erickson Dike Road looking towards the northeastern tip of Anunde Island. Image taken August 28, 2012.


Clatskanie River at Clatskanie ...
The Oregon community of Clatskanie lies three miles upstream on the Clatskanie River, where Oregon Highway 30 crosses the Clatskanie.
[More]

Image, 2004, Clatskanie River from Clatskanie City Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clatskanie River, Oregon, looking downstream from Clatskanie City Park. Image taken February 11, 2004.
Image, 2004, Clatskanie River from Clatskanie City Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clatskanie River, Oregon, looking upstream from Clatskanie City Park. Image taken February 11, 2004.


Beaver Slough ...
Beaver Slough is a major slough meandering through this Oregon section of the Clatskanie floodplain. Beaver Slough merges with the Clatskanie River approximately two miles upstream from the Clatskanie merging with Wallace Slough.

Views ...

Image, 2012, Beaver Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Beaver Slough, Oregon, looking west. View from Erickson Dike Road. Image taken August 28, 2012.
Image, 2013, Beaver Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Beaver Slough, Oregon, looking northwest. View from Collins Road. Image taken October 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Beaver Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Beaver Slough, Oregon, looking northwest. View from Collins Road. Image taken October 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Beaver Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Beaver Slough, Oregon, looking northeast. View from Beaver Dike Road. Image taken October 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Beaver Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Beaver Slough, Oregon, looking southwest. View from Beaver Dike Road. Image taken October 17, 2013.


Clatskanie River and Beaver Slough Floodplain ...
The Clatskanie River and Beaver Slough floodplain stretches from approximately Columbia River Mile (RM) 50 to RM 57. The Oregon development of Port Westward, once the location known as "Oak Point", lies in the middle at RM 53. The floodplain contains many sloughs, wetlands, and grassy fields, levees and dikes as is used primarily for farming and lumber activities. Lewis and Clark called this floodplain "Fanny's Bottom". The Westport Slough floodplain lies west of the Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough floodplain, stretching from RM 43 to RM 50.

Image, 2012, Clatskanie floodplain, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Oregon Highway 30 heading west through the Clastskanie River floodplain. View taken from near Marshland and Woodsen. Nicolai Ridge is the far ridge visible on the right. Image taken September 22, 2012.
Image, 2012, Clatskanie floodplain, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clatskanie floodplain, Oregon, looking north. View from the road to Mayger. Image taken August 27, 2012.


Lewis and Clark and the Clatskanie area ...
Lewis and Clark passed the Clatskanie area on November 6, 1805, on their way to the Pacific Ocean. The set up camp across from the floodplain at Cape Horn, Washington. On their return they came through the Clatskanie area and set up camp on March 25, 1806, where they camped on the western bank of "a Small Creek", located in the area of today's Clatskanie/Beaver Slough mouth. They called the Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough floodplain "Fanny's Bottom".

"Fanny's Bottom" ...
On the Lewis and Clark journey maps, Crims Island is shown as a single island and called "Fanny's Island", while the large "eligant bottom on the South side" is part of the Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough/Westport Slough flood plain. It is shown on one map as "Fannys Valley" [Moulton, vol.1, map#81] while another map [map#89] leaves the island and the bottom unnamed. In their text, Lewis and Clark call this area "Fanny's Bottom".
[More]

Campsite of March 25, 1806 ...
Lewis and Clark's campsite of March 25, 1806, was on the western bank of the Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough (altho possibly a different slough/mouth of the Clatskanie River in 1806, across from the upstream end of Wallace Island). Across the river on the Washington bank was Lewis and Clark's campsite of November 6, 1805, at Cape Horn (Wahkiakum County).

"... it was with some difficulty that we could find a spot proper for an encampment, the shore being a swamp for several miles back; at length late in the evening opposite to the place we had encamped on the 6th of November last; we found the entrance of a small creek which afforded us a safe harbour from the wind and encamped.     the ground was low and moist tho' we obtained a tolerable encampment. ... " [Lewis, March 25, 1806]

"... the winds in the evening was verry hard, it was with Some dificuelty that we Could find a Spot proper for an encampment, the Shore being a Swamp for Several miles back; at length late in the evening opposit to the place we had encamped on the 6th of Novr. last; we found the enterance of a Small Creek which offered us a Safe harbour from the Winds and Encamped.     the Ground was low and moist tho' we obtained a tolerable encampment. ..." [Clark, March 25, 1806]

Lewis and Clark's previous campsite was at Aldrich Point, Oregon, and their campsite of March 26, 1806, was on Walker Island.


"Tlatskanai" ...
"Clatskanie was named after the Tlatskanai tribe of American Indian, who lived in the hills south of the Clatskanie River in the upper Nehalem Valley. The Tlatskanai, linguistically an Athapascan tribe, originally lived in the flat lands bordering the Chehalis River in Washington State. As game became scarce and their food supply diminished, they left the area, heading south, and crossed the Columbia River to occupy the hills traditionally occupied by the Chinook Indians, who were a large Indian tribe living along the Oregon Coast. After driving away the more peaceful Chinook Indians, the Tlatskanai established themselves within the Clatskanie-Westport area, and extended their numbers into the head of the Nehalem. The word "Tlatskanai" was used by these Indians to denote the route they took to get to a particular meeting place, applying to particular steams and not to others. White men carelessly applied this work to the name of the steam. One source lists "Tlatskanai" as meaning "swift running water." The Clatskanie is indeed a swift beautiful steam. Other names that existed for the Tlatskanai were the Clackstar, Klatskanai and Klaatshan, among others."


Source:    Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce website, 2004.

Views around the Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough Floodplain ...

Image, 2013, Beaver Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Scenic, Beaver Slough floodplain, Clatskanie, Oregon. Image taken October 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Beaver Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Scenic, Beaver Slough floodplain, Clatskanie, Oregon. Image taken October 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Floodplain, Clatskanie River and Beaver Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Scenic, Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough floodplain, Clatskanie, Oregon. Image taken October 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Floodplain, Clatskanie River and Beaver Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Collection", Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough floodplain, Clatskanie, Oregon. Image taken October 17, 2013.
Image, 2004, Reflection, Clatskanie River-Beaver Slough, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Boat and reflection, Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough, at mouth. At Point Adams Station. Image taken February 21, 2004.


Clatskanie River, etc.

  • Anunde Island ...
  • "Clascani river" ...
  • Point Adams Fish Station ...
  • Wigwam Burner ...


Anunde Island ...
Anunde Island is a marshy island at the mouth of the Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough drainage. Point Adams is located on its northwestern tip.

Image, 2012, Southeastern tip of Anunde Island, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Southeastern tip of Anunde Island. View of the main branch of the Clatskanie River (often seen labeled "Beaver Slough") and the southeastern tip of Anunde Island, just upstream from where it merges with the Wallace Slough. View from Erickson Dike Road. Image taken August 28, 2012.


"Clascani river" ...
"Explorations. ... The Clascani river empties into the Columbia between Oak Point and Hunt's mill, from the south. Its broad valley is readily distinguishable from Oak Point, and for some distance downward. The Clascani is effected by the tide for about twelve miles; above tide-water, the water of the river is very clear and contains trout. At this dry time the river contains sufficient water to carry a saw-mill, and dams may be easily erected from the head of tide-water up as far as the river has been explored. The party explored the valley for about five miles above the head of tide-water and found the valley broad, generally level, the soil extremely rich, and covered with a dense growth of timber, composed principally of fir, cedar and cherry. We have never seen timber which equalled it, or richer soil.

The valley of the Clascani appears to strike off in the direction of the Tualatin Plains, expanding as it recedes from the highlands bordering the Columbia bottom, and we were unable to discover any impediment to the course of the river direct to the plains. It is the opinion of the party that there is prairie land in the upper portion of the Clascani valley -- perhaps much.

The Indians at Oak Point say that there is a "water fall," much timber and much prairie on the Clascani. ...."


Source:    "Oregon spectator (Oregon City. O.T.)", August 10, 1848, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspaper Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2019.



Point Adams Fish Station ...
Once the location of a fishing station.

Image, 2005, Point Adams Station, Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Point Adams Fish Station, Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough, at mouth. View from the Point Adams Road bridge looking at the northwestern tip of Anunde Island. Image taken February 21, 2005.
Image, 2005, Point Adams Station, Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Salmon, Point Adams Fish Station, Clatskanie River, at mouth. Image taken February 21, 2005.


... 2012 ...

Image, 2012, Point Adams Fish Station, Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Point Adams Fish Station, Clatskanie River, at mouth. View from the Point Adams Road bridge looking at the northwestern tip of Anunde Island. Image taken September 17, 2012.
Image, 2012, Point Adams Fish Station, Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clatskanie River at Point Adams Fish Station, looking upstream. View from the Point Adams Road bridge looking upstream. Image taken September 17, 2012.


Wigwam Burner ...
A wigwam burner, also known as teepee burner or beehive burner, is a free-standing conical steel structure used in logging mills to dispose of waste wood and sawdust. The wigwam burner along Beaver Slough near Clatskanie, Oregon, was part of the Benson Timber Company, a company which began operations in 1902 and closed it doors in 1936. Simon Benson, along with partner O.J. Evenson, were the originators of the unique cigar-shaped ocean-going log raft, known as the "Benson raft". From the mill in Clatskanie, these rafts of logs were then assembled on the quiet waters of Wallace Slough and towed to San Diego, California.
[More]

Image, 2013, Clatskanie, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Wigwam Burner, Clatskanie, Oregon. Image taken October 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clatskanie, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Wigwam Burner on Beaver Slough, Clatskanie, Oregon. Image taken October 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clatskanie, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Wigwam Burner on Beaver Slough, Clatskanie, Oregon. Image taken October 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clatskanie, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Wigwam Burner on Beaver Slough, Clatskanie, Oregon. Image taken October 17, 2013.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, March 25, 1806 ...


Lewis, March 25, 1806 ...





Clark, March 26, 1806 ...




Journey to the PacificReturn to
Menu
 






*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:
  • Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce website, 2004;
  • "HistoryLink.org" website, 2012, Earthquake hits Puget Sound area on April 13, 1949, Washington's Online history website;
  • McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press;
  • NOAA Nautical Charts, U.S. Coast Pilot for the Columbia, Willamette, and Snake River, adapted from the U.S. Coast Pilot 7, 31st Edition;
  • Oregon State Archives website, 2009, "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon";
  • The Clatskanie Chief, April 15, 1949;


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.
/Regions/Places/clatskanie_river.html
October 2013