Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Crates Point, Oregon"
Includes ... Crates Point ... Squally Point ... Chenowith Creek ... Rocky Island ... Squaw Islands ... Columbia Gorge Discovery Center ... Campsite of October 28, 1805 ... Oregon Trail ...
Image, 2005, Crates Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East side o f Crates Point, as seen from Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, Oregon. Image taken June 4, 2005.


Crates Point ...
Crates Point, Oregon, is a high promontory located between Columbia River Mile (RM) 185 and 186, with Rocky Island being located another half mile upstream. Crates Point marks the upper end of the Columbia River Gorge. Upstream is The Dalles, Oregon, and downstream are the basalts of the Rowena Gap and Mayer State Park. Across the Columbia on the Washington side is Dougs Beach State Park. The Crates Point Light is located on Rocky Island at RM 186.5 and the mouth of Chenoweth Creek is located at RM 187. The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center is located on the east side of Crates Point.

Squally Point ...
Squally Point is the downstream tip of the Crates Point promontory and is located at RM 185. A railroad station known as Crates is located near that point.

Image, 2011, Squally Point, Crates Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Squally Point, Columbia River tip of Crates Point, Oregon. View from moving car on Washington State Highway 14. Image taken October 6, 2011.


Lewis and Clark and Crates Point ...
Lewis and Clark spent the night of October 28, 1805, on today's Rocky Island on the east side Crates Point.
[More]

Early Crates Point ...
Crates Point and the small community of Crates were named for Edward Crate, a French Canadian who came to Oregon in 1838 as an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company. Edward Crate settled in the area in 1850, and in 1851 filed a land claim (under the spelling "Crete") for the area of Crates Point, which he selected because it was adapted to landing boats.

On an Oregon 1860 cadastral survey (tax survey) for T2N R13E the peak at Crates Point was depicted but not named. "Rocky Island" was depicted and named.

On the 1865 cadastral survey, Edward Crate had 640.93 acres as Claim No.38 in the Crates Point area. The peak of Crates Point was not depicted and Rocky Island was depicted but not named.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management General Land Office (GLO) Records database shows an Edward Crete and Sophia Crete being issued a land title for 640.94 acres on January 16, 1882, for parts of T2N R13E Sections 16, 17, 20, and 21 (1850 Oregon-Donation Act).

According to McArthur and McArthur in Oregon Geographic Names (2003):

"... the Indian name of the locality of Crates Point was Thleyap Kamoon, which referred to a variety of freshwater mussels. These were gathered and used for a great feast and general good time. ...

In a list of Indian names for localities near The Dalles, Doctor McKay gives Kat-ka Talth for the mountain at Crates Point. ..."

Oregon Trail River Route ...
At the mouth of Chenoweth Creek near Crates Point, the Oregon Trail emigrants embarked on steamboats, rafts, or canoes for the 83-mile journey down the Columbia River to Fort Vancouver.
[More]

"At Crates Point, a protected harbor at the mouth of Chenoweth Creek, the Oregon Trail pioneers put into the river. John McLoughlin, despite orders from his superiors, sent bateaux and food here to assist (and occasionally rescue) weary emigrants. Nearby were many pine trees to cut for building immense rafts that could hold up to six wagons. Writing in 1843, explorer John C. Fremont described them as "ark-like rafts, on which they had embarked their families and households, with their large wagons and other furniture, while their stock were driven along the shore.""

Source:   Oregon-California Trails Association website, 2011, "The Dalles, Oregon, End of the Old Oregon Trail".

Views of Crates Point ...

Image, 2003, Crates Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Crates Point, Oregon, As seen from Washington State Highway 14. Image taken July 5, 2003.
Image, 2011, Crates Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
North side of Crates Point as seen from Interstate 84, Oregon. View from moving car. Image taken September 28, 2011.
Image, 2013, Crates Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Northern view, Crates Point, Oregon. As seen from moving car on Interstate 84. Image taken April 22, 2013.


Columbia Gorge Discovery Center ...
The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center is located at the east base of Crates Point.
[More]

Image, 2005, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon. Image taken June 4, 2005.
Image, 2005, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Covered Wagon, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon. Image taken June 4, 2005.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 28, 1805, first draft ...
a windey morning loaded our Canoes and Set out at 9 oClock a m ...     Wind from West

N. 50 W. 2 miles Cove in a Lard. bend Clift of rocks on each Side of 90 feet high, fiew pine

N. 10 W. 2 miles to an Indian village of the Chee-luck-it-te-quar nation of 8 houses in the form of those above, passed the mouth of a Small Creek [Chenoweth Creek]

... the wind rose and we were obliged to lie by about 1 mile below on the Lard. Side

North 1 mile to a rock Island on the Stard. Side. we had not landed long eer an Indian Canoe Came from below with 3 Indians in it, those Indians make verry nice Canoes of Pine. Thin with aporns & Carve on the head imitation of animals & other heads; ...     rained all the evenig & blew hard from the West encamped on the Lard Side opsd. an Rock in a verry Bad place [today's Rocky Island]



Clark, October 28, 1805 ...
A cool windey morning we loaded our Canoes and Set out at 9 oClock, a. m. [Rock Fort] ...     we proceeded on river inclosed on each Side in high Clifts of about 90 feet of loose dark coloured rocks     at four miles we landed at a village of 8 houses on the Stard. Side under Some rugid rocks, Those people call themselves Chil-luckit-te-quaw, ...     here we purchased five Small Dogs, Some dried buries, & white bread made of roots, the wind rose and we were obliged to lie by all day at 1 mile below on the Lard. Side [vicinity of Rocky Island at Crates Point]. ...     wind blew hard accompanied with rain all the evening, our Situation not a verry good one for an encampment, but Such as it is we are obliged to put up with, the harbor is a Safe one [Rocky Island at Crates Point], we encamped on the Sand wet and disagreeable ...





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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: McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland; Oregon Bureau of Land Management website, 2005; U.S. Bureau of Land Management website, 2006, General Land Office Records.

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 2013