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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Crims Island, Oregon"
Includes ... Crims Island ... Gull Island ... "Fannys Island" ... "Baker's Island" ... "Grims Island" ... Oak Point ... Bradbury Slough ...
Image, 2003, Crims Island from upper road, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Crims Island, Oregon. Upstream tip of Crims Island, as seen from upper road near Mayger, Oregon. The Washington community of Stella is along the Washington shore, right side of image. Image taken August 2, 2003.


Crims Island ...
Crims Island is a three-mile long island located near the Oregon side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 54. Crims Island is approximately four miles upstream of Wallace Island, and Stella, Washington lies across from Crims at RM 56. Upstream of Crims is Fisher Island off the Washington shore and Walker Island off the Oregon shore. Bradbury Slough heads off from the Columbia River at Mayger, Oregon and separates Crims Island from the Oregon shore. The lower end of Crims, where Bradbury Slough merges back with the Columbia, lies the impressive cliffs of Oak Point, Washington. Lewis and Clark first pass Crims Island on November 6, 1805, and then again on their return on March 26, 1806.

Bradbury Slough ...
Bradbury Slough runs on the south side of Crims Island, separating the island from the Oregon shore. The main Columbia River shipping channel is on the north of Crims Island. Bradbury Slough and the one-time railroad station of Bradbury (later re-named Locoda), were named for Clement A. Bradbury, an early settler.
[More]

Image, 2012, Crims Island and Bradbury Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Crims Island and Bradbury Slough, Oregon. View from near Port Westward. Image taken August 27, 2012.


Early Crims Island ...
On October 26, 1792, William Broughton of the George Vancouver Expedition, named Crims Island "Baker's Island" for a Second Lieutenant in Captain Vancouver's command.

Lewis and Clark, on their journey to the Pacific passed by Crims Island on November 6, 1805, however they did not name it. On the return trip, the men called the island "Fanny's Island", presumably named after William Clark's younger sister, Frances.

"... passed an Island 3 miles long and one mile wide ..." [Clark, November 6, 1805]

In 1841 Charles Wilkes of the U.S. Exploring Expedition named the island "Gull Island" in 1841. Today's Gull Island is now the small 1/2-mile long island north of the west end of Crims Island.

Today's Crims Island is named after James F. Crim, a pioneer homesteader on the island in the 1870s. In 1927 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made official the name "Crims Island". Other names previously seen in use were "Grims Island" and "Gull Island".

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records (GLO), show a James F. Crim being issued a land title on February 10, 1871, for 147.25 acres of parts of T8N R4W Sections 13 and 14, under the 1862 "Homestead Entry Original".

The U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Chart #641 published in 1888, calls the island "Grim's Island".

On current USGS topographic maps and NOAA nautical charts, the Crims island complex is split into "Crims Island" (the main island on the south), and "Gull Island" (a smaller island to the north side of Crims), and two smaller unnamed islands off the upstream tip of Crims Island and one off the downstream tip. The area to the south is a flat delta containing many sloughs, including the Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough, and Westport Slough which drains the western half of the delta.


Views ...

Image, 2005, Crims Island, downstream tips, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Crims Island from Washington Highway 4. Downstream tips of Gull Island (left) and Crims Island (middle), as seen from Washington State Highway 4. Image taken July 28, 2005.
Image, 2003, Gull Island and Crims Island, downstream tips, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Gull Island and Crims Island, downstream tips. Downstream tips of Gull Island (left) and Crims Island (right), as seen from Washington State, just downstream of Mill Creek. Image taken November 9, 2003.
Image, 2003, Crims Island downstream tip, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Crims Island, Oregon, downstream tip. Downstream tip of Crims Island, as seen from along the Washington banks of the Columbia River. Gull Island is to the left. Image taken November 9, 2003.
Image, 2005, Crims Island from Mayger, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Upstream tip of Crims Island, as seen from Mayger, Oregon. Image taken February 21, 2005.
Image, 2005, Crims Island from Willow Grove Beach, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Crims Island, Oregon, upstream end. Upstream tip of Crims Island, as seen from Willow Grove Beach, Washington. Image taken July 28, 2005.
Image, 2005, Mount St. Helens from Bradbury Slough, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mount St. Helens, Washington, Crims Island, and Bradbury Slough, Oregon. Crims Island is on the left. Image taken February 21, 2005.
Image, 2005, Mount St. Helens from Bradbury Slough, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mount St. Helens, Washington, Crims Island, and Bradbury Slough, Oregon. Crims Island is in the middleground. Image taken February 21, 2005.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 6, 1805 ...
A cool wet raney morning we Set out [from their camp at Prescott Beach] early at 4 miles pass 2 Lodges of Indians in a Small bottom on the Lard Side I believe those Indians to be travelers. opposit is <the head of a long narrow Island close under the Starboard Side [Cottonwood Island], back of this Island two Creeks fall in about 6 miles apart,> [Cowlitz River delta, Longview, Washington. Today the "two Creeks" are the Cowlitz River and Coal Creek Slough.] and appear to head in the high hilley countrey to the N. E. opposit <this long Island is 2 others one Small and about the middle of the river> the other larger and nearly opposit its lower point [today the location of Walker Island and Lord Island complex], and opposit a high clift of Black rocks [Green Point, location of Mayger, Oregon] on the Lard. Side at 14 miles; ...     here the hills leave the river on the Lard. Side, a butifull open and extensive bottom [Clatskanie River delta] in which there is an old Village, one also on the Stard. Side a little above both of which are abandened by all their inhabitents except Two Small dogs nearly Starved, and an unreasonable portion of flees The Hills and mountains are covered with Sever kinds of Pine ...     Some willow on the waters edge,   passed an Island 3 miles long and one mile wide [Crims Island ... Crims Island is separated from the Oregon shore by the Bradbury Slough.], <one> close under the Stard. Side below the <long narrow Island> below which the Stard Hills are verry from the river bank and Continues high and rugid on that Side all day, ... [Lewis and Clark pass, but do not mention today's Germany Creek, Abernethy Creek, and Mill Creek]     we came too to Dine on the long narrow Island [Crims Island] found the woods So thick with under groth that the hunters could not get any distance into the Isld. ...     river about one mile wide hills high and Steep on the Std. [cliffs of Oak Point] no place for several Miles suffcently large and leavil for our camp we at length Landed at a place [Eagle Cliff and Cape Horn, Wahkiakum County] which by moveing the Stones we made a place Sufficently large for the party to lie leavil on the Smaller Stones Clear of the Tide     Cloudy with rain all day we are all wet and disagreeable, had large fires made on the Stone and dried our bedding and Kill the flees, which collected in our blankets at every old village we encamped near     I had like to have forgotten a verry remarkable Knob [Mount Coffin, Longview, Washington, now destroyed] riseing from the edge of the water to about 80 feet high, and about 200 paces around at its Base and Situated <on the long narrow Island> [Longview, Washington area, the Cowlitz River delta] above and nearly opposit to the 2 Lodges we passed to day, it is Some distance from the high land & in a low part of the Island [Cowlitz River delta]






Clark, March 26, 1806 ...
The wind blew So hard untill 8 A M. that we detained [at their camp on the Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough, across from the upstream tip of Wallace Island], we gave a Medal [Jefferson Peace Medals] to a Man by the name of Wal-lal-le a principal man among the Cath lah mahs, he appeared very thankfull for the honor Confured on him and presented us with a large Sturgion [Columbia River White Sturgeon]. we Continued our rout up the river to an old Village on the South Side where we halted for dinner. we met on the way the principal Chief of the Cathlahmahs, Sh-hh-wh-cop, who had been up the river on a trading voyage, he gave us some Wappato and fish, we also purchased Some Wappato Soon after halted for dinner at an Old Village <at> on the South point [today's Port Westward, originally was called "Oak Point"] opposit the lower pt. of Fannys Island [Crims Island]. ...     here our hunters joined us haveing killed 3 Eagles and a large Wild goose. I had now an oppertunity of Comparing the bald <and> with the grey Eagle; I found the grey Eagle about 1/4 largest, its legs and feet were dark which those of the bald eagle were of a fine orrange yellow; the iris of the eye is also of a dark yellowish brown, while that of the Grey is of a light Silvery colour with a Slight admixture of yellow.     after dinner I walked on Shore through an eligant bottom on the South Side [Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough Delta] opposit to Fannys Island [Crims Island]. This bottom we also Call fannys bottom it is extensive and an open leavel plain except near the river bank which is high dry rich oak land [Oak Point]. I saw Some deer & Elk at a distance in the Prarie. we continued untill late in the evening and encamped on a Small Island near the Middle of the river [Walker Island] haveing made 18 Miles. 2 Indians Visited us this evining.





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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;    NOAA Office of Coast Surveys website, 2004;    U.S. Bureau of Land Management website, 2006, General Land Office Records (GLO);    U.S. Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) website, 2006;    Washington State Historical Society website, 2004, "Lasting Legacy";   

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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August 2016