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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Ecola State Park, Oregon"
Includes ... Ecola State Park ... Ecola Point ... Tillamook Head ... Lewis and Clark National and State Historic Parks ... the Whale ...
Image, 2010, Ecola State Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sign, Ecola State Park, Oregon. Image taken June 28, 2010.


Ecola State Park ...
Oregon's Ecola State Park wraps around Tillamook Head and features nine miles of Pacific Ocean shoreline. To the north is the Oregon community of Seaside and Clatsop Beach. To the south is Ecola Creek and Cannon Beach. The nearly 1,024-acre park is popular with hikers, whalewatchers, surfers and beachgoers.

Ecola State Park History and Information ...
"Lands were acquired between 1932 and 1978 by gift and purchase from private owners and the federal government. The original tract of 451 acres was acquired in 1932 by gift and purchase from the Ecola Point and Indian Beach Corporation with corporation members Rodney Glisan, Florence Minott, Caroline and Louise Flanders donating their portion. This land includes much of the ocean frontage in the park, extending from the northern edge of the city of Cannon Beach to Indian Beach. Later, lands were acquired to the north of Tillamook Head extending toward Seaside, providing a route for the Tillamook Head trail. Samuel Boardman, Henry Van Duzer and others worked hard to acquire this park land for Oregon in the 1930s and 1940s. Sam Boardman stressed the importance of acquiring a wider strip of land to protect the shoreline forest from wind damage and other threats. Some lands were purchased from Crown Zellerbach Corporation after being logged, and the World War II Army radar station tract on Tillamook Head was acquired under Chester. Armstrong's direction in 1952. The donation of the Elmer Feldenheimer Forest Reserve adjoining the northeast portion of the park aids in park protection from the elements. Ecola Park contains examples of old growth Sitka spruce, western hemlock and habitat for elk and deer. Here, in 1806, Captain William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition viewed burial canoes of the Kilamox (Tillamook) and, looking south from Tillamook Head, he described the view as the "grandest and most pleasing prospect" he had ever surveyed. Ecola Park was developed originally by the CCC under National Park Service direction between 1934 and 1941. Improvements included roads, picnic facilities, trails, the office, workshop and caretaker's house. In the early 1950s, a campground was developed at Ecola in the wave of enthusiasm which came with post-war development of the Oregon state parks. The camp was abandoned in 1954 as inappropriate to the setting. Some of the shallow soils on steep slopes at Ecola Park are subject to rapid erosion following heavy rains. In 1961, a landslide at Ecola Point damaged 125 acres and caused the park to be closed for 10 months. Other slides have been a problem at Bald Point and between Ecola and Chapman Points. The latter affects the park entrance road. A slide here closed the park for four months in 1975. Within Ecola Park is a National Recreation Trail dedicated in April, 1972. This is the Tillamook Head Trail extending six miles from Seaside to Cannon Beach. Tillamook Head is a high point on the trail between Seaside and Indian Beach. It is named for the Tillamook tribes in whose ancestral territory the headland is located. The trail follows the coastal exploration route used by Captain Clark in the winter of 1806."


Source:    Oregon State Parks website, 2014

Lewis and Clark and Ecola State Park ...
(to come)

Image, 2010, Ecola Point looking south, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
View of the Oregon coastline looking south at Crescent Beach and Chapman Point, as seen from Ecola Point, Ecola State Park, Oregon. Note Haystack Rock on far right. Image taken July 14, 2010.

"... I have a view of the Coast for an emence distance to the S. E. by S. the nitches and points of high land which forms this Corse for a long ways aded to the inoumerable rocks of emence Sise out at a great distance from the Shore and against which the Seas brak with great force gives this Coast a most romantic appearance ..."
[Clark, January 8, 1806]


Ecola State Park, etc.

  • Chapman Point ...
  • Ecola Point and Seal Rocks ...
  • Ecola State Park in 1965 ...
  • Tillamook Rock Lighthouse ...


Chapman Point ...

Image, 2010, Ecola State Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Path to Chapman Point, Ecola State Park, Oregon. Haystack Rock is visible. Image taken July 14, 2010.
Image, 2010, Ecola State Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Marker, Chapman Point, Ecola State Park, Oregon. Image taken July 14, 2010.

CHAPMAN POINT
at
Ecola State Park
A gift to the people of Oregon
From
Frederick G. & Elizabethe Minott Wessinger
October, 1995
Image, 2010, Ecola State Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
View south from Chapman Point, Ecola State Park, Oregon, with Haystack Rock in the distance. Image taken July 14, 2010.


Ecola Point ...

Image, 2010, Ecola State Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Path to Ecola Point, Ecola State Park, Oregon. Tillamook Rock Lighthouse is just visible in the distance. Image taken July 14, 2010.
Image, 2010, Ecola State Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Boardwalk to the Seal Rocks, Ecola Point, Ecola State Park, Oregon. Image taken July 14, 2010.
Image, 2010, Ecola State Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Seal Rocks, Ecola Point, Ecola State Park, Oregon. Image taken July 14, 2010.
Image, 2010, Ecola Point looking north, Oregon, click to enlarge
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View of the Oregon coastline looking north at Bird Point, Indian Point, Indian Beach, and Bald Point, as seen from Ecola Point, Ecola State Park, Oregon. Image taken July 14, 2010.


Ecola State Park in 1965 ...
ECOLA STATE PARK

Ecola State Park is located off U. S. Highway 101, along the Pacific Ocean, adjoining the northern boundary of the city of Cannon Beach in Clatsop County. The park extends along the ocean shore line a distance of approximately six miles. It includes the most westerly promontory in Clatsop County, known as Tillamook Head, and two other view points—Ecola and Indian Points.

The first land acquired for this park was 451.18 acres in 1932 from Ecola Point and Indian Beach Corporation. Rodney Glisan, Florence Minott, Caroline W. and Louise Flanders donated their one-half interest in the property. The other one-half interest was purchased from Allen Lewis at a price of $17,500. Land for a trail over Tillamook Head was acquired, without cost, in December, 1947, by three easements as follows: 7.05 acres from Ida Fleming, 15 acres from Angora Club of Astoria and 1.95 acres from A. W. Kendall. A tract, containing 109.39 acres was acquired from the U. S. Government Land Office on July 20, 1942, at a cost of $1.25 per acre. Another tract of 80.62 acres, including the summit of Tillamook Head, was purchased from the government for $2,195, only 50% of the appraised value. Clatsop County presented 112.80 acres to the state in 1948, and three parcels of land totaling 329 acres were purchased from Crown Zellerbach Corporation in 1940, 1948 and 1954, respectively, making an aggregate of 1,106.99 acres in the park as of the close of 1963.

The land is covered with a heavy growth of timber and brush indigenous to the Oregon country. Tillamook Head contains a heavy stand of old growth fir trees.

The terrain is generally rolling to steep. Land fronting on the ocean is steep and shows signs of slides. The portion on which the use area was located moved oceanward in early 1961, causing loss of facilities roads and parking area.

The name Ecola is a part of the name of the corporation owning the land comprising the first acquisition for the park—Ecola Point and Indian Beach Corporation. However, Lewis A. McArthur in Oregon Geographic Names says, Captain William Clark on January 8, 1806, called the stream, now known as Elk Creek at Cannon Beach, Ecola or Whale Creek, but both names fell into disuse. Sometime prior to 1900 a promontory at the south edge of the park was named Ecola Point. He also states that a post office located at the mouth of Elk Creek was named Ecola in 1910, but the name was changed to Cannon Beach in 1922 because of confusion with Eola. The name Ecola came from the Chinook Indian word ekoli meaning whale. These reasons suggested the name Ecola, therefore the name Ecola was adopted for the park.

For many years a herd of Roosevelt elk as well as many deer have roamed through the park and the surrounding country with little fear.

Tillamook Head is one of the outstanding promontories of the Oregon coast line. Ocean views from several points in the park are superb. Sea Lion Rock, one of the many jagged rocks to dot the shoreline, is located one-half mile offshore and is a natural resting place for sea lions and shore birds. It is sometimes referred to as Arch Rock because of its shape. The setting sun lends an atmosphere of enchantment for the evening visitor.

The first real work in improving the park for public use was by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Starting in October, 1934, a camp for 200 men was established. The men located property lines and constructed roads, trails, car parking area, fire guards, camp buildings, caretaker's cottage and viewpoints. This was followed by a project under SERA doing similar work. Later, the roads were widened, car parking areas extended, picnic area enlarged and the water system improved to supply additional water.

The timber on the 1961 slide area was sold and the land drained. Because of the slide, the park was closed. It was opened for partial use in 1963.

A plaque was installed in Ecola Park to honor the donors of the land first acquired. However, the slide of 1961 damaged the base but the plaque itself was saved and is now in storage waiting to be relocated in the park. A rustic type sign giving information about Ecola and Oregon history was placed along Highway 101 about 300 feet south of the Cannon Beach junction. Still another rustic sign and a likeness of the cannon to which it has reference are located along Highway 101 at mile post 34.4.

Tillamook Lighthouse, located on an offshore rock, can be seen from the several viewpoints. The Corps of Engineers built a temporary road to Tillamook Head in 1944 and leased 25 acres on Tillamook Head for radar purposes during the war.

The boys from MacLaren School at Woodburn did cleanup jobs in the park, built trails to the beach at Indian Creek and improved existing trails. They started work in 1953 and continued till 1956.

A new road from the park use area to Indian Creek was constructed in 1954 after abandoning the old road. This project made a direct route from the park use area to Indian Creek and Tillamook Head.

A small overnight camp was placed in the park in 1953 but was abandoned in 1954 because of the objection by the donors, the Flander sisters, who thought it was not in accordance with their gift.

Day use at Ecola in 1963 was 177,052 visitors."


Source:    Chester H. Armstrong (compiler), 1965, "History of the Oregon State Parks: 1917-1963, published by Oregon State Parks.



Tillamook Rock Lighthouse ...
(to come)

Image, 2010, Ecola State Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, as seen from Ecola Point, Ecola State Park, Oregon. Image taken July 14, 2010.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, January 8, 1806 ...
The last night proved fair and Cold wind hard from the S. E. we Set out early and proceeded to the top of the mountain [Tillamook Head] next to the which is much the highest part and that part faceing the Sea is open, from this point I beheld the grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed, in my frount a boundless Ocean; to the N. and N. E. the coast as as far as my sight Could be extended, the Seas rageing with emence wave and brakeing with great force from the rocks of Cape Disapointment [Cape Disappointment, Washington] as far as I could See to the N. W. The Clatsops Chinnooks and other villagers on each Side of the Columbia river and in the Praries below me [Clatsop Beach, also referred to as Clatsop Plains, comprised of Sunset Beach and Columbia Beach. This area today is the location of Seaside, Oregon], the meanderings of 3 handsom Streams heading in Small lakes at the foot the high Country; The Columbia River for a Some distance up, with its Bays and Small rivers and on the other Side I have a view of the Coast for an emence distance to the S. E. by S. the nitches and points of high land which forms this Corse for a long ways aded to the inoumerable rocks of emence Sise out at a great distance from the Shore [such as Haystack Rock] and against which the Seas brak with great force gives this Coast a most romantic appearance. from this point of View [Tillamook Head] my guide pointed to a village at the mouth fo a Small river [Ecola Creek] near which place he Said the whale was, he also pointed to 4 other places where the princpal Villages of the Kil la mox were Situated, I could plainly See the houses of 2 of those Villeges & the Smoke of a 3rd which was two far of for me to disern with my naked eye ... after taking the Courses and computed the Distances in my own mind, I proceeded on down a Steep decent to a Single house the remains of an old Kil a mox Town in a nitch imediately on the Sea Coast, at which place great no. of eregular rocks are out and the waves comes in with great force. ... The Coast in the neighbourhood of this old village is slipping from the Sides of the high hills, in emence masses; fifty or a hundred acres at a time give way and a great proportion of an instant precipitated into the Ocean.     those hills and mountains are principally composed of a yellow Clay; their Slipping off or Spliting assunder at this time is no doubt Caused by the incessant rains which has fallen within the last two months.     the mountains Covered with a verry heavy Croth of pine & furr, also the white Cedar or arbor vita and a Small proportion of the black alder, this alder grows to the hight of Sixty or Seventy feet and from 2 to 3 feet in diamiter. Some Speies of pine on the top of the Point of View [Tillamook Head] rise to the emmence hight of 210 feet and from 8 to 12 feet in diameter, and are perfectly Sound and Solid.     Wind hard from the S. E and See looked [blank] in the after part of the Day breaking with great force against the Scattering rocks at Some distance from Shore [possibly those at the base of Ecola Point, Ecola State Park], and the ruged rockey points under which we were obleged to pass and if we had unfortunately made one false Stet we Should eneviateably have fallen into the Sea and dashed against the rocks in an instant, fortunately we passed over 3 of those dismal points and arived on a butifull Sand Shore on which we Continued for 2 miles [Cannon Beach], Crossed a Creek [Ecola Creek] 80 yards near 5 Cabins, and proceeded to the place the whale had perished, found only the Skelleton of this monster on the Sand between 2 of the villages of the Kil a mox nation; the Whale [Historians believe it was the Blue Whale] was already pillaged of every valuable part by the Kil a mox Inds. in the vecinity of whose village's it lay on the Strand where the waves and tide had driven up & left it.     this Skeleton measured 105 feet.     I returned to the village of 5 Cabins on the Creek which I shall call E co-la or whale Creek [today known as Ecola Creek], found the nativs busily engaged boiling the blubber, which they performed in a large Squar wooden trought by means of hot Stones; ...





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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:    Armstrong, C.H., (compiler), 1965, "History of the Oregon State Parks: 1917-1963, published by Oregon State Parks;   

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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July 2010