Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Eighteenmile Island"
Includes ... Eighteenmile Island ... "Chicken Charlie's Island" ...
Image, 2005, Eighteenmile Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Eighteenmile Island, Oregon. View from trail to the Mosier Twin Tunnels, Oregon. Image taken September 18, 2005.


Eighteenmile Island ...
Eighteenmile Island borders the Oregon side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 174, just downstream of Mosier, Oregon and four miles upstream of Hood River. The Dalles, Oregon, is located 16 miles upstream and The Dalles Dam, once the location of the Long and Short Narrows of The Dalles, is located 18 miles upstream. The 9-acre island can be nicely viewed from Interstate 84 which runs parallel to the Columbia River on the Oregon side. The island can also be viewed from the eastern section of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, which has it's trailhead west of Mosier. The basalts of Bingen Gap are a backdrop for the island. There is a navigational light located on a small rocky "island" off the downstream tip of Eighteenmile Island.

Image, 2005, Eighteenmile Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Eighteenmile Island, Oregon. Basalts of the Bingen Gap are in the background. View from off of Interstate 84, Oregon. Image taken August 27, 2005.
Image, 2005, Eighteenmile Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Light west of Eighteenmile Island, Oregon. Basalts of the Bingen Gap are in the background. View from off of Interstate 84, Oregon. Image taken August 27, 2005.


Early Eighteenmile Island ...
Eighteenmile Island was often called "Chicken Charlie's Island" by local residents.
"Eighteen Mile Island, west of Mosier, was often called "Chicken Island" or "Chicken Charlie's Island" (or Chick Charley Island) by local residents. Charles Reither lived on Eighteen Mile Island from 1915 up until his death in 1963. Chicken Island is in reference to a chicken ranch around 1904, but Willie Gholston claims there were never chickens on the island." ["a2zgorge.info" website, 2005]

The 1919 cadastral survey (tax survey) for T2N R11E Section 3 shows "G.W. Reither" living on "18 Mile Island".

The U.S. Bureau of Land Managements' General Land Office Records has George W. Reither being granted title to 9.75 acres of T2N R11E Section 3, on August 16, 1922 (Homestead Entry Original of 1862).

The 1934 USGS 1:125,000 topo map "The Dalles" has the island labeled as "Eighteenmile I.", and the 1946 NOAA Chart "Columbia River Bonneville to The Dalles" has the island labeled "Eighteenmile I.".


Views of Eighteenmile Island ...

Image, 2005, Eighteenmile Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Eighteenmile Island, Oregon. View from Mosier Twin Tunnels, Oregon. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, Eighteenmile Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Eighteenmile Island, Oregon. View from Mosier Twin Tunnels, Oregon. Image taken September 18, 2005.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 29, 1805, first draft ...
a Cloudy morning wind Still from th West not hard, we Set out at day light [from their camp on Rocky Island at Crates Point] proceeded on about 5 miles and Came too at a Lodge of a Chief which we made at the upper village at th falls about his house there is Six others ...    

N. 55 W. 4 miles
to a Lard. point, pasd a run on Lard Side West 8 miles to Rock Island near the middle of River passed 7 Houses of Indians about 50 men at 1 mile on the Stard Side. Brakfast Those people fish at the last narrows, & have but little pounded fish, Som dried and buries

Those people are friendly gave us to eate fish Beries, nuts bread of roots & Drid beries and we Call this the friendly Village [Dougs Beach] ...    

at 4 miles further we landed to Smoke a pipe with the people of a village of 11 houses [Lyle, Washington area] we found those people also friendly Their Village is Situated imediately below the mouth of a River [Klickitat River] of 60 yards water which falls in on the Stard. Side and heads in the mountains to the N. & N, E, the Indians inform us that this river is long <but> and full of falls no Salmon pass up it. They also inform that 10 nations lives on this river by hunting and on buries &c. The Countrey begin to be thinly timbered with Pine & low white oake verry rocky and hilley- We purchased at this vilg 4 dogs- at the end of this Course is 3 rocks, in the river and a rock point from the Lard. the middle rock is large and has a number of graves on it we call it the Sepulchar Island [Memaloose Island].     The last River we call Caterack River [Klickitat River] from the number of falls which the Indians inform is on it The Indians are afraid to hunt or be on th Lard Side of this Columbia river for fear of the Snake Ind. who reside on a fork of this river which falls in above the falls a good Situaion for winter quarters if game can be had is just below Sepulchar rock [Memaloose Island] on the Lard Side, high & pine and oake timber the rocks ruged above, good hunting Countrey back, as it appears from the river Indian village opsd. of 2 Lodgs     river 1/2 mile wide at rocks

S. 60 W. 5 miles
to a point of rocks Island in a Lard bend, passed 2 rocks in the river-     passed 2 Houses at 1 mile on the Stard Side and 2 at 4 miles on the Stard. Side     Countrey on the Lard. Side has more timber than common and looks well for huntg.     high and ruged.-

S. 80 W. 6 miles
to 4 Houses in a point of a timbered bottom on the Lard. Side at a large creek or River 40 yr. [Hood River]     passed a bottom on the Stard Side the distance in which there is 14 Indian houses-     The falls mountain covered with Snow is South [Mount Hood]

S. 70 W. 6 miles
to a high Clift of rocks Std bend [Bingen area] passed a large creek at 1 mile on the Stard. Side [White Salmon River] in which the Indians catch fish, a large Sand bar from the Lard. Side for 4 miles [below Hood River], at which place a small stream of water falls over a rock of 100 feet on the Lard Side [Wah Gwin Gwin Falls, the location of today's Columbia Gorge Hotel]     passed 4 Indian Houses at 5 miles in a bottom on the Lard Side ...

S. 56 W. 6 miles
to a point of timbr. bottom on the Lard. Side, passd. a Stard. point at 2 miles Here the mountains are high on each Side, the high points of those to the Lard. has Snow

Came too at 3 miles on this Course at 3 Houses of flatheads and Encamped on the Stard. Side [near Drano Lake and the Little White Salmon River], a Pond lies back of those people in which we Saw great numbers of the Small Swan ...





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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:   "a2zgorge.info" website, 2005; NOAA Office of Coast Survey website, 2005; U.S. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office (GLO) Records website, 2007;

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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September 2008