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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Fisher Quarry, Washington"
Includes ... Fisher Quarry ... Fishers Quarry ... Fishers Landing Quarry ... Prune Hill ... Boring Lava cone ...
Image, 2014, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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Fisher Quarry as seen from SE 192nd Ave, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 31, 2014.


Fisher Quarry ...
Also known as "Fishers Quarry" or "Fishers Landing Quarry", the Fisher Quarry lies at Columbia River Mile (RM) 116. The quarry began operations about 1881 and is still in operation today. Early rock went for the the Gray's Harbor jetty and the major part of the Columbia River jetty and rock today is used in road beds and landscaping. Fisher Quarry is located in basalt flows which erupted from a vent located on the slope of Prune Hill, a Boring Lava cone.

N.H. Darton wrote in 1909 (USGS Bulletin 387):

"... The basalt which rises in high bluffs on the north side of Fishers Landing is extensively worked in a series of large quarries. The material is taken out in large blocks for use on the jetties at the mouth of Columbia River and Grays Harbor. ...

Fisher Quarry is located a little over one mile east of Fishers Landing and approximately 3.5 miles west of the community of Camas. The edge of the Quarry can be seen from Washington State Highway 14.


Geology ...

Fisher Quarry
(45.58610°N, 122.47035°W)

"The large Fisher Quarry has been in more or less continuous operation for over a hundred years (Darton, 1909). Excavated rock is used chiefly for road base and landscaping purposes; large blocks (≥30 tons) have been used to construct jetties at the mouth of the Columbia River.

The quarry is developed in a set of flows or flow lobes that erupted from a vent located on the slope of Prune Hill to the east. Beds of agglutinated scoria and a clastogenic lava flow crop out on the steep forested south slope of Prune Hill. The lava flows exhibit well developed columnar jointing and scoriaceous flowtop breccia. At [Brady Road at SE 192nd Ave], lava rests on west-dipping scoria beds that were nicely exposed during construction of the freeway interchange in 2002."


Source:    Russ Evarts and others, 2009, The Boring Volcanic Field of Portland-Vancouver area, Oregon and Washington: Tectonically anomalous forearc volcanism in an urban setting: IN: The Geological Society of America Field Guide 15.


Image, 2015, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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"East" Fisher Quarry as seen from overlook off of SE 192nd Ave, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken May 17, 2015.
Image, 2015, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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"West" Fisher Quarry as seen from overlook off of SE 192nd Ave, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken May 17, 2015.
Image, 2015, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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"West" Fisher Quarry as seen from overlook off of SE 192nd Ave, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken May 17, 2015.


Early History ...

"Columbia basalt, an ultra-hard type of rock, was perfect for the constuction of the Columbia River Jetty -- as it could withstand the violent turbulence of the waves. Speculation at Fisher's quarry began by geologist Henry J. Biddle perhaps as early as 1881, with rock production as early as 1884. Production was in full swing by 1898. That year, Biddle partnered with C.S. Adams, A.L. Merrill, and Daniel Kern to form the Columbia Contract Company, which owned a number of barges and mining interests along the Columbia River.

"[There were] trestles where railcars filled with rock moved from the cliffs down to the dock. In 1906, according to Biddle, the quarry had "fifteen derricks of about twenty tons lifting capacity, six hundred feet of docks on navigable water, and some eighteen hundred feet of quarry face, averaging about one hundred feet high, within reach of the derricks."

"After the blasts, rock spilled loose into the pits. The crews hammered hooks into the sides of the large rocks by hand, then looped choker cables over the hooks. Derricks lifted the rocks out and into waiting cars. ... Once at the dock, crews used looped choker cables to lift the rocks from cars onto waiting barges."

"Four quarry barges carried rock to the Columbia Jetty and other coastal jetties. A loaded barge in 1911 measured 140 feet long and 40 feet wide and carried 800 tons of rock. Over the years, Fishers Quarry produced rock and gravel in addition to the giant basalt boulders used for jetty construction.

"Howard and Yale Smith started Smith Brothers Contracting in 1935. They purchased Fishers Quarry in 1943 and formed Smithrock Quarries, a multimillion-dollar family enterprise. Smithrock crushed the basalt into riprap and gravel ... and trucks replaced the old barges. ... The Umpqua Navigation Company bought the quarry about 1967 ... Umpqua split the quarry, selling the portion east of 192nd Avenue to Washington State and the rest to Peter Kiewit and Pacific Rock Products in 1984. Kiewit became the sole owner in 1999. In 2002, Rinker Materials purchased the quarry and sold it to Mexico's Cemex in 2007."


Source:    Richenda Fairhurst, 2008, "Fishers Landing", Arcadia Publishing.


Image, 1909, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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HISTORICAL PHOTO, Fisher Quarry as seen ca.1909.

"Quarry near Fishers Landing, Columbia River, Washington. Shows loading incline." Source: N.H. Darton, 1909, Structural Materials in Parts of Oregon and Washington: USGS Bulletin 387.


Riverview Gateway ...

Riverview Gateway Project:

"The SE 192nd Avenue/State Route 14 interchange serves as an eastern gateway to the City of Vancouver and surrounding areas. Access is available to downtown Vancouver, Portland airport, and fast growing areas of eastern Vancouver, Camas, and Clark County within minutes. The area's location and physical characteristics provide unique opportunities. North of the SE 192nd Avenue/State Route 14 interchange are the Fisher and WSDOT Quarries, a 186-acre mining site with sweeping views of the Columbia River and unique opportunities for urban development as they transition. South of the interchange is a wooded area including large lot riverfront properties, and the Columbia Vista Mill, all served by the Old Evergreen Highway.

The Riverview Gateway Plan is intended to capitalize on these existing strengths and future opportunities. Within the quarries, the plan envisions a future with a vibrant and urban mix of residential, commercial, office and employment uses, linked by a network of parks, trails, and open spaces with connections to surrounding neighborhoods. Riverfront lands south of SR-14 are intended to remain generally as the are, with opportunities for habitat conservation and trail access where feasible. ..."

Project Site and History:

"The project area consists of two distinct areas near the Columbia River in eastern Vancouver. Immediately north of SR-14 along SE 192nd Avenue is a 186-acre rock quarry, which is excavated below its surroundings. The western half of the quarry is owned by Pacific Rock Products, a subsidiary of CEMEX, and is usually referred to as Fisher Quarry. The eastern half of the quarry, which includes lands on both sides of SE 192nd Avenue, is currently owned by Weston Investments, and is known as the WSDOT Quarry after its previous owners. It has previously been referred to as the Smith Quarry.

Immediately south of SR-14 are larger, heavily wooded residential lots and open spaces adjacent to the Columbia River, and the Columbia Vista Mill, a specialty lumber mill with docking facilities. These properties are accessed by the Old Evergreen Highway, a two-lane roadway.

The site's location has played a major role in its history. Riverfront development and mining in the quarry dates back over 100 years under various ownerships. The area has served as a major source of materials for road construction, and of jetty rock used for building seawalls, including the jetties at the mouth of the Columbia River. Much of the quarry material has been transported via barge on the Columbia River, from a landing at the Columbia Vista Mill site, which began operation as a wood-processing mill in 1956. The Old Evergreen Highway was originally constructed in the 1920s. The other major roadways currently serving the subarea are newer. SR-14, originally known as the Lewis and Clark Highway, was constructed in its present freeway form in the 1950s. SE 192nd Avenue, and its intersection with SR-14, was constructed in 2006. ...

Mining activity in 2008 is primarily focused on rock excavation in the eastern quarry by Rinker Materials, under an agreement with Weston Investments. Excavation occurs primarily by blasting of explosives, for which Rinker Materials provides advance telephone notice to surrounding residences. Most excavated materials are processed through an on-site rock crusher, and eventually transported from the site for road construction purposes. A limted amount of ornamental rock is also being quarried."


Source:    City of Vancouver "Riverview Gateway Subarea Plan", February 2, 2009.


Columbia Vista Mill site ...
The site of the Columbia Vista Mill was once the loading docks where rock from the quarries was loaded on to barges. According to the City of Vancouver's Riverview Gateway Plan (2009):

"... Much of the quarry material has been transported via barge on the Columbia River, from a landing at the Columbia Vista Mill site, which began operation as a wood-processing mill in 1956 ..."

"Columbia Vista Corporation began in 1952. Early on the company produced green Douglas Fir and Hemlock studs. Beginning in the late 1980ís the mill was remodeled to become a Japanese cutting mill. By doing this we were able to manufacture in metric dimensions and market materials throughout the world.

The company added dry kilns in 1989 and a dry planing mill, Columbia Vista Fruit Valley, in 2004. The addition of these operational assets allowed the company to expand its product lines and markets further."


Source:    Columbia Vista Corpration website, 2015, "About Us".


Image, 2015, Columbia Vista Corporation, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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Columbia Vista Mill site, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken May 18, 2015.


The Columbia Vista Mill site was once the loading docks for the Fisher quarries.
Image, 2015, Columbia Vista Corporation, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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Columbia Vista Mill site, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken May 18, 2015.
Image, 2015, Columbia Vista Corporation, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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Columbia Vista Mill site, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken May 18, 2015.


Incline Remains ??? ...
Two large concrete structures, a rock wall, and possible quarry rip-rap found on Evergreen Highway just north of the Columbia Vista Mill site and south of the Fisher Quarry. Possible Fisher Quarry incline remains ??? ... (haven't a clue).

Image, 2015, Evergreen Highway, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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Evergreen Highway looking east with possible Fisher Quarry incline remains (???), Evergreen Highway below Fisher Quarry, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken May 18, 2015.
Image, 2015, Evergreen Highway, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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Possible incline rock wall and concrete support remains (???), Evergreen Highway below Fisher Quarry, Vancouver, Washington. Northern remains, view looking east along Evergreen Highway. Image taken May 18, 2015.
Image, 2015, Evergreen Highway, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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Possible incline concrete support remains (???), Evergreen Highway below Fisher Quarry, Vancouver, Washington. Northern cement wall, view looking at southeast corner, along Evergreen Highway. Image taken May 18, 2015.
Image, 2015, Evergreen Highway, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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Possible incline concrete support remains (???), Evergreen Highway below Fisher Quarry, Vancouver, Washington. Southern cement support on left and northern cement wall on right, with rock wall beyond, view looking west along Evergreen Highway. Image taken May 18, 2015.
Image, 2015, Evergreen Highway, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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Possible incline concrete support remains (???), Evergreen Highway below Fisher Quarry, Vancouver, Washington. Southern cement support view looking west along Evergreen Highway. Image taken May 18, 2015.


Newspapers

  • 1880 ... Quarrying ...
  • 1881 ... Portland Bridge ...
  • 1889 ... Steam Tug "Geo. H. Mendell" Ready ...
  • 1889 ... Hinkle's Quarry ...
  • 1898 ... Back in Production ...
  • 1902 ... New Rock Quarry at Bugby's Hole ...
  • 1902 ... Work at Gray's Harbor Jetty ...
  • 1903 ... Hard to Get Good Rock ...
  • 1903 ... Jetty Work Goes on Fast as Possible ...
  • 1904 ... Dumping Rock Will Be Pushed to Full Capacity ...
  • 1905 ... Work on the Jetty will be Rushed ...
  • 1908 ... Explosion Jars Portland Homes ...
  • 1913 ... Great Jetties Deepen Channel for Portland's Ships ...
  • 1914 ... Building the North Jetty ...


Quarrying ...
"The Vancouver Independent", June 17, 1880 ...
Quarrying

"Phil. Thornton went up the river on Monday with a gang of nine men to quarry stone for the Belgian pavements of Portland. He has bought the old Hicks place above Fisher's Landing, which has plenty of rock on it, and having a sub-contract from a Portland street contractor will make the chips fly during the summer."

Source:   "The Vancouver Independent", June 17, 1880, vol.5, no.43, courtesy "Clark County Historical Museum Newspapers Archive", Washington State University, Vancouver.



Portland Bridge ...
"The Vancouver Independent", March 3, 1881 ...
BRIEF MENTION

"A large force of men are now at work in the stone quarry above Fisher's Landing, getting out material for the Portland bridge."

Source:   "The Vancouver Independent", March 3, 1881, courtesy "Clark County Historical Museum Newspapers Archive", Washington State University, Vancouver.



Steam Tug "Geo. H. Mendell" Ready ...
"The Daily Morning Astorian", May 12, 1889 ...
"The GEO. H. MENDELL"


The New Government Steam Tug Ready.


The new steam tug that has been in the process of construction for the past few weeks, was successfully launched at 5 p.m. yesterday.

This boat was built under the direction of Major T.J. Handbury, the United States engineer, officer in charge of the work of improving the mouth of the Columbia river. It is to do the towing necessary to this work between Astoria and Fort Stevens and in the vicinity of the jetty. The heavy stone barges are towed between Astoria and the contractor's quarry above Fisher's landing, by the government steam Cascades. This new boat will be a valuable and necessary adjunct to the plant belonging to the work at the mouth of the river. The rock and other material used in the construction of the jetty will now be moved with regularity and dispatch.

The boat is named after Colonel George H. Mendell, corps of engineers, United States army, an officer well known throughout the country, and especially on the Pacific coast, where he has been identified professionaly for many years with all the government engineering projects, both civil and military, and with many private and corporate engineering enterprises. It is 90 feet, 6 inches in length over all, 18 feet beam and 7 feet depth of hold. The hull and cabin are built of the very best selected material."

Source:   "The Daily Morning Astorian", May 12, 1889, courtesy "Historic Oregon Newspapers" online, University of Oregon Libraries.



Hinkle's Quarry ...
"The Daily Morning Astorian", August 11, 1889 ...
"About 150 men are working at Hinkle's quarry, near Fisher's landing, where the rock is got out for the Columbia river jetty. Rock has not been furnished during the past week as rapidly as desired, but it is expected that in a few days it can be had in unlimited quantities. Two tunnels have been run 50 and 75 feet in the hill, and joined, and 600 "jags" of powder placed therein. When this goes off the folks around there will think a small secion of the day of judgement has struck that place, and the whole top of the hill will be blown off."

Source:   "The Daily Morning Astorian", August 11, 1889, courtesy "Historic Oregon Newspapers" online, University of Oregon Libraries.


Back in Production ...
"The Dalles Daily Chronicle", February 1, 1898 ...
"The quarry at Fisher's landing will soon be a scene of activity again, as the contractors intend to get the rock for the jetty [Gray's Harbor] from that place."

Source:   "The Dalles Daily Chronicle", February 1, 1898, courtesy "Historic Oregon Newspapers" online, University of Oregon Libraries.


Grays Harbor Jetty ...
"The Dalles Weekly Chronicle", February 9, 1898 ...
"Mr. Kerns, who has the contract for furnishing the rock for the jetty at Gray's Harbor, came up from Portland yesterday, accompanied by Captain Hosford. Since their arrival they have purchased the scow Wasco from Captain Donovan. This scow will be taken below in a short time and put into service transporting rock from the quarry at Fisher's Landing to the jetty. Mr. Kerns is endeavoring to purchase several other scows in this place for the same purpose, and if he is successful, they will be sent below. Mr. Kerns has a stupendous task, as he has to furnish at least 500,000 tons of rock and probably as high as a million tons."

Source:   "The Dalles Weekly Chronicle", February 9, 1898, courtesy "Historic Oregon Newspapers" online, University of Oregon Libraries.


New Rock Quarry at Bugby's Hole ...
"Morning Oregonian", February 3, 1902 ...
"New Rock Quarry at Bugby's Hole --    Captain Langfitt, United States Engineer, who has been trying to open up a stone quarry at Bugby's Hole, on the Lower Columbia from which rock for the jetty works at the mouth of the Columbia and other places can be procured, was down there Saturday and superintended the exploding of another blast. From the face of the bluff exposed by the blast exploded a short time ago, a tunnel was run in some distance and from the end of this two arms were extended. In each of these half a ton of powder was placed and properly tamped, and yesterday these charges were exploded simultaineously. The result was very satisfactory. A vast mass of rock was thrown down in which many large blocks suitable for jetty work were found, and a large face of the bluff exposed. Heretofore all rock used for jetty purposes has been forged from the quarry at Fisher's Landing on the Columbia some distance above. If a quarry of suitable rock can be developed at Bugby's Hole, transportation for a long distance will be saved, and the expense of jetty work lessened. Captain Langfitt feels very confident that he will be able to get the rock he needs from Bugby's Hole in the future."

Source:   "Morning Oregonian", February 3, 1902, courtesy "Historic Oregon Newspapers" online, University of Oregon Libraries.


Work at Gray's Harbor Jetty ...
"Morning Oregonian", April 24, 1902 ...

"Work was resumed on the construction of the jetty at the entrance to Gray's Harbor on April 12, by the contractors, Messrs. Hale & Kern, and is now under full headway. In all, some 250 men are employed on the jetty, at the quarry, and on the tugs, and barges conveying rock from the quarry at Fisher's Landing to the jetty. The tug Hercules tows the loaded barges from the quarry to Astoria, and the Sampson tows them out of the Columbia and up the coast to Gray's Harbor. A few days ago the Sampson towed a barge loaded with rock from Astoria to Gray's Harbor, and brought back an empty barge, a round trip of about 135 miles, in 13 1/2 hours. The barges are run into a slip at Gray's Harbor, where the rock is loaded on cars by the aid of derricks, and with other cars loaded with brush for mats, pushed out to the end of the jetty, where a pile-driver is at work extending the tramway. It is expected that the jetty will be completed in about five months."

Source:       "Morning Oregonian", April 24, 1902, courtesy "Historic Oregon Newspapers", University of Oregon Libraries.



Hard To Get Good Rock ...
"Morning Oregonian", May 26, 1903 ...
Hard To Get Good Rock
Therefore Work on Jetty Extension Is Delayed.


"The parties to whom was awarded the contract for furnishing rock for the extension of the Columbia River jetty have not yet signed all the papers necessary to complete the transaction. The jetty work does not get started and shipping men, pilots, etc., are troubled over the delay. No one, however, is more troubled by this delay than Major Langfitt, who has been making every effort in his power to expedite the matter, and who finally sent all the papers on the Washington. ...   The trouble is that if the contract let is not carried out, he will again have to advertise for proposals for furnishing the rock required, and this will necessarily cause more delay in getting the jetty work started.

It may seem strange to some that no suitable rock for jetty work can be found along or near the coast, but none has been found yet, though search has been made in many places. Several deposits that appeared to be solid have been found, but when tested the rock was found to be seamed and the seams "rusty", so that it would disintegrate, and so had to be rejected. The quarry at Fisher's Landing therefore has to be depended upon. The difference in the price bid by those to whom the contract was awarded and the bid for Fisher's Landing stone was so much that on the large amount of rock required it amounted to a large sum, and Major Langfitt could not help feeling that the Government was being held up by the owners of the Fisher's Landing quarry. He says he objects to being held up in matters where he alone is concerned, but still more so to this process when Government funds in his charge are involved. The owners of the Fisher's Landing quarry disclaim the idea of trying to take advantage of the Government, and say that when all is taken into consideration their offer was a reasonable one, and intimate that parties who have only unsuitable rock to offer can afford to put the price down to a low figure.

It is the opinion of many that in the end the rock for the jetty, as heretofore, will have to be obtained from Fisher's Landing, despite the efforts of Major Langfitt to procure it for a less price elsewhere. His predecessor, Major Handbury, went through the same trouble he is contending with, and tested rock from many places, none of which would answer the purpose. There may, however, be such rock as required somewhere nearer the jetty than Fisher's Landing, and it may be that the persons to whom the contract was awarded have found it, and will eventually succeed in furnishing it, but the prospects for this appear gloomy at present."

Source:   "Morning Oregonian", February 3, 1902, courtesy "Historic Oregon Newspapers" online, University of Oregon Libraries.



Jetty Work Goes on Fast as Possible ...
"Morning Oregonian", September 20, 1903 ...
FIND NO DELAY
Jetty Work Goes on Fast as Possible.

Northwest Construction Company to Deliver 1200 Tons of Stone Daily --
A.B. Hammond Criticises Unsuccessful Bidders.

"... this year's extension of the jetty was delayed months ago in the long debate over plans for the project and that since the debate was ended, the work has gone forward as fast as it could. ...

The Northwest Construction Company was awarded the contract for supplying jetty stone on May 27. Since that time it has been opening a big quarry at Bugby's, some 25 miles above Astoria, on the Oregon side of the Columbia. Meanwhile it has been temporarily shipping stone to Fort Stevens from Maygers, 18 miles above Bugby's. The total amount thus far delivered is not far form 50,000 tons. This is much less than the contract requires, but the local engineers are convinced that it is the best the contractors could do under the circumstances. This week shipments will begin from Bugby's, and by the first of next month the shipments will be increased to 2000 tons daily. Thus far the daily shipments have been between 800 and 1200 tons daily.

The Northwest Construction Company and the Astoria & Columbia Railroad are allied companies; in fact, the same men are behind both. ...   The construction company has expended more than $100,000 for machinery and labor at Bugby's, to say nothing of what has been expended at Maygers. ...

The bid of the Northwest Construction Company was a huge surprise to other contractors. It was 91 cents per ton, delivery by rail at Fort Stevens, quarry at Bugby's. The next highest bid was $1.02, presented by a Puget Sound man. The next highest was $1.25, offered by Hale & Kern, delivery by barge, quarry at Fisher's Landing.

The unsuccessful competitors have charged the War Department with favoritism in awarding the contract to the Northwest Construction Company. They have called the Bugby stone nothing but "sandstone," and have declared the chunks too small despite the testimony of the Government engineer that the stone is satisfactory. One of the chief causes of the discomfiture is that the new company is establishing a big plant which will have to be recokoned with in the future in competition for stone contracts.

Their "Colossal Blunder."

"Probably," said Mr. Hammond, "the gentlemen are disappointed at not securing the contract and losing money they never got, but really I didn't suppose their case was so serious that they must need resort to misrepresentation and obstructive tactics. However, I dont think anybody takes them seriously. They made a colossal blunder by not getting a clasue into the appropriation bill that the rock should come from their quarry. Oh, that was an awful oversight."

"Was their bid too high?"

Mr. Hammond's reply was in a judge-for-yourself tone of voice.

"They supplied stone for Gray's Harbor jetty at $1.10 a ton. They built a big plant, including five barges costing $35,000 each and one large tug. They towed the stone from Fisher's Landing, on the Columbia. They delivered it at the jetty and even put it into the jetty. All this for $1.10. They bid $1.25 for delivering simply from Fisher's Landing at the Fort Stevens wharf.

"In the one case they towed all the way from above Vancouver to Gray's Harbor for $1.10. In the other they offered to tow from the same place to Fort Stevens for $1.25. Now the natural inference would be that they either lost a great deal of money at Gray's Harbor or prepared to make a large profit at Fort Stevens."

Whereat Mr. Hammond broke off short and went about his business."

Source:   "Morning Oregonian", September 20, 1903, courtesy "Historic Oregon Newspapers" online, University of Oregon Libraries.



Dumping Rock Will Be Pushed to Full Capacity ...
"Morning Oregonian", April 12, 1904 ...
TO RUSH JETTY EXTENSION.
The Work of Dumping Rock Will Be Pushed to Full Capacity.


"Reports from the United States engineers as to the status of the work of extending the jetty at the mouth of the Columbia River are to the effect that results from the work during the past favorable weather indicate that the receipt of rock under the contract with the Northwest Construction Company will be resumed about April 20.

This means the taking on of about 60 or 70 additional men to handle the stone and run the trains and dump cars upon which the stone is haulted out on the jetty. It is expected from now on and during all the coming working season that the work of dumping rock on the jetty will be pushed to the full capacity of the working force.

A new contract has been amde with the Columbia Contract Company for delivery of stone by water from Fisher's quarry, about 9 miles above Vancouver. The commencement of the receipt of rock under this contract will largely depend upon the completion of the new wharf now being built at Fort Stevens for the accommodation of the large barges previously used by the latter company on the work at Gray's Harbor."

Source:   "Morning Oregonian", April 12, 1904, courtesy "Historic Oregon Newspapers" online, University of Oregon Libraries.


Work on the Jetty will be Rushed ...
"Morning Oregonian", April 20, 1905 ...

WORK ON JETTY WILL BE RUSHED
Advantage to be Taken of Good Weather on Columbia River Bar.
DELIVERY OF ROCK TO BEGIN IMMEDIATELY
The Government Will Give Employment to Big Capital and Many Workmen.

"Practically twice the amount of rock will be taken to the government jetty at the mouth of the Columbia river this season as was delivered last year. Delivery of material will begin next Tuesday. The Columbia Contract company, which was awarded the contract for furnishing 450,000 tons of stone from the quarry at Fisher's Landing, will deliver at the rate of 2,300 tons a day. J.W. Sweeney, who will furnish 110,000 tons from the Bunker Hill quarry will deliver at the rate of 500 tons a day the first month and 650 tons daily for each subsequent month until the contract has been completed. After the first month this will mean that the government will receive 2,950 tons of stone a day for the extension of the jetty. Last year the daily shipments amounted to only 1,500 tons.

The Columbia Contract company will have nine barges and two tugboats in commission, and 300 men employed, including those at work in the quarry. Three of the barges will be at the quarry loading, three on the way to the mouth of the river and three discharging at the jetty every day in the week when the work gets well under way. The company is having three barges built at Gray's harbor, which will be ready in May.

A big force of mechanics is employed at the Fisher quarry and the outut will be double the former capacity. The Hercules and Samson will be used as tugboats, the former taking the barges down as far as Westport and the latter towing them the remainder of the distance.

The Oregon Round Lumber company of this city will do the towing with the Glenola from the Bunker Hill quarry for J.W. Sweeney and will use three barges."

Source:       "Morning Oregonian", April 20, 1905, courtesy "Historic Oregon Newspapers", University of Oregon Libraries.


Explosion Jars Portland Homes ...
"Sunday Oregonian", February 2, 1908 ...

EXPLOSION JARS PORTLAND HOMES
Residents of Peninsula Feel Shock Resulting From Accident At Fisher Quarry.
THAWING-POWDER IGNITES
Hundred Pounds of Explosive Take Fire From Spark -- Workmen Are in Tunnel and No One Injured. Sensation Like Earthquake.

"VANCOUVER, Wash., Feb. 1. -- (Special.) -- An explosion of a hundred pounds of giant powder at Fishers Quarry, 12 miles east of here shortly after 8 o'clock tonight jarred winddows in this city and caused people to believe the shock was that of an earthquake.

Telephone messages from the quarry state that workmen were thawing the powder before a fire, from which it is believed a spark was blown by the wind, thus igniting the explosive. All the workmen were inside the tunnel at the time, and escaped injury. No damage resulted other than the loss of the powder."

SHOCK IS FELT IN PORTLAND
Residents of the Peninsula Think There Is and Earthquake.

The shock of the explosion at Fishers Landing, a point on the Columbia River 12 miles east of Vancouver, Wash., was plainly felt by the residents of Piedmont, Portmouth, University Park, North Albina and other places on the peninsula, and many believed Portland was visited by an earthquake. The tremor was severe enough to jar windows, rattle crockery and caused buildings to tremble on their foundations. Howver, the tremor did not last long and the occupants of houses wherein it was felt commenced making inquiries as to the cause of the disturbance. ..."

Source:       "Sunday Oregonian", February 2, 1908, courtesy "Historic Oregon Newspapers", University of Oregon Libraries.


Great Jetties Deepen Channel for Portland's Ships ...
"Morning Oregonian", January 1, 1913 ...

"Rock for the jetty [Columbia River South Jetty] is towed on large barges to Fort Stevens from Fisher's quarry above Vancouver, Wash. The last contract, let September 25, 1912, called for 350,000 tons of stone, and it is expected that this will complete the south jetty. At Fort Stevens the rock is hoisted from the barges to dump carts by means of 12 large derricks, and trains of 16 cars each carry it seven miles to the end of the jetty where it is dumped. In this way from 3800 to 4200 tons of rock daily is added to the jetty body. Approximately 5,000,000 tons of rock have been used. The entire trestle above the jetty is double-tracked and with the yards there is 32 miles of single track in use. Fifteen locomotives, 270 dump-cars and 35 flat-cars are used.

The work of dumping the rock at the end of the jetty is very hazardous. Here the most capable and daring workmen are employed. Frequently they work with seas dashing over them and in a wind that threatens to carry them from the trestle. Several have been blown over and lost their lives and others have been saved with difficulty. During the fiercest storms it is impossible to work on the outer sections of the jetty, but there is some unfinished work nearer shore to keep the equipment busy. ...

Image, 1913, Columbia River Jetty construction, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
NEWSPAPER ILLUSTRATION, "Great Jetties Deepen Channel For Portland's Ships", Morning Oregonian, January 1, 1913.

Already the preparatory work for the north jetty is well under way. About 25 acres of rough land has been leveled at Fort Canby, the old and almost deserted military post at North Head. This required heavy work of clearing, draining and excavating. This land will be sued as the site of the 20 or more buildings that will be required for the jetty work. ...

The heaviest part of the preliminary work is the dredging of a channel along the north side of Sand Island to Fort Canby so that equipment and rock may be towed to the jetty site without regard to tides. ...

The north jetty will be only about two and one-half miles long, or hardly more than one-third the length of the south jetty. ...   The first rock will probably be placed the coming Summer. ... "

Source:    "Morning Oregonian", January 1, 1913, courtesy "Historic Oregon Newspapers", University of Oregon Libraries.


Building the North Jetty ...
"Morning Oregonian", January 1, 1914 ...

"It took two years to prepare the north jetty surrounding for jetty-building, under the superintendence of G.T. McLean, junior engineer. Last Summer it was necessary to dredge Baker's Bay, north of Sand Island, so as to allow the large barges to come from Fisher's Quarry, back of Vancouver, over 100 miles away, and to land at Fort Canby, the rock necessary for building the jetty. An excellent quality of rock is being delivered by the Columbia Contract Company at $1.10 a ton, some of the single rocks weighing as high as 20 tons."

Source:    "Morning Oregonian", January 1, 1914, courtesy "Historic Oregon Newspapers", University of Oregon Libraries.



From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, ...
 




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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:    City of Vancouver "Riverview Gateway Subarea Plan", February 2, 2009;    Columbia Vista Corpration website, 2015, "About Us";    Darton, N.H., 1909, Structural Materials in Parts of Oregon and Washington, USGS Bulletin 387;    Evarts, R.C., Conrey, R.M., Fleck, R.J., and Hagstrum, J.T., 2009, The Boring Volcanic Field of Portland-Vancouver area, Oregon and Washington: Tectonically anomalous forearc volcanism in an urban setting: IN: The Geological Society of America Field Guide 15;    Fairhurst, R., 2008, "Images of America: Fisher's Landing", Arcadia Publishing;    University of Oregon Libraries, "Historic Oregon Newspapers", 2014;   

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 2014