Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Goat Island, Oregon"
Includes ... Goat Island ...
Image, 2004, Martin Island and Lagoon, with Goat Island in background, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Martin Island and Lagoon, Washington, with Goat Island in the background. Water/islands read from foreground to background -- Martin Slough, Martin Island, Lagoon, Martin Island, Columbia River, Goat Island, and finally the Oregon hills. Image taken April 9, 2004.


Goat Island ...
Goat Island is a small, 1.5-mile-long treed island off the east shore of Deer Island, Oregon, lying between Columbia River Mile (RM) 80 and 81. Directly across from Goat Island on the Washington side is Martin Island. In 1976 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Goat Island" the official name for this island.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 5, 1805 ...
Rained all the after part of last night, rain continues this morning, I [s]lept but verry little last night [Post Office Lake, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge] for the noise Kept dureing the whole of the night by the Swans, Geese, white & Grey Brant Ducks &c. on a Small Sand Island [one of the islands of the Ridgefield Refuge] close under the Lard. Side; they were emensely noumerous, and their noise horid- we Set out <at about Sun rise> early here the river is not more than 3/4 of a mile in width, passed a Small Prarie on the Stard. Side [quite possibly the location of today's Campbell Lake] passed 2 houses about 1/2 a mile from each other on the Lard. Side a Canoe came from the upper house, with 3 men in its mearly to view us, passed an Isld. Covered with tall trees & green briers [Bachelor Island] Seperated from the Stard. Shore by a narrow Chanel [Lake River or Bachelor Island Slough] at 9 [8?] miles I observed on the Chanel [Lake River or Bachelor Island Slough] which passes on the Stard Side of this Island [Bachelor Island] a Short distance above its lower point is Situated a large village [Cathlapotle Village, near where Lewis and Clark camped on March 29, 1806, a place now known as Wapato Portage], the front of which occupies nearly 1/4 of a mile fronting the Chanel, and closely Connected, I counted 14 houses in front here the river widens to about 1 1/2 miles. ...    about 1 1/2 miles below this village on the Lard Side behind a rockey Sharp point [Warrior Point, Sauvie Island], we passed a Chanel 1/4 of a mile wide [Multnomah Channel] which I take to be the one the Indian Canoe entered yesterday from the lower point of Immage Canoe Island [Hayden Island, at this point Lewis and Clark had not discovered Hayden Island and Sauvie Island were two separate islands]     a Some low clifts of rocks below this Chanel [St. Helens, Oregon], a large Island Close under the Stard Side opposit [Lewis River floodplain, home of Woodland, Washington, possibly more of an "island" in 1805 ???], and 2 Small Islands, below [today's Burke and Martin Islands], here we met 2 canoes from below,- below those Islands a range of high hills form the Stard. Bank of the river [Martin Bluff], the Shore bold and rockey, Covered with a thick groth of Pine     an extensive low Island [Deer Island], Seperated from the Lard side by a narrow Chanel, on this Island we Stoped to Dine I walked out found it open & covered with <Small> grass interspersed with Small ponds, in which was great numbr. of foul, the remains of an old village on the lower part of this Island, I saw Several deer ...     below the lower point of this Island [Deer Island] a range of high hills which runs S. E. forms the Lard. bank of the river the Shores bold and rockey & hills Covered with pine, [Lewis and Clark are passing Goble, Oregon, and the area around the Trojan Nuclear Power Facility     The high hills leave the river on the Stard. Side a high bottom between the hill & river [Kalama, Washington]. We met 4 Canoes of Indians from below, in which there is 26 Indians, one of those Canoes is large, and ornimented with Images on the bow & Stern. That in the Bow the likeness of a Bear, and in Stern the picture of a man- we landed on the Lard. Side & camped [near Prescott Beach, Oregon] a little below the mouth of a creek [Kalama River] on the Stard. Side a little below the mouth of which is an Old Village which is now abandaned-;     here the river is about one and a half miles wide. and deep, The high Hills which run in a N W. & S E. derection form both banks of the river the Shore boald and rockey, the hills rise gradually & are Covered with a thick groth of pine &c. The valley [Columbian Valley] which is from above the mouth of Quick Sand River [Sandy River] to this place may be computed at 60 miles wide on a Derect line, & extends a great Distanc to the right & left rich thickly Covered with tall timber, with a fiew Small Praries bordering on the river and on the Islands; Some fiew Standing Ponds & Several Small Streams of running water on either Side of the river; This is certainly a fertill and a handsom valley, at this time Crouded with Indians. The day proved Cloudy with rain the greater part of it, we are all wet cold and disagreeable- I saw but little appearance of frost in this valley which we call <Wap-pa-too Columbia> from the root or plants growing Spontaniously in this valley only ...     We made 32 miles to day by estimation-






Clark, March 27, 1806 ...
a rainey disagreeable night     rained the greater part of the night     we Set out this morning verry early [from their camp on Walker Island] and proceeded on to two houses of the Skil-lute Indians on the South Side [downstream of Rainier, Oregon] here we found our hunters who had Seperated from us last evening.     the wind rose and the rain became very hard Soon after we landed here we were very friendly receved by the natives who gave all our party as much fish as they Could eate, ...     resumed our voyage at 12 oClock. The principal village of the Skil-lutes is Situated on the lower Side of the Cow-e-lis kee river [Cowlitz River] a fiew miles from it's enterance into the Columbia. ...     The Cow e lis kee river [Cowlitz River] is 150 yards wide, is deep and from Indian information navigable a very conslderable distance for canoes. it discharges itself into the Columbia about 3 miles above a remarkable knob [Mount Coffin] which is high and rocky and Situated on the North Side of the Columbia, and Seperated from the Northern hills of the river by a Wide bottom of Several Miles, to which it united [today the cities of Longview and Kelso, Washington]. I Suspect that this river Waters the Country lying west of a range of Mountains which passes the Columbia between the Great falls and rapids, and North of the Same nearly to the low country which Commences on the N W. Coast about Latitude 4o [blank] North. ...     at the distance of 2 miles above the village at which we brackfast we passed the enterance of this river [Cowlitz River]; we Saw Several fishing camps of the Skillutes on both Sides of the Columbia, and also on both Sides of this river. ...     late in the evening we passed the place we Camped the 5th of Novr. [Prescott Beach] and Encamped about 4 miles above at the Commencement of the Columbian Vally on the Stard. Side [near Goble, Oregon] below Deer Island [Deer Island, Oregon]. ...

[between Prescott Beach and Goble lies Coffin Rock, a basalt feature on the south side of the Columbia, now located on property owned by the Trojan Nuclear Facility]

Saw Cotton wood, Sweet Willow, w[hite] oake, ash and the broad leafed ash the Growth which resembles the bark &c. these form the groth of the bottom lands, whilst the Hills are almost exclusively Covered with the various Species of fir heretofore discribed. the black alder appears on Maney parts of the hills Sides as on the bottoms. before we Set out from the 2 houses where we brackfast we Sent on two Canoes with the best hunters, with orders to pro ceed as fast as they Could to Deer island [Deer Island, Oregon] and there to hunt and wait our arrival. we wish to halt at that place and repare 2 of our Canoes if possible. the Indians that visited us this evining remained but a Short time, they passed over to an Island [Sandy Island ???] and encamped. the night as well as the day proved Cold wet and excessively disagreeable. we Came 20 miles in the Course of this day.






Clark, March 28, 1806 ...
This morning we Set out verry early [from their campsite near Goble, Oregon] and at 9 A. M. arived at an old Indian Village on the N E side of Deer island [Deer Island] where we found our hunters had halted and left one man with the Canoes at their Camp, they arrived last evening at this place, and Six of them turned out very early to hunt, at 10 A. M. they all returned to camp haveing killed Seven Deer, those were all of the Common fallow Deer with a long tail [Columbian White-tailed Deer, currently being protected in the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge]. I measured the tail of one of these bucks which was upwards of 17 inches long; they are very poor, tho' they are better than the black tail Species of the Sea coast.     those are two very distinct Species of Deer.     the Indians call this large Island E-lal-lar, or Deer Island [Deer Island] which is a very appropriate name.     the hunters informed us that they had Seen upwards of a hundred Deer this morning on this island.     the interior of this Island is a prarie & ponds, with a heavy growth of Cotton wood, ash & willow near the river.     we have Seen more water fowl on this island than we have previously Seen Since we left Fort Clatsop [Fort Clatsop, where the men wintered over], ...     at after 10 A. M. it became fair and we had the Canoes which wanted repareing hauled out and with the assistance of fires which we had kindled for the purpose dryed them Sufficiently to receve the pitch which was imedeately put on them; at 3 in the evening we had them Compleated and lanced and reloaded.     we should have Set out but some of the party whome we had permitid to hunt Since we arrived heve not yet returned.     we determined to remain here this evening [near the northern end of Deer Island] and dry our bedding &c. the weather being fair. Since we landed here we were visited by a large Canoe with ten nativs of the Quathlahpohtle nation who are numerous and reside about fourteen Miles above us on the N E. Side of the Columbia [today within the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge] above the Enterance of a Small river which the Indians call Chh-wh-na-hi-ooks [Lewis River].     we saw a great number of Snakes on this island; ...     The men who had been Sent after the deer returned with four only, the other 4 haveing been eaten entirely by the Voulturs except the Skin. The men we had been permitted to hunt this evening killed 3 deer 4 Eagles & a Duck.     the deer are remarkably pore. Some rain in the after part of the day. we only made 5 miles to day.






Lewis, March 29, 1806 ...
We set out early this morning and proceeded along the side of Deer Island [Deer Island, Oregon]; halted at 10 A. M. near its upper point and breakfasted. ...     the upper point of this Island may be esteemed the lower side or commencement of the Columbian valley.




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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: NOAA Nautical Charts, U.S. Coast Pilot for the Columbia, Willamette, and Snake River, adapted from the U.S. Coast Pilot 7, 31st Edition; McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland; Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website, 2004; Oregon State Archives website, 2005; U.S. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office (GLO) Records website, 2012; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Columbia River Fisheries Program, 2009, Presence, distribution and movement of select aquatic species in Tide Creek, Merrill Creek and Deer Island Slough, Columbia County, Oregon; U.S. Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) website, 2006.

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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January 2012