Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Goble, Oregon"
Includes ... Goble ... Goble Landing ... Goble Point ... Goble's Point ... Campsite of March 27, 1806 ... Kalama-Goble Ferry ... Hunters, Oregon ... Hunter Bar ... Reuben ... Enterprise ... The Golden Age of Postcards ...
Image, 2005, Goble, Oregon, boat dock, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Goble, Oregon, boat dock. Image taken February 19, 2005.


Goble ...
Goble, Oregon, is located along the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 74, and is situated just slightly downstream of Sandy Island, and across from Kalama, Washington. Downstream on the Oregon side is Prescott Beach, Coffin Rock, and the Trojan Nuclear Facility. Upstream is Deer Island and the now-forgotten community of Hunters. Goble was named after an early homesteader, Daniel Goble. Lewis and Clark spent the night of March 27, 1806, near the location of Goble.

Image, 2005, Goble Landing boat dock, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Goble Landing boat dock, Goble, Oregon. Image taken February 19, 2005.


Campsite of March 27, 1806 ...
Lewis and Clark spent the night of March 27, 1806, near today's Goble, Oregon, a little across and upstream of the mouth of the Kalama River, Washington.

"... At night we encamped where we had plenty of good wood, oak and ash ..." [Gass, March 27, 1806]

"... we proceed on to the mo of a River named Calams River and Camped on the South Side little above Said River ..." [Ordway, March 27, 1806]

"... We continued on & passed the Mouth of a River called by the Natives Calamus, & encamped on the South side of the River a small distance above the said River. Our officers sent 6 of our hunters in Canoes to go on a head, to an Island called Deer Island, ... We encamped on the South side of the River, where we found plenty of Oak & Ash wood to make our fires with.- ..." [Whitehouse, March 27, 1806]

Lewis and Clark's previous campsite was on Walker Island, and their campsite of March 28, 1806 was on Deer Island.


Goble Landing Boat Dock ...

Image, 2005, Sandy Island from Goble Landing docks, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Downstream tip of Sandy Island, as seen from Goble Landing docks, Oregon. Image taken February 19, 2005.
Image, 2005, Goble Landing, Goble, Oregon, dock houses, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Dock houses, Goble Landing, Goble, Oregon. Image taken February 19, 2005.
Image, 2005, From Goble, Oregon, looking towards Kalama, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
From Goble, Oregon, towards Kalama, Washington. Image taken February 19, 2005.
Image, 2005, Reflection, Goble, Oregon, boat dock, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Reflection, Goble, Oregon, boat dock. Image taken February 19, 2005.


Early Goble ...
Lewis and Clark spent the night of March 27, 1806, near today's Goble, Oregon, a little across and upstream of the mouth of the Kalama River, Washington.

In 1853 Daniel Goble took up a donation land claim on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records, shows a Daniel B. Goble being issued a land title on October 15, 1873, for 172.4 acres for parts of T6N R2W Section 12, under the 1850 "Oregon-Donation Act".

The 1856 cadastral survey (tax survey) for T6N R2W, filed at the Surveyor's Office of Oregon, has the "Gobal" homestead labeled. Upstream off the Oregon shore is "Coffin Rock" and downstream towards the middle of the Columbia River is "Sandy Isd.".

The 1888 nautical chart "Columbia River, Sheet No.4, Grim's Island to Kalama", has Sandy Island labeled as "Sandy I.", and shows it directly across from the Washington town of "Kalama". Just downstream on the Oregon side is "Gobles Pt.".

Eventually Daniel Goble sold his land to George Foster, who laid out a town and named it Goble. The Goble Post Office operated between 1894 and 1960.

From the 1909 NOAA "Coast Pilot":

"... Between Astoria and Portland there are numerous landings and settlements, dependent either on the fisheries or acting in some cases as shipping points for the country immediately behind them; these are ports of call for the regular river steamers. Deep-draft vessels do not as a rule stop between Astoria and Portland, except for lumber cargoes at Rainier, Goble, Westport, Knappton, and some small mills. ..."

Goble in 1940 ...
From the Oregon State Archives "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon":

"... GOBLE, 40.6 m. (25 alt., 91 pop.), is at the former landing of the Northern Pacific Railway Ferry at Kalama, Washington, before the building of the railroad bridge between Vancouver and Portland. ..."


Street Scene ...

Image, 2007, Goble, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Goble, Oregon. View from car while driving Oregon Highway 30. Image taken February 17, 2007.


Goble Places, etc.

  • Elder Rocks ...
  • Goble to Kalama Ferries ...
  • Hunters, Hunter Bar, Reuben, and Enterprise ...

Elder Rocks ...
"Elder Rocks" is the name given to a 56-foot-high rock pillar located 1/2 mile south of Goble, at Columbia River Mile (RM) 75.

Goble to Kalama Ferries ...
Both a train ferry and a passenger ferry existed between Goble, Oregon, and Kalama, Washington. The train ferry began in 1884 and continued until 1908.
[MORE]

Penny Postcard, Northern Pacific Railroad Train crossing the Pacific on the ferry 'Tacoma', click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Northern Pacific Railroad Train crossing the Columbia on the ferry "Tacoma". Penny Postcard, Postmarked 1908, "Northern Pacific Railroad Train crossing the Columbia River on Ferry.". Published by Portland Post Card Company, Portland, Oregon (Made in Germany). Card #7009. Card is postmarked July 16, 1908. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Image, 2006, Kalama, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mural, Kalama, Washington. The Tacoma train ferry between Kalama, Washington, and Goble, Oregon. Image taken April 19, 2006


Hunters and Hunter Bar ... and Reuben and Enterprise ...
According to McArthur and McArthur in "Oregon Geographic Names" (2003, Oregon Historical Society), the Hunters Post Office was established in 1888 and served a settlement a mile or so south of Goble. Hunters was named for the Hunter family, local residents. The Hunters Post Office was closed in 1893 defering to the Reuben Post Office. Today the name has survived in Hunter Bar, the southern projection of Sandy Island. The U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Hunter Bar" (over Hunters Bar) official in 1915.

The now-forgotten community of Reuben (once known as Enterprise) was located about a mile south of Goble and was named for Reuben R. Foster, the second postmaster. The Reuben Post Office was established in 1890 and ran with one interruption until it was discontinued and defered to Goble in 1923.

The 1881 U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey map "Columbia River, Sheet 5, Kalama to Fales Landing", shows the community of "Hunters" on the downstream side at the mouth of Tide Creek, and "Enterprise Landg" across from "Sandy I.", in the approximate location of today's "Elder Rocks".

The 1888 U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey map "Columbia River, Sheet 4, Grim's Island to Kalama", shows a "Ferry" on the downstream side of Tide Creek and a "Ferry" also depicted at the northern end of the community of Kalama. "Enterprise Landg" is also shown on the Oregon side, across from Sandy Island, as is "Gobles Pt." shown across from the downstream tip of Sandy Island. The 1888 map "Columbia River Sheet 5" shows "Enterprise Landg." and "Hunters", plus the Ferry landing at Kalama.



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.



Lewis, March 27, 1806 ...
We set out early this morning [from their camp on Walker Island] and were shortly after joined by some of the Skillutes who came along side in a small canoe for the purpose of trading roots and fish. at 10 A. M. we arrived at two houses of this nation on the Stard. side [downstream of Rainier, Oregon] where we halted for breakfast. here we overtook our hunters, they had killed nothing. the natives appeared extreemly hospitable ...     resumed our voyage at 12 OCk. the principal village of these Skillutes reside on the lower side of the Cow-e-lis'-kee river, [Cowlitz River] a few miles from it's entrance into the columbia. ...     no Chinnooks come above the marshey islands [today the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge, near Cathlamet Bay] nor do the Skillutes visit the mouth of the Columbia. the Clatsops, Cathlahmahs and Wackkiacums are the carriers between these nations being in alliance with both. The Coweliskee [Cowlitz River] is 150 yards wide, is deep and from indian Information navigable a very considerable distance for canoes. it discharges itself into the Columbia about three miles above a remarkable high rocky nole [Mount Coffin] which is situated on the N. side of the river by which it is washed on the South side and is seperated from the Nothern hills of the river by a wide bottom of several miles to which it is united [today the location of Longview and Kelso, Washington]. I suspect that this river waters the country lying West of the range of mountains which pass 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 [blank] North. ...     at the distance of 2 m. above the village at which we breakfasted we passed the entrance of this river [Cowlitz River]; we saw several fishing camps of the Skillutes on both sides of the Columbia, and were attended all the evening by parties of the natives in their canoes who visited us for the purpose of trading their fish and roots; ...     late in the evening we passed our camp of the 5th of November [Prescott Beach] and encamped about 4 above [near Goble, Oregon] at the commencement of the bottom land on stard. below Deer Island [Deer Island]. we had scarcely landed before we were visited by a large canoe with eight men; ...     saw the Cottonwood, sweet willow, oak, ash and the broad leafed ash, the growth which resembles the beach &c. these form the growth of the bottom lands while the hills are covered almost exclusively with the various species of fir heretofore discribed. the black Alder appears as well on some parts of the hills as the bottoms. before we set out from the Skillute village we sent on Gibson's canoe and Drewyers with orders to proceed as fast as they could to Deer island [Deer Island] and there to hunt and wait our arrival. we wish to halt at that place to repair our canoes if possible. the indians who visited us this evening remained but a short time, they passed the river to the oposite side and encamped. the night as well as the day proved cold wet and excessively disagreeable. we came 20 miles today.





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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 Survey website, 2005, 2006; Oregon Bureau of Land Management website, 2005; U.S. Bureau of Land Management website, 2006, General Land Office Records; Washington Secretary of State website, 2004, 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