Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Goble, Oregon"
Includes ... Goble ... Goble Landing ... Goble Point ... Goble's Point ... Campsite of March 27, 1806 ... Elder Rocks ... Centennial Queen ... River Queen ... S.S. Shasta ... Kalama-Goble Ferry ... Hunters, Oregon ... Hunter Bar ... Reuben ... Enterprise ...
Image, 2005, Goble, Oregon, boat dock, click to enlarge
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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
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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.


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.

According to "Oregon Geographic Names" (2003, McArthur and McArthur):

"Goble (COLUMBIA) ... This place was first settled by Daniel B. Goble in April 1853. He took up a donation land claim and later sold it to George S. Foster, who laid out the town and named it for the previous owner. Goble was born in Ohio in 1815 and arrived in Oregon in August 1852. His land office certificate was numbered 4157. Before the railroad bridge was built across the Columbia River at Vancouver, Goble was the Oregon terminus for the trains ferry to the Washington side at Kalama. Goble post office operated from 1894 to 1960."

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database, shows Daniel B. Goble being granted title to 172.4 acres for parts of T6N R2W Section 12, on October 15, 1873 (1850 "Oregon-Donation Act").

The 1856 cadastral survey (tax survey) for T6N R2W shows "Coffin Rock" in Section 2, the "Gobal" homestead in Section 12, and "Sandy Isd." upstream of Goble in the middle of the Columbia River.

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. ..."


Views ...

Image, 2007, Goble, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Goble, Oregon. View from car while driving Oregon Highway 30. Image taken February 17, 2007.
Image, 2016, Goble, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Goble Landing, Goble, Oregon. Image taken September 9, 2016.
Image, 2016, Goble, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Tracks at Goble Landing, Goble, Oregon. View looking northwest. Image taken September 9, 2016.
Image, 2016, Goble, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Goble Landing Store, Goble, Oregon. Image taken September 9, 2016.
Image, 2015, Goble, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Goble Landing Store, Goble, Oregon. Image taken April 19, 2015.
Image, 2013, Goble, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Purple Martins, Goble Landing, Oregon. Image taken May 31, 2013.


Goble, etc.

  • Elder Rocks ...
  • Goble Landing Boat Dock ...
  • Goble to Kalama Ferries ...
  • Hunters, Hunter Bar, Reuben, and Enterprise ...
  • Hunters Post Light ...
  • Hunter Post Light, 1901 ...
  • "River Queen" ("S.S. Shasta", "Centennial Queen") ...

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.

Quite possibly named after the steamer "George W. Elder", who grounded there in 1905. Removal of the steamer wasn't accomplished until 1906.

"The steamer Geo. W. Elder is on the rocks near Goble, in the Columbia river, and cannot be gotten off. Her equipment will be saved and put to other use." ... ["Oregon City courier", January 27, 1905, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2015.]

"The steamer George W. Elder is on the rocks near Goble, in the Columbia river, and cannot be gotten off. She will be stripped of her equipments and a new boat will be built." ... ["Roseburg Plaindealer", February 6, 1905, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2015.]


STEAMER STRIKES ROCK AND
SINKS IN COLUMBIA RIVER

The George W. Elder Goes to the
Bottom, but ALl on Board
Are Saved

By Associated Press.

PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 22. -- The steamship George W. Elder, which left Portland last night for San Francisco, struck a rock in the Columbia river near Globe, forty miles from here, about midnight and stove a hole in her port side a short distance forward of amidships and she sank in about fifteen feet of water. The accident was caused by the rudder becoming fouled by a snag. While in this helpless condition before she could be stopped she left the channel and piled upon a jagged rock which lies near the bank of the river.

The river steamer Hassalo, which left the city for Astoria about the same time as the Elder, went to the assistance of the steamer and brought her passengers back to this city.

A force of longshoremen was sent immediately to the disabled vessel for the purpose of unloading her, which will consume about two days. The Elder will be brought to this city and dry-docked, when the full extent of the damage will be made known."


Source:    "Los Angeles Herald", January 23, 1905, Vol.32, No.114, courtesy California Digital Newspaper Collection, 2015.



Memoranda.

PORTLAND, Jan.23. -- Water is rising rapidly in the hold of the steamer George W. Elder, previously reported beached near Gobel. Most of the cargo has escaped damage and been removed to this city."


Source:    "San Francisco Call", January 24, 1905, Vol.97, Number 55, courtesy California Digital Newspaper Collection, 2015.


"W.H. Baker, who superintends the floating of the steamer Geo. W. Elder, came up from Goble yesterday to secure another anchor to be used in keeping the wreck from going ashiore while being raised. Mr. Baker says he expects to float the Elder Saturday if the wind dies down or shifts to the north." ... ["Morning Oregonian", May 17, 1906, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2015.]

Penny Postcard, 'Geo.W.Elder' in drydock, Portland, click to enlarge
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Penny Postcard: "The Geo. W. Elder in drydock, Portland, Oregon". Penny Postcard, Divided Back (1907-1915), "The Geo. W. Elder in Drydock., Portland, Oregon.". Edward H. Mitchell Publisher, San Francisco. Printed in the United States. Card #1021. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.


Goble Landing Boat Dock ...

Image, 2005, Sandy Island from Goble Landing docks, click to enlarge
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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
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Dock houses, Goble Landing, Goble, Oregon. Image taken February 19, 2005.
Image, 2005, From Goble, Oregon, looking towards Kalama, Washington, click to enlarge
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From Goble, Oregon, towards Kalama, Washington. Image taken February 19, 2005.
Image, 2005, Reflection, Goble, Oregon, boat dock, click to enlarge
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Reflection, Goble, Oregon, boat dock. Image taken February 19, 2005.


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, Ferry Tacoma, Columbia River, click to enlarge
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Penny Postcard: Northern Pacific Railroad Train crossing the Columbia on the ferry "Tacoma". Penny Postcard, Divided Back (1907-1915), "Northern Pacific Railroad Train crossing the Columbia River on Ferry.". Postmarked July 16, 1908. Published by Portland Post Card Company, Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash. Made in Germany. Card No.7009. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Image, 2006, Kalama, Washington, click to enlarge
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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 "Oregon Geographic Names" (2003, McArthur and McArthur, 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.



Hunters Post Light ...
According to the 1895 "Lights and Fog Signals of the United States" (1895, Government Printing Office) the Hunters Post Light is a fixed white light located on the east side of a railroad wharf at Hunters, Oregon. The light is suspended from an arm on a natural colored pile. It was established in 1891.


Hunter Post Light, 1901 ...
Notice to Mariners.

"Notice is hereby given that on or about November 8, 1901, the following changes will be made in the post lights along the Columbia River:

Mount Coffin stone crusher post light will be discontinued, and a red light established on the wharf at Slaughter, Wash.

Hunter post light will be moved down stream about one-quarter of a mile.

Knapp Landing post light will be moved down stream a short distance and placed on the front range beacon and a light established on the rear range beacon to form a range in the crossing from Knapp's Landing to Reeder's Landing.

W.P. Day,
Commander, U.S.N., Lighthouse Inspector."



Source:    "Sunday Oregonian", November 3, 1901, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspaper Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2018.


"River Queen" ("S.S. Shasta", "Centennial Queen") ...
Today's "River Queen", now moored upstream of Goble (2016), was built in 1922 as the ferry the "S.S. Shasta". She worked the San Francisco Bay until 1937 when the Bay Bridge opened. Between 1941 and 1958 the "Shasta" worked runs in Puget Sound, and in 1959 she was moved to Portland, renamed "Centennial Queen", and ran routes up and down the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, celebrating Oregon's 100th anniversary. Finally, the "S.S. Shasta/Centennial Queen" became the "River Queen", a floating restaurant docked along Portland's waterfront. The restaurant closed in 1995 and the "River Queen" was moved to St. Helens. Today (2016) she is moored along the Oregon shore between St. Helens and Goble.

Penny Postcard, Centennial Queen, Portland, click to enlarge
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Penny Postcard: "The CENTENNIAL QUEEN". Divided Back. Penny Postcard postmarked 1959. Color Photo by Georg Nilsen. Published by Western Color Sales Inc., Portland, Oregon. Card #K-1860. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Caption on back reads: "The "CENTENNIAL QUEEN", river excursion boat which plies the Willamette from Portland to its mouth and up the Columbia, passing through the Burnside Bridge in mid-Portland."
Image, 2004, Goble, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"River Queen" (upper right) as seen from Goble, Oregon. Image taken February 28, 2004.
Image, 2016, Goble, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"River Queen" as seen from Goble, Oregon. Image taken September 9, 2016.
Image, 2013, Goble, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"River Queen" (through trees), docked upstream of Goble, Oregon. Image taken January 11, 2013.
Image, 2015, Goble, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"River Queen" (through trees), docked upstream of Goble, Oregon. Image taken April 19, 2015.


"The Golden Age of Postcards" ...

The early 1900s was the "Golden Age of Postcards", with the "Penny Postcard" being a popular way to send greetings to family and friends. The postcards now have become a image of history.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 5, 1805 ...





Clark, March 27, 1806 ...


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:
  • "evergreenfleet.com" website, 2015;
  • Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2018;
  • 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's General Land Office (GLO) Records database, 2005, 2006;
  • 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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March 2018