Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Grant, Oregon"
Includes ... Grant ... Rufus ... Great Flood of 1894 ...
Image, 1897 Railroad Map, Lyle to Rufus, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
HISTORICAL MAP, 1897, "Post Route Map of the State of Washington", showing the Columbia River from Lyle, Washington, to Rufus, Oregon. The now-gone community of Grant was located between Biggs, Oregon, and Rufus. Original Map courtesy Washington State Libraries, 2006.

Grant ...
Grant, Oregon, is located at Columbia River Mile (RM) 211, two miles downstream of Rufus, Oregon and three miles upstream of Biggs. Grant was wiped out during the "Great Flood of 1894".

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

"Grant (SHERMAN) ... Grant was a station on the railroad in the north part of Sherman County. A post office named Villard was established here on May 19, 1880, about the time railroad construction began. The name was changed to Grant on April 9, 1883, and the office was discontinued in 1908. Villard was in honor of Henry Villard, the great railroad man. The later name, Grant, was for William Grant of The Dalles. In 1883, the community was burned. The town site was platted in November 1883 by William Murray and W. Lair Hill. The Columbia River flood in 1894 practically wiped out the town, and citizens were forced to seek hillsides for safety."

Flood of 1894 ...
At Grant.

"Sheriff E. M. Leslie, of Sherman county, states that the entire population of Grant had been forced to remove from the town, and that a number of buildings had been washed away. Smith's store, Hale & Slade's livery stable and a number of dwelling houses have gone. The distillery remains, but is said to be badly damaged. The machine shop of Mackenzie & Sons was strongly braced, but the force of the current was so great as to almost wreck the building, though the braces held it in position. Almost all the railroad track between Grant and Arlington is reported to be destroyed, and nearly all the poles of the Western Union telegraph line are down and the whole line wrecked. The fisheries have been suffering constantly. In addition to begin forced to desist from fishing, the greater part of the wheels here have been washed away. There are now but two or three stationary wheels left."

Source:    "The Daily Astorian", June 12, 1894, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, Unviversity of Oregon Libraries, 2016.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 22, 1805 ...
A fine morning calm and fare we Set out [downstream of the John Day Dam] at 9 oClock passed a verry bad rapid [today the location of the "Sam Hill Memorial Bridge", U.S. Highway 97 crossing from Biggs Junction, Oregon, to Maryhill, Washington. The rapid, which was labeled "Five-Mile Rapid" in 1858, is now under the waters of the Lake Celilo, the reservoir behind The Dalles Dam.] at the head of an Island close under the Stard. Side [???], above this rapid on the Stard. Side is Six Lodges of nativs Drying fish [Maryhill vicinity], at 9 mls. passed a bad rapid [Deschutes Rapid, also under the waters of Lake Celilo] at the head of a large Island [Miller Island] of high, uneaven [rocks], jutting over the water, a Small Island in a Stard. Bend [???] opposit the upper point, on which I counted 20 parcels of dryed and pounded fish; on the main Stard Shore opposit to this Island five Lodges of Indians are Situated Several Indians in Canoes killing fish with gigs [Haystack Butte, Columbia Hills, vicinity], <and nets> &c. opposit the center of this Island of rocks [Miller Island] which is about 4 miles long we discovered the enterence of a large river on the Lard. Side [Deschutes River] which appeared to Come from the S. E. - we landed at Some distance above the mouth of this river [Deschutes River] and Capt. Lewis and my Self Set out to view this river above its mouth, as our rout was intersepted by a deep narrow Chanel which runs out of this river into the Columbia a little below the place we landed, leaveing a high dry rich Island of about 400 yards wide and 800 yards long here we Seperated, I proceeded on to the river and Struck it at the foot of a verry Considerable rapid [Deschutes Rapids], here I beheld an emence body of water Compressd in a narrow Chanel of about 200 yds in width, fomeing over rocks maney of which presented their tops above the water, when at this place Capt. Lewis joined me haveing ....     at about two miles above this River appears to be confined between two high hils below which it divided by numbers of large rocks, and Small Islands covered with a low groth of timber, and has a rapid as far as the narrows three Small Islands in the mouth of this River, <we returned> this River haveing no Indian name that we could find out, except "the River on which the Snake Indians live," we think it best to leave the nameing of it untill our return [Deschutes River].

we proceeded on pass the mouth of this river [Deschutes River] at which place it appears to discharge 1/4 as much water as runs down the Columbia. at two miles below this River passed Eight Lodges on the Lower point of the Rock Island [Miller Island] aforesaid at those Lodges we saw large logs of wood which must have been rafted down the To war-ne hi ooks River [Deschutes River], below this Island [Miller Island] on the main Stard Shore is 16 Lodges of nativs; here we landed a fiew minits to Smoke, the lower point of one Island opposit [???] which heads in the mouth of Towarnehiooks River [Deschutes River] which I did not observe untill after passing these lodges     about 1/2 a mile lower passed 6 more Lodges on the Same Side and 6 miles below the upper mouth of Towarnehiooks River [Deschutes River] the comencement of the pitch of the Great falls [Celilo Falls], opposit on the Stard. Side is 17 Lodges of the nativs [near Wishram, Washington]     we landed and walked down accompanied by an old man to view the falls [Celilo Falls], and the best rout for to make a portage ...     we made 19 miles to day

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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

  • McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland;

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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November 2016