Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Hamilton Creek, Washington"
Includes ... Hamilton Creek ... Hamilton Springs ... Hamilton Island ... North Bonneville ... Greenleaf Slough ...
Image, 2004, Hamilton Creek, North Bonneville, Washington click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Hamilton Creek, North Bonneville, Washington. Image taken October 27, 2004.


Hamilton Creek ...
Hamilton Creek originates in the Cascades and flows south/southeast, passing between Aldrich Butte and Hamilton Mountain before it reaches North Bonneville, Hamilton Island, and the Columbia River, where it enters the river at River Mile (RM) 143. Downstream is Hardy Creek, Beacon Rock, and Woodard Creek. Upstream is Greenleaf Creek and Greenleaf Slough. Greenleaf Creek joins Hamilton Creek just upstream of the Evergreen Drive bridge, north of Washington State 14.

Samuel M. Hamilton ...
Hamilton Creek, along with Hamilton Island and Hamilton Mountain were all named for Samuel M. Hamilton of Lower Cascades, who took a Donation Land Claim on the Hamilton Creek in 1850.

Lewis and Clark and Hamilton Creek ...
Lewis and Clark passed by Hamilton Creek and Hamilton Island on October 31, 1805, calling the creek "a Brook" and Hamilton Island "Strawberry Island".

"... a Brook falls into the narrow Chanel which forms the Strawberry Island, which at this time has no running water, but has every appearance of dischargeing emence torrents ..." [Clark, October 31, 1805]

Early Hamilton Creek ...
An 1860 cadastral survey (tax survey) map for T2N R7E shows the "Hamilton Creek" name on today's the Greenleaf Slough and lower Hamilton Creek, forming the north/northwestern channel separating Hamilton Island from the Washington mainland.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database shows a Samuel M. Hamilton being issued a land title on September 20, 1870, parts of T2N R7E Sections 29 and 30, under the 1862 "Homestead Entry Original"

Edmund S. Meany wrote in "Origin of Washington Geographic Names" (1923, University of Washington Press):

"Hamilton Creek ... a tributary of the Columbia River, in the southwestern part of Skamania County. A postoffice there has the same name, though the station on the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway drops the work "Creek" in its name. Samuel Milton Hamilton and his wife Mary J. Hamilton took up a donation claim there in early days, which gave rise to the name of the creek. It is probable also that the names of Hamilton Island in the Columbia River below Cascades, and of Hamilton Mountain, four miles west of Cascade, were in honor of the same pioneers."

Robert Hitchman wrote in "Place Names of Washington" (1985, Washington State Historical Society):

"Hamilton Creek ... The head of the stream heads at Three Corner Rock, southeast Skamania County; flows 9 miles south by east to Columbia River at Hamilton Island near Greenleaf. It was named for Samuel M. Hamilton of Lower Cascades, who took a Donation Land Claim on the creek in 1850, and survived the 1856 Indian attack at the Cascades."

Hamilton Creek and the Bonneville Dam ...
"... This creek historically entered a side channel of the Columbia River between the mainland and Hamilton Island. During construction of the second powerhouse at Bonneville Dam, the upstream portion of the side channel was filled to join Hamilton Island to the mainland and the downstream portion became an extension of Hamilton Creek. Hamilton Creek now flows directly into the Columbia River mainstem. In the early 1960s, an artificial spawning channel was constructed in the lower section of Hamilton Creek and is referred to as “Hamilton Springs”. Hamilton Springs provides the majority of spawning habitat in this drainage. ..."


Source:    Bonneville Power Administration website, 2006.

Chum Salmon ...
Hamilton Creek supports one of the last remaining runs of chum salmon on the Columbia River. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Columbia River Fisheries Program's FY2000 Annual Report, in the early 1960s, an artificial spawning channel was constructed in the lower section of Hamilton Creek and is referred to as "Hamilton Springs". Hamilton Springs provides the majority of spawning habitat in the Hamilton Creek drainage. Water flow is largely controlled by groundwater springs which provide a very stable environment for chum salmon.

Nearby Hardy Creek also supports a chum salmon run.


Views ...

Image, 2014, Hamilton Creek, North Bonneville, Washington click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Hamilton Creek looking upstream from Evergreen Drive Bridge, North Bonneville, Washington. Image taken March 21, 2014.
Image, 2014, Hamilton Creek, North Bonneville, Washington click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Greenleaf Creek where it joins Hamilton Creek, looking upstream from Evergreen Drive Bridge, North Bonneville, Washington. Image taken March 21, 2014.
Image, 2014, Hamilton Creek, North Bonneville, Washington click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Hamilton Creek, looking downstream from Evergreen Drive Bridge, North Bonneville, Washington. The Railroad bridge is in the foreground with Washington Highway 14 bridge in the background. View from Evergreen Drive. Image taken March 21, 2014.
Image, 2014, Hamilton Creek, North Bonneville, Washington click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Hamilton Creek, looking downstream from Evergreen Drive Bridge, North Bonneville, Washington. The Railroad bridge is in the foreground with Washington Highway 14 bridge in the background. View from Evergreen Drive. Image taken March 21, 2014.


View from Washington Highway 14 ...

Image, 2013, Hamilton Creek, North Bonneville, Washington click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Hamilton Creek, North Bonneville, Washington. View from while driving Washington State Highway 14. The Railroad bridge is in the foreground (sits higher) with Evergreen Drive bridge in the background (sits lower). Image taken February 19, 2013.
Image, 2015, Hamilton Creek, North Bonneville, Washington click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Hamilton Creek, North Bonneville, Washington. View from while driving Washington State Highway 14. The Railroad bridge is in the foreground (sits higher) with Evergreen Drive bridge in the background (sits lower). Image taken August 26, 2015.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 31, 1805 ...




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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:
  • Bonneville Power Adminstration Environment, Fish & Wildlife website, 2006;
  • Hitchman, R., 1985, "Place Names of Washington", Washington Historical Society;
  • Meany, E.S., 1923, "Origin of Washington Geographic Names", University of Washington Press, Seattle;
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Columbia River Fisheries Program Office, 2000, "Evaluate Factors Limiting Columbia River Gorge Chum Salmon Populations", BPA Contract #2000-012, FY200 Annual Report;


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.
/Regions/Places/hamilton_creek.html
June 2014