Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Home Regions Campsites Penny Postcards My Corps of Discovery Image Index Links About This Site Main Menu
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"La Center, Washington"
Includes ... La Center ... La Center Bottoms ... Brezee Creek ... East Fork Lewis River ...
Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.


La Center ...
La Center, Washington, is located on the northern bank of the East Fork Lewis River at River Mile (RM) 3, at a spot where Brezee Creek enters the E.F. Lewis. Two miles west lies Paradise Point State Park and three miles west the East Fork merges with the mainstem Lewis River. Four and 1/2 miles to the southwest is the community of Ridgefield and five miles to the northwest is the community of Woodland. La Center is located in T4N R1E, with the downtown located in Section 3.

Early La Center ...
According to "Place Names of Washington" (Hitchman, 1985) and "Names in Clark County" ("The Columbian", 2014):

"La Center:   Town on East Fork, Lewis River, 15 miles north of Vancouver, west Clark County. The name originated when the town was head of navigation on the river here, and the center of shipping and travel in this area." [Hitchman, 1985, "Place Names of Washington]

"La Center:   This town was platted by John Timmen, and was at first called Timmen’s Landing. The area was head of navigation on the Lewis River and center of shipping and travel. It was renamed as “the Center” of commerce. A descriptive name referring to the town’s geographical position, La Center!" ["The Columbian", 2014, "Names in Clark County]

According to the "Oregon City Enterprise", November 12, 1875:

"John H. Timmon has laid out a town at what is known as "Timmon's Landing", on Lewis river, Clarke county, W.T. The new town has been christened "Lacenter."" ["Oregon City Enterprise", November 12, 1875, coutesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2018]

However, according to the City of La Center's Comprehensive Plan, 2016-2035:

"The earliest Euro-American settlers to stake a claim in the area were John Pollack in 1849 and John H. Timmen and Aurelius Wilkens who staked claim upriver in 1852. The early homesteaders cleared farms and grazed cattle. By 1870, sternwheelers (or lighter boats, when the water was low) plied the East Fork Lewis River trading dry goods and groceries for cash, butter, eggs and honey. In 1872, at the site of present-day La Center, sternwheeler captain William G. Weir built a house and opened a store and a post office. Mr. Timmen filed the town's first plat in 1875, naming the community "Timmen's Landing".

Important events in the town's early history include:

  • 1876 -- The region's first commercial logging operations were underway.
  • Mid-1880s -- the town included two hotels, a Methodist church, a grist mill, a brickyard, a post of the Grand American Army of the Republic, and a grange hall.
  • 1888 -- the town's name changes to "La Center".
  • ...

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database shows John H. Timmen being granted title to 80 acres of T4N, R1E, Section 3 on April 2, 1866 (1820 Sale-Cash Entry), 80 acres of T4N R1E, Section 2 on July 2, 1866 (1820 Sale-Cash Entry), and 158.57 acres of T4N R1E, Section 3 on September 1, 1869 (1862 Homestead EntryOriginal), all within Clark County. In Cowlitz County the database shows John H. Timmen being granted title to 237.65 acres of T5N R1W, Section 35 on July 2, 1866 (1820 Sale-Cash Entry).


Street Scenes ...

Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Street scene, La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Street scene, La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2008, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Lucky Dragon Restaurant, La Center, Washington. Image taken February 10, 2008.
Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Lil General Store", La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Rancho Viejo Restaurant, La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Rancho Viejo Restaurant, La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2008, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Totem, La Center, Washington. Image taken February 10, 2008.


La Center, etc.

  • Brezee Creek ...
  • Cardrooms/Casinos ...
  • East Fork Lewis River ...
  • La Center Bottoms ...
  • Sternwheeler Park ...
  • Sternwheeler Park Amphitheater ...


Brezee Creek ...
Brezee Creek flows on the east side of La Center and merges into the East Fork Lewis River at River Mile (RM) 3.25.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database shows Andrew A. Brezee being granted title to 158.15 acres in T4N R1E, Section 3, on September 1, 1869 (1862 Homestead Entry Original). Today's Brezee Creek runs straight through this land claim (DLC).


Image, 2008, La Center Bottoms, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Brezee Creek, La Center Bottoms, La Center, Washington. Image taken February 10, 2008.
Image, 2008, La Center Bottoms, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Brezee Creek, La Center Bottoms, La Center, Washington. Image taken February 10, 2008.


Cardrooms/Casinos ...
For many years the community of La Center had four cardrooms/casinos: Chips, The Palace, The Last Frontier, and The New Phoenix. Competing for patrons, Chips, after being open for 16 years, struggled and closed on January 20, 2014, leaving La Center with only three cardrooms/casinos. These remaining cardrooms ran into a problem in 2017 however, when the Cowlitz Tribe's massive casino "Ilani" opened in Ridgefield, just two miles away (as the crow flies). La Center's The New Phoenix Casino closed in March 2017. As of 2018, The Palace and The Last Frontier are still operating.

Image, 2008, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
The Palace, La Center, Washington. Image taken February 10, 2008.
Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
The Palace, La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
The Last Frontier, La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2008, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Chips Casino, La Center, Washington. Image taken February 10, 2008.
Image, 2008, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Chips Casino, La Center, Washington. Image taken February 10, 2008.
Image, 2008, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
The New Phoenix, La Center, Washington. Image taken February 10, 2008.
Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
The New Phoenix, La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
The New Phoenix, La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.


East Fork Lewis River ...
[More]

Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Fork Lewis River at La Center, Washington. View looking downstream from NW Lacenter Road bridge. Image taken September 19, 2018.


La Center Bottoms ...
The community of La Center lies on the north bank of the East Fork Lewis River at River Mile (RM) 3. On the south and east is the flood plain of the East Fork, called "La Center Bottoms".

According to the City of La Center's Comprehensive Plan, 2016-2035:

"As it enters town, the East Fork slows form its earlier cascade and forms a broad river basin known as the La Center Bottoms that includes a wildlife sanctuary teeming with aquatic birds and animals. A challenge for the community is to preserve the bottomlands and to help restore the water quality of the river, a critical habitat for birds, sea-running fish and other aquatic species."

Image, 2008, La Center Bottoms, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
La Center Bottoms, La Center, Washington. Image taken February 10, 2008.
Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
La Center Bottoms, La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Drainage, La Center Bottoms, La Center, Washington. Drainage channel from the "bottoms" into Brezee Creek, which enters the East Fork Lewis River. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2018, Brezee Creek entering the E.F. Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Brezee Creek entering the East Fork Lewis River, La Center, Washington. View from "La Center Bottoms", looking at NW Lacenter Rd. crossing the E.F. Lewis River. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2008, Brezee Creek entering the E.F. Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Brezee Creek entering the East Fork Lewis River, La Center, Washington. View from "La Center Bottoms", looking at NW Lacenter Rd. crossing the E.F. Lewis River. Image taken February 10, 2008.
Image, 2018, La Center Bottoms, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
La Center Bottoms, La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2018, La Center Bottoms, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bird Blind, La Center Bottoms, La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2009, La Center Bottoms, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Snake, La Center Bottoms, La Center, Washington. Image taken November 8, 2009.
Image, 2009, La Center Bottoms, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Song Sparrow, La Center Bottoms, La Center, Washington. Image taken November 8, 2009.


Sternwheeler Park ...
"Sternwheeler Park is no slouch ... It's got a beautiful terraced amphitheater and gazebo, an ideal setting for musicians sending out sweet tunes on warm Saturday nights." -- ["The Columbian", June 30, 2017]

"... Folks hurried down to the dock as clouds of steam and clanging bells announced the arrival of each boat. William Weir, one of the early settlers of LaCenter, captained the "Swallow" in 1874 up the river to Timmen's Landing on a dredged East Fork. The "Charm," "Mascot," and "Speilei" were just a few of the boats that plied these waters hauling people and goods. Stern-wheelers only need a foot of water or less -- a very important advantage -- and, even so, part of the year they couldn't come up to LaCenter. For more than 50 years, boats such as these were the river's main system of transportation."


Source:    Information sign, Sternwheeler Park, La Center, Washington, visited September 19, 2018.

Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sternwheeler Park, La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sternwheeler Park, La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sternwheeler Park, La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.


Sternwheeler Park Amphitheater ...

Image, 2009, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Amphitheater, Sternwheeler Park, La Center Bottoms, La Center, Washington. Image taken November 8, 2009.
Image, 2009, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sternwheeler Park, La Center Bottoms, La Center, Washington. Image taken November 8, 2009.
Image, 2009, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sternwheeler Park, La Center Bottoms, La Center, Washington. Image taken November 8, 2009.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, ...
 




Vancouver PlainsReturn to
Menu
 



SNAKE RIVER CONFLUENCE | COLUMBIA PLATEAU
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE | VANCOUVER PLAINS | JOURNEY TO THE PACIFIC
CAMPSITES


HOME | REGIONS | PENNY POSTCARDS | MY CORPS OF DISCOVERY
IMAGE INDEX | LINKS | ABOUT THIS SITE


COLUMBIA RIVER IMAGES - HOME
NORTHWEST JOURNEY - HOME
NORTHWEST BIRDING
RIDGEFIELD NWR - BIRDS
COMPLETE BIRD LIST - PHOTOS
THE BARLOW ROAD
THE COLUMBIA RIVER HIGHWAY
WILDFLOWERS and WEED BLOSSOMS



*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:
  • City of La Center, March 23, 2016, "La Center's Comprehensive Plan, 2016-2035";
  • "The Columbian", 2014, "Clark History, Names in Clark County";
  • "The Columbian", 2017, "Saturdays bring the tunes to La Center", by Scott Hewitt, June 20, 2017;
  • Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2018;
  • Hitchman, R., 1985, "Place Names of Washington", Washington Historical Society Press;
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database, 2018;


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/la_center.html
© 2017, Lyn Topinka, "ColumbiaRiverImages.com", All rights reserved.
Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
September 2018