Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Lieser Point, Washington"
Includes ... Lieser Point ... "Leiser Point" ... "Seiser Point" ...
Image, 2007, Lieser area, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
End of the road, Lieser area, Vancouver, Washington. Looking south towards the Columbia River. Image taken December 30, 2007.

Lieser Point ...
Lieser Point is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 110.5. Upstream is the Image and Ellsworth areas and the Interstate 205 Bridge. Downstream is Wintler Park and Tidewater Cove. Across the river on the Oregon side is Broughton Beach and the Portland International Airport.

Early Lieser Point ...
Lieser Point takes its name after an early settler, Louis Lieser, who took a Donation Land Claim along the Columbia River in 1851.

Various spellings for Lieser Point have been "Leiser Point" and "Seiser Point". The U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Lieser Point" official in 1962.

The 1852 Cadastral Survey (tax survey) for T1N R2E shows a road from the area of todays Lieser Point, follows the Columbia River until it reaches the Hudson's Bay Company Mills (today the location of the Vancouver Trout Hatchery), swings inland and then heads once again south ending at the location of today's Fishers Landing. A farming area is depicted at Lieser Point.

The 1863 Cadastral Survey (tax survey) has "Lewis Seiser" having 639.87 acres (claim no.62) for T2N R2E Section 32, and 2.24 acres (claim no.44) for T1N R2E Section 5.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office Records website (2007) shows a listing for Eliza Heirs of Sieser, and Louis Sieser being granted title to 637.11 acres on September 20, 1866, for parts of T1N R2E Section 5, and T2N R2E Sections 29, 30, 31, and 32, under the Oregon-Donation Act of 1850.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office Records website (2007) also shows a Louis Lieser being granted title to 240 acres a few miles north in T3N R2 Sections 11 and 12 (the Orchards area) on December 20, 1867 (Sale-Cash Entry of 1820) and 320 acres of T3N R2E Sections 2 and 11 on September 20, 1869 (Sale-Cash Entry of 1820).

The 1888 "Clarke County, Washington Territory" map shows a Donation Land Claim in Section 32 for "L. Leiser".

Image, 2006, Washington shore from Tidewater Cove, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Washington shore from Tidewater Cove, looking upstream on the Columbia River. Looking upstream towards the beaches of Wintler Park towards Lieser Point. The tip of Lieser Point lies just beyond the trees. Mount Hood and the Interstate 205 Bridge are on the right. Image taken October 9, 2006.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 4, 1805 ...
A cloudy cool morning wind from the West we Set out at 1/2 past 8 oClock [from their camp on the north side of Government Island, approximately across from Fisher's Landing], one man Shannon Set out early to walk on the Island [Government Island] to kill Something, he joined us at the lower point with a Buck. This island is 6 miles long and near 3 miles wide thinly timbered     (Tide rose last night 18 inches perpndicular at Camp) near the lower point of this diamond Island [Government Island] is The head of a large Island Seperated from a Small one by a narrow chanel [Lewis and Clark show two large islands on their maps, both in today's Government Island area], and both Situated nearest the Lard Side, those Islands [even today the Government Island reach is a complex of many islands] as also the bottoms are thickly Covered with Pine &c. river wide, Country low on both Sides; [since 1983 the Interstate 205 bridge crosses Government Island connecting Oregon to Washington]     on the Main Lard Shore a Short distance below the last Island we landed at a village of 25 Houses: [near Portland International Airport]; ...     This village contains about 200 men of the Skil-loot nation ...

at 7 miles below this village passed the upper point of a large Island [Hayden Island] nearest the Lard Side, a Small Prarie [Jolie Prairie, today the location of Fort Vancouver and Pearson Airpark. Lewis and Clark camp on this prairie on their return] in which there is a pond [one of the many ponds which use to dot this area] opposit on the Stard. here I landed and walked on Shore, about 3 miles a fine open Prarie for about 1 mile, back of which the countrey rises gradually and wood land comencies Such as white oake, pine of different kinds, wild crabs with the taste and flavour of the common crab and Several Species of undergroth of which I am not acquainted, a few Cottonwood trees & the Ash of this countrey grow Scattered on the river bank, ...     joined Capt. Lewis at a place he had landed with the party for Diner. ...

dureing the time we were at dinner those fellows Stold my pipe Tomahawk which They were Smoking with [Tomahawk pipe, thus giving rise to the name Tomahawk Island] ...    we proceeded on

[The men have passed through the area which, 20 years later, Dr. John McLoughlin would choose for a trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company, later to become Fort Vancouver and eventually the city of Vancouver, Washington.]

met a large & a Small Canoe from below, with 12 men the large Canoe was ornimented with Images carved in wood the figures of <man &> a Bear in front & a man in Stern, Painted & fixed verry netely on the <bow & Stern> of the Canoe, rising to near the hight of a man [Lewis and Clark then named Hayden Island "Image Canoe Island"]     two Indians verry finely Dressed & with hats on was in this canoe passed the lower point of the Island [Hayden Island] which is nine miles in length haveing passed 2 Islands on the Stard Side of this large Island [the location of Vancouver Landing and since 1917 the Interstate 5 Bridge connecting Oregon to Washington State], three Small Islands at its lower point [The downstream end of Hayden Island was at one time composed of small islands. One of these, Pearcy Island, would become today's Kelley Point.]. the Indians make Signs that a village is Situated back of those Islands on the Lard. Side and I believe that a Chanel is Still on the Lrd. Side [it wasn't until Lewis and Clark's return trip they would discover the mouth of the Willamette River] as a Canoe passed in between the Small Islands, and made Signs that way, probably to traffick with Some of the nativs liveing on another Chanel, at 3 miles lower [Sauvie Island is located at this stretch, but it is not until the return that Lewis and Clark recognize it as a separate island], and 12 Leagues below quick Sand river [Sandy River] passed a village of four large houses on The Lard. Side [on Sauvie Island], near which we had a full view of Mt. Helien [Mount St. Helens, Washington] which is perhaps the highest pinical in America from their base it bears N. 25 E about 90 miles- This is the mountain I Saw from the Muscle Shell rapid [Umatilla Rapids, Captain Clark actually saw Mount Adams] on the 19th of October last Covered with Snow, it rises Something in the form of a Sugar lofe- about a mile lower passed a Single house on the Lard. Side, and one on the Stard. Side, passed a village on each Side and Camped near a house on the Stard. Side [Post Office Lake vicinity, today within the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge] we proceeded on untill one hour after dark with a view to get clear of the nativs who was constantly about us, and troublesom, finding that we could not get Shut of those people for one night, we landed and Encamped on the Stard. Side ...

This evening we Saw vines much resembling the raspberry which is verry thick in the bottoms. A range of high hills at about 5 miles on the Lard Side [Portland's West Hills'] which runs S. E. & N W. Covered with tall timber the bottoms below in this range of hills and the river is rich and leavel, Saw White geese with a part of their wings black. The river here is 1 miles wide, and current jentle. opposite to our camp on a Small Sandy Island [one of the small sandy islands prevelent in this stretch of the Columbia. Today the Willow Bar Islands on the east side of Sauvie Island lie across from Post Office Lake.] the brant & geese make Such a noise that it will be impossible for me to Sleap. we made 29 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

  • "Columbian.com" History website, 2007;
  • "Rootsweb.com" website, 2007;
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management General Land Office (GLO) Records website, 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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February 2007