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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Maryhill Museum, Washington"
Includes ... Maryhill ... Maryhill Museum ... Sam Hill Country ... National Register of Historic Places ...
Image, 2003, Maryhill Museum, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Maryhill Museum, Washington. Image taken July 5, 2003.


Maryhill Museum ...
The Maryhill Museum is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 205 and can be reached from Washington State Highway 14. Upstream is the "Sam Hill Memorial Bridge" and Stonehenge Memorial, and downstream is Haystack Butte and the Deschutes River. Maryhill Museum began being built in 1914 as a "castle" for entepreneur Samuel Hill's daughter "Mary". It was located on a hill three miles west of his planned community which he called "Maryhill". The Maryhill home was completed in 1940 as the Maryhill Museum of Art. The Museum was designed by the historic firm of Hornblower & Marshall, and is constructed of steel I-beams with interior steel studs. The walls, floors, and ceilings are of poured concrete reinforced with steel. No wood was used in the structural parts of the building. The recessed windows are a distinctive trademark of the firm.

Lewis and Clark passed this area on October 22, 1805, on their way to the Pacific. On their return in 1806 they traversed the top of the Columbia Hills behind the Museum and looked down on the Columbia River. Their campsite of April 21, 1806 was downstream from Maryhill at Haystack Butte.

The Maryhill Museum of Fine Arts was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 (Building - #74001966).


Maryhill Geology ...
Maryhill Museum sits on a bench lying 800 feet above the Columbia, on the north side of the river; a bench made of 14.5-million-year-old Priest Rapids lava, a member of the Wanapum Basalt of the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG). This bench, in some areas nearly one mile wide, was carved by the massive power of the Missoula Floods. North of the museum, the Columbia Hills rise to an elevation of nearly 2,800 feet and overlook the Columbia River valley below.

Image, 2005, Maryhill Museum, Washington, as seen from Interstate 84, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Maryhill Museum and the Columbia Hills, Washington, as seen from Interstate 84, Oregon. Image taken September 24, 2005.


Maryhill Museum in 1940 ...
From the Oregon State Archives "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon":

"... Right on US 97 to the Maryhill ferry, 0.4 m. (fare $1; service as needed). From the north bank ferry landing in Washington, US 97 continues to the junction with US 830, 1.2 m.; L. here 2.9 m. on US 830 to MARYHILL CASTLE, also built by Samuel Hill. It is a three story rectangular structure of concrete, set on a bluff 800 feet above the river. Though the building was dedicated by Queen Marie of Romania in 1926, it was not opened to visitors until 1937. Queen Marie gave to the museum a life size portrait of her daughter, a desk, chairs, and other pieces of furniture. Hill lavished a fortune on the estate but never made it his home. However, he left a bequest of $1,200,000 for completing and maintaining it as a museum. In a crypt repose the owner's ashes, commemorated by a tablet bearing the inscription: "Samuel Hill amid Nature's unrest, he sought rest." ..."


Views of Maryhill Museum ...

Image, 2005, Maryhill Museum, Washington, with Oregon's Columbia Plateau, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Maryhill Museum, Washington, towards the Columbia Plateau region of Oregon. Image taken May 24, 2005.
Image, 2005, Maryhill Museum, Washington, with Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Maryhill Museum, Washington, and Mount Hood, Oregon. Image taken May 24, 2005.
Image, 2005, Maryhill Museum, Washington, with Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Maryhill Museum, Washington. Image taken May 24, 2005.


The Great Blue Heron ...

Image, 2005, Bronze heron, Maryhill Museum, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bronze Great Blue Heron overlooking Columbia, Maryhill Museum, Washington. Image taken May 24, 2005.
Image, 2005, Bronze heron, Maryhill Museum, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bronze Great Blue Heron, Maryhill Museum, Washington. Image taken May 24, 2005.


Orange Flower Head ...

Image, 2012, Bronze heron, Maryhill Museum, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Orange Flower Head, Maryhill Museum, Washington. Image taken May 29, 2012.
Image, 2012, Bronze heron, Maryhill Museum, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Orange Flower Head, Maryhill Museum, Washington. Image taken May 29, 2012.
Image, 2012, Bronze heron, Maryhill Museum, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Orange Flower Head, Maryhill Museum, Washington. Image taken May 29, 2012.
Image, 2012, Bronze heron, Maryhill Museum, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Orange Flower Head, Maryhill Museum, Washington. Image taken May 29, 2012.


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

Sources: "MaryhillMuseum.org" website, 2004; Oregon Department of Transportation website, 2004; National Register of Historic Places website, 2004, 2005; Norman, D.K., Busacca, A.J., and Teissere, R., 2004, Geology of the Yakima Valley Wine Country - A Geologic Field Trip Guide from Stevenson to Zillah, Washington, Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources Field Trip Guide 1, June 2004; Oregon State Archives website, 2005, "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon"; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory website, 2004, Steven Reidel, "Northwest Geology"; "Rootsweb.com" website, 2006, Klickitat County; "Sam Hill Country" Community sign, Maryhill, Washington; Washington State Parks and Recreation website, 2004.

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 2013