Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"McCord Creek and Elowah Falls, Oregon"
Includes ... McCord Creek ... Pierce Creek ... Kelly Creek ... Elowah Falls ... Upper McCord Creek Falls ... McCord Fish Wheel ...
Image, 2011, McCord Creek sign, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
McCord Creek sign as seen from Interstate 84, Oregon. Image taken May 14, 2011.


McCord Creek ...
McCord Creek merges with the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 143. Upstream are Moffett Creek, Tanner Creek, and Eagle Creek. Also upstream is the Bonneville Dam. Downstream are the Oregon communities of Warrendale and Dodson. Directly across from the mouth of McCord Creek is Pierce and Ives islands, Washington, and slightly upstream is Hamilton Island. The mouth of McCord Creek lies within the John B. Yeon State Park and can be reached on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.

Early McCord Creek ...
According to McArthur and McArthur (2003), McCord Creek was named after pioneer W.R. McCord, who built the first fish wheels near the mouth of the stream.

"... This creek has had several names, including Pierce Creek and Kelly Creek. A committee representing various historical organizations recommended that it be named McCord Creek, and that name was adopted by the USBGN. This was in honor of W.R. McCord, a pioneer of Oregon who built the first fish wheels near the mouth of the stream. The falls near the highway are named Elowah, and the creek runs through John B. Yeon State Scenic Corridor. ..." [McArthur and McArthur, 2003]

The fish wheel on the east bank at the mouth of McCord Creek however was known as the "Kelly Wheel".

According to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database (2014), on May 31, 1892, Myron P. Kelley was granted title to 146.58 acres in T2N R7E, parts of Section 31 (1862 Homestead Entry Original).

Previous names for McCord Creek included "Kelly Creek" and "Pierce Creek". The U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "McCord Creek" official on January 1, 1915.


McCord Creek in 1940 ...

From the Oregon State Archives "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon":

"... At the eastern end of the McCord Creek Bridge, 152.6 m., is a petrified stump that is believed to have matured long before the Cascade Range was thrust up. ..."


Views ...

Image, 2014, McCord Creek, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
McCord Creek, looking upstream, from McCord Creek Bridge on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. Image taken June 9, 2014.
Image, 2014, McCord Creek, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
McCord Creek, looking downstream, from McCord Creek Bridge on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. Image taken June 9, 2014.


McCord Creek, etc.

  • Elowah Falls ...
  • Elowah Falls Trailhead ...
  • Elowah Falls Trail Water Tank ...
  • Historic Columbia River Highway ...
  • Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail ...
  • Upper McCord Creek Falls ...


Elowah Falls ...
Elowah Falls was given it's name by a committee of Mazamas and other outdoor organizations. The U.S. Board of Geographic Names made it official on January 1, 1915. An earlier name for the falls was Kelley Falls.

From Friends of the Columbia Gorge website (2011):

"... At Elowah Falls, McCord Creek crashes into a huge amphitheater made up of several distinct lava flows. This is a fairly easy hike, appropriate for most beginners, leading to a 289-foot waterfall. There is a small amount of climbing involved, with a summit in the middle of the hike. ..."

Penny Postcard, McCord Creek Falls, Oregon
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: McCord Creek Falls, Oregon (now Elowah Falls).
Penny Postcard, Divided Back (1907-1915), "McCord Creek Falls, Columbia River Highway, Oregon". Wesley Andrews Co., Portland, Ore. Card #838. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Caption on back: "McCord Creek Falls. These beautiful falls, having their source in Larch Mountain in McCord and Pierce Creeks, were but little known until the Columbia River Highway with its 47 miles of hard surface, gentle curves and easy grades brought this delightful spot within two hours ride from the heart of Portland."


Elowah Falls Trailhead ...
John B. Yeon State Park is a jumping off point for the Elowah Falls Trail. From the west side of the parking lot, follow the trail up to junction and veer left on the lower trail to Elowah Falls. Elowah Falls is located on McCord Creek, approximately 1/2 mile up from its merging with the Columbia River.

Image, 2014, John B. Yeon State Park, Elowah Falls Trailhead, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Trailhead, Elowah Falls, John B. Yeon State Park, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2014.
Image, 2014, Elowah Falls Trail, Columbia River Gorge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Elowah Falls trail, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon. Trail section near trailhead. Image taken June 5, 2014.


Elowah Falls Trail Water Tank ...
(to come)

Image, 2014, Water Tank, Elowah Falls Trail, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Water Tank, Elowah Falls trail, John B. Yeon State Scenic Corridor, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2014.
Image, 2014, Water Tank, Elowah Falls Trail, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Water Tank, Elowah Falls trail, John B. Yeon State Scenic Corridor, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2014.
Image, 2014, Water Tank, Elowah Falls Trail, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Water Tank, Elowah Falls trail, John B. Yeon State Scenic Corridor, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2014.


Historic Columbia River Highway ...
McCord Creek enters the Columbia River at Columbia River Mile (RM) 143. The mouth of McCord Creek lies within the John B. Yeon State Park and can be reached on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.

[More Historic Columbia River Highway]
[More HCRH Route]
[More HCRH State Trail]

Image, 2014, Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
New McCord Creek Bridge, Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. Image taken June 9, 2014.
Image, 2014, Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
New McCord Creek Bridge, Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. Image taken June 9, 2014.


Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail ...
John B. Yeon State Park is the trailhead for the western end of a section of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. The biking/hiking section between the Park and Cascade Locks is 6.5 miles long. The trail crosses McCord Creek at 0.33 miles.

Image, 2014, John B. Yeon State Park, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Trailhead, Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, John B. Yeon State Park to Cascade Locks, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2014.


Upper McCord Creek Falls ...
(to come)


"The Golden Age of Postcards" ...

The early 1900s was the "Golden Age of Postcards", with the "Penny Postcard" being a popular way to send greetings to family and friends. Today the Penny Postcard has become a snapshot of history.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 2, 1805 ...




Columbia River GorgeReturn to
Menu
 






*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:
  • Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, 2011;
  • Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center website, 2011;
  • McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society;
  • Donaldson, I.J., and Cramer, F.K., 1971, "Fishwheels of the Columbia", Binfords and Mort, Publishers, Philadelphia;
  • Oregon State Archives website, 2011;
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database, 2014;
  • U.S. Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database, 2011;


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/mccord_creek.html
June 2014