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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Mosier Twin Tunnels, Oregon"
Includes ... Mosier ... Mosier Twin Tunnels ... Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail ... The Golden Age of Postcards ...
Image, 2005, East Portal, Mosier Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Portal, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.


Mosier Twin Tunnels ...
The "Twin Tunnels" of Mosier were a part of the Historic Columbia River Highway. Engineered by John A. Elliot and constructed between 1919 and 1921, the tunnels were closed in 1955 with the completion of Interstate 84 following the banks of the Columbia River. Originally the tunnels were 17 feet wide but with the advent of larger cars they were widened to 20 feet. The Tunnels were closed in 1955 because of safety issues. With help of Senator Mark Hatfield, the twin tunnels were re-opened in July 2000 for bicycle and foot traffic, and are now part of a 4.6-mile-long "Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail". The Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead is near Hood River and the Mark O. Hatfield East Trailhead is outside of Mosier. The tunnels themselves are located on the trail closer to Mosier.

Mosier Tunnels in 1940 ...
From the Oregon State Archives "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon":

"MOSIER, 118.1 m. (95 alt., 192 pop.), at the confluence of Mosier Creek and the Columbia River, is in a small fruit growing section well known for its apple cider. The MOSIER TUNNELS, 119.5 m., one 261 feet and the other 60 feet long, often referred to as the Twin Tunnels, penetrate a promontory more than 250 feet above the river. West of this point the contrast between the barren, semi desert contours of eastern Oregon and the lushness of the Pacific Slope becomes apparent. "


Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail ...
The Mosier Twin Tunnels are located along Oregon's Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. [More]

Image, 2005, Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Walking towards the Mosier Twin Tunnels along the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. View along east part of the trail, between Mosier and the Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.


Views of the Tunnels ...

Image, 2005, East Portal, Mosier Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Portal, Mosier Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, East Portal, Mosier Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Portal, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, East Portal, Mosier Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Portal, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, East Portal, Mosier Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Portal, Mosier Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.


Stonework ...

Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Stonework, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Stonework, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.


Catchment Structure ...
The restoration of the Mosier Twin Tunnels involved removal of the rock which had filled the tunnels, and the construction of a 700-foot-long "catchment structure" on the west end of the tunnels that utilizes cellular concrete, pea gravel and 25 foot anchor bars.

Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Catchment Structure, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Catchment Structure, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.


Outside Walkway ...

Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Outside Stairs and Walkway, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.


Through the Tunnels ...
Gene, Riley, and Corey, members of my own "Corps of Discovery".
[More]

Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, East Portal, Mosier Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Portal, Mosier Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.


"The Golden Age of Postcards" ...

The early 1900s was the "Golden Age of Postcards". The "Penny Postcard" became a popular way to send greetings to friends and family. Today the "Penny Postcard" has become an image of history.

Penny Postcard, Mosier Twin Tunnels, ca.1941
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Mosier Twin Tunnels, Mosier, Oregon, ca.1941. Penny Postcard, Postmarked 1941, "Twin Tunnels on Columbia River Highway Between Hood River & Mosier, Ore.". Published by The Portland Post Card Co., Portland, Oregon. Published by Pacific Novelty Co., San Francisco. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 29, 1805 ...
A cloudy morning wind from the West but not hard, we Set out at day light [from their camp on Rocky Island at Crates Point], and proceeded on about five miles Came too on the Stard. Side at a village of 7 houses built in the Same form and materials of those above, here we found the Chief we had Seen at the long narrows [The Dalles] ...     they are hospitable and good humered Speak the Same language of the inhabitants of the last village, we call this the friendly village [vicinity of Dougs Beach]. ...     after brackfast we proceeded on, the mountains are high on each Side [high basalt cliffs of the Rowena Gap, with Rowena Crest on the south and the Chamberlain Lake area on the north], containing Scattering pine white oake & under groth, hill Sides Steep and rockey; at 4 miles lower we observed a Small river falling in with great rapidity on the Stard. Side [Klickitat River] below which is a village of 11 houses [today the town of Lyle is on the upstream side of the Klickitat], here we landed to Smoke a pipe with the nativs and examine the mouth of the river, which I found to be 60 yards wide rapid and deep, The inhabitants of the village are friendly and Chearfull; those people inform us also those at the last village that this little river is long and full of falls, no Salmon pass up it, it runs from N. N. E. that ten nations live on this river and its waters, on buries, and what game that Can kill with their Bow & arrows

we purchased 4 dogs and Set out- (this village is the of the Same nation of the one we last passed) and proceeded on The Countrey on each side begin to be thicker timbered with Pine and low white Oake; verry rockey and broken [passing Mayer State Park on the Oregon side]. passed three large rocks in The river the middle rock is large long and has Several Squar vaults on it. we call this rockey Island the Sepulchar [Memaloose Island] - The last river we passed we Shall Call the Cataract River [Klickitat River] from the number of falls which the Indians say is on it- passed 2 Lodges of Indians a Short distance below the Sepulchar Island [Memaloose Island] on the Stard. Side river wide, at 4 mile passed 2 houses on the Stard. Side, Six miles lower passed 4 houses above the mouth of a Small river 40 yards wide on the Lard. Side [Hood River]    a thick timbered bottom above & back of those houses; those are the first houses which we have Seen on the South Side of the Columbia River, (and the axess to those dificuelt) for fear of the approach of their common enemies the Snake Indians, passed 14 houses on the Std. Side Scattered on the bank- from the mouth of this little river which we shall Call Labeasche River [Hood River], the falls mountain [Mount Hood] is South and the top is covered with Snow.    one mile below pass the mouth of a large rapid Stream on the Stard. Side [White Salmon River], opposit to a large Sand bar [from Hood River], in this creek the Indians above take their fish, here we Saw Several canoes, which induced us to call this Canoe Creek [White Salmon River] it is 28 yards wide, about 4 miles lower and below the Sand bar [Hood River sandbar] is a butifull cascade falling over a rock of about 100 feet [Wah Gwin Gwin Falls, location of the Columbia Gorge Hotel],

[On the route map (Moulton, vol.1, map#78) a "C___ Spring" is shown on the north side of the river, today the location of Spring Creek and Spring Creek Fish Hatchery, with no mention of it in any text. On the south side, at the location of Wah Gwin Gwin Falls, only "Cascade" is labeled and "4 Houses of Indians".]

a Short distance lower passed 4 Indian houses on the Lard. Side in a timbered bottom, a fiew miles further we came too at 3 houses on Stard. Side, back of which is a pond [today the location of Drano Lake. The Little White Salmon River empties into Drano Lake.] in which I Saw Great numbers of Small Swan, Capt. Lewis and went into the houses of those people ...     Here the mountains are high on each Side, those to the Lard. Side has Some Snow on them at this time, more timber than above and of greater variety.





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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: "a2zgorge.info" website, 2005; McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2004, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland; State of Oregon Archivist website, 2005, "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon".

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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September 2008