Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Munra Point, Oregon"
Includes ... Munra Point ... Mount Munra ...
Image, 2004, Munra Point from Hamilton Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Munra Point, Oregon, from Hamilton Island, Washington. Image taken August 1, 2004.

Munra Point ...
Munra Point is located at Columbia River Mile (RM) 144, just downstream of Bonneville Dam. Directly across from Munra Point is Hamilton Island. Moffett Creek drainage is on the downstream side of Munra Point, and the Tanner Creek drainage is on the upstream side. At the base of Munra Point is the upstream end of John B. Yeon State Park.

"Grandma Munra" ...
Munra Point was named in 1915 to honor Katherine Sterrett Munra. "Grandma Munra", as she was called, was a pioneer woman who kept a railroad eating house at Bonneville and later at Meacham. According to Oregon Geographic Names (McArthur and McArthur, 2003):
"... her name was attached to the point in question by a committee representing various Oregon historical organizations. Munra Point is just south of Bonneville, between Tanner Creek and Moffett Creek. The name has been approved by the USBGN. In 1928, the Union Pacific Railroad named a station (siding) east of Pendleton for "Grandma" Munra."

According to "The Oregon Encyclopedia" website (a project of the Oregon Historical Society), "Grandma Munra" was Katherine Sterrett Munra (1830-1923).

"... On August 5, 1850, Katherine married John McCarter, a railroad builder, with whom she had three children. By 1870 she was managing a boarding house in Erie [Pennsylvania], rearing her children alone. After her children were grown, Katherine moved to San Francisco where by 1880 she worked in William Shaw's boarding house as cook and housekeeper. She was known as Kate Graham but information of this marriage remains elusive. On November 9, 1882 in San Francisco Kate Graham married her third husband Knight Selkirk Munra.

In 1883, H.S. Rowe of the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company (OR&N) brought the Munras to Oregon, where they managed the railroad's Bonneville eating house, located by the railroad tracks (trains did not have dining cars at that time). The Munras became known fondly by their customers as Grandma and Grandpa Munra.

In 1895, the OR&N built a new eating house in Meacham, on the summit of the Blue Mountains. The Log Cabin Eating House, constructed of tamarack logs, opened with the Munras as managers. Before long, Grandma Munra and the eating house were internationally famous. Her picture was on The Log Cabin post cards, and the traveling public referred to the eating house as the "Delmonico of the Blue Mountains."

Grandma Munra's reputation was built on her chicken, pastry, cakes, and salads. One of her specialties was a cake made from a recipe used by Martha Washington. Refills and seconds were free. Meals were presented on fine linens, china, silver, and glassware amid the setting of a wild forest. It was well worth the price of six bits (seventy-five cents). ..."

Views ...

Image, 2006, Spring colors, Munra Point, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Spring, Munra Point, Oregon. View from Hamilton Island, Washington. Image taken April 22, 2006.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 2, 1805 ...

Columbia River GorgeReturn to

*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

  • McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society;

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.
September 2008