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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Nassa and Nassa Point, Washington"
Includes ... Nassa ... Nassa Point ... Cathlamet Channel ...
Image, 2011, Nassa Point, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Nassa and Nassa Point, Washington. View from downstream. Image taken April 22, 2011.

Nassa and Nassa Point ...
Nassa Point is located along the upstream (eastern) end of the Cathlamet Channel at Columbia River Mile (RM) 45. The Nassa homestead is located on the downstream side of the Point. Upstream is the small community of Flandersville and then Cape Horn of Wahkiakum County. Downstream is the community of Cathlamet, Washington. Across from Nassa Point is Puget Island. Nassa was once the home of Wahkiakum pioneer John T. Nassa.

Early Nassa and Nassa Point ...
Nassa Point is located in T8N R5W, Section 20, near the center of the section.

The 1792 map by Lieutenant Broughton of the Captain George Vancouver Expedition, shows "Bell's Point" at the location of today's Nassa Point, named after the Chatham's clerk Edward Bell.

The 1873 cadastral survey (tax survey) for T8N R5W shows one home, labeled "Mitchel", located along the Columbia River in Section 20, in approximately the same location as today's homes of Nassa.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records, show a John T. Nassa being issued a land title for the area of Nassa Point on September 29, 1888, for 84.69 acres of parts of T8N R5W Section 20, under the 1862 "Homestead Entry Original". John T. Nassa also held other titles for land in the area issued in 1891 for parts of Sections 19 and 30, and in 1901 for parts of Sections 14. Richard A. Nassa was issued title to 120 acres in 1905 for parts of Sections 3 and 10.

1918 ...
"Carrie J. Nassa Passes Away ...

Last Sunday afternoon, April 7th, the town was shocked by the news of the death of Mrs. John T. Nassa of this city. She had been in the St. Mary’s hospital, Astoria, but a short time, where she underwent a serious operation and apparently was recovering when a turn for the worse appeared Sunday morning. Relatives were immediately notified of her condition. She died Sunday, April 7th, at 12:24 o’clock in the afternoon.

Carrie J. Nassa was born in Nerstrand, Stavanger, Norway, November 7th, 1856. She and her husband, John T. Nassa, were married February 12, 1876. She emigrated to the United States from Norway, coming on the S. S. Celtic of the White Star line, arriving here July 18th, 1879. She then went to California, thence to Astoria, Ore., and later, she and her husband settled on a homestead about three miles above Cathlamet, along the Columbia River. The homestead is still in possession of the family. In 1895, she, together with her family, moved to Cathlamet, where they have resided ever since.

Eight children were born to them, four of whom are living. ..."

Source:    "Columbia River Sun", April 11, 1918, vol.XVII, no.4, courtesy "wagenweb.org" website, 2016.

Views ...

Image, 2005, Nassa Point, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Nassa Point, Washington. View from downstream. Image taken July 28, 2005.
Image, 2007, Nassa Point, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Nassa Point, Washington. View from downstream on Washington Highway 4. Image taken October 13, 2007.
Image, 2011, Nassa Point, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Approaching Nassa Point from the west, Nassa Point, Washington. View from moving car heading east on Washington Highway 4. Image taken July 6, 2011.
Image, 2011, Nassa Point, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Nassa Point Motel and house, Nassa Point, Washington. View from moving car heading east on Washington Highway 4. Image taken July 6, 2011.
Image, 2011, Nassa Point, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Nassa Point Motel, Nassa Point, Washington. View from moving car heading west on Washington Highway 4. Image taken July 6, 2011.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 7, 1805 ...
A cloudy foggey morning Some rain. we Set out [from their camp at Cape Horn, Wahkiakum County, Washington] early proceeded under the Stard Shore under a high rugid hills with Steep assent the Shore boalt and rockey, the fog So thick we could not See across the river [typical for this area in the winter], two Canos of Indians met and returned with us to their village which is Situated on the Stard Side behind a cluster of Marshey Islands [Puget Island and the Hunting Islands] , on a narrow chanl. of the river [Cathlamet Channel] through which we passed to the Village of 4 Houses, [Cathlamet, Washington area] ....

Those people call themselves War-ci-â-cum ...

after delaying at this village one hour [Cathlamet, Washington area] and a half we Set out piloted by an Indian dressed in a Salors dress, to the main Chanel of the river, the tide being in we Should have found much dificuelty in passing into the main Chanel from behind those islands [Puget Island and the Hunting Islands],     without a pilot, a large marshey Island [Tenasillahe Island] near the middle of the river near which Several Canoes Came allong Side with Skins, roots fish &c. to Sell, and had a temporey residence on this Island, here we See great numbers of water fowls about those marshey Islands; here the high mountanious Countrey approaches the river on the Lard Side [near Clifton, Oregon], a high mountn. to the S W. about 20 miles [Saddle Mountain], the high mountans. Countrey Continue on the Stard Side, about 14 miles below the last village and 18 miles of this day we landed at a village of the Same nation [Skamokawa, Washington]. This village is at the foot of the high hills on the Stard Side back of 2 Small Islands [today, Price Island lies between Skamokawa and the Columbia River] it contains 7 indifferent houses built in the Same form of those above, ... opposit to this Village the high mountaneous Countrey leave the river on the Lard Side [downstream of Aldrich Point] below which the river widens into a kind of Bay [Cathlamet Bay] & is Crouded with low Islands Subject to be Covered by the tides [today this is the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge, part of the Lower Columbia River Estuary] - we proceeded on about 12 miles below the Village [Skamokawa] under a high mountaneous Countrey on the Stard. Side. Shore boald and rockey and Encamped under a high hill [ridge of Jim Crow Point] on the Stard. Side opposit to a rock [Pillar Rock] Situated half a mile from the Shore, about 50 feet high and 20 feet Diamieter,     we with dificuelty found a place Clear of the tide and Sufficiently large to lie on and the only place we could get was on round Stones on which we lay our mats rain Continud. moderately all day & Two Indians accompanied us from the last village, they we detected in Stealing a knife and returned, our Small Canoe which got Seperated in the fog this morning joined us this evening from a large Island Situated nearest the Lard Side below the high hills on that Side, the river being too wide to See either the form Shape or Size of the Islands on the Lard Side [part of the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge].

Great joy in camp we are in View of the Ocian [Clark's famous "Ocian in view! O! the Joy"], this great Pacific Octean [Pacific Ocean] which we been So long anxious to See. and the roreing or noise made by the waves brakeing on the rockey Shores (as I Suppose) may be heard distictly

we made 34 miles to day as Computed

Journey to the PacificReturn 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

  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management General Land Office (GLO) Records website, 2006;

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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July 2011