Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"North Portland Harbor, Oregon"
Includes ... North Portland Harbor ... "Oregon Slough" ... "Haydens Slough" ... Hayden Island ... Tomahawk Island ... Streetcar Trestle ...
Image, 2013, North Portland Harbor from Interstate 5, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
North Portland Harbor, looking downstream, as seen from Interstate 5, Oregon. View from moving car. Image taken January 11, 2013.

North Portland Harbor ...
The North Portland Harbor is the official name of the channel which separates Hayden Island and Tomahawk Island from the mainland Oregon. It is crossed by the Interstate 5 and the Burlington Northern Railroad. Throughout history North Portland Harbor has had other names, including the "Oregon Slough" and "Hayden's Slough". In 1913 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "North Portland Harbor" the official name.

Views ...

Image, 2008, North Portland Harbor, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
North Portland Harbor towards Hayden Island. Image taken September 14, 2008.
Image, 2008, North Portland Harbor, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
North Portland Harbor towards Hayden Island. Image taken September 14, 2008.
Image, 2008, North Portland Harbor, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Float tubes, North Portland Harbor. Image taken September 14, 2008.
Image, 2006, North Portland Harbor, from Tomahawk Island, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
North Portland Harbor, from Tomahawk Island, Portland, Oregon. The Interstate 5 is in the background. Image taken July 1, 2006.
Image, 2006, Tomahawk Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Chalet, Tomahawk Island houseboat, North Portland Harbor. Image taken July 1, 2006.
Image, 2006, North Portland Harbor, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
North Portland Harbor, Portland, Oregon. Pilings in the foreground are remains of streetcar trestle. View from Lotus Isle Park. Image taken July 1, 2006.
Image, 2006, Bridgeton-Faloma, North Portland Harbor, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
View across North Portland Harbor towards Bridgeton (Faloma), Portland, Oregon. View from Lotus Isle Park, Tomahawk Island, looking towards Bridgeton (Faloma), Oregon, with the old streetcar trestle in the foreground. Image taken July 1, 2006.
Image, 2008, North Portland Harbor, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
North Portland Harbor, Houseboats and Boathouses. Image taken September 14, 2008.
Image, 2008, North Portland Harbor, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
North Portland Harbor. Image taken September 14, 2008.

North Portland Harbor, etc.

  • Old Streetcar Trestle ...

Old Streetcar Trestle ...
Pilings from an old 700-foot trestle that once carried streetcars from Portland to Tomahawk Island can still be seen in North Portland Harbor. This "Vancouver Street Car" let passengers off at the Lotus Isle Depot, at the entrance to Lotus Isle Amusement Park. A good view of the remaining pilings can be had from the east side of today's Lotus Isle Park on Tomahawk Island, or from the end of the road at Bridgeton. .

"... BY STREET CAR -- Vancouver car anywhere in city; get off at Lotus Isle Depot. You're at the gates. ..." ["PDXHistory.com" website, 2006, Newspaper ad from June 27, 1930]


Image, 2019, North Portland Harbor, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Old Streetcar Trestle, North Portland Harbor, as seen from Bridgeton, Oregon. Image taken March 24, 2019.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 4, 1805 ...
A cloudy cool morning wind from the West we Set out at 1/2 past 8 oClock [from their camp on the north side of Government Island, approximately across from Fisher's Landing], one man Shannon Set out early to walk on the Island [Government Island] to kill Something, he joined us at the lower point with a Buck. This island is 6 miles long and near 3 miles wide thinly timbered     (Tide rose last night 18 inches perpndicular at Camp) near the lower point of this diamond Island [Government Island] is The head of a large Island Seperated from a Small one by a narrow chanel [Lewis and Clark show two large islands on their maps, both in today's Government Island area], and both Situated nearest the Lard Side, those Islands [even today the Government Island reach is a complex of many islands] as also the bottoms are thickly Covered with Pine &c. river wide, Country low on both Sides; [since 1983 the Interstate 205 bridge crosses Government Island connecting Oregon to Washington]     on the Main Lard Shore a Short distance below the last Island we landed at a village of 25 Houses: [near Portland International Airport]; ...     This village contains about 200 men of the Skil-loot nation ...

at 7 miles below this village passed the upper point of a large Island [Hayden Island] nearest the Lard Side, a Small Prarie [Jolie Prairie, today the location of Fort Vancouver and Pearson Airpark. Lewis and Clark camp on this prairie on their return] in which there is a pond [one of the many ponds which use to dot this area] opposit on the Stard. here I landed and walked on Shore, about 3 miles a fine open Prarie for about 1 mile, back of which the countrey rises gradually and wood land comencies Such as white oake, pine of different kinds, wild crabs with the taste and flavour of the common crab and Several Species of undergroth of which I am not acquainted, a few Cottonwood trees & the Ash of this countrey grow Scattered on the river bank, ...     joined Capt. Lewis at a place he had landed with the party for Diner. ...

dureing the time we were at dinner those fellows Stold my pipe Tomahawk which They were Smoking with [Tomahawk pipe, thus giving rise to the name Tomahawk Island] ...    we proceeded on

[The men have passed through the area which, 20 years later, Dr. John McLoughlin would choose for a trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company, later to become Fort Vancouver and eventually the city of Vancouver, Washington.]

met a large & a Small Canoe from below, with 12 men the large Canoe was ornimented with Images carved in wood the figures of <man &> a Bear in front & a man in Stern, Painted & fixed verry netely on the <bow & Stern> of the Canoe, rising to near the hight of a man [Lewis and Clark then named Hayden Island "Image Canoe Island"]     two Indians verry finely Dressed & with hats on was in this canoe passed the lower point of the Island [Hayden Island] which is nine miles in length haveing passed 2 Islands on the Stard Side of this large Island [the location of Vancouver Landing and since 1917 the Interstate 5 Bridge connecting Oregon to Washington State], three Small Islands at its lower point [The downstream end of Hayden Island was at one time composed of small islands. One of these, Pearcy Island, would become today's Kelley Point.]. the Indians make Signs that a village is Situated back of those Islands on the Lard. Side and I believe that a Chanel is Still on the Lrd. Side [it wasn't until Lewis and Clark's return trip they would discover the mouth of the Willamette River] as a Canoe passed in between the Small Islands, and made Signs that way, probably to traffick with Some of the nativs liveing on another Chanel, at 3 miles lower [Sauvie Island is located at this stretch, but it is not until the return that Lewis and Clark recognize it as a separate island], and 12 Leagues below quick Sand river [Sandy River] passed a village of four large houses on The Lard. Side [on Sauvie Island], near which we had a full view of Mt. Helien [Mount St. Helens, Washington] which is perhaps the highest pinical in America from their base it bears N. 25 E about 90 miles- This is the mountain I Saw from the Muscle Shell rapid [Umatilla Rapids, Captain Clark actually saw Mount Adams] on the 19th of October last Covered with Snow, it rises Something in the form of a Sugar lofe- about a mile lower passed a Single house on the Lard. Side, and one on the Stard. Side, passed a village on each Side and Camped near a house on the Stard. Side [Post Office Lake vicinity, today within the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge] we proceeded on untill one hour after dark with a view to get clear of the nativs who was constantly about us, and troublesom, finding that we could not get Shut of those people for one night, we landed and Encamped on the Stard. Side ...

This evening we Saw vines much resembling the raspberry which is verry thick in the bottoms. A range of high hills at about 5 miles on the Lard Side [Portland's West Hills'] which runs S. E. & N W. Covered with tall timber the bottoms below in this range of hills and the river is rich and leavel, Saw White geese with a part of their wings black. The river here is 1 miles wide, and current jentle. opposite to our camp on a Small Sandy Island [one of the small sandy islands prevelent in this stretch of the Columbia. Today the Willow Bar Islands on the east side of Sauvie Island lie across from Post Office Lake.] the brant & geese make Such a noise that it will be impossible for me to Sleap. we made 29 miles to day

Vancouver PlainsReturn 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

  • Portland Parks and Recreation website, 2006;
  • U.S. Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database, 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.
© 2019, Lyn Topinka, "ColumbiaRiverImages.com", All rights reserved.
Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
September 2008