Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Orchards and Sifton, Washington"
Includes ... Orchards ... Sifton ... Vancouver ... Fourth Plain ... Fort Sevastopool ... Mural ... Feed Mill ... Orchards Community Park ...
Image, 2006, Mural, Fourth Plain, Orchards, click to enlarge
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Orchards mural, Fourth Plain, Orchards, Washington. Image taken November 25, 2006.


Orchards ...
At one time today's Washington community of Orchards was known as "Fourth Plain".

According to Robert Hitchman in "Place Names of Washington" (1985), the community of Orchards is located three and 1/2 miles northeast of Vancouver, and was named "Orchards" in 1885.

"Orchards (T2N R2E, Sec.9) ... Suburban area 3-1/2 miles northeast of Vancouver, southwest Clark County. When Hudson's Bay Company first occupied Fort Vancouver, they numbered their grazing plains or pastures consecutively, 1-6, from headquarters. The area was called Fourth Plain. The present name was suggested by D.H. Stearns Realty Company when a post office was established in 1885, and was accepted by postal officials."

However, according to "Names in Clark County" (The Columbian, 2014) and the Clark County Public Information and Outreach website (2019) the Orchards community was given its name in 1904:

"It was formerly called Fourth Plain. When the Hudsonís Bay Co. First occupied Fort Vancouver, they numbered their grazing plains consecutively, 1-6, from their headquarters. The Orchards area was in the fourth plain. The residents of the area wanted a name that would identify them alone. There were great tracts of fruit trees there, so they chose the name Orchards in 1904." [The Columbian, 2014, "Names in Clark County"]

"Local residents have several versions of how Fourth Plain, now called Orchards, got its name. One suggests that in 1846, Dugald McTavish, an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company, explored the land in back of the Vancouver fur trading post. He described finding four "plains," each separated from the next by a band of timber. McTavish probably meant natural changes in the thick woods. Officials at Fort Vancouver near the Columbia River seem to have numbered their grazing plains from one to six. Others have suggested the name was taken for steps of land up from the river or from flatland separated by east-west ridges. Eventually, residents wanted a name that would identify them alone. Because of the many fruit trees in the area, they chose the name Orchards in 1904." [Clark County Public Information and Outreach, 2019]

"Fourth Plain" ...
The Orchards area north and east of Vancouver, Washington was once a large open prairie called "Fourth Plain" by the British Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). In 1825 the HBC built Fort Vancouver along the Columbia River. Their agricultural and livestock area included a series of "Plains and Prairies" extending north and east of the Fort. A large plain about 4 miles northeast of the Fort became "Fourth Plain" and was called that until 1904 when it was re-named "Orchards".
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Sifton ...
The terminus of the Vancouver - Orchards - Sifton streetcar line was the small community of Sifton, a community created by the developers of the streetcar line.

"Sifton, terminus of the Oregon-Washington Corporation's electric line from Vancouver, in the southern part of Clarke County. It was named about 1908 for Doctor Sifton, of Portland, Oregon, one of the original stockholders in the company." ... [Edmond S. Meany, 1923, Origin of Washington Geographic Names, University of Washington Press.]

According to "Names in Clark County" (The Columbian, 2014):

"Sifton ... In 1908, this area east of Orchards was named for Dr. Sifton, of Portland, who was a dentist and an important stockholder in the local power company."

D.W. Freece, in his 1984 Masters Thesis gives more information:

"The Clarke County Development Company was, as its name suggests, real estate development firm. For $30,000 it acquired about 180 acres of land in the Calder donation land claim two miles east of Orchards from Horation N. Price and A.R. Pickett with the view of developing it and extending the railway to it. ... It was decided to name the community after the company's president, Sifton. The streets were laid out and named after various board members: Kerr, Hall, Alvadore avenues, and Moulton, Russell and James streets."

Railway Land ...
RAILWAY LAND

The Clark County Development Co., owner of the electric railway system now operating at Vancouver, Wash., is extending its line to its new townsite of

SIFTON

a short distance from Vancouver, and this extension will be completed and the line running to Sifton about November 15th.

The streets of Sifton are graded, and you can have electric lights there, or on your garden tracts, if you want them.

In addition to the lots and acre tracts in the townsite, the Railway Company has platted its property surrounding the townsite into 5 and 10-acre tracts. These tracts are known as Sifton Garden Tracts-- all cultivated, and there is no better land outdoors.

SIFTON

is right in the heart of the fruit center of Clark County, and a large part of the

Garden Tracts

is of the finest beaver dam, which paid $750 an acre in onions this year.

The Vancouver Electric Cars now connect with the Portland Railway, Light & Power Co.'s cars, and also with N. P. trains at Vancouver, and when the line is competed you can go from Second and Stark streets, Portland, to Sifton in 1 hour and 5 minutes.

The Railway Company authorizes us to make terms to suit purchaser on deferred payments.

Lots $100 and Up
Garden Tracts $250 and
$300 an Acre

ONE-THIRD DOWN

Let us show you the property at our expense.


Murphy & Caswell
230 Stark St.
Vancouver Office, 712 Main St.



Source:    "The Sunday Oregonian", October 17, 1909, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2017.


Orchards and Sifton, etc.

  • Fort Sevastopool ...
  • Orchards Community Park ...
  • Orchards Feed Mill ...
  • Orchards Mural ...
  • Vancouver - Orchards - Sifton Streetcar ...


Fort Sevastopool, Vancouver, Washington ...
"... The Yakima Indian Wars were a complex series of events involving both volunteer and regular troops in numerous, sometimes bloody conflicts throughout eastern Washington and southern Oregon from 1853 to late 1858. During this period, a blockhouse was built on the Vancouver post and in 1856 while soldiers were away on Indian campaigns a group of Clarke County Rangers, commanded by Judge William Strong, guarded the post. On the Fourth Plain, the military appointed Richard Covington sergeant of the Clarke county Rangers who built "Fort Sevastopool," a blockhouse and stockade covering about three acres. ..."


Source:    Donna L. Sinclair, Center for Columbia River History, 2004, "Part I, Our Manifest Destiny Bids Fair for Fulfillment: An Historical Overview of Vancouver Barracks, 1846-1898, with suggestions for further research", funded by The National Park Service, Department of the Interior, in co-operation with Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Washington.

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Orchards Community Park ...
Orchards Community Park is a 33-acre park located on the north side of Fourth Plain Boulevard in west Orchards. The park includes a picnic shelter and picnic tables, barbecue grills, horseshoe pits, a rose garden, and miles of trails.

Image, 2017, Orchards, Washington, click to enlarge
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Sign, Orchards Community Park, Orchards, Washington. Image taken April 2, 2017.
Image, 2017, Orchards, Washington, click to enlarge
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Orchards Community Park, Orchards, Washington. Image taken April 8, 2017.
Image, 2017, Orchards, Washington, click to enlarge
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Trail, Orchards Community Park, Orchards, Washington. Image taken April 2, 2017.
Image, 2017, Orchards, Washington, click to enlarge
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Pacific Wren, Orchards Community Park, Orchards, Washington. Image taken April 8, 2017.
Image, 2017, Orchards, Washington, click to enlarge
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Trillium, Orchards Community Park, Orchards, Washington. Image taken April 8, 2017.
Image, 2017, Orchards Park, Clark County, Washington, click to enlarge
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Rhododendron, Orchards Community Park, Clark County, Washington. Image taken May 25, 2017.
Image, 2017, Orchards Park, Clark County, Washington, click to enlarge
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Rose Garden, Orchards Community Park, Clark County, Washington. Image taken May 31, 2017.


Orchards Feed Mill ...
According to Vancouver's The Columbian (September 19, 2013), the Orchards Feed Mill was built in 1889 and sits on the corner of NE Covington Road and Rosewood Avenue. In 2013 a new 22,000-foot store opened north of the original building.
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Image, 2006, Orchards Feed Mill, Orchards, click to enlarge
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Orchards Feed Mill, Orchards, Washington. Image taken November 25, 2006.

View shows the mill before the re-alignment of Covington Road. Rosewood Road, heading east, is on the right.
Image, 2006, Orchards Feed Mill, Orchards, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Orchards Feed Mill, Orchards, Washington. Image taken November 25, 2006.
Image, 2006, Orchards Feed Mill, Orchards, click to enlarge
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Orchards Feed Mill, Orchards, Washington. Image taken November 25, 2006.
Image, 2006, Orchards Feed Mill, Orchards, click to enlarge
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Orchards Feed Mill, Orchards, Washington. Image taken November 25, 2006.


Orchards Mural ...
Today a mural of the Orchards/Sifton circa 1920 exists at the corner of Covington Road and NE Fourth Plain Boulevard. The 75x25-foot mural is located at Orchards Plaza and was painted by Guy Drennan and Linda Peterson. Over 100 volunteers helped with the painting, working in a "paint by number" method. It took a over a year to finish. The official dedication was in October 2003. The mural features plum picking (a big-time crop in the area), pre-1980 Mount St. Helens, the Orchards Feed Store (oldest building still in use in the area, see more above), and the Sifton-Orchards Streetcar No.5.
[More]

Image, 2006, Mural, Fourth Plain, Orchards, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Orchards mural, Fourth Plain, Orchards, Washington. Image taken November 25, 2006.
Image, 2006, Mural, Fourth Plain, Orchards, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Orchards mural, Fourth Plain, Orchards, Washington. Image taken November 25, 2006.


Vancouver - Orchards - Sifton Streetcar ...
According to Battle Ground's The Reflector (October 15, 2003), the Sifton-Orchards Streetcar (also known as the Orchards-Sifton Streetcar or Orchards-Sifton Trolley) use to make 10 stops from Vancouver to Orchards to Sifton. One of the stops included the Orchards Feed Mill, the oldest building still standing in the Orchards area.

A route map in David Warren Freece's "A history of the street railway systems of Vancouver, Washington, 1889-1926" (1984, Master's Thesis, Portland State University) shows a route of the line, beginning in Vancouver on 33rd Street (location of the "Car Barns") east of St. Johns Blvd., crossing Burnt Bridge Creek to Falk (at Falk Road) and then to Stapleton (at Stapleton Road). From there the line curved northeast, the stops being Sparks, Jaggy, Roney, Bonzo, Hartfield, Parkway, Orchards, Gehr (at Gehr Road), and ending at Sifton. The tracks were located to the north of Fourth Plain Blvd. Today Washington State Route 500 follows nearly the same route.

The terminus of the streetcar line was the small community of Sifton.

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Image, 2006, Mural, Fourth Plain, Orchards, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Orchards mural, Sifton-Orchards Streetcar No.5. Image taken November 25, 2006.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, ...
 




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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:
  • Battle Ground The Reflector, October 15, 2003 edition;
  • Clark County Parks and Recreation website, 2017;
  • Clark County Public Information and Outreach website, 2019;
  • The Columbian, 2014, "Names in Clark County";
  • The Columbian, September 18, 2003, October 24, 2007;
  • Freece, D.W., dissertation, 1984, "A history of the street railway systems of Vancouver, Washington, 1889-1926", Portland State University;
  • Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2017;
  • Hitchman, R., 1985, "Place Names of Washington", Washington State Historical Society;
  • Jollota, P., 2004, Downtown Vancouver, Arcadia Publishing;
  • Meany, E.S., 1923, Origin of Washington Geographic Names, University of Washington Press;


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/orchards_sifton.html
May 2017