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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Palmer and Brower, Oregon"
Includes ... Palmer ... Brower ... Palmer Mill ... Palmer Mill Road ... Bridal Veil ...
Image, 2006, Palmer Mill Road sign, Bridal Veil, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Palmer Mill Road Sign. Palmer Mill Road branches off of the Historic Columbia River Highway above Bridal Veil. Image taken September 23, 2006.


Palmer ...
The small now-ghost-town community of Palmer, Oregon, was located in the Columbia River Gorge at Columbia River Mile (RM) 133, east and up the hill from Bridal Veil. The community was on the flanks of Larch Mountain.

According to "Oregon Geographic Names" (McArthur and McArthur, 2003):

"... Palmer post office was in service near Bridal Veil Creek in the hills about three miles east of Bridal Veil from February 21, 1898 to December 15, 1919. Idona A. Pulley was the first postmaster. The office was near the mill and logging railroad of the Bridal Veil Lumber Company and was named for the president, Loren C. Palmer. ..."


Brower ...
Brower was a mill town during the late 1890s. According to "Oregon Geographic Names" (McArthur and McArthur, 2003):

"... Brower was the name of a post office in the hills about two miles south-southeast of Bridal Veil at the north base of Pepper Mountain. It was named for George W. Brower, who, with Eldridge H. Thompson, had a logging and lumber business thereabouts in the 1890s. Brower post office was established December 20, 1889, with Robert C. Bell first postmaster. The office was closed December 22, 1896. ... "

Bridal Veil, Latourell, Palmer, and Brower ...

Image, 2014, Latourell, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pioneer Memorial Marker, Guy W. Talbot State Park, Lower section, Latourell, Oregon. Image taken June 30, 2014.
In MEMORY OF
THE PIONEERS OF
BRIDAL VEIL
LATOURELL
PALMER & BROWER
1930


Early Palmer...
The small community of Palmer was located one and one-half miles south of the community of Bridal Veil, and was a saw-mill and logging town for the Bridal Veil Lumbering Company. Palmer was located up Bridal Veil Canyon, on Bridal Veil Creek and was connected to Bridal Veil by Palmer Mill Road and a two-mile, wooden, v-shaped flume. Timber was rough-cut and then flumed down the mountain to the planing mill at Bridal Veil.

The Palmer Post Office was in service from 1898 to 1919 with Idona Pulley being the first Postmaster. The Post Office was located near the mill and logging railroad of the Bridal Veil Lumbering Company. According to Oregon Geographic Names (McArthur and McArthur, 2003, Oregon Historical Society Press), Palmer and Palmer Mill were named after Loren C. Palmer, president of the Bridal Veil Lumbering Company. Other internet sources however have quoted information from Oregon Post Offices, 1847-1982 (Helbock, R.W., 1982) saying Palmer and Palmer Mill were named after Bertha Palmer who was appointed Postmaster in September 1899.


Loren (Loring) C. Palmer ...
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records website (2012) shows Loring C. Palmer being granted title to 160 acres of T1S R6E, SE 1/4 of Section 6, on April 26, 1889 (1820 Sale-Cash Entry)

An Overview ...

"AN OVERVIEW",
by Tom Cowling

"Bridal Veil evolved as a company mill town in the 1880s when one of Oregon's first paper mills was established on Bridal Veil Creek. A small community developed around the papermaking mill for the families of the workers. It was followed by the Bridal Veil Falls Lumbering Company that consisted of a logging operation and saw-mill on Larch Mountain, and a planing mill at Bridal Veil.

In 1886, the Company started construction of the mill buildings and residential dwellings east of the paper mill. A saw-mill and logging town, later known as Palmer, was built one and one-half miles south of Bridal Veil on Larch Mountain. It was located up Bridal Veil Canyon, on Bridal Veil Creek and was connected to Bridal Veil by Palmer Mill Road and a two-mile, wooden, v-shaped flume. Timber was rough-cut and then flumed down the mountain to the planing mill at Bridal Veil.

The Bridal Veil and Palmer communities and mills worked in tandem, dependent upon each other, for nearly fifty years until fire destroyed some of the planing mill buildings at Bridal Veil in 1936. As the timber supply on the mountain was nearly depleted, and the country was in The Depression, a decision not to rebuild those buildings was made.

In 1937, the mill buildings and town were sold to "Wood Specialties Company", later named "Bridal Veil Lumber and Box Company". This company produced wooden cheese boxes for the Kraft Food Company. Ammunition boxes for the Army and Navy were manufactured during the war years. In 1950, the Company decided to diversify and began producing molding, doorjambs and window frames.

By 1960 the Company had ceased operations. Bridal Veil's nearly 75-year history as a company mill town came to an end."

Source:    In 2001 Tom Cowling published a nice collecion of history, information, and remembrances about early Bridal Veil and nearby communities such as Palmer. (Cowling, Tom, 2001, "Stories of Bridal Veil, A Company Mill Town, 1886-1960", produced for Crown Point Country Historical Society, and published by Stuart F. Cooper Company, L.A., Calfornia).


Image, 2006, Angel's Rest Trailhead sign, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Angel's Rest Trailhead sign, Historic Columbia River Highway. Palmer Mill Road is in the background branching off of the Historic Columbia River Highway. The trailhead is to the left. Image taken May 10, 2006.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 2, 1805 ...
Examined the rapid below us [from their camp at Fort Rains, looking at the Cascade Rapids] more pertcelarly the danger appearing too great to Hazzard our Canoes loaded, dispatched all the men who could not Swim with loads to the end of the portage below, I also walked to the end of the portage with the carriers where I delayed untill everry articles was brought over and canoes arrived Safe. here we brackfast and took a Meridn. altitude 59 45' 45" about the time we were Setting out 7 Squars came over loaded with Dried fish, and bear grass neetly bundled up, Soon after 4 Indian men came down over the rapid in a large canoe.     passed a rapid at 2 miles & 1 at 4 miles opposite the lower point of a high Island on the Lard Side [Bradford Island], and a little below 4 Houses on the Stard. Bank, a Small Creek on the Lard Side [Tanner Creek] opposit Straw berry Island [Hamilton Island], which heads below the last rapid, opposit the lower point of this Island [Hamilton Island] passed three Islands covered with tall timber [today there are two, Ives and Pierce] opposit the Beatin rock [Beacon Rock]    Those Islands are nearest the Starboard Side, imediately below on the Stard. Side passed a village of nine houses [indentified on Atlas map#79 as the "Wah-clallah Tribe of Shahala Nation", location near today's Skamania and Skamania Landing], which is Situated between 2 Small Creeks [Woodard Creek and Duncan Creek], and are of the Same construction of those above; here the river widens to near a mile, and the bottoms are more extensive and thickly timbered, as also the high mountains on each Side, with Pine, Spruce pine, Cotton wood, a Species of ash, and alder.     at 17 miles passed a rock near the middle of the river [Phoca Rock], about 100 feet high and 80 feet Diamuter,     proceed on down a Smoth gentle Stream of about 2 miles wide, in which the tide has its effect as high as the Beaten rock [Beacon Rock] or the Last rapids at Strawberry Island [Hamilton Island],- Saw great numbers of waterfowl of Different kinds, Such as Swan, Geese, white & grey brants, ducks of various kinds, Guls, & Pleaver [today just below Beacon Rock is Franz National Wildlife Refuge]. ...     we encamped under a high projecting rock on the Lard. Side [Rooster Rock, with Crown Point rising above it],     here the mountains leave the river on each Side [leaving the Columbia River Gorge, Steigerwald Land NWR is on the north and the Sandy River delta is on the south], which from the great Shute to this place is high and rugid [Columbia River Gorge]; thickly Covered with timber principalley of the Pine Species. The bottoms below appear extensive and thickly Covered with wood.     river here about 2 miles wide.     Seven Indians in a Canoe on their way down to trade with the nativs below, encamp with us, those we left at the portage passed us this evening and proceeded on down The ebb tide rose here about 9 Inches, the flood tide must rise here much higher- we made 29 miles to day from the Great Shute [Cascade Locks]-





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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:   Cowling, Tom, 2001, Stories of Bridal Veil, A Company Mill Town (1886-1960), produced for Crown Point Country Historical Society, published by Stuart F. Cooper Company, L.A., Calfornia; McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland; U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office Records (GLO) website, 2012;

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 2012