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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Parkersville and Parker's Landing, Washougal, Washington"
includes ... Parkersville ... Parker's Landing ... Parker's Landing Historical Park ... Washougal ... National Register of Historic Places ...
Image, 2004, Parkers Landing Historical Park sign, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. With "Corps of Discovery" member, Trader. Image taken November 21, 2004.


Parkersville and Parker's Landing ...
In 1850 David C. Parker claimed the land he occupied and started the community of Parkersville, the first American town north of the Columbia River. Parker constructed a dock which he called Parker’s Landing. The once-community was located at Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 122. Downstream is the small community of Camas and upstream is today's Washougal. Today the Washougal Marina occupies the area of Parkersville. Located next to the Marina is the "Parker's Landing Historical Park".

Image, 1856, David Parker, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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HISTORICAL 1856 Cadastral Survey map, T1N R3E, Sections 11 and 12, showing the location of David Parker's homestead, Washougal, Washington. Lady Island is in lower left and the Washougal River ("Washookal Creek") is shown upper right. Original map courtesy U.S. Bureau of Land Management website, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Detail, Information panel, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 4, 2016.

"Parker's Landing, circa 1920s. The passenger-freight steamer Jessie Harkins stopped often at Parker's Landing to pick up milk cans and livestock." Illustration by Sandra Neil.


Early History ...
Lewis and Clark passed the Washougal area on November 3, 1805, making note of the "prairie" where Washougal is today located, and suggesting it as a possible wintering-over place. In 1806, on their return trip, Lewis and Clark spent six nights at Cottonwood Beach gathering provisions for their journey home.

Alexander Ross camped in the Washougal vicinity on July 24, 1811 and referred to the location as "Wasough-ally Camp".

In 1838 Richard Ough (Howe) arrived in the area. Ough married the daughter of a local chief.

In 1844 the Washougal area was settled by George Bush and Michael Simmons and his wife. In April 1845 the Simmons son, Christopher Columbus Simmons, was born, making him the first American child born north of the Columbia River. In October 1845 Bush and the Simmons left the Washougal area and headed to Puget Sound.

In 1846 David C. Parker arrived via a wagon train party which rafted down the Columbia River from The Dalles, Oregon. Parker squatted on land just downstream (west) of today's Washougal.

Other settlers followed David Parker. Joseph Gibbons arrived in 1847, Joseph Duncan in 1850, and J.E.C. Durgan in 1854.

In April 1849 pioneer Richard Ough "squatted" on public land on the upstream (east) side of Parker’s land, and in 1850 he claimed the 633.91 acres he occupied.

In 1850, with the coming of the Donation Land Claim (DLC) system, David C. Parker claimed the nearly 582 acres he occupied, and started the community of Parkersville, the first American town north of the Columbia River. Parker constructed a dock which he called Parker’s Landing.

In 1854 Parker platted out the town of Parkersville, which consisted of a couple stores, a hotel, bar and a house.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database (2016) shows Ann Bruner, Ann Parker, and the Heirs of David C Parker being granted title to 520.22 acres of T1N R3E, parts of Sections 11, 12, 13, and 14, on August 27, 1871 (1850 Oregon-Donation Act).

In 1879, Joseph Durgan, founder of Washougal (located just upstream of Parkersville), bought the fairly new Carpenter store at Parkersville which included a post-office. Durgan moved to its new location in Washougal. Fritz Braun, who had started building a hotel and bar in Parkersville moved his building to near Durgan’s store. This location eliminated the wet land problems in the Parkersville area and low water times for ship docking. A roadway, bridge and new dock at Washougal gave Captain Love year-round docking facilities and provided local farmers a new way in and out to the world.

In 1880 Richard Ough sold twenty acres of his claim to Joseph E.C. Durgan and steamship captain and owner Lewis Love. These two men platted the town of Washougal, named after the Indian name for Rushing Water.

Today, Parkersville is the location of the Washougal Marina, and Parkers Landing is now Parkers Landing Historical Park.

In 1976 the "Parkersville Site" was added to the National Register of Historic Places (Pre-historic, Native American, Exploration/Settlement, #76001880).


Views ...

Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 6, 2016.
Image, 2004, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 21, 2004.


Parkersville and Parker's Landing, etc.

  • Chinook Plaza ...
  • National Register of Historic Places ...
  • Parker's Landing Historical Park ...
  • Rose Arbor ...
  • Van Vleet Historical Plaza ...


Chinook Plaza ...
The Chinook Plaza was formally dedicated on September 12, 2009.

"The Chinook Plaza, as well as the Tayi rock, the native planting bed, the interpretive panels, and the pondless waterfall surrounded by native plants, are the fulfillment of the original intent of those who were involved in planning the development of Parker’s Landing Historical Park when it was dedicated and opened on June 1, 1986. In addition to relating local history, one of the wishes of those early members, as well as current members, was to commemorate the Chinook Indians who had inhabited this area, who had left behind many artifacts, some of which are still being found today, and who deserve to be honored, remembered, and imitated for their respect for Mother Earth.” [From the September 12, 2009 Dedication Ceremony.] "


Source:    Port of Camas/Washougal website, 2016.

THE LOCAL CHINOOKAN ROYAL FAMILY

"THE CHINOOKAN PEOPLE have always been united by language and family ties. The local tribe, the Washougalles, lived at Catlipoks, a small village a short distance up the Washougal River. The river was an important salmon spawning ground. In 1800, Chief Schluyhus was part of a large royal family that included his wife, Running Fawn, Running Fawn's mother, and their children White Wing, Wa-ba-na-ha, Morning Star, and Owl Feather. Chief Schluyhus was form the royal lineage and had been chief at The Cascades, and had also been head of all Chinook fisheries. Running Fawn's ancestors had lived at Catlipoks for a very long time.

Wa-ba-na-ha became chief at the Clahclellah village below The Cascades of the Columbia. His wife was Wa-ca-boole, sister-in-law of Chief Chen-o-wuth. The two families were very close and traveled together seasonally to pick huckleberries, fish for salmon, and socialize. They spent winter months with Clackamas Chinook relatives at the fork of the Clackamas and Multnomah Rivers. Wa-ba-na-ha worked for the Cascades Portage Railroad and railroad warehouses. He led his Cascades Chinook villages through relocaiton after 1858 to the White Salmon, and later to the Yakama Indian Reservation.

White Wing married Richard Ough, who was a seaman and fur trader for the Hudson's Bay Company. He renamed her Betsey, and they enjoyed a long and fruitful life together, with a large family. Richard was naturalized and filed for a 640-acre waterfront donation land claim in 1849, part of which he later sold for the development of the city of Washougal. Betwey was known for her hospitality and medical expertise. She died in 1911 in Washougal, exact age unknown (96-106). Her youngest son, John Thomas Ough, also died in Washougal in 1917, as did his daughter, Gracia Ough Jones, in 1995 at age 91."


Source:    Chinook Plaza information panel, Parker's Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, visited November 2016.


Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Information panel, Chinook Plaza, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Detail, Information panel, Chinook Plaza, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Information panel, Chinook Plaza, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Detail, Information panel, Chinook Plaza, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Tayi ("Headman") Stone, Chinook Plaza, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 4, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Tayi ("Headman") Stone, Chinook Plaza, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 4, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Tayi ("Headman") Stone, Chinook Plaza, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 4, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Tayi ("Headman") Stone, Chinook Plaza, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 4, 2016.

Chinook tayi

In honor of the Chinook leaders and their people of the lower Columbia River region

Cassino
Charley Ma-Tote
Chenamus
Cleek-a-Tuck
Coalpo
Coboway
Concomly
Cuckamanna
Kachumult
Lalbick
Lomus
Obanahano
Poh poh
Schlyhoush
Shalharwarcap
Skamania
Stokin
Tamaquin
Taucum
Teapinick
Thomas Huckswel__
Tumalth
Wallahpicate
Washkai
Watcheno



National Register of Historic Places ...
In 1976 the "Parkersville Site" was added to the National Register of Historic Places (Pre-historic, Native American, Exploration/Settlement, #76001880).
[More]

Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Plaque, Parkersville Site, National Register of Historic Places, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 4, 2016.


Parker's Landing Historical Park ...
(to come)

Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Plaque, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 4, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Information panels, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 4, 2016.
Image, 2004, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 21, 2004.


Rose Arbor ...
(to come)

Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Rose Arbor, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Rose Arbor, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Washington Centennial marker, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 4, 2016.


Van Vleet Historical Plaza ...
VAN VLEET HISTORICAL PLAZA

This plaza commemorates the Van Vleet family.

David C. Parker, on whose Donation Land Claim this site is located, platted the town of Parkersville in 1854. When Parker died in 1858, Lewis Van Vleet was appointed the second administrator of Parker's estate, the first having moved. Later Van Vleet bought part of Parker's land, operated Parker's ferry business, and filed a new Parkersville plat on April 18, 1878. Lewis Van Vleet, who established a DLC in Fern Prairie, was a U.S. Deputy Surveyor and Clark County Representative in the Territorial Senate.

Van Vleet's daughter, Louisa Van Vleet Spicer Wright, was one of the first women doctors in the state of Washington. She was born in 1862 at her parents "Oak Grove Farm" in Fern Prairie. In 1885 she graduated from medical school in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The land on which this park is located was given to Louisa by her father.

In 1901, Louisa married James W. Wright, a widower. Aboutt seven years after Dr. Wright's tragic death in 1913, her son Cecil Van Vleet (born a Spicer) began residing on his mother's property. Between 1929 and 1931, Cecil took legal action to re-establish the Parkersville plat, the original having been destroyed by the 1890 fire in the Clark County Court House. Cecil did not live permanently at Parker's Landing, but he returned in the 1950s to remain until his death in 1977. After three generations of Van Vleets being involved in this property, it was sold in 1968 to the Port of Camas/Washougal with the hope that it would become a park.

Local history is reflected by the names engraved in the plaza which begin at the eastern end with the very earliest people -- the Chinook Indians -- followed by explorers, fur traders, and the Michael T. Simmons party who sojourned at this site in late 1844 until the fall of 1845. The foregoing names are followed by the names of those who held Donation Land Claims and Homesteads. All who settled in East Clark County in 1889 or before are considered East Clark County Pioneers. Many of their descendants are also included in the plaza. In addition, present-day people, businesses, churches, and organizaitons have been invited to "Make History" by having a brick inscribed with their name and the year of arrival or establishment."

LEGEND

  • E = Explorer.
  • FT = Fur trader.
  • S = Sojourner (Michael T. Simmons party).
  • DLC = Donation Land Claim.
  • D = Year of death.
  • A = Year of a family's arrival in Clark County, or year of establishing a business, assocation, church, club, or organization. Can also be the year of birth of an individual.
  • P = Pioneer (or descendant of a pioneer) who arrived in Clark County in 1889 or before.
  • * = When there are two or more people named on a birck, an asterick may be placed beside the name of the person to whom the "A" or the "P" applies.


Source:    Information plaque, Van Vleet Historical Plaza, visted November 4, 2016.

Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Plaque, Van Vleet Historical Plaza, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Van Vleet Historical Plaza, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 4, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Van Vleet Historical Plaza, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Van Vleet Historical Plaza, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 4, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Bricks, Van Vleet Historical Plaza, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Bricks, Van Vleet Historical Plaza, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 4, 2016.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Bricks, Van Vleet Historical Plaza, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 4, 2016.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 3, 1805 ...
The Fog So thick [typical of the Pacific Northwest in the fall and spring] this morning that we could not See a man 50 Steps off, this fog detained us untill 10 oClock at which time we Set out [from their camp at Rooster Rock], ...    I walked on the Sand beech Lard. Side, opposit the canoes as they passed allong. The under groth rushes, vines &c. in the bottoms too thick to pass through, at 3 miles I arrived at the enterance of a river [Sandy River] which appeared to Scatter over a Sand bar, the bottom of which I could See quite across and did not appear to be 4 Inches deep in any part; I attempted to wade this Stream and to my astonishment found the bottom a quick Sand, and impassable- I called to the Canoes to put to Shore, I got into the Canoe and landed below the mouth, & Capt Lewis and my Self walked up this river about 1˝ miles to examine this river which we found to be a verry Considerable Stream Dischargeing its waters through 2 Chanels which forms an Island [Sandy River Delta, which has had various names throughout history] of about 3 miles in length on the river and 1˝ miles wide, composed of Corse Sand which is thrown out of this quick Sand river Compressing the waters of the Columbia and throwing the whole Current of its waters against its Northern banks, within a Chanel of ˝ a mile wide, Several Small Islands 1 mile up this river, This Stream has much the appearance of the River Platt: roleing its quick Sands into the bottoms with great velocity after which it is divided into 2 Chanels by a large Sand bar before mentioned, the narrowest part of this River is 120 yards-on the Opposit Side of the Columbia a <large Creek> falls in [Washougal River]     above this Creek on the Same Side is a Small prarie [location of Washougal, Washington, Cottonwood Beach, now the home of Captain William Clark Park, and the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge]. extensive low country on each Side thickly timbered [low area upstream of Cottonwood Beach and Captain William Clark Park is the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge].

The Quick Sand river [Sandy River] appears to pass through the low countrey at the foot of those high range of mountains in a Southerly direction,- The large Creeks which fall into the Columbia on the Stard. Side [Washougal River] rise in the Same range of mountains to the N. N. E. and pass through Some ridgey land- A Mountain which we Suppose to be Mt. Hood [Mount Hood, Oregon] is S. 85° E about 47 miles distant from the mouth of quick sand river [Sandy River]     This mtn. is Covered with Snow and in the range of mountains which we have passed through and is of a Conical form but rugid- after takeing dinner at the mouth of this river [Sandy River]  we proceeded on passed the head of a Island [Lady Island] near the lard Side [???] back of which on the Same Side and near the head a large Creek falls in [Washougal River, today the town of Camas, Washington, lies between Lady Island and the Washougal River], and nearly opposit & 3 miles below the upper mouth of quick Sand river is the lower mouth, [for?] This Island [Lady Island] is 3 1/2 miles long, has rocks at the upper point, Some timber on the borders of this Island in the middle open and ponney. Some rugid rocks in the middle of the Stream opposit this Island.   <proceeded in> to Center of a large Island in the middle of the river which we call Dimond Isld. [Government Island] from its appearance, here we met 15 Indn men in 2 canoes from below, they informed us they Saw 3 vestles below &c. &c. we landed on the North Side of this Dimond Island and Encamped [on the north side of Government Island, perhaps opposite Fishers Landing],     Capt. L walked out with his gun on the Island, Sent out hunters & fowlers- below quick Sand River [Sandy River] the Countrey is low rich and thickly timbered on each Side of the river  [on the Oregon side this area is the eastern end of the Columbia Slough, located on the floodplain of the Willamette River with the Columbia River],   the Islands open & Some ponds river wide and emence numbers of fowls flying in every direction Such as Swan, geese, Brants, Cranes, Stalks, white guls, comerants & plevers &c. also great numbers of Sea Otter in the river [Harbor Seals] -     a Canoe arrived from the village below the last rapid ...     Capt Lewis borrowed a Small Canoe of those Indians & 4 men took her across to a Small lake in the Isld. [Government Island] ...    ...  :  note the mountain we Saw from near the forks proves to be Mount Hood [Mount Hood, Oregon]






Clark, March 31, 1806 ...
we Set out this morning [from their camp at "Jolie Prairie", today the location of Fort Vancouver and Pearson Airpark ... also in this area are Wintler Park and Ryan Point] and proceeded untill 8 oClock when we landed on the N. Side opposit one large House of the Shah-ha-la Nation near this house at the time we passed on the 4th of November last was Situated 25 houses, 24 of them were built of Straw & Covered with bark as before mentioned. those [of] that description are all distroyed, the one built of wood only remains and is inhabited [vicinity of today's Portland International Airport]. ...     at 10 A. M we proceeded on accompanied by one Canoe and three men, one of them appeared to be a man of Some note, ...     passed up on the N. Side of White brant Island [Lady Island] near the upper point of Which a Small river falls in about 80 yards wide and at this time discharges a great quantity of water [Washougal River]. the nativs inform us that this river is very Short and heads in the range of mountains to the N E of its enterance into the Columbia the nativs haveing no name which we could learn for this little river we Call it Seal river [Washougal River] from the great number of those Animals which frequents its mouth. this river forks into two nearly equal branches about 1 mile up and each branch is crouded with rapids & falls. we proceeded on about 2 miles above the enterance of this Seacalf river [Washougal River] and imedeately opposit the upper mouth of the quick Sand river [Sandy River] we formed a Camp in a Small Prarie on the North Side of the Columbia [Cottonwood Beach] where we intend to delay one or two days to make Some Selestial observations, to examine quick sand river [Sandy River], and kill Some meat to last us through the Western Mountains which Commences a fiew miles above us [Cascade Mountain Range] and runs in a N. N. W. & S. S. E. derection. The three Indians encamped near us and visited our fire we entered into a kind of a Conversation by signs, of the Country and Situation of the rivers. they informed us that Seal river [Washougal River] headed in the mountains at no great distance. quick Sand river [Sandy River] was Short only headed in Mt. Hood [Mount Hood, Oregon] which is in view and to which he pointed. this is a circumstance we did not expect as we had heretofore deemed a comsiderable river. Mount Hood bears East from this place and is distant from this place about 40 miles. this information if true will render it necessary to examine the river below on the South Side behind the image canoe [Hayden Island] and Wappato islands [Sauvie Island] for some river which must water the Country [Willamette River] weste of the western mountains to the Waters of California. The Columbia is at present on a Stand and we with dificuelty made 25 miles to day—.





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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:    See Washougal.   

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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November 2016