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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Prescott Beach, Oregon"
Includes ... Prescott ... Prescott Beach ... Prescott Beach County Park ... Prescott Point ... Carr Slough ... Missoula Floods ... Campsite of November 5, 1805 ...
Image, 2013, Prescott Beach, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Prescott Beach, Oregon. Image taken January 11, 2013.


Prescott, Prescott Beach, and Prescott Point ...
Prescott, Prescott Beach, and Prescott Point (also known as Precott Bluff) are located on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. The mile-long Prescott Beach stretches between River Miles (RM) 71 and 72, and lies immediately downstream of Trojan Park and the former Trojan Nuclear Facility. Two miles upstream lies the Oregon community of Goble and fifteen miles upstream is the community of St. Helens. Six miles downstream lies the Oregon community of Rainier. Across the Columbia on the Washington side are located Carrolls and Carrolls Bluff, Cottonwood Island, and the mouth of the Kalama River,

Early Prescott ...
The area of today's Prescott, Oregon, was first called "Danby Landing".

The 1862 cadastral survey (tax survey) for T7N R2E shows the area of Prescott Point (Section 26) being within the Donation Land Claim (DLC) of Thomas F. Galloway. The area of Prescott Beach and the community of Prescott (Section 35) shows no DLC.

Prescott, Oregon, became "Prescott" when the Astoria & Columbia Railroad built a station for the newly-built Beaver Lumber Company. Edward L. Prescott was president of the Beaver Lumber Company, as well as the Prescott Machinery Company of Portland.

According to McArthur and McArthur in Oregon Geographic Names (2003, Oregon Historical Society):

"Prescott was named about 1905 for owners of the sawmill. Prescott post office was in operation from May 21, 1907, to May 15, 1946. Anna Barker was the first postmaster."

From the September 28, 1906 "Morning Astorian":

""What will be one of the most modern saw mills on the Columbia river is now being rapidly built at Danby Landing, three miles east of Rainier, by the Beaver Lumber company of which E.L. Prescott of the Prescott Machinery company of Portland, is president, and R.F. Barker, formerly manager of the Diamond Match company at Chico, Cal., and one of the best mill men on the Coast, is general manager. ... The railroad company is building a switch there and the station will be called Prescott. It is the intention to be under operation in about three months."

From the November 14, 1906 "Oregon Daily Journal":

TOWN OF PRESCOT IS FOUNDED BY MILLMEN.

(Special Dispatch to The Journal.)

Rainier, Or., Nov. 14. -- About 3 1/3 miles from Rainier, just between Rainier and Goble, a new station has spring into existence, which promises in a short time to make a nice little town. With the recent advent of a big mill, the Beaver Lumber company, came 40 men as millhands. Many of these have since brought their families and are preparing to settle. The station has already received a name, being called Prescot."


Source:    "The Oregon Daily Journal", November 14, 1906, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2016.


Image, 2013, Prescott, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Banners, Prescott, Oregon. Image taken January 11, 2013.
Image, 2016, Prescott Beach, Oregon Highway 30, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Oregon Highway 30, turnoff to Prescott Beach, Oregon. View is heading northwest. Image taken September 9, 2016.


Lieutenant Broughton and Prescott Beach, 1792 ...
In 1792 Lieutenant Broughton of the British Vancouver Expedition quite possibly camped at Prescott Beach, or on the Washington side of the Columbia across from Prescott Beach.

"After dinner the party proceeded up the reach, extending S. 18 E. passing a low sandy island at its entrance against a very strong stream; and having advanced about four miles, they took up their residence for the night ..." [Broughton, October 27, 1792]

The "low sandy island" is today's Cottonwood Island and the "entrance" refers to the Cowlitz River.


Lewis and Clark and Prescott Beach ...
Lewis and Clark spent the night of November 5, 1805, near today's Prescott Beach, Oregon. In Clark's notes in his first draft he places the camp three miles below the mouth of the Kalama River.

On March 27, 1806, on their return upriver, Lewis and Clark pass by Prescott Beach and camp just upstream near today's community of Goble.


Campsite of November 5, 1805 ...
Lewis and Clark spent the night of November 5, 1805, near today's Prescott Beach, Oregon. In Clark's notes in his first draft he places the camp three miles below the mouth of the Kalama River.

"... 5 miles to a point of high piney land on the Lard Side    the Stard. Shore bold and rockey    passed a Creek at 2 miles on the Stard Side, below which is an old village." [Clark, November 5, 1805, first draft]

"... we Came too and Encamped on the Lard. Side under a high ridgey land, the high land come to the river on each Side.    the river about 1 1/2 mile wide.    those high lands rise gradually from the river & bottoms ..." [Clark, November 5, 1805, first draft]

Lewis and Clark's previous campsite was a Post Office Lake, now a part of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Their campsite of November 6, 1805, was near Cape Horn in Wahkiakum County, Washington.


Views ...

Image, 2015, Prescott Beach, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Prescott Beach looking downstream, Prescott, Oregon. Image taken April 19, 2015.
Image, 2003, Prescott Beach, Oregon, upstream view, click to enlarge
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Prescott Beach, Oregon, looking upstream. Image taken August 29, 2003.


Prescott, etc.

  • Beaver Lumber Company (1906) ...
  • Carr Slough ...
  • Missoula Floods ...
  • Prescott Beach County Park ...
  • Prescott Point (Prescott Bluff) ...


Beaver Lumber Company (1906) ...
"SALEM, Or., May 29. -- (Special) -- Following articles of incorporation have been filed in the Secretary of State's office: ...

Beaver Lumber Company; principal office, Portland, Or.; capital stock, $60,000: incorporators, W.C. Brown, George L. Curry, and R.F. Barker."


Source:    "The Morning Oregonian", May 30, 1906, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2016.

FINE SAW MILL BEING BUILT
The Beaver Lumber Company Rushing Work On Their New Plant at Danby Landing, Near Rainier.

"What will be one of the most modern saw mills on the Columbia river is now being rapidly built at Danby Landing, three miles east of Rainier, by the Beaver Lumber company of which E.L. Prescott of the Prescott Machinery company of Portland, is president, and R.F. Barker, formerly manager of the Diamond Match company at Chico, Cal., and one of the best mill men on the Coast, is general manager. The mill will be a full hand mill rigged with a 9-foot band and be fitted for handling both car and cargo business, having deep water in front and the tracks of the A. & C. in the rear, and have a capacity of 1,000,000 feet of lumber every ten hours. The piling for the buildings, some 1,700, have been driven and the frame work of the mill is almost up and two car loads of machinery are expected next week. The railroad company is building a switch there and the station will be called Prescott. It is the intention to be under operation in about three months."


Source:    "The Morning Astorian", September 28, 1906, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2016.

"J.E. Quinn of the Beaver Lumber Comopany of Prescott, Oregon was in Astoria yesterday on business. He reports the big new mill almost completed and will be ready for business about April 1st., or as soon as the new hotel which the company is building is completed. This is one of the most modern and finely equipped plants on the Columbia River and managed by the people it is as we predict for it a splendid record. The plant is located three miles east of Rainier on the A. & C. R.R., which has established a station there. R.F. Barker formerly of the Diamond Watch Co., is the general manager."


Source:    "The Morning Astorian", February 22, 1907, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2016.

"Edward L. Prescott of the Prescott Steel Company at Menomines, Mich., and manager of the Beaver Lumber Company at Prescott, Or., has become favorably impressed with the opportunity offered for investment in Portland real estate and has become associated with D.E. Keasey in Portland Heights improvements."


Source:    "The Morning Oregonian", June 18, 1907, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2016.



Carr Slough ...
Carr Slough is the drainage which lies between Prescott Beach and Oregon Highway 30.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database (2016) shows Joseph Carr being granted title to 120 acres of T7N R2W, Section 35, on November 20, 1865 (1820 Sale-Cash Entry). The database also shows Joseph A. Carr being granted title to 40 acres of T7N R2W, Section 35, on November 1, 1870 (1820 Sale-Cash Entry), and again being granted title to another 40 acres of T7N R2W, Section 35, on November 15, 1870 (1820 Sale-Cash Entry).

The 1860 Columbia County census (courtesy Columbia County website, 2016) lists an Anderson Carr (age 24 from Indiana, farmer) and an Elizabeth Carr (age 16 from Indiana). The 1870 Census shows J.A. Carr (age 34 from Ohio, keeps woodyard) and H.E. Carr (25 from Illinois, keeping house). The 1880 census shows only Elizabeth Carr (age 34 from Indiana).

"Anderson Carr, who has lived on the Columbia River for fifteen years, has lately left for parts unknown, leaving his wife behind him. He had sold most of his property and took the proceeds with him. He had generally been in the saloon business."


Source:    "The New Northwest", March 25, 1880, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2016.

The 1888 and 1892 U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Charts "Columbia River, Sheet 4, Grim's Island to Kalama" shows "Carr's Slough", with the drainage covering the bottom between Coffin Rock (depicted and named) and the north end of Prescott Beach.

In 1915, the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Carr Slough" the official name over "Carrs Slough" or "Carr's Slough".


Image, 2016, Carr Slough, Prescott, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Carr Slough, Prescott, Oregon. Image taken September 9, 2016.
Image, 2014, Carr Slough, Prescott, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Hooded Merganser, Carr Slough, Prescott, Oregon. Image taken December 31, 2014.


Missoula Floods ...
The constriction at Carrolls Bluff on the Washington side of the Columbia and Prescott Point bluff on the Oregon side (just north of Prescott Beach) backed up flood waters from the Missoula Floods into the Willamette Valley. This constriction is known as "Kalama Gap".
[More]

Image, 2006, Prescott Beach, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Prescott Point, Oregon, as seen from the Kalama shore, Washington. On the left is Prescott Point with Prescott Beach left of the point. On the right is a shipping dock located just downstream of Kalama, Washington. Image taken, April 7, 2006.


Prescott Beach County Park ...
Prescott Beach County Park is a 71-acre day-use park hosting one of the Columbia River's finest fishing and windsurfing sites. The park features a covered picnic shelter, playground equipment, a beautiful gazebo, a horse shoe pit and sand volleyball courts. The park is located 14 miles downstream of St. Helens, Oregon, and five miles upstream of Rainier, Oregon. Turn off U.S. 30 onto Graham Road. 1.75 miles to park entrance.

Image, 2015, Prescott Beach County Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Prescott Beach County Park, Prescott, Oregon. Image taken April 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Prescott Beach County Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Prescott Beach County Park, Prescott, Oregon. Image taken April 19, 2015.
Image, 2004, Prescott Beach County Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Prescott Beach County Park, Prescott, Oregon. Image taken February 28, 2004.


Prescott Point (Prescott Bluff) ...
(to come)

Image, 2016, Prescott Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Prescott Point as seen from Prescott Beach, Oregon. Image taken September 9, 2016.
Image, 2014, Prescott Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Prescott Point as seen from Prescott Beach, Oregon. Image taken December 31, 2014.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 5, 1805 ...
Rained all the after part of last night, rain continues this morning, I [s]lept but verry little last night [Post Office Lake, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge] for the noise Kept dureing the whole of the night by the Swans, Geese, white & Grey Brant Ducks &c. on a Small Sand Island [one of the islands of the Ridgefield Refuge] close under the Lard. Side; they were emensely noumerous, and their noise horid- we Set out <at about Sun rise> early here the river is not more than 3/4 of a mile in width, passed a Small Prarie on the Stard. Side [quite possibly the location of today's Campbell Lake] passed 2 houses about 1/2 a mile from each other on the Lard. Side a Canoe came from the upper house, with 3 men in its mearly to view us, passed an Isld. Covered with tall trees & green briers [Bachelor Island] Seperated from the Stard. Shore by a narrow Chanel [Lake River or Bachelor Island Slough] at 9 [8?] miles I observed on the Chanel [Lake River or Bachelor Island Slough] which passes on the Stard Side of this Island [Bachelor Island] a Short distance above its lower point is Situated a large village [Cathlapotle Village, near where Lewis and Clark camped on March 29, 1806, a place now known as Wapato Portage], the front of which occupies nearly 1/4 of a mile fronting the Chanel, and closely Connected, I counted 14 houses in front here the river widens to about 1 1/2 miles. ...    about 1 1/2 miles below this village on the Lard Side behind a rockey Sharp point [Warrior Point, Sauvie Island], we passed a Chanel 1/4 of a mile wide [Multnomah Channel] which I take to be the one the Indian Canoe entered yesterday from the lower point of Immage Canoe Island [Hayden Island, at this point Lewis and Clark had not discovered Hayden Island and Sauvie Island were two separate islands]     a Some low clifts of rocks below this Chanel [St. Helens, Oregon], a large Island Close under the Stard Side opposit [Lewis River floodplain, home of Woodland, Washington, possibly more of an "island" in 1805 ???], and 2 Small Islands, below [today's Burke and Martin Islands], here we met 2 canoes from below,- below those Islands a range of high hills form the Stard. Bank of the river [Martin Bluff], the Shore bold and rockey, Covered with a thick groth of Pine     an extensive low Island [Deer Island], Seperated from the Lard side by a narrow Chanel, on this Island we Stoped to Dine I walked out found it open & covered with <Small> grass interspersed with Small ponds, in which was great numbr. of foul, the remains of an old village on the lower part of this Island, I saw Several deer ...     below the lower point of this Island [Deer Island] a range of high hills which runs S. E. forms the Lard. bank of the river the Shores bold and rockey & hills Covered with pine, [Lewis and Clark are passing Goble, Oregon, and the area around the Trojan Nuclear Power Facility     The high hills leave the river on the Stard. Side a high bottom between the hill & river [Kalama, Washington]. We met 4 Canoes of Indians from below, in which there is 26 Indians, one of those Canoes is large, and ornimented with Images on the bow & Stern. That in the Bow the likeness of a Bear, and in Stern the picture of a man- we landed on the Lard. Side & camped [near Prescott Beach, Oregon] a little below the mouth of a creek [Kalama River] on the Stard. Side a little below the mouth of which is an Old Village which is now abandaned-;     here the river is about one and a half miles wide. and deep, The high Hills which run in a N W. & S E. derection form both banks of the river the Shore boald and rockey, the hills rise gradually & are Covered with a thick groth of pine &c. The valley [Columbian Valley] which is from above the mouth of Quick Sand River [Sandy River] to this place may be computed at 60 miles wide on a Derect line, & extends a great Distanc to the right & left rich thickly Covered with tall timber, with a fiew Small Praries bordering on the river and on the Islands; Some fiew Standing Ponds & Several Small Streams of running water on either Side of the river; This is certainly a fertill and a handsom valley, at this time Crouded with Indians. The day proved Cloudy with rain the greater part of it, we are all wet cold and disagreeable- I saw but little appearance of frost in this valley which we call <Wap-pa-too Columbia> from the root or plants growing Spontaniously in this valley only ...     We made 32 miles to day by estimation-






Clark, March 27, 1806 ...
a rainey disagreeable night     rained the greater part of the night     we Set out this morning verry early [from their camp on Walker Island] and proceeded on to two houses of the Skil-lute Indians on the South Side [downstream of Rainier, Oregon] here we found our hunters who had Seperated from us last evening.     the wind rose and the rain became very hard Soon after we landed here we were very friendly receved by the natives who gave all our party as much fish as they Could eate, ...     resumed our voyage at 12 oClock. The principal village of the Skil-lutes is Situated on the lower Side of the Cow-e-lis kee river [Cowlitz River] a fiew miles from it's enterance into the Columbia. ...     The Cow e lis kee river [Cowlitz River] is 150 yards wide, is deep and from Indian information navigable a very conslderable distance for canoes. it discharges itself into the Columbia about 3 miles above a remarkable knob [Mount Coffin] which is high and rocky and Situated on the North Side of the Columbia, and Seperated from the Northern hills of the river by a Wide bottom of Several Miles, to which it united [today the cities of Longview and Kelso, Washington]. I Suspect that this river Waters the Country lying west of a range of Mountains which passes the Columbia between the Great falls and rapids, and North of the Same nearly to the low country which Commences on the N W. Coast about Latitude 4o [blank] North. ...     at the distance of 2 miles above the village at which we brackfast we passed the enterance of this river [Cowlitz River]; we Saw Several fishing camps of the Skillutes on both Sides of the Columbia, and also on both Sides of this river. ...     late in the evening we passed the place we Camped the 5th of Novr. [Prescott Beach] and Encamped about 4 miles above at the Commencement of the Columbian Vally on the Stard. Side [near Goble, Oregon] below Deer Island [Deer Island, Oregon]. ...

[between Prescott Beach and Goble lies Coffin Rock, a basalt feature on the south side of the Columbia, now located on property owned by the Trojan Nuclear Facility]

Saw Cotton wood, Sweet Willow, w[hite] oake, ash and the broad leafed ash the Growth which resembles the bark &c. these form the groth of the bottom lands, whilst the Hills are almost exclusively Covered with the various Species of fir heretofore discribed. the black alder appears on Maney parts of the hills Sides as on the bottoms. before we Set out from the 2 houses where we brackfast we Sent on two Canoes with the best hunters, with orders to pro ceed as fast as they Could to Deer island [Deer Island, Oregon] and there to hunt and wait our arrival. we wish to halt at that place and repare 2 of our Canoes if possible. the Indians that visited us this evining remained but a Short time, they passed over to an Island [Sandy Island ???] and encamped. the night as well as the day proved Cold wet and excessively disagreeable. we Came 20 miles in the Course of this 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:    Columbia County Forests, Parks, and Recreation website, 2004;    Columbia County Historian website, 2004;    Hay, K.G., 2004, The Lewis and Clark Columbia River Water Trail, Timber Press, Portland;    Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, 2016, University of Oregon Libraries;    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 (GLO) Records database, 2016;    U.S. Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database, 2016;   

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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September 2016