Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Prune Hill, Washington"
Includes ... Prune Hill ... Boring Lava Cone ... Fisher Quarry ...
Image, 2004, Prune Hill, Washington, from Chinook Landing, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Prune Hill, Washington, from Chinook Landing, Oregon. Lady Island is the low trees in the middleground. Image taken October 11, 2004.


Prune Hill, Washington ...
The base of the Boring Lava cone "Prune Hill" can be seen rising behind Lady Island and Camas, Washington, with its high point at elevation 751 feet. The first name given to this area was "Rock Quarry District" for the large quarry located on the Columbia River near Fisher. The name "Prune Hill" was adopted in 1900. In the 1880s and 1890s the west slopes and top of the hill were planted prune trees, with a Mr. Boyer being the first man in the area to put in a big prune orchard. Other settlers followed. At one time there were seven dryers in the Prune Hill area alone (none remain today). By the turn of the century Clark County, Washington, was known as the prune capitol of the world, a title which continued until the Depression when the bottom fell out of the prune market. Today only a few prune trees remain. Good views of Prune Hill can be had from Chinook Landing on the Oregon side of the Columbia. Views can also be had from another Boring Lava Cone, Rocky Butte, located south of the Portland International Airport.

Image, 2005, Prune Hill, a Boring Lava Cone, as seen from Rocky Butte, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Prune Hill, Washington, a Boring Lava Cone, as seen from Rocky Butte, Oregon Image taken June 15, 2005.
Image, 2014, Prune Hill from Washington Highway 14, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Prune Hill, Washington, a Boring Lava Cone, as seen from Washington State Highway 14, heading west. View from near Camas, Washington. Image taken July 31, 2014.


Fisher Quarry ...
Also known as "Fishers Quarry" or "Fishers Landing Quarry", the Fisher Quarry lies at Columbia River Mile (RM) 116. The quarry began operations about 1881 and is still in operation today. Early rock went for the the Gray's Harbor jetty and the major part of the Columbia River jetty and rock today is used in road beds and landscaping. Fisher Quarry is located in basalt flows which erupted from a vent located on the slope of Prune Hill, a Boring Lava cone. Fisher Quarry is located a little over one mile east of Fishers Landing and approximately 3.5 miles west of the community of Camas. The edge of the Quarry can be seen from Washington State Highway 14.
[More]

Image, 1909, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
HISTORICAL PHOTO, Fisher Quarry as seen ca.1909.

"Quarry near Fishers Landing, Columbia River, Washington. Shows loading incline." Source: N.H. Darton, 1909, Structural Materials in Parts of Oregon and Washington: USGS Bulletin 387.
Image, 2014, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fisher Quarry as seen from SE 192nd Ave, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 31, 2014.
Image, 2014, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fisher Quarry as seen from Washington State Highway 14, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 31, 2014.


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]





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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:    Darton, N.H., 1909, Structural Materials in Parts of Oregon and Washington, USGS Bulletin 387;    Evarts, R.C., Conrey, R.M., Fleck, R.J., and Hagstrum, J.T., 2009, The Boring Volcanic Field of Portland-Vancouver area, Oregon and Washington: Tectonically anomalous forearc volcanism in an urban setting: IN: The Geological Society of America Field Guide 15;

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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August 2014