Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Puget Island, Washington"
Includes ... Puget Island ... "Sturgeon Island" ... "Sea Otter Island" ... Puget Island Natural Area Preserve ... Coffee Pot Island ... Ryan Island ... Jackson Island ... Whites Island ...
Image, 2004, Puget Island from Bradley Wayside, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Puget Island as seen from Bradley State Wayside, Oregon. Image taken November 20, 2004.


Puget Island ...
Puget Island, Washington, located in the middle of the Columbia River, begins at River Mile (RM) 38 and ends at RM 45. Puget Island contains the Puget Island Natural Area Preserve. The island, which lies across from Cathlamet, Washington, is connected to the mainland by Washington State Highway 409 bridge crossing the Cathlamet Channel. Immediately downstream of Puget Island is Tenasillahe Island, and the beginning of the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge. A ferry links Puget Island to the Oregon side of the Columbia River, with the ferry landing being at Westport, Oregon. The Bradley State Wayside Scenic Overlook, on the Oregon side of the Columbia, overlooks Puget Island and presents great views.

Image, 2005, Cargo ship passing Puget Island, click to enlarge
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Cargo ship passing Puget Island, Washington. View from Bradley State Wayside, Oregon. Image taken February 19, 2005.
Image, 2005, Columbia River looking upstream from Bradley Wayside, Oregon, click to enlarge
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View upstream from Bradley State Wayside, Oregon. Puget Island and Coffee Pot Island, can be seen from Bradley State Wayside. Image taken April 19, 2005.


Early Puget Island ...
Puget Island was named in 1792 by Lieutenant Broughton on his exploration of the Columbia River. On October 26, 1792, Broughton sailed passed the island and named it for Lieutenant Peter Puget, the same person Puget Sound, near Seattle, Washington, was named for.

"... After advancing about two leagues the land became high and rocky on both sides; here a well wooded island, about a league and a half long, divided the stream, and afforded a good passage on each side of it; the deepest is on the N. E. side, in which was found 10 and 12 fathoms water. About a league past the S.E. point of this island, which received the name of Puget's Island ..." [Vancouver, October 26, 1792]

Lewis and Clark called the island both "Sturgeon Island" and "Sea Otter Island". On their draft map [Moulton, Vol.1, Map#89], Lewis and Clark have the name "Sturgeon Island" on what is today's Little Island, of the Puget Island complex. Upstream, Wallace Island is depicted but not named. The reach with Tenasillahe and Welch Islands and the islands of the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge are labeled "Marshy Islands". On the route map however [Map#81] the "Marshy Islands" are located a bit more upstream, followed by "S ___ (damaged area, presumably "Sea Otter Isl.") tter Isl." (today's Puget Island), and then "Sturgeon Isl." (today's Wallace Island).

The 1825 map of the Hudson's Bay Company called "Columbia River, Surveyed 1825" (printed 1826), labeled the island "Pigets I.".

In 1841, Charles Wilkes, of the U.S. Exploring Expedition called the island "Pugets I.", with the upstream point being labeled "Cottonwood Pt." and the downstream tip labeled "Sunday Pt.".


Views ...

Image, 2005, Puget Island and Cathlamet Bridge, Washington, click to enlarge
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Puget Island and Cathlamet, Washington. Image taken March 5, 2005.
Image, 2005, Barn, Puget Island, Washington, click to enlarge
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Barn, Puget Island, Washington. Image taken March 5, 2005.
Image, 2005, Old house, Puget Island, Washington, click to enlarge
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Old house, Puget Island, Washington. View from the Puget Island-Westport Ferry Terminal. Image taken March 5, 2005.
Image, 2005, Bernie Slough, Puget Island, Washington, click to enlarge
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Bernie Slough, Puget Island, Washington. Image taken March 5, 2005.
Image, 2005, Church, Welcome Slough, Puget Island, Washington, click to enlarge
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Church, Welcome Slough, Puget Island, Washington. Image taken March 5, 2005.
Image, 2005, Puget Island Ferry Dock, click to enlarge
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Puget Island Ferry Dock. Image taken March 5, 2005.
Image, 2005, Cathlamet from Puget Island, click to enlarge
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Cathlamet as seen from Puget Island. Image taken March 5, 2005.
Image, 2009, Puget Island, Washington, click to enlarge
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Paddleboat, Puget Island, Washington. Image taken May 8, 2009.
Image, 2007, Puget Island shoreline, click to enlarge
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Puget Island shoreline, Columbia River looking downstream from Ferry Dock. Image taken October 13, 2007.
Image, 2011, Puget Island shoreline, click to enlarge
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Puget Island shoreline, Columbia River looking downstream from Ferry Dock. Image taken April 22, 2011.
Image, 2007, Puget Island, Washington, click to enlarge
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Old house, Puget Island, Washington. Image taken October 13, 2007.
Image, 2009, Puget Island, Washington, click to enlarge
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Slough, Puget Island, Washington. Image taken May 8, 2009.
Image, 2009, Puget Island, Washington, click to enlarge
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Old House, Puget Island, Washington. Image taken May 8, 2009.
Image, 2009, Puget Island, Washington, click to enlarge
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Old Barn, Puget Island, Washington. Image taken May 8, 2009.


Puget Island, etc.

  • Puget Island to Westport Ferry ...
  • Ryan, Coffee Pot, Jackson, and Whites Islands ...
  • Views from Bradley State Wayside ...


Puget Island to Westport Ferry ...
Wahkiakum County, Washington, has operated the Puget Island to Westport ferry since 1962. The ferry runs 365 days a year and tries to keep to a schedule of 18 runs, and is the last ferry in existence on the Lower Columbia River.
[More]

Image, 2011, Puget Island Ferry, click to enlarge
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Puget Island Ferry "Wahkiakum" in route to Westport, Oregon. View from ferry terminal, Puget Island, Washington. Image taken April 22, 2011.


Ryan, Coffee Pot, Jackson, and Whites Islands ...
Neither Ryan Island off the northwestern edge of Puget Island, nor Coffee Pot Island off the southern edge of Puget Island are depicted on the 1841 map done by Charles Wilkes, of the U.S. Exploring Expedition. Two small islands are depicted off the northeastern shore of Puget Island and are labeled "Studzi I." and "Bag I.". Studzi Island and Bag Island are located in the area now occupied by the undiked marshy Jackson Island and Whites Island.

Washington Territory's 1858 cadastral survey for T8N R6W shows no islands in the areas of today's Ryan Island or Coffee Pot Island. Neither does the 1863 survey. The 1858 survey for T8N R5W does show the two small islands on the upstream end of Puget Island. They are labeled "Jacksons I." and "Browns I.". The 1873 survey also calls them "Jacksons Id." and "Browns Isd.".

A 1887 map (1:375,000 scale, published in 1888 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) "The Columbia River from Celilo to the mouth showing location of the salmon fisheries (1887)" shows "Puget I." and the two small islands (unnamed) on the upstream side.

The 1889 "Chart of the Columbia River from the ocean to Portland, Oregon illustrating the condition of the salmon fishery, season of 1888-9 : showing in detail the location of the pound-nets, weirs, seine-hauls, gill-net grounds and canneries (1889)" shows "Puget Island", plus a small Ryan Island (unnamed) and Coffee Pot Island (unnamed). Also depicted are the two islands off the upstream tip of Puget Island. Both are unnamed.

The 1948 NOAA Nautical Chart #6152, "Harrington Point to Crims Island", has only the label "marsh" on Ryan Island, and Coffee Pot Island is unnamed, as are Jackson and Whites Islands. The 1968 chart calls Coffee Pot Island "Sand I.", as does the 1979 chart. The name Coffee Pot Island appears on the 1982 NOAA Nautical Chart, however the name Ryan Island does not. The 1985 Chart has both names. Jackson Island and Whites Island are not named on even the latest NOAA chart (2001) this web author has, but are on the current topographic maps.

According to information on the "Rootsweb.com" website (2005) Coffee Pot Island was named in the late 1800s by local fishermen who would stop, make small fires, and brew up cups of coffee.

[More Coffee Pot Island]
[More Ryan Island]


Image, 2003, Ryan Island, Washington, click to enlarge
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Ryan Island, Washington. Ryan Island, Washington, part of the Puget Island "complex", off the northwestern corner of Puget Island. Image taken November 9, 2003.
Image, 2004, Puget Island and Coffee Pot Island, from Bradley Wayside, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Puget Island and Coffee Pot Island. Puget Island (middleground) and Coffee Pot Island (foreground), looking upstream from Bradley State Wayside, Oregon. Image taken November 20, 2004.


Views from Bradley State Wayside ...
A good view of Puget Island can be had from Bradley State Wayside, located downstream from Wauna, Oregon.

Image, 2012, Puget Island from Bradley Wayside, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Puget Island as seen from Bradley State Wayside, Oregon. Image taken September 22, 2012.
Image, 2012, Puget Island from Bradley Wayside, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Puget Island as seen from Bradley State Wayside, Oregon. Image taken September 22, 2012.
Image, 2004, Columbia River looking upstream from Bradley Wayside, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Columbia River, view upstream from Bradley State Wayside, Oregon. Image taken November 20, 2004.
Image, 2005, view from Bradley State Scenic Wayside, Oregon, click to large
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Puget Island, Cathlamet Channel, Cathlamet Bridge, from Bradley State Wayside. Mount Rainier is in the distance, right. Image taken April 19, 2005.
Image, 2004, Puget Island, Cape Horn, and the Clastskanie Floodplain, from Bradley Wayside, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Puget Island, Cape Horn (Wahkiakum), and the Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough Floodplain, as seen from Bradley State Wayside, Oregon. Puget Island (middleground), Cape Horn of Wahkiakum County (left), and the Clatskanie floodplain, Oregon (distance),as seen from Bradley State Wayside. Coffee Pot Island is in the lower right. Image taken November 20, 2004.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 7, 1805 ...





Clark, March 25, 1806 ...


Lewis, March 25, 1806 ...




Journey to the PacificReturn to
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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 Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority website, 2004;
  • NOAA Office of Coast Survey website, 2005;
  • "Rootsweb.com" website, 2005;
  • University of Washington and Washington State Digital Map Collections website, 2005, "Early Washington Maps, A Digital Collection";
  • Wahkiakum County Public Works website, 2005;
  • Washington State Historical Society website, 2004, "Lasting Legacy", and 2013 "Collections";


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/puget_island.html
August 2013