Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Rowena Creek and Rowena Dell, Oregon"
Includes ... Rowena Creek ... Rowena Dell ... "Hog Canyon" ...
Image, 2005, Tom McCall Nature Preserve, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tom McCall Nature Preserve, Oregon. View looking downstream Rowena Creek at Rowena Dell. Image taken September 18, 2005.


Rowena Creek ...
Rowena Creek enters the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 179, just downstream of Tom McCall Nature Preserve and Rowena Crest and upstream of the Oregon town of Mosier. Lyle, Washington and the Klickitat River are across from Rowena Creek on the Washington side of the Columbia. Also on the Washington side are the drainages of Major Creek and Catherine Creek.

Rowena Dell ...
Rowena Dell is the valley of Rowena Creek.

"Hog Canyon" ...
Rowena Dell at one time was called "Hog Canyon" after residents, tired of the rattlesnakes infesting the canyon, fenced the end and turned hogs loose. After the Columbia River Highway was built, residents wanted a more "elegant" name and chose "Rowena Dell".

Hog Canyon or Rowena Dell?

"This canyon, a deep gash in the rock running back from the river, is far more picturesque than its name, which is said to have come down to it through the fact that a man who once lived in the canyon kept hogs. Some months ago members of the wormen's club at The Dalles were commissioned to select a new name for the canyon. Evidently the romanticists prevailed in the club councils, for their choice was "Rowena Dell." The reaction from this has been about as severe if not more so than from "Hog canyon," with the result that in most circles it is still called by the old name."


Source:    "The Sunday Oregonian", September 26, 1920, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspaper Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2016.


Historic Columbia River Highway ...
Rowena Dell lies along the Historic Columbia River Highway just east of Rowena Crest.

[More Historic Columbia River Highway]
[More HCRH Route]

  • HMP 79.0 ... Hog Creek Canyon (Rowena Dell) Bridge (1920)
  • HMP 79.7 ... Dry Canyon Creek Bridge (1921)

  • Hog Creek Canyon (Rowena Dell) Bridge (1920):   "This structure is a 20-foot reinforced concrete deck girder span. Original concrete railings were upgraded in the 1950s." [National Historic Landmark Nomination Form, 1996]

    "This small brige is a 20-foot long reinforced concrete multi-beam span." [National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 1983]

  • Dry Canyon Bridge (1921):   "This 101-foot reinforced-concrete structure includes a 75-foot open-spandrel ribbed deck arch. Artistic details throughout are signature features of C.B. McCullough-designed bridges." [National Historic Landmark Nomination Form, 1996]

    "The reinforced concrete deck arch structure is 101 feet long, with a 75-foot rib arch and 13-foot concrete slab spans at each end." [National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 1983]


Image, 2005, Historic Columbia River Highway, Rowena Dell, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Dry Canyon Bridge and Rowena Dell, Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon. View from bridge on the Historic Columbia River Highway looking downstream towards the Columbia River. Mount Adams, Washington, is on the skyline right. Image taken September 18, 2005.


Rowena, Rowena Crest, and Rowena Dell in 1940 ...

From the Oregon State Archives "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon":

"... West of ROWENA, 109.2 m. (148 alt., 60 pop.), the highway climbs the face of a steep cliff by a series of sharp curves and switch-backs known as the Rowena Loops. ...

ROWENA CREST, 111.8 m. (706 alt.), is in MAYER STATE PARK; parking place. From the crest one has a panoramic view of cliff and winding river.

ROWENA DELL, 112.6 m., a sheer walled canyon (R) was infested by rattlesnakes until pioneers fenced the lower end and turned in a drove of hogs. Then for a time the dell was called Hog Canyon. ..."


Views ...

Image, 2005, Rowena Dell, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Rowena Dell, Oregon, looking downstream. View from bridge on the Historic Columbia River Highway. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, Rowena Dell, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Rowena Dell, Oregon, looking upstream. View from bridge on the Historic Columbia River Highway. Image taken September 18, 2005.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 29, 1805 ...




Columbia River GorgeReturn 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:
  • McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland;
  • Oregon State Archives website, 2005, "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon";


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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December 2012