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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Ryan Point and Marine Park, Washington"
includes ... Ryan Point ... Marine Park ... Kaiser Shipyard ... Campsite of March 30, 1806 ...
Image, 2006, Ryan Point, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Ryan Point, Washington, and the old Kaiser Shipyards. Tomahawk and Hayden Islands are in the background. Image taken October 9, 2006.


Ryan Point ...
Ryan Point is on the Washington State side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 108, a little more than one mile upstream of the Interstate 5 Bridge. Upstream is Tidewater Cove and Wintler Park. Downstream is Columbia Shores, Pearson Field, and Fort Vancouver.

Ryan Point is the site of a former shipyard and is now an industrial park. The actual "point" is behind Building 33, a huge warehouse in Columbia Business Center, one of the largest industrial parks in the Vancouver-Portland area. Lewis and Clark's March 30, 1806 campsite was located just downstream of Ryan Point, across from the center of today's Hayden Island, near the location of today's Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. This area was to be known as "Jolie Prairie". As they approached this area they viewed Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens, and saw and named Mount Jefferson.


Early Ryan Point ...
Ryan Point is named for William Ryan, an early sheriff and assessor in Clark County. The point was previously known as "McLoughlin Point" after Dr. John McLoughlin of the Hudson Bay Company. McLoughlin Point appears in the journal and on the maps of the Charles Wilkes Expedition, 1841. The name changed to Ryan Point sometime before the Hidden family, which still owns the riverfront property, bought the land in 1865.

The 1850 Federal Census for the Clark County area of the Oregon Territory lists a "Wm. Ryan", age 36, farmer, born in Ireland, wife Susan, age 28, born in Kentucky, daughter Jane, age 9, born in Missouri, son James, age 7, born in Missouri, and daughter Susanna, age 2, born in Oregon Territory.

An 1863 Washington Territory cadastral survey (tax survey) for T2N R1E shows Claim No.39, the property just east of the "Vancouver U.S. Military Reservation", belonging to William Ryan. The property included the point.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office Records (GLO) website (2006) shows title being granted to Sasannah Ryan and William Ryan for 633.3 acres of T2N R1E Sections 24, 25, 35, and 36, on December 11, 1879 (1850 Oregon-Donation Act).

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office Records (GLO) website (2006) shows title being granted to Arthur W. Hidden for 164.65 acres of T2N R1E Section 22, on April 20, 1882 (1820 Sale-Cash Entry). Entries for a "Lowell M. Hidden" are located to the north.

An 1888 plat map for "Clarke County" shows the "W. Ryan D.L.C." being split into smaller homesteads, with "W. Ryan, Jr." owning the property west of the Point, and "L.M. Hidden" owning the Point and the property to the east. West of the "W. Ryan, Jr." property, yet still on the Ryan Donation Land Claim, is property owned by "J. Blurock", possibly the same Blurock of Blurock Landing.

In 1914 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made official the name "Ryan Point".



Kaiser Shipyard ...
Vancouver, Washington's Kaiser Shipyard was located at Ryan Point. The shipyard was built in January 1942 in response to the United State's entry into World War II. According to the information sign located at the Kaiser Shipyard Memorial (2015):

"During frenzied activity between 1942 and 1946, the yard built and sent off to war 141 vessels of several types, including aircraft carriers, Liberty ships, LSTs (landing ship, tanks) and transport and cargo ships."

[More]


Views ...

Image, 2004, Kaiser Shipyard Memorial sign, Ryan Point, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Kaiser Shipyard Memorial sign, Ryan Point, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken December 18, 2004.
Image, 2004, Viewing tower for Kaiser Shipyard, Ryan Point, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Kaiser Shipyard Memorial, Ryan Point, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken December 18, 2004.
Image, 2004, Remains of the Kaiser Shipyards, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
The old Kaiser Shipyard, from Ryan Point, Washington. Image taken December 18, 2004.


Ryan Point, etc.

  • Ferry Landing ...
  • Marine Park ...
  • Ryan Point Cove ...
  • Views from Ryan Point ...


Ferry Landing ...
The 1948 NOAA Nautical Chart #6156, "Columbia River, Vancouver to Bonneville" shows a ferry landing at the location of today's Ryan Point boat ramp. Another ferry landing was across from Ryan Point on the Oregon side, just downstream of the west end of the Portland Airport, where NE33rd St. meets the Columbia River. A marina exists there today.

Image, 2006, Ryan Point boat dock, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Boat dock/ramp/landing at Ryan Point, Washington, once the location of a ferry landing. View looking west. Image taken October 9, 2006.
Image, 2006, Ryan Point boat dock, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Boat dock/ramp/landing at Ryan Point, Washington, once the location of a ferry landing. View looking south. Image taken October 9, 2006.


Marine Park ...
Marine Park is a 26-acre community park located at Ryan Point. The park includes picnic tables, play equipment, a ball field, hiking trails, and a boat ramp. Marine Park lies along Vancouver's Waterfront Renaissance Trail.

Image, 2006, Marine Park, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Obolisk, Marine Park, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken October 9, 2006.
Image, 2007, Marine Park, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Obolisk, Marine Park, Vancouver, Washington. View at the entrance to Marine Park and Ryan Point. Image taken April 5, 2007.
Image, 2007, Marine Park, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Marine Park, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken April 5, 2007.


Ryan Point Cove ...
East of Ryan Point.

Image, 2007, Ryan Point, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Cove east of Ryan Point, Vancouver, Washington. Cove east of Ryan Point. Image taken April 5, 2007.


Views from Ryan Point ...
Ryan Point, Vancouver, Washington, offers wonderful views of the Columbia River. Upstream is Mount Hood, Oregon with the Interstate 205 Bridge in the foreground. Portland International Airport and Rocky Butte can also be seen on the Oregon side of the Columbia. Downstream on the Oregon side is Tomahawk Island and Hayden Island.

Image, 2004, Mount Hood, Oregon, from Ryan Point, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mount Hood, Oregon, and the Interstate-205 Bridge, as seen from Ryan Point, Washington. Image taken December 18, 2004.
Image, 2004, Portland International Airport, from Ryan Point, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Portland International Airport, as seen from Ryan Point, Washington. Image taken December 18, 2004.
Image, 2003, Portland International Airport, from Ryan Point, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Portland International Airport, as seen from Ryan Point, Washington. Image taken June 15, 2003.
Image, 2003, Rocky Butte, Oregon, from Ryan Point, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Rocky Butte, Oregon, as seen from Ryan Point, Washington. Rocky Butte is one of the volcanic cones of the Boring Lava Field which covers quite a bit of Portland's eastern outskirts. Image taken June 15, 2003.
Image, 2003, Tomahawk Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tomahawk Island. Tomahawk Island, Oregon as seen from Ryan Point, Washington. Image taken June 15, 2003.
Image, 2004, Ryan Point, Washington, wave action, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Ryan Point, Washington, waves, with Mount Hood. Wave action from a passing boat. Image taken December 18, 2004.
Image, 2004, Ryan Point, Washington, wave action, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Ryan Point, Washington, waves. Wave action from a passing boat. Image taken December 18, 2004.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

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 dayŚ.





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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:    NOAA Office of Coast Surveys website, 2005;    NOAA, "United States Coast Pilot", 31st edition;    Oregon Bureau of Land Management website, 2005;    "Rootsweb.com" website, 2005;    U.S. Bureau of Land Management website, 2006, General Land Office Records;    U.S. Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) website, 2006;    U.S. National Park Service, Vancouver National Historic Reserve website, 2004;    Vancouver Clark Parks and Recreation website, 2006;    Washington State Historical Society website, 2004;   

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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June 2016