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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Sauvie Island, Oregon"
Includes ... Sauvie Island ... "Wappatoe Island" ... "Multnomah Island" ... Multnomah Channel ... National Register of Historic Places ... Belle Vue Point ... Bybee House (Bybee-Howell House) ... Fort William ... Gilbert River ... Great Blue Heron Rookery ... Howell Territorial Park ... Sauvie Island Boat Ramp ... Sauvie Island Bridge ... Sauvie Island Wildlife Area ... Sturgeon Lake ... Wapato State Park (Virginia Lakes, Hadley's Landing) ... Warrior Point and Warrior Rock ... Warrior Rock Lighthouse ... Willow Bar Islands ...
Image, 2005, Sauvie Island pumpkins, click to enlarge
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Pumpkins, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.


Sauvie Island ...
Sauvie Island, Oregon, is approximately 16.5 miles long and 6.5 miles wide, and is the largest island in the Columbia River (26,000 acres). The island has rivers, sloughs, lakes, and even its own islands.

The downstream tip of the island is located at Columbia River Mile (RM) 86.5, also the location of the mouth of the Multnomah Channel, and directly across from the mouth of the Lewis River on the Washington side. The Multnomah Channel then follows the western shore of Sauvie Island for 21 miles. The upstream point of Sauvie Island is located at RM 101.5, the location of the mouth of the Willamette River, and across from Washington State's Frenchmans Bar and Blurock Landing. Sauvie Island's southeast shore then follows the Willamette River for three miles, to a point where the Willamette meets the southern end of the Multnomah Channel.

The northern 12,000 acres of Sauvie Island is a wildlife area managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and provides feeding and resting area for bald eagles, sandhill cranes, great blue herons, and black-tailed deer. Over 150,000 ducks and geese use the area during fall migration.

Sauvie Island was named after Laurent Sauvé, a French-Canadian employee of the Hudson's Bay Company, who had settled on the island to operate the Hudson's Bay dairy farm.


The Name ...

Sauvie Island has had many names throughout history, including Multnomah Island, Sauve Island, Sauvie's Island, Sauvies Island, Souvies Island, Wapato Island, Wapatoo Island, Wappato Island, Wappatoo Island, Wappatto Island, and Wyeth Island.

In 1891 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Sauvie Island" the official name.

Source: MacArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland

"... The name Sauvie Island comes from a French Canadian employee of the Hudson's Bay Company who worked at the dairy farm on the west side of the Island. The lettering Sauvies Island appears on Preston's Map of Oregon, 1856. Bancroft's History of the Northwest Coast, v.2, p.599, is authority for the statement that the island was named for one Jean Baptiste Sauve, but information has transpired that indicates this statement is wrong. In the files of the Oregon Historical Society is a letter from George B. Roberts to Frances Fuller Victor, dated November 7, 1879, in which he says that Sauve Island bears the name of a Canadian, Laurent Sauve, also called LaPlante. Many of the French Canadians were known by two names. Mrs. Victor was one of the authors of Bancroft's history. The parish register of Saint James Catholic Church, Vancouver, has the marriage of Laurent Sauve to Josephte (Indian) on February 11, 1839, and records that Sauve was from the district of Montreal. The burial of Laurent Sauve is entered in the parish register of Saint Paul Catholic Church on August 3, 1858. In these registers, the name of Laurent Sauve occurs a number of times as godfather or burial witness. The name of Jean Baptiste Sauve does not occur at all. Beorge B. Roberts came to Fort Vancouver in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1831 and knew well the employees of the company. It may be inferred that Mrs. Victor erred in transcribing Roberts's letter. The USBGN has adopted the style Sauvie Island rather than the possessive Sauvies Island. It is interesting to note the following in a letter from Roberts to Mrs. Victor on July 5, 1882: "We say Sauvie (an old Canadian), not Sauvies -- Puget, not Pugets, as we say Washington and not Washington's Territory." ..." "


Source: "Oregon Counties, Their Creations and the Origins of Their Names", by Frederick V. Holman, President of the Oregon Historical Society, at Its Annual Meeting, Portland, Oregon, December 18, 1909, IN: The Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, vol.XI, no.1, March 1910, p.48-49.

"... What was originally called Wappatoo Island, near the mouth of the Willamette and lying between the Columbia River and Willamette Slough, is now known as Sauvie's Island. Sauve, for whom it is named, was a French-Canadian employe of the Hudson's Bay Company, who lived on the Island. The earliest public mention of the change of its name from Wappatoo, I have found, is in the following act of the Provisional Legislature, passed August 15, 1845, and approved August 19, 1845. It is entitled "An Act to locate a Road from Twalaty Plains to Sauves Island." Section 1 of this Act appoints Charles McKay, Robert Poe and John Flett "commissioners to lay out and establish a Territorial road to start from some point on the Twalaty Plains and in the road leading to Smiths Ferry on Yam Hill River to be settled on by said commissioners and terminate at Sauves Island." ("Manuscript copies of Laws of 1845" pages 17 and 18) ..."



Views of Sauvie Island ...

Image, 2003, Wier at Gilbert River, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Wier at Gilbert River, Sauvie Island. Image taken August 31, 2003.
Image, 2003, Beach, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Beach, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken September 13, 2003.
Image, 2005, Pumpkins, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Pumpkins, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Looking towards the Portland terminals at the mouth of the Willamette River. Image taken November 8, 2005.
Image, 2005, Pumpkins, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Pumpkin Patch, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.
Image, 2005, Pumpkins, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Pumpkins and Squash, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.
Image, 2005, Old Barn, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Old Barn, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.
Image, 2005, Sauvie Island bicyclists, with Mount St. Helens, click to enlarge
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Bicyclists, Sauvie Island, Oregon. View from the Sauvie Island Bridge. Image taken November 20, 2005.


Early Sauvie Island ...
In 1792, Lieutenant William Broughton of the British Vancouver expedition visited the island and named the northern end (downstream tip) of the island "Warrior Point" and, according to some historians, he named an upstream point "Belle Vue Point." Other historians say Kelley Point, across from today's Belle Vue Point, is Broughton's Belle Vue Point.

In 1805 and 1806, the Lewis and Clark expedition passed the Island and called it "Wappato Island" after the Indian word for arrowhead root which grew in the marshes of the island.

Between 1834 and 1835, Nathaniel Wyeth, an American entrepreneur, built Fort Williams in an attempt to establish a fur-trading enterprise in Hudson's Bay Company territory. The Fort was constructed on the island near the confluence of the Willamette River with the Columbia, about five miles from Fort Vancouver, and named for one of Wyeth's fur trade partners. Wyeth was unable to get a foothold into the Hudson's Bay Company trade and he abandoned the project in 1836.

By 1838, the Hudson's Bay Company was utilizing the island to graze cattle and horse, and by 1841 four dairy farms had been established on the island to supply milk, butter, and cheese. Settler's began arriving on the island by the 1840s.

The lettering "Sauvies Island" appeared on Preston's 1856 Map of Oregon, and in Bancroft's History of the Northwest Coast (Vol.2) it states the island was named after Jean Baptiste Sauve. However, according to McArthur in Oregon Geographic Names (2003) the Island bears the name of a Canadian, Laurent Sauve who settled on the Island to work one of the dairy farms (see more above).

A post office named "Mouth of the Willamette" was established in June 1851 near the mouth of the Willamette River. The name was changed to "Souvies Island" on March 5, 1852. This post office was discontinued in August 1860. A new post office named "Sauvies Island" was established in May 1866 about two miles south of Reeder Point. In 1869, it was moved north to Columbia County but returned to Multnomah County the following year.


Image, 2011, Old Barns, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Old Buildings, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken March 11, 2011.


Sauvie Island from Frenchman's Bar Park ...
Good views of the shore of Sauvie Island can be had from across the Columbia at Frenchman's Bar Park, Vancouver, Washington.
[More]

Image, 2006, Sauvie Island from Frenchman's Bar Park, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
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Sauvie Island from Frenchman's Bar Park, Vancouver, Washington. View taken across the volleyball pit at Frenchman's Bar Park. Image taken July 8, 2006.


Sauvie Island, etc.

  • Belle Vue Point ...
  • Bybee House (Bybee-Howell House) ...
  • Fort William ...
  • Gilbert River ...
  • Great Blue Heron Rookery ...
  • Howell Territorial Park ...
  • Multnomah Channel ...
  • Sauvie Island Boat Ramp ...
  • Sauvie Island Bridge ...
  • Sauvie Island Wildlife Area ...
  • Sturgeon Lake ...
  • Wapato State Park (Virginia Lakes, Hadley's Landing) ...
  • Warrior Point and Warrior Rock ...
  • Willow Bar Islands ...


Belle Vue Point ...
Sauvie Island's Belle Vue Point is located on the left bank at the mouth of the Willamette River. On the right bank lies Kelley Point, Oregon. Most historicans say that in 1792 Lieutenant Broughton, of the Captain George Vancouver expedition, named this point on Sauvie Island "Belle Vue Point". Other historians say that Kelley Point, located on the "southern" bank of the mouth of the Willamette, is Broughton's "Belle Vue Point".
[More]

Image, 2003, Kelley Point and mouth of the Willamette River, Oregon, from Blurock Landing, Washington, click to enlarge
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Kelley Point (treed area middle left) and mouth of the Willamette River (to the right of Kelley Point), and point of Sauvie Island (treed area right, thought by some to be Broughton's "Belle Vue Point"). View from Blurock Landing, Washington. Image taken July 2, 2003.


Bybee House ... (Bybee-Howell House) ...
The historical Bybee House (also known as the Bybee-Howell House) was built by James Francis Bybee in 1858, and is one of the first and finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in Oregon. When James and his wife, Julie, left the home in 1873, it was purchased by their neighbors, John and Amelia Howell. The house remained in the Howell family until 1961, when Mrs. Rose Howell, daughter-in-law of John and Amelia, sold the home to Multnomah County, Oregon. Extensive restoration was done on the structure to make the home appear as it would have in the period between 1855 and 1885. In 1974 the Bybee-Howell House was added to the National Register of Historic Places (Building #74001716).

Image, 2005, Bybee House, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Bybee House, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.
Image, 2005, Bybee House, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Bybee House, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.


Fort William ...
Fort William was a trading post established by early Oregon pioneer Nathaniel J. Wyeth. Originally the site was constructed near Warrior Rock, on the downstream end of Sauvie Island. In spring of 1835 the site was moved to the west side of Sauvie Island. Fort William was never profitable against the powerful Hudson's Bay Company and was eventually abandoned. Historians say Wyeth named Fort William after one of his partners, altho they're not sure which one.

The "History of Clarke County Washington Territory.", Published by The Washington Publishing Company, 1885, tells of "Fort Williams" in 1835:

"... Fort Williams, erected by N. J. Wyeth at the mouth of the Willamette, was nearly deserted, Mr. Townsend, the ornithologist, being about the only occupant at that time. Wyeth had gone to his Fort Hall in the Interior. ..."

"... We visited fort William, (Wyeth's new settlement upon Wappatoo island,) which is about fifteen miles from the lower mouth of the Wallammet. We found here the missionaries, Messrs. Lee and Edwards, who arrived to-day from their station, sixty miles above. ...   They have built several comfortable log houses ...   The spot chosen by Captain W. for his fort is on a high piece of land, which will probably not be owverflown by the periodical freshets, and the soil is the rich black loam so plentifully distributed through this section of country. The men now live in tents and temporary huts, but several log houses are constructing, which, when finished, will vie in durability and comfort with Vancouver itself. ..."

Source:   Townsend, May 20th, 1835, IN: Narrative of a Journey across the Rocky Mountains, published 1839.


Gilbert River ...
Gilbert River is located in the center of Sauvie Island and provides the tidal inflow and outflow for Sturgeon Lake.

Image, 2003, Gilbert River, Sauvie Island, Oregon click to enlarge
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Gilbert River, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken August 31, 2003.


Great Blue Heron Rookery ...
Sauvie Island supports a large Great Blue Heron rookery.

Image, 2011, Old Barns, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron rookery, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken March 11, 2011.


Howell Territorial Park ...
The Howell Territorial Park is located on Sauvie Island one mile north of the Sauvie Island bridge. The park includes 93 acres open to the public, picnic areas, an orchard, an agricultural museum, and the historic 1858 Bybee House.

Image, 2005, Howell Territorial Park, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Howell Territorial Park, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.
Image, 2005, Sculpture, Howell Territorial Park, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Closeup, Sculpture, Howell Territorial Park, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.


Multnomah Channel ...
The 21-mile-long Multnomah Channel forms the western edge of Sauvie Island.
[More]

Image, 2005, Multnomah Channel, click to enlarge
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Multnomah Channel. View from Sauvie Island. Image taken November 8, 2005.
Image, 2005, Multnomah Channel from the Sauvie Island Bridge, click to enlarge
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Multnomah Channel from the Sauvie Island Bridge. View is looking downstream. Image taken November 20, 2005.


Sauvie Island Boat Ramp ...
Sauvie Island Boat Ramp, on Multnomah Channel, is a Portland Metro park, boat launch, and picnic area on the west side of Sauvie Island. The Sauvie Island Boat Ramp was once known as "Burlington Ramp".
[More]

Image, 2005, Multnomah Channel, Sauvie Island Boat Ramp, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Sauvie Island Boat Ramp, on Multnomah Channel, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.
Image, 2005, Multnomah Channel from Sauvie Island Boat Ramp, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Multnomah Channel, looking downstream, as seen from Sauvie Island Boat Ramp, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.
Image, 2005, Multnomah Channel from Sauvie Island Boat Ramp, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Multnomah Channel, looking downstream, as seen from Sauvie Island Boat Ramp, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.


Sauvie Island Bridge ...
In 1950, the Sauvie Island Bridge was built across the Multnomah Channel to connect Sauvie Island to Oregon. In 2007 construction was started on a replacement bridge, to be finished in 2008.
[More]

Image, 2003, Sauvie Island Bridge, click to enlarge
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Sauvie Island Bridge and the Multnomah Channel. Image taken September 13, 2003.
Image, 2008, Sauvie Island Bridge, click to enlarge
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Old Bridge and New Bridge, Sauvie Island Bridge, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken February 23, 2008.


Sauvie Island Wildlife Area ...
The Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is owned by the State of Oregon and managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The area comprises approximately 11,500 acres of land and inland water areas on Sauvie Island, slightly less than half of the Island's acreage. The State of Oregon acquired the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area in the 1940's as a waterfowl area.

Image, 2005, Sauvie Island Wildlife Area, click to enlarge
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Sauvie Island Wildlife Area, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.
Image, 2005, Geese, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Geese, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.


Sturgeon Lake ...
Sturgeon Lake covers over 3,000 acres and has an elevation of 8 feet. The lake is a grouping of shallow lakes covering the center of Sauvie Island with lake level being determined by tidal influence. Inflow and outflow is through the Gilbert River. Much of the land surrounding Sturgeon Lake is owned by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and is managed as a refuge, primarily for water fowl. The oak woodlands of Oak Island border Sturgeon Lake to the west with agricultural land to the south. A dike on the east provides views of the lake.

Image, 2005, Sturgeon Lake, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Sturgeon Lake, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 20, 2005.


Wapato State Park ... (Virginia Lakes, Hadley's Landing) ...
Wapato State Park is located on Sauvie Island on the east side of the Multnomah Channel and is managed by the Oregon State Parks Department. The State Park was once known as "Virginia Lakes". It is now a designated natural area and wetland in Multnomah County. Wapato State Park has nature trails and a picnic shelter. It also contains Hadley's Landing, a transient boat ramp on the Multnomah Channel.

Image, 2005, Trail, Wapato Access Greenspace, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Wapato Access Trail, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.
Image, 2005, Trail, Wapato Access Greenspace, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Wapato Access Trail, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.


Warrior Point and Warrior Rock ...
Warrior Point, the northern tip (downstream tip) of Sauvie Island, was named in 1792 by Lieutenant William Broughton of the British expedition under Captain George Vancouver. On October 28, 1792, Lieutenant Broughton anchored off the point and found himself surrounded by 23 canoes of natives, each carrying 3-12 people dressed in war gear and prepared for combat. On the east side of Warrior Point just off the tip lies a feature called "Warrior Rock", a basalt outcropping of Grande Ronde Columbia River lava. To the southeast of Warrior Rock is located the "Warrior Rock Lighthouse". The first lighthouse was a small two-story wooden-framed structure built in 1889 on a square sandstone base. In the 1930s the lighthouse was replaced with a 28-foot concrete tower. The lighthouse was in use until 1969 when it was severely damaged by a barge.
[More]

Image, 2007, Warrior Rock Lighthouse, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Telephoto view, Warrior Rock and Warrior Rock Lighthouse, Sauvie Island, Oregon. The Warrior Rock Lighthouse sits on Warrior Rock and is visible from the mouth of the Lewis River. Sauvie Island is in the background. View from Austin Point, Washington. Image taken March 29, 2007.


Willow Bar Islands ...
The Willow Bar Islands are located on the east side of Sauvie Island at Columbia River Mile (RM) 95, directly across from Post Office Lake and the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Lewis and Clark spent the night of November 4, 1805 on the Washington shore across from Willow Bar Islands.
[More]

Image, 2005, Willow Bar Islands, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Willow Bar Islands, looking across the slough. Image taken November 20, 2005.
Image, 2005, Willow Bar Island, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Willow Bar Islands, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Looking up the slough. Image taken November 20, 2005.


The Cascade Range from Sauvie Island ...

On a clear day the roads around Sauvie Island provide views of Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson in Oregon, and Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams in Washington. In April 1806, Captain Clark wrote about viewing the five volcanoes from the mouth of the Willamette River.
[More]

Image, 2005, Columbia River, Mount Hood, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
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Columbia River and Mount Hood, as seen from Sauvie Island. Image taken November 20, 2005.
Image, 2005, Sauvie Island and Mount St. Helens, click to enlarge
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Mount St. Helens as seen from Sauvie Island. View from base of the Sauvie Island Bridge. Image taken November 20, 2005.
Image, 2005, Sauvie Island and Mount St. Helens, click to enlarge
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Mount St. Helens as seen from Sauvie Island. Image taken November 20, 2005.
Image, 2005, Sauvie Island and Mount St. Helens, click to enlarge
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Mount St. Helens, Washington (slightly steaming), as seen from Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 8, 2005.
Image, 2005, Sauvie Island and Mount Adams, click to enlarge
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Mount Adams, Washington, as seen from Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken November 20, 2005.
Image, 2005, Sauvie Island and Mount Hood, click to enlarge
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Sauvie Island and Mount Hood. Mount Hood, Oregon, with Sauvie Island farms in the foreground. Image taken November 8, 2005.
Image, 2003, Sauvie Island and Mount Rainier, click to enlarge
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Multnomah Channel, Sauvie Island, and Mount Rainier. View from off of Highway 30, looking across the Multnomah Channel towards Sauvie Island. Mount Rainier, Washington, is in the background. Image taken September 13, 2003.
Image, 2005, Sauvie Island bicyclists, with Mount St. Helens, click to enlarge
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Bicyclists, Sauvie Island, Oregon, with Mount St. Helens, Washington. View from the Sauvie Island Bridge. Image taken November 20, 2005.


Self Portrait ...


Image, 2005, Sauvie Island beach, click to enlarge
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"Self Portrait", from Sauvie Island. View at beach on the east side of Sauvie Island. Image taken November 20, 2005.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 4, 1805 ...
A cloudy cool morning wind from the West we Set out at 1/2 past 8 oClock [from their camp on the north side of Government Island, approximately across from Fisher's Landing], one man Shannon Set out early to walk on the Island [Government Island] to kill Something, he joined us at the lower point with a Buck. This island is 6 miles long and near 3 miles wide thinly timbered     (Tide rose last night 18 inches perpndicular at Camp) near the lower point of this diamond Island [Government Island] is The head of a large Island Seperated from a Small one by a narrow chanel [Lewis and Clark show two large islands on their maps, both in today's Government Island area], and both Situated nearest the Lard Side, those Islands [even today the Government Island reach is a complex of many islands] as also the bottoms are thickly Covered with Pine &c. river wide, Country low on both Sides; [since 1983 the Interstate 205 bridge crosses Government Island connecting Oregon to Washington]     on the Main Lard Shore a Short distance below the last Island we landed at a village of 25 Houses: [near Portland International Airport]; ...     This village contains about 200 men of the Skil-loot nation ...

at 7 miles below this village passed the upper point of a large Island [Hayden Island] nearest the Lard Side, a Small Prarie [Jolie Prairie, today the location of Fort Vancouver and Pearson Airpark. Lewis and Clark camp on this prairie on their return] in which there is a pond [one of the many ponds which use to dot this area] opposit on the Stard. here I landed and walked on Shore, about 3 miles a fine open Prarie for about 1 mile, back of which the countrey rises gradually and wood land comencies Such as white oake, pine of different kinds, wild crabs with the taste and flavour of the common crab and Several Species of undergroth of which I am not acquainted, a few Cottonwood trees & the Ash of this countrey grow Scattered on the river bank, ...     joined Capt. Lewis at a place he had landed with the party for Diner. ...

dureing the time we were at dinner those fellows Stold my pipe Tomahawk which They were Smoking with [Tomahawk pipe, thus giving rise to the name Tomahawk Island] ...    we proceeded on

[The men have passed through the area which, 20 years later, Dr. John McLoughlin would choose for a trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company, later to become Fort Vancouver and eventually the city of Vancouver, Washington.]

met a large & a Small Canoe from below, with 12 men the large Canoe was ornimented with Images carved in wood the figures of <man &> a Bear in front & a man in Stern, Painted & fixed verry netely on the <bow & Stern> of the Canoe, rising to near the hight of a man [Lewis and Clark then named Hayden Island "Image Canoe Island"]     two Indians verry finely Dressed & with hats on was in this canoe passed the lower point of the Island [Hayden Island] which is nine miles in length haveing passed 2 Islands on the Stard Side of this large Island [the location of Vancouver Landing and since 1917 the Interstate 5 Bridge connecting Oregon to Washington State], three Small Islands at its lower point [The downstream end of Hayden Island was at one time composed of small islands. One of these, Pearcy Island, would become today's Kelley Point.]. the Indians make Signs that a village is Situated back of those Islands on the Lard. Side and I believe that a Chanel is Still on the Lrd. Side [it wasn't until Lewis and Clark's return trip they would discover the mouth of the Willamette River] as a Canoe passed in between the Small Islands, and made Signs that way, probably to traffick with Some of the nativs liveing on another Chanel, at 3 miles lower [Sauvie Island is located at this stretch, but it is not until the return that Lewis and Clark recognize it as a separate island], and 12 Leagues below quick Sand river [Sandy River] passed a village of four large houses on The Lard. Side [on Sauvie Island], near which we had a full view of Mt. Helien [Mount St. Helens, Washington] which is perhaps the highest pinical in America from their base it bears N. 25 E about 90 miles- This is the mountain I Saw from the Muscle Shell rapid [Umatilla Rapids, Captain Clark actually saw Mount Adams] on the 19th of October last Covered with Snow, it rises Something in the form of a Sugar lofe- about a mile lower passed a Single house on the Lard. Side, and one on the Stard. Side, passed a village on each Side and Camped near a house on the Stard. Side [Post Office Lake vicinity, today within the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge] we proceeded on untill one hour after dark with a view to get clear of the nativs who was constantly about us, and troublesom, finding that we could not get Shut of those people for one night, we landed and Encamped on the Stard. Side ...

This evening we Saw vines much resembling the raspberry which is verry thick in the bottoms. A range of high hills at about 5 miles on the Lard Side [Portland's West Hills'] which runs S. E. & N W. Covered with tall timber the bottoms below in this range of hills and the river is rich and leavel, Saw White geese with a part of their wings black. The river here is 1 miles wide, and current jentle. opposite to our camp on a Small Sandy Island [one of the small sandy islands prevelent in this stretch of the Columbia. Today the Willow Bar Islands on the east side of Sauvie Island lie across from Post Office Lake.] the brant & geese make Such a noise that it will be impossible for me to Sleap. we made 29 miles to day






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 30, 1806 ...
we got under way verry early [from their camp near Wapato Portage] and had not proceeded to the head of the island [Bachelor Island] before we met with the three men of the Clan-nar-min-a-mon's who met us yesterday brackfast at the upper point of the Island [Bachelor Island] we met Several of the Clackstar and Cath-lah-cum-up in two canoes. Soon after we were overtaken by Several Canoes of different tribes who reside on each Side of the river the three above Tribes and the Clh-in-na-ta cathy-lah-nah-qui-up & Cath-lah-com-mah-tup reside on each Side of Wappato inlet [Multnomah Channel] and back of Wappato Island [Sauvie Island] which Island is formed by a Small Chanel which passes from the Lower part of Image Canoe Island [Hayden Island] into an inlet which makes in from the S W. Side, and receves the water of a Creek which heads with the Kil a mox River. this wappato Island [Sauvie Island] is about 18 or 20 Miles long and in places from 6 to 10 miles wide high & furtile with ponds on different parts of it in which the nativs geather Wappato. nearly opposit the upper point of the Isld. behing which we encamped last night, or on the Wappato Isld. is Several Camps of the nativs catching Sturgion. about 5 miles Still higher up and on the N E. Side we halted for brackfast at the place which We had encamped the 4th of November last [near Post Office Lake, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge]. here we were visited by several canoes of Indians from two Towns a Short distance above on the Wappato Island [Sauvie Island]. the 1st of those Tribes Call themselves Clan-nah-quah and Situated about 2 miles above us, the other about a mile above Call themselves Mult-no-mah ...     at 10 a. m. we Set out and had not proceeded far before we came to a landing place where there was Several large canoes hauled up, and Sitting in a canoe, appearantly waiting our arival with a view to join the fleet indian who was then along Side of us. this man informed he was a Shoto and that his nation resided a little distance from the river. we landed and one of the indians pointed to the Shoto village which is Situated back of Pond [Vancouver Lake] which lies parrelal with the river on the N E. Side nearly opposit the Clan-nah quah village. here we were also joined by Several Canoes loaded with the natives from the Island who Continued to accompany us untill about 4 oClock when they all returned and we proceeded on to the place the Indians Stole my Tomahawk 4th Novr. last [Hayden Island] and Encamped in a Small Prarie ["Jolie Prairie" where Fort Vancouver and Pearson Airpark would some day be located] above a large Pond on N. E and opposit the Center of image Canoe Island [Hayden Island]. capt Lewis walked out and Saw Several deer. Jo. Field Shot at Elk he killed and brought in a fine duck. ...     we made 22 Miles only to day the wind and a Strong current being against us all day, with rain. discovered a high mountain S E. Covered with Snow which we call Mt. Jefferson [Mount Jefferson, Oregon]






Clark, April 2, 1806 ...
This morning we came to a resolution to remain at our present encampment [Cottonwood Beach, Washougal, Washington] or Some where in this neighbourhood untill we had obtained as much dried meat as would be necessary for our voyage as far as the Chopunnish. ...     about this time Several Canoes of the nativs arived at our Camp [Cottonwood Beach] among others two from below with Eight men of the Shah-ha-la Nation those men informed us that they reside on the opposit Side of the Columbia near Some pine trees which they pointed to in the bottom South of the Dimond Island [Government Island], they Singled out two young men whome they informed us lited at the Falls of a large river [Willamette Falls] which discharges itself into the Columbia on it's South Side Some Miles below us. we readily provailed on them to give us a Sketch of this river [Willamette River] which they drew on a Mat with a coal, it appeared that this river which they Call Mult-no'-mah discharged itself behind the Island we call the image Canoe island [Hayden Island], and as we had left this Island to the South both in decending & assending the river we had never Seen it. they informed us that it was a large river and runs a Considerable distance to the South between the Mountains. I deturmined to take a Small party and return to this river and examine its Size and Collect as much information of the nativs on it or near its enterance into the Columbia of its extent, the Country which it waters and the nativs who inhabit its banks &c. I took with me Six Men. Thompson J. Potts, Peter Crusat, P. Wiser, T. P. Howard, Jos. Whitehouse & my man York in a large Canoe, with an Indian whome I hired for a Sun glass to accompany me as a pilot. at half past 11 A. M. I Set out ...     at 8 miles passed a village on the South side [Chinook Landing and Blue Lake area] at this place my Pilot informed me he resided and that the name of his tribe is Ne-cha-co-lee, this village is back or to the South of Dimond island [Government Island], and as we passed on the North Side of the island both decending & assending did not See or know of this Village. I proceeded on without landing at this village. at 3 P. M. I landed at a large double house of the Ne-er-cho-ki-oo tribe of the Shah-ha-la Nation. at this place we had Seen 24 aditional Straw Huts as we passed down last fall [November 4, 1805, in the vicinity of the Portland International Airport] and whome as I have before mentioned reside at the Great rapids of the Columbia [Celilo Falls].     on the bank at different places I observed Small Canoes which the women make use of to gather Wappato & roots in the Slashes. those Canoes are from 10 to 14 feet long and from 18 to 23 inches wide in the widest part tapering from the center to both ends in this form and about 9 inches deep and So light that a woman may with one hand haul them with ease, and they are Sufficient to Carry a woman on Some loading. I think 100 of those canoes were piled up and Scattered in different directions about in the Woods in the vecinity of this house, the pilot informed me that those Canoes were the property of the inhabitents of the Grand rapids who used them ocasionally to gather roots. ...

I left them [village near today's Portland International Airport] and proceeded on on the South Side [North Portland Harbor] of Image Canoe Island [Hayden Island] which I found to be two Islands hid from the opposit Side by one near the Center of the river. the lower point of the upper and the upper point of the lower cannot be Seen from the North Side of the Columbia on which we had passed both decending and ascending and had not observed the apperture between those islands. at the distance of 13 Miles below the last village [location of Portland International Airport] and at the place I had Supposed was the lower point of the image Canoe island [Hayden Island], I entered this river which the nativs had informed us of, Called Mult no mah River [Willamette River] so called by the nativs from a Nation who reside on Wappato Island [Sauvie Island] a little below the enterance of this river. Multnomah [Willamette River] discharges itself in the Columbia on the S. E. and may be justly Said to be the Size of that noble river. Multnomah had fallen 18 inches from it's greatest annual height. three Small Islands are situated in it's mouth [Belle Vue Point and Kelley Point, on opposite sides of the mouth of the Willamette, use to be islands] which hides the river from view from the Columbia.     from the enterance of this river [Willamette River] , I can plainly See Mt. Jefferson [Mount Jefferson, Oregon] which is high and Covered with snow S. E. Mt. Hood East [Mount Hood, Oregon], Mt St. Helians [Mount St. Helens, Washington] a high humped Mountain to the East of Mt St. Helians [Mount Adams, Washington, is east of Mount St. Helens]. I also Saw the Mt. Raneer [Mount Rainier, Washington] Nearly North. Soon after I arived at this river an old man passed down of the Clark a'mos Nation who are noumerous and reside on a branch of this river which receives it's waters from Mt. Jefferson [Mount Jefferson, Oregon] which is emensely high and discharges itself into this river one day and a half up, this distance I State at 40 Miles. This nation inhabits 11 Villages their Dress and language is very Similar to the Quath-lah-poh-tle and other tribes on Wappato Island [Sauvie Island].



The Current of the Multnomar [Willamette River] is as jentle as that of the Columbia glides Smoothly with an eavin surface, and appears to be Sufficiently deep for the largest Ship. I attempted fathom it with a Cord of 5 fathom which was the only Cord I had, could not find bottom ? of the distance across. I proceeded up this river 10 miles from it's enterance into the Columbia to a large house on the N E. Side and Encamped near the house [downstream of Cathedral Park and the St. Johns Bridge, Portland, Oregon, near Portland's Terminal 4.], the flees being So noumerous in the house that we could not Sleep in it.



this is the house of the Cush-hooks Nation who reside at the falls of this river which the pilot informs me they make use of when they Come down to the Vally to gather Wappato. he also informs me that a number of other Smaller houses are Situated on two Bayous which make out on the S. E. Side a little below the house. this house appears to have been laterly abandoned by its inhabitants ...     The course and distance assending the Molt no mar R [Willamette River] from it's enterance into the Columbia at the lower point of the 3rd Image Canoe island.

[This area has changed during the past 200 years. Lewis and Clark called today's Hayden Island "Image Canoe Island". Their "3rd Image Canoe Island" however maybe in reference to the "three Small Islands are situated in it's mouth" (see journal entry above), two of the islands possibly were islands which are today's Belle Vue Point on Sauvie Island, and Pearcy Island which eventually became Kelley Point. Lewis and Clark's route map (Map#79 and Map#80, Moulton, Vol.1) shows a long "Image Canoe Island" with two small islands on the north side of "Image Canoe Island", and three small islands at the mouth of the "Multnomah R.". ]

S. 30 W. 2 Miles to the upper point of a Small Island [???] in the Middle of Moltnomar river [Willamette River]. thence

S. 10 W. 3 miles to a Sluce 80 yards wide [Multnomah Channel] which devides Wappato Island [Sauvie Island] from the Main Stard. Side Shore passing a Willow point on the Lard. Side [???].

S. 60 E. 3 miles to a large Indian house on the Lard Side below Some high pine land.

[Lewis and Clark's map plotted against an 1888 map of the area shows this location to be closer to 2 miles from the Multnomah Channel, just upstream from Portland's Terminal 4, and across from the community of Linnton.]

high bold Shore on the Starboard Side [Tualatin Mountains]. thence

S. 30 E 2 miles to a bend under the high lands on the Stard Side [St. Johns Bridge area located at the base of the Tualatin Mountains]

miles 10 passing a Larborad point [???].

thence the river bends to the East of S East as far as I could See [the stretch through Portland, Oregon]. at this place I think the wedth of the river may be Stated at 500 yards and Sufficiently deep for a Man of War or Ship of any burthern.





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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:    Evarts, R., 2004, Geologic Map of the Saint Helens Quadrangle, Columbia County, Oregon, and Clark and Cowlitz Counties, Washington, USGS Scientific Investigations Map 2834;    Hay, K.G., 2004, The Lewis and Clark Columbia River Water Trail, Timber Press, Portland;    "LighthouseFriends.com" website, 2005;    McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland;    Multnomah County, Oregon, website, 2004, 2005;    National Regsister of Historic Places website, 2005;    NOAA Office of Coast Survey website, 2005;    Oregon Department of Agriculture website, 2004;    Oregon Historical Society website, 2005;    "SauvieIsland.org" website, 2005;    U.S. Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) website, 2006;    U.S. National Park Service website, 2004, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site;    Washington State Historical Society website, 2004, "Lasting Legacy";    Washington State Historical Society website, 2013;    Washington State's Secretary of State website, 2007, "History of Clarke County Washington Territory.", Published by The Washington Publishing Company, 1885.   

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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November 2011