Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Settler Point, Oregon"
Includes ... Settler Point ... "Settlers Point" ...
Image, 2012, Burnside Loop junction, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Junction sign, Burnside Loop with Highway 30. Image taken March 8, 2012.

Settler Point ...
Settler Point is a small point of land jutting into Cathlamet Bay, upstream of Tongue Point and approximately 3/4 mile downstream of Svensen and Svensen Island, Oregon and just downstream from where Bear Creek and Marys Creek enter the Columbia River.

The "Settler" ...
David Burnside and his wife Mary Ann Burnside were the "settlers" at Settler Point, and appear on the 1856 and 1863 cadastral surveys (tax surveys) for T8N R8W. They had a Donation Land Claim (DLC) on the section of land bordering the Cathlamet Bay.

Burnside Loop and the Twilight Eagle Sanctuary ...
The Burnside Loop cuts through the southwestern portion of the David Burnside DLC, looping north of Oregon Highway 30, yet not making it to the actual "point" of Settler Point. The Twilight Eagle Sanctuary, the location of Lewis and Clark's campsite on of November 26, 1805, is at the western part of the Loop. The Burnside Loop appears to be a section of the "Old U.S. Highway 30".

Early Settler Point ...

The 1856 cadastral survey (tax survey) for T8N R8W has a settler named "Burnside" located at Settler Point, T8N R8W, parts of Sections 15 and 16.

The 1863 cadastral survey (tax survey) for T8N R8W has David Burnside located at Settler Point, 320 acres, Claim No.37.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office Records for T8N R8W show David Burnside and Mary Ann Burnside being granted title to 320 acres in parts of T8N R8W Sections 16, 21, and 22, on July 21, 1873 (1850 Oregon-Donation Act). Just to the east, records show Peter Svenson being granted title to 160 acres of T8N R8W, parts of Sections 15 and 22 (1862 Homestead Entry Original), on March 1, 1872.

The 1875 U.S. Coast Survey's "Columbia River, Sheet No.2" has "Settlers Pt." located around the point, just west of today's "Settler Point".

In 1915 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Settler Point" official, over the often used "Settlers Point".

Early Maps ...

Map detail, 1856, Settler Point, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Cadastral map detail, 1856, showing T8N R8w, the location of David Burnside, an area to be known as Settler Point. Also shown are Marys Creek (left) and Bear Creek (right). Original cadastral survey map (tax survey) courtesy U.S. Bureau of Land Managment.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 26, 1805, first draft ...
Cloudy and Some rain this morning at daylight wind blew from the E N. E, we Set out and proceeded on up on the North Side of this great river to a rock in the river from thence we Crossed to the lower point of an [blank] Island passed between 2 Islands to the main Shore, and proceeded down the South Side [Cathlamet Bay] passed 2 Inlets & halted below the 2d at a Indian village of 9 large houses [Knappa, Oregon] - those Indians live on an emenence behind a Island or a Channel of the river not more than 300 yds wide, they live on fish & Elk and Wapto roots, of which we bought a few at a high price they Call them Selves Cat-tar-bets description

We proceeded on about 8 miles and Encamped in a deep bend to the South [location of today's Twilight Eagle Sanctuary], we had not been Encamped long ere 3 Indians Came in a Canoe to trade the Wapto roots - we had rain all the day all wet and disagreeable a bad place to Camp all around this great bend is high land thickly timbered brushey & almost impossible to penetrate we Saw on an Island below the village a place of deposit for the dead in Canoes-

Great numbers of Swan Geese Brant Ducks & Gulls in this great bend which is Crouded with low Islands covered with weeds grass &c. and overflowed every flood tide [today the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge] The people of the last village is-[blank] ...     We are now decending to see if a favourable place should offer on the So Side to winter &c.

from a high Point opsd. a high Isd down the South Side is S. 30 W 6 mls to a point of low land opsd. upr. pt of Isd. passed lowr. pt. 1st Isd. marshey. at the upr. pt. of 2 low Isd. opsd. each other at 4 miles

S. 12 E 2 miles
to an Indn. Cat-tar-bet vilg of 9 houses [Knappa, Oregon] passed an inlet 300 yds wide on Std at 1/2 a mile

S. 60 W 1 mile
to high land on the South

S. 70 W 1 do.
to a South point Low land a low Isd. opsd. pass the former

S. 50 W. 6 miles
to a high point S.

South 2 miles to a bend Camped

N. 70 W. 6 miles
to a point No. 1 a deep bend to the left

S. 50 W 8 miles
to Point No. 2 passing a deep bend to the South

S. 50 W 1 1/2 miles S. 40 W 1 1/2 miles
to Pt in Bay

The bay turns to the N of East & recves 2 other small Brooks

Clark, November 26, 1805 ...
Cloudy and Some rain this morning from 6 oClock. wind from the E. N. E, we Set out out early and crossed a Short distance above the rock out in the river, & between Some low marshey Islands to the South Side of the Columbia at a low bottom about 3 miles below Point Samuel [Aldrich Point] and proceeded near the South Side leaveing the Seal Islands [islands in Cathlamet Bay, today a part of the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge] to our right and a marshey bottom to the left 5 Miles to the Calt-har-mar Village [location of Knappa, Oregon] of 9 large wood houses on a handsom elivated Situation near the foot of a Spur of the high land behind a large low Island Seperated from the Southerly Shore by a Chanel of about 200 yards Wide, ...    

we proceeded on through a Deep bend to the South and encamped under a high hill [past Settler Point to the location of today's Twilight Eagle Sanctuary], where we found much difficuelty in precureing wood to burn, as it was raining hard, as it had been the greater part of the day. ...     from the Village quite around this bend to the West the land is high and thickly timbered with pine balsom &c. a Short distance below the Calt har mer Village [Knappa, Oregon] on the Island which is Opposit I observed Several Canoes Scaffold in which Contained their dead, as I did not examine this mode of deposing the dead, must refer it to a discription hereafter.

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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

  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records (GLO) website, 2010, 2018;
  • U.S. Geological Survey, Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) website, 2006;

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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September 2010