Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Steamboats and Sternwheelers of the Columbia River"
Includes ...    Cascade Locks ... The Dalles - Celilo Canal ... Attwell Boat-Yard ... President Hayes ...    "Allen" ... "Bailey Gatzert" ... "Beaver" ... "Belle" ... "Carrie Ladd" ... "Centennial Queen ... "Colonel Wright" ... "Columbia" ... "Columbia Gorge" ... "Dalles City" ... "Dixie Thompson" ... "Eagle" ... "Empress of the North" ... "Fashion" ... "Geo. H. Mendell" ... "Geo. W. Elder" ... "Harvest Queen" ... "Hassalo" ... "Hassaloe" ... "Hattie Belle" ... "Henderson" ... "Idaho" ... "Inland Empire" ... "J.N. Teal" ... "James P. Flint" ... "Jennie Clark" ... "Jessie Harkins" ... "Maria" ... "Mary" ... "Mountain Buck" ... "Oneonta" ... "Pearl" ... "Portland" ... "R.R. Thompson" ... "Regulator" ... "Sarah Dixon" ... "Shasta" ... "Umatilla" ("Venture") ... "Undine" ... "Wasco" ... "Wide West" ... "Yakima" ...
Image, 2008, Bradford Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bradford Island, with paddleboat, as seen from the mouth of Eagle Creek. Image taken August 23, 2008.


Steamboats and Sternwheelers ... a selection
In the last half of the 1800s and first part of the 1900s, MANY steamboats, sidewheelers, and sternwheelers operated on the Columbia River, and the ones listed below are just a few examples of some of those boats which have been mentioned in researching this website. Memories of this mode of transportation only remain in books, postcards, and museums. In modern times nostaliga brings out new sternwheelers such as the "Columbia Gorge" and the "Empress of the North".

  • 1836 ---   "Beaver" ... first steamboat on the Columbia River
  • 1850 --- "Columbia" ... first steamboat built in Oregon
  • 1850 ---   "Lot Whitcomb" ... replaces the "Columbia"
  • 1851 --- "James P. Flint" ... first steamboat on the middle Columbia
  • 1852 --- "Eagle" ... little iron propeller
  • 1852 --- "Fashion" ... resurrected from the "James P. Flint" and "Columbia"
  • 1853 --- Attwell Boatyard ... at the head of the Cascade Rapids
  • 1853 --- "Belle" ... connecting with the "Mary"
  • 1853 and 1855 ---   "Mary" and "Wasco", above the Cascades
  • 1854 --- "Allen", in the Middle Cascades
  • 1854 --- "Jennie Clark" ... first sternwheel steamer built in Oregon
  • 1856 --- Cascades Massacre, "Mary", "Wasco", "Belle", and "Fashion"
  • 1857 --- "Hassaloe" ... on the middle Columbia, connecting with the "Mountain Buck"
  • 1857 --- "Mountain Buck" ... on the lower Columbia, connecting with the "Hassaloe"
  • 1858 --- "Colonel Wright" ... first steamer in the upper Columbia
  • 1858 --- "Venture" ("Umatilla") ... built above the Cascades and became the first steamer run the Cascade Rapids
  • 1859 ---   "Carrie Ladd" ... stylish
  • 1860 ---   "Idaho" ... built at the Cascades
  • 1862 --- "Maria" ... intended to run to the Cascades but sunk at the wharf in Portland
  • 1863 ---   "Oneonta" ... "Mississippi-river-boat-style" side-wheeler steamboat
  • 1864 ---   "Yakima" ... built in Celilo
  • 1871 --- "Dixie Thompson" ... fastest time to Astoria
  • 1877 ---   "Wide West" ... finest sternwheeler
  • 1878 ---   "Harvest Queen" ... one of seven steamers on opening day of the Cascade Locks
  • 1880 ---   "Hassalo" ... worked the middle Columbia
  • 1880 --- President Hayes and the steamers "Wide West", "Hassalo", and "Harvest Queen"
  • 1882 ---   "R.R. Thompson" ... record run through the Cascade Rapids
  • 1884 to 1908 ---   "Tacoma" ... Train ferry from Kalama to Goble
  • 1887 --- "Maria" ... one of seven steamers on opening day of the Cascade Locks
  • 1888 ---     "T.J. Potter" ... fastest sidewheel steamer in the Northwest
  • 1888 ---   "Hassalo" running the Cascade Rapids in front of 3,000 people
  • 1889 ---   "Geo. H. Mendell" steam tug launched, for use in jetty construction
  • 1891 ---   "Dalles City" ... one of seven steamers on opening day of the Cascade Locks
  • 1891 ---   "Regulator" ... early sternwheeler through the Cascade Locks
  • 1892 ---   "Sarah Dixon" ... one of seven steamers on opening day of the Cascade Locks
  • 1892 ---   "Bailey Gatzert" ... first steamer built to carry passengers
  • 1892 ---   "Hattie Belle"
  • 1896 --- Opening of the Cascade Locks Canal, with steamers "Dalles City", "Harvest Queen", "Maria", "Regulator", "Sadie B.", "Sarah Dixon", and "Water Witch" being the first through
  • 1899 ---   "Hassalo" ... second steamer of that name, this "Hassalo" operated on the lower Columbia between Portland and Astoria
  • 1905 ---   "George W. Elder" ... grounds near Goble
  • 1909 --- Cascade Locks freeze, trapping the "Sarah Dixon" and "Regulator"
  • 1909 ---  "Jessie Harkins" ("Pearl"), Washougal, Washington
  • 1913 --- "T.J. Potter" and "Hassalo" ... to the North Beach
  • 1915 --- Opening of the The Dalles - Celilo Canal, with "Inland Empire" and "J.N. Teal" being the first two boats through.
  • 1915 ---  "Undine" ... first steamer from Portland to Lewiston and back
  • 1921 --- The 2nd "Harvest Queen" (built in 1900) was the last steamer to run from Portland to Astoria.
  • 1952 ---   Riverboat race between the "Henderson" and the "Portland" for the movie Bend of the River
  • 1956 ---   end of the "Henderson" but paddle wheel salvaged and restored
  • 1959 ---   "Centennial Queen" ... Ferry steamer celebrates Oregon's 100th Anniversary
  • 1983 ---   "Columbia Gorge" ... currently resides at Cascade Locks
  • 1994 ---   "Portland" in the movie "Maverick"
  • 2004 ---   "Empress of the North"

Steamboats at Early Vancouver ...

From "A History of Clarke County", published in 1885:

"... As early as 1852-53 steamboats were wont to touch at Vancouver and among the first of these were the "Multnomah", Capt. Hoyt, which called twice a week for the mail on her passage to and from Astoria; and the "Fashion" and "Belle", that ran between Portland and the Cascades. In 1854 the "Eagle", a little iron propeller that had been brought out on the deck of a ship round Cape Horn, was placed on the route between Portland and Vancouver, under command of Captain Woods ...

Prior to 1855 the steamboats calling were wont to make fast to the river-bank, but that year Barker & Stevens brought a wharf-boat and anchored it at the foot of Main street; while another of the same nature was placed at the foot of B street, where Moore's landing now is, by Hart & Camp. These floating wharves were large and flat, entirely surrounded with a wide gunwale to which were attached proper conveniences by which vessels could be tied, while at either end was a saloon and store with a twelve-foot wide passage between. They gave way to permanent wharves in the following year. ..."

Before the Locks ...
Before construction of locks were built past the Cascade Rapids and the Celilo Falls, passengers would have to exit one steamer, portage past the obstructions, and then board another steamer.

As written on the "AmericanWestSteamboat.com" website (2006):   "... Passengers and freight would travel the lower Columbia River to the Cascades on the Fashion, Carrie Ladd, Mountain Buck, or Julia. There they would put ashore and ride the portage railroad behind a tiny rail car, affectionately known as the Oregon Pony to the upper landing, where they would board the Idaho, Hassalo, or Wasco to The Dalles. There they would ride a horse drawn wagon for a short ride around Celilo Falls then board the Colonel Wright, Nez Perce Chief, Yakima, or Spray for a cruise to Lewiston on the Snake River. ..."

In 1880 when President Hayes visited the Columbia River he rode the steamers "Wide West", "Hassalo", and "Harvest Queen", with portages around the Cascade Rapids and Celilo Falls, to make the journey from Vancouver to Walla Walla.



1896 --- Opening of the Cascade Locks Canal ...
In 1878 construction of the 8-foot-deep Cascade Locks Navigation Canal began. It was completed on November 5, 1896, providing a way around the infamous Cascade Rapids, a section of the Columbia which had restricted navigation up the Columbia since the time of Lewis and Clark. Forty-two years later, early in 1938, the Cascade Locks canal was submerged under the rising waters of the Bonneville Reservoir, behind the Bonneville Dam. According to "HistoryLink.org" website (2012), the online Encyclopedia of Washington State History ... "On November 5, 1896, Portland residents boarded the steamer Sarah Dixon and passed through the locks. A small cannon boomed salutes."
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"... The opening of the Cascade Locks was an event paralleling in interest the forthcoming celebraion when the Celilo Canal will be opened May 5. A picture was taken in 1896, showing the Harvest Queen, Sarah Dixon, Dalles City, Maria and the bow of the Regulator. The steamers Sadie B. and the Water Witch were also in the lock but the camera man missed them. ..."

[note: image not shown on this website]


Source:    "Morning Oregonian", March 14, 1915, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2013.



"... The locks were turned over to Captain W.L. Fisk, one of the corps of army engineers, by the contractors on November 5, 1896. The first boat to go through the locks was the "Sadie B.". The "Sadie B.", the "Danes City" ["Dalles City"], the "Sarah Dixon" and the "Harvest Queen" were put through the locks together. As they went through there was a continuous ovation. The "Sarah Dixon" had mounted a cannon her her deck and this was fired in salute. The "Harvest Queen" had on board four hundred excursionists. It turned around after passing through the locks and started back for Portland, thus being the first boat to make a round through the locks. ..."

Source:   S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1928, "History of the Columbia River Valley from The Dalles to the Sea", vol.III.


"Four steamers waiting their turn at the opening of Cascade Locks November 5, 1896. The steamers are identified as the 1) sternwheeler "Maria" which was built at Portland in 1887 and abandoned in 1923; 2) sternwheeler "Dalles City" which was built at Portland in 1891 and rebuilt in 1909; 3) sternwheeler "Harvest Queen" built at Celilo in 1878 and dismantled in 1899; and 4) sternwheeler "Sarah Dixon" which was built in 1892 and rebuilt in 1906. The original photograph is from the collection of Captain Werner Eckhart."

[note: image not shown on this website]


Source:    Ben Maxwell image collection, Salem Public Library Historic Photograph Collections, Salem Public Library, Salem, Oregon.



1915 --- Opening of the The Dalles - Celilo Canal
The 8-mile-long The Dalles - Celilo Canal, located three miles north of The Dalles, was completed in 1915, creating a steamboat waterway around the Fivemile Rapids ("Long Narrows"), Tenmile Rapids ("Short Narrows"), and Celilo Falls. It provided a clear journey to Lewiston, Idaho. According to the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center photo archives, the first two boats to pass through The Dalles - Celilo Canal were the "Inland Empire" and the "J.N. Teal".
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CELILO CANAL TEST
IS ENTIRE SUCCESS

Crowds Go Wild as Vessels Meet in Lock.
PASSAGE TAKES THREE HOURS
Honor Accorded Inland Empire
and J.N. Teal.

NOTABLES ARE ON BOARD
Indians Among Spectators as
Upper and Lower Columbia Come
Together for Traffic -- Wool
Cargo for Boston Carried

Uninterrupted navigation between the Pacific Ocean and Lewiston, Idaho, more than 500 miles inland, has been established.

The heretofore insuperable barrier of rock that nature placed in the channel of the mighty Columbia where that stream cuts through the Cascade Range, has been conquered.

A vessel from the salt waters of the Pacific yesterday passed successfully around that barrier into the upper channels of the Columbia and a vessel from the head of navigation on the Snake River passed successfully around it toward tidewater below.

Canal Coast $5,000,000.

The Celilo Canal, which has been ten years in building and upon which Uncle Sam has expended $5,000,000, has been opened.

Yesterday's opening, though, was wholly informal. It was merely preliminary to the formal opening, which will take place next Wednesday. ...

Open-River Boats Passed.

To the steamer Inland Empire, one of the original open-river fleet, was given the honor of leading the way through the canal. She passed down the river, from east to west. The J.N. Teal, of the same fleet, went up the river, from west to east.

It was the first time that a lower river boat ever entered the upper river. it was not the first time, though, that an upper river craft had passed into the lower river, as a number of vessels built up above have been sent successfully over the rapids in periods of high water, but they never returned. The open canal now makes their return possible. ...

It was 1:26 p.m. when the Inland Empire entered the upper gateway. Twelve minutes later she steamed into the first lock. The lock had been filled. Slowly the craft sank down to the stage below -- a distance of 12 feet.

Whistles Announce Entry.

A gentle breeze was blowing and her flags waved proudly aloft. She uttered an exultant shriek from her whistle. The old engine of the Portage Railway stood alongside and answered with three or four cheering blasts. The crowd on deck cheered and waved their hats. ...

Although the voyage was in the nature of a trial trip, the Inland Empire carried a cargo of 15,000 pounds of wool, consigned by George H.L. Sharp, of The Dalles, to a Boston firm. ...

At 3:17 the vessel entered the upper one of the twin locks at Five Mile Rapids. "Just like Panama," exclaimed Mr. Teal: "we have twin locks."

The Inland Empire quickly dropped to the level of the lower dock, were a passing basin has been prepared. Just as she reached this point the J.N. Teal, in charge of Captain Arthur Riggs, was entering the basin from below. The Teal bore a large party of excursionists from The Dalles. Hundreds of others had come out by automobile and on the Portage railway. As the two steamers came up side by side pandemonium reigned. The steamboat sirens exchanged salutes, the shrill blasts from the construction engines joined with the coarse honks of automobile horns and the chorus of cries from the assembled crowds swelled into a mighty tumult.

The two vessels then continued on their separate ways. The canal locks closed behind them.

Navigation through the Celilo canal had become an accomplished fact.


Source:    "Morning Oregonian", April 29, 1915, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2013.


illustration from Lyman, Columbia River, 1917
Click image to enlarge
ILLUSTRATION: "Christening the Celilo Canal", photograph by Marshall N. Dana. Source: William Denison Lyman, 1917, "The Columbia River, Its History, Its Myths, Its Scenery, Its Commerce", G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York.


Steamboats and Sternwheelers ... (alphabetical)



"Allen" ... (1854)
EARLY STEAMBOAT ON MIDDLE COLUMBIA:

"[In 1854] At the upper Cascades the Bradfords had just completed a small schooner of about 40 tons burden, which was making trips to Fort Dalles when the winds were favorable. ...

We boarded the schooner and with a fine breeze blowing we made good progress and about noon reached Hood River, then known as Dog River. ... We reached our destination that evening at Fort Dalles ...

The only steam vessel then on the middle Columbia was the little propeller Allen, Captain Tom Gladwell, that was capable of carrying few passengers and a little freight. She only made a few trips, however, when she was wrecked or cast away, and her old iron hull may still be seen at any low water a short distance above Mitchell's Point on the Edgar Locke farm."


Source:    H.C. Coe, 1903, Hood River 50 Years Ago, "Hood River Glacier", April 2, 1903, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspaper Archives, University of Oregon Libraries website, 2015.



"Attwell Boatyard" ... (1853-1860)
Five steamers were built at the Attwell Boatyard between 1853 and 1860. The Attwell Boatyard was located on "Attwell Creek" (today's "Dry Creek") in Cascade Locks. Today this area is under the waters of the Bonneville Dam.
  1. "Mary", side-wheeler, built 1853, length 77 feet, 97 tons, dismantled in 1861
  2. "Wasco", side-wheeler, built 1855, length 147 feet, 265 tons, retired 1861
  3. "Hassaloe", stern-wheeler, built 1857, length 135 feet, retired 1865
  4. "Umatilla", stern-wheeler, built 1858, length 110 feet, 91 tons, moved up-river
  5. "Idaho", stern-wheeler, built 1860, length 147 feet, 270 tons, moved up-river


"Bailey Gatzert" ... (1892)
While built in 1890, it wasn't until 1892 that the steamer "Bailey Gatzert" arrived on the Columbia River. The "Bailey Gatzert" was the first steamer built to carry passengers, as previous steamers going up and down the Columbia River Gorge area were primarily built for carrying freight. During the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition, the "Bailey Gatzert" made twice-daily runs from Portland to Cascade Locks. A model of the "Bailey Gatzert", plus her name board, whistle, and pilot wheel can be seen at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center museum in Stevenson, Washington.

"... While many wood-fueled steamers operated on the Columbia River between the 1850s and the early 20th century, the "Bailey Gatzert" was one of the most famous. It was known for its speed, elegance, and long service on passenger routes between Portland and Astoria, the lower Cascades, and The Dalles. While earlier steamers had transported cargo between Portland and the upper Columbia River Basin, that traffic was dominated by railroads in the 1880s. In 1890, John Holland’s shipyard in Seattle built the "Bailey Gatzert" for the Seattle Steam and Navigation Company (SSNC). In 1891, Captain U.B. Scott’s Columbia Transportation Company merged with the SSNC, creating the Columbia River and Puget Sound Navigation Company. Scott was the president of the company, which was later known as the White Collar Line. The "Bailey Gatzert", named after a Seattle mayor, was moved to the Columbia River in 1892, where it operated for many years. The steamer was one of the fastest on the river at a time when captains would race to pass each other on daily routes. The Bailey Gatzert March, a piano melody written by Decker and Velguth to commemorate the boat, was featured during the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition and Oriental Fair in Portland. During the fair, the steamer ferried tourists twice a day on roundtrips to the Cascade Canal and Locks. The "Bailey Gatzert" was rebuilt in 1907, and in 1917 it returned to Seattle to operate as a car and passenger ferry. In 1926, it became a floating machine shop on Seattle’s Lake Union. ..."


Source:    The Oregon History Project website, 2009.

Penny Postcard, Steamer past Cape Horn, ca.1910
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Cape Horn, Washington, with passing steamer, the "Bailey Gatzert", ca.1910. Penny Postcard, ca.1910, "Palisades on the Columbia River.". Published by the J.K. Gill Co., Card #3952. Made in Germany. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Bailey Gatzert, ca.1910
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Steamer "Bailey Gatzert" entering the Cascade Locks, ca.1910. Penny Postcard, ca.1910, "Steamer Bailey Gatzert entering the Locks of the Cascades". Back: "On the Road of a Thousand Wonders". Published by M. Rieder, Los Angeles, Card #3941. Made in Germany. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Image, 2011, Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Exhibit, Name board of the "Bailey Gatzert", sternwheeler on the Columbia. Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, Stevenson, Washington. Image taken July 15, 2011.
Image, 2011, Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Exhibit, Model of the "Bailey Gatzert", sternwheeler on the Columbia. The "Bailey Gatzert's" pilot wheel can be seen in the background. Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, Stevenson, Washington. Image taken July 15, 2011.
Image, 2011, Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Exhibit, Poster of the "Bailey Gatzert", sternwheeler on the Columbia. Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, Stevenson, Washington. Image taken July 15, 2011.


"Beaver" ... (1836)
The first steamboat to appear on the lower Columbia was the Hudson's Bay Company's side-wheeler, "Beaver", which started operating in 1836. The "Beaver" was built in 1835 on the Thames, had a length of 101.4 feet, beam of 20 feet, depth of 11 feet, and a tonnage of 109.12. Rigged with sails and her side-wheels not attached, she sailed to America in 163 days. The "Beaver" was a sturdy little steamer and after years on the Columbia she worked around the Pacific Northwest until 1888.


illustration from Lewis and Dryden, 1895
Click image to enlarge
ILLUSTRATION: Steamer "Beaver", from Lewis & Dryden, 1895. Source: E.W. Wright (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.
illustration from Lyman, Columbia River, 1917
Click image to enlarge
ILLUSTRATION: Steamer "Beaver". Source: William Denison Lyman, 1917, "The Columbia River, Its History, Its Myths, Its Scenery, Its Commerce", G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York.
Image, 2011, Fort Vancouver, Museum, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Model, Steamship "Beaver", Fort Vancouver Museum, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken August 2, 2011.
Image, 2011, Fort Vancouver, Museum, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Information sign, Steamship "Beaver", Fort Vancouver Museum, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken August 2, 2011.


"Belle" ... (1853)

"... The Columbia and Willamette river fleet was augmented by the building of the steamer Belle, which was launched August 18th at Oregon City ...   The Belle was intended for the Oregon City trade, but was operated on the Cascade route in 1855 ...   She also ran there in 1856-57 ...  connecting with the steamer Mary for The Dalles. In 1858 she varied her runs, having been at different times on the Astoria, Cowlitz, and Cascade routes. The Belle continued on the Columbia under her original management until the Oregon Steam Navigation Company was oranized, when she was absorbed by that corporation. They seldom used her, and she soon found her way to the boneyard, where she was broken up in 1869, the old iron of which her hull was built going to China on the bark Hattie Besse. The engines were afterward placed in a sawmill at Oak Point. The dimensions of the Belle were: Length, 90 feet; beam, 16 feet; depth, 4 feet, tonnage, registered at custom-house at Astoria, 54 tons. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"Carrie Ladd" ... (1859)
In 1859 the "Carrie Ladd" made her appearnace on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Her dimensions were 126 feet in length, 24 feet 4 inches in beam, and 4 feet 6 inches in depth.

"... The finest sternwheeler yet built made her appearance on the Columbia and Willamette in 1859. She was named the Carrie Ladd in honor of the Portland banker's daughter, and will always be remembered for the important part she played in the organization of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company. The Carrie Ladd was launched at Oregon City in October, 1858. ...   She was fitted up in first-class style, and on her trial trip February 9, 1859, in command of Ainsworth, made the run to Vancouver in one hour twenty-five minutes, to the Cascades in five hours forty-four minutes, and back to Portland in four hours thirty-eight minutes, a speed which was considered very rapid in those days. The steamer was originally intended for the Oregon City trade, but shortly after her completion the Union Transportation Company, the forerunner of the mighty Oregon Steam Navigation Company, was formed, and the Carrie Ladd secured the largest share given to any one steamer in that pool. Having excellent power she found no difficulty in going to the very foot of the rapids at the Cascades. When the Julia was brought from the Sound there was a brief spell of opposition on the Cascade route, which was soon ended by the purchase of the Julia; and, in the lively days of steam-boating in the early sixties, the two steamers ran there alternately, each carrying from two hundred to three hundred passengers at a trip. In 1862, while in command of Capt. James Strang, the Carrie Ladd struck a rock near Cape Horn and sank. The passengers were rescued by the Mountain Buck and taken to the Cascades. The steamer was afterward raised and resumed her trips, but the tremendous amount of work to which she was subjected during her early career had weakened her, and in 1864 she was converted into a barge. Her engines were used in the Nez Perce Chief. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.

illustration from Lewis and Dryden, 1895
Click image to enlarge
ILLUSTRATION: Steamer "Carrie Ladd", from Lewis & Dryden, 1895. Source: E.W. Wright (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


Cascade Locks freeze ... (1909)
The cold winter of 1909 trapped the "Sarah Dixon" and the "Regulator" in the ice in the Cascade Locks.

Image, 2013, Cascade Locks Museum, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Photo, "Sarah Dixon" and "Regulator" trapped in the ice in 1909, Cascade Locks Museum, Cascade Locks, Oregon. Image taken May 19, 2013.


Cascades Massacre, "Mary" and "Wasco", "Belle" and "Fashion" ... (1856)

"... The steamer Mary was lying in the mouth of Mill creek [March 26, 1856], and the wind was blowing hard down stream. When we saw Indians running toward her and heard the shots, we supposed she would be taken; and as she lay just out of our sight, and we saw smoke rising from her, concluded she was burning, but what was our glad surprise after a while to see her put out and run across the river. ...   The steamer Wasco was on the Oregon side of the river. We saw her steam up and leave for the Dalles. Shortly after the steamer Mary also left. She had to take Atwell's fence rails for wood. ...   The two steamers now having exceeded the length of time we gave them in which to return from the Dalles, we made up our minds for a long siege and until relief came from below. We could not account for it, but supposed the Ninth Regiment had left The Dalles for Walla Walla, and proceeded too far to return. Morning dawned -- the third morning [March 28] -- and, lo, the Mary and the Wasco, blue with soldiers, and towing a flat-boat with dragoon horses, hove in sight. Such a haloo as we gave! As the steamers landed the Indians fired twenty or thirty shots into them, but we could not ascertain with any effect. ...   The steamer Belle returned next day, (third of the attack), and brought ammunition for the blockhouse. ...   Steamer Fashion with volunteers from Portland came at the same time. ..."


Source:    Source: L.W. Coe, April 6, 1856, The Cascades Massacre of March 26, 1856, IN: History of Clark County.


"Centennial Queen" (a.k.a. "S.S. Shasta" and "River Queen") ... (1959)
Today's "River Queen", now moored upstream of Goble, was built in 1922 as the ferry the "S.S. Shasta". She worked the San Francisco Bay until 1937 when the Bay Bridge opened. Between 1941 and 1958 The "Shasta" worked runs in Puget Sound, and in 1959 she was moved to Portland, renamed "Centennial Queen", and ran routes up and down the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, celebrating Oregon's 100th anniversary. Finally, the "S.S. Shasta/Centennial Queen" became the "River Queen", a floating restaurant docked along Portland's waterfront. The restaurant closed in 1995 and the "River Queen" was moved to St. Helens. Today she is moored along the Oregon shore between St. Helens and Goble.

Penny Postcard, 'Geo.W.Elder' in drydock, Portland, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: "The CENTENNIAL QUEEN". Penny Postcard postmarked 1959. Caption on back reads: "The "CENTENNIAL QUEEN", river excursion boat which plies the Willamette from Portland to its mouth and up the Columbia, passing through the Burnside Bridge in mid-Portland." Color Photo by Georg Nilsen. Published by Western Color Sales Inc., #K-1860. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Image, 2015, Goble, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"River Queen" (through trees), now docked upstream of Goble, Oregon. Image taken April 19, 2015.


"Colonel Wright" ... (1858)
In 1858 the "Colonel Wright" became the first steamer on the upper Columbia, covering the area from Celilo Falls to the Snake River. The "Colonel Wright" was 110 feet long, 21 feet beam, and 5 feet hold.

Sternwheelers on the
UPPER COLUMBIA

"The lure of the river casts its spell."
Fred W. Wilson, "The Lure of the River" (1969)

"Steamboats proved crucial to the commerce of the Columbia River east of The Dalles. In 1858 Robert R. Thompson, Indian Agent, and Lawrence W. Coe hauled in boilers and fittings to build a steamboat near the mouth of the Deschutes River. In spite of rapids and currents, Capt. Leonard White took command and ran the vessel on a regular schedule from Celilo Landing to Wallula above the mouth of the Walla Walla River.

The Colonel Wright proved the value of steamboats for hauling freight and passengers through the Columbia Basin. With the mining rush of the early 1860s, she earned as much as $2,500 in fares on a single up-river journey. Measuring 110 feet long and 21 feet wide, the Colonel Wright was worn out and dismantled in 1865. Several competing vessels came on duty in the 1860s. Steamboating persisted for the next sixty years until the advent of highways and truck traffic in the 1920s."


Source:    Exhibit sign, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon, 2013.



"... The Colonel Wright was launched October 24, 1858, at the mouth of the Des Chutes River, and like most of the pioneers on the steamboat routes, made a fortune for her owners before others could interfere with the trade. ..   The Colonel Wright made her first trip in April, 1859, and, by connecting with the Oregon Steam Navigation steamers on the middle and lower river, landed passengers in Portland thirty hours after leaving Walla Walla, a feat which was considered remarkable at that time. In May, 1859, the steamer made a reconnoitering tour fifty miles up the Snake River, and in 1861 ascended the Clearwater to within two miles of the forks, accomplishing the down-stream run of over three hundred miles in less that twenty-four hours. Thompson and Coe made so much money with the Wright that in the spring of 1860 they put the Tenino on the same route, after pooling both steamers with the Oregon Steam Navigation Company. ...   She made her last trip in the spring of 1865, in command of Capt. Thomas Stump, who attempted to take her above the Snake River rapids to Farewell Bend. She was eight days in making a distance of about one hundred miles, so she was headed down stream and returned to Lewiston in less than five hours, Captain Stump reporting his explorations as having been of no practical value; but he had taken a steamer farther into the heart of the regions lying to the east than any craft had ever gone before. ...   in August, 1865, she was broken up, her engines afterward being placed in one of Joseph Kellogg's steamers. . ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"Columbia" ... (1850)
The "Columbia" was the first steamboat built in Oregon. She was a sidewheeler, 90 feet long, 16 feet beam, and about 4 feet of depth of hold.

"... [The next vessel named 'Columbia'] was wholly of home manufacture. It was the river steamer Columbia, the first built in the Pacific Northwest, and like the first sailing vessel (the Dolly), launched on the river. She was built at Astoria in 1850. She was an oddly shaped and clumsy craft, being double ender like a ferry boat. She ran between Portland and Astoria for a year or so, when she was dismantled. Her machinery was put on the steamer Fashion and her hull left to go out with the tide to loose itself among the sea and shore sands. ..."


Source:    "Pioneer Vessels 'Columbia'", 1900, "The Oregon Native Son, Volume 2".


"... The first steamboat built in Oregon was a namesake of the first vessel to enter the Columbia River the Columbia. She was a little sidewheeler built at Upper Astoria and made her trial trip on July 3, 1850. ...   The Columbia was 90 feet long, 16 feet beam, and about 4 feet depth of hold. She left Astoria on her first trip at noon on July 3rd, in command of Captain Frost ...   She reached Portland at 3:00 p.m. the next day, and after lying there two or three hours proceeded to Oregon City, where she arrived about 8:00 in the evening, a great celebration being held in her honor. At this time the steamer Lot Whitcomb was on the stocks at Milwaukie, and was rapidly assuming shape. ...

The Columbia continued in the trade between Portland, Oregon City, Astoria and Vancouver, and enjoyed a good business, fare and freight between river points being $25 per head or per ton The running time between Portland and Astoria was twenty-four hours, the boat tying up at night. As another profitable source of revenue she carried supplies from Vancouver to the Cascades, with occasional trips from Astoria with passengers from the Pacific Mail steamers, frequently carrying so many that there was hardly standing room on board. The Columbia was a short-lived boat, and in a few years her engines were removed and placed in the steamer Fashion. The hull was afterward swept away and lost during a June freshet. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.



"Columbia Gorge" ... (1983)
Today the sternwheeler "Columbia Gorge" resides at the Cascade Locks, providing today's visitors with a glimpse into the past. The "Columbia Gorge" was built by the Nichols Boat Works of Hood River, Oregon and launched on the Columbia River in 1983. Currently it is owned by the Port of Cascade Locks. Tours on the Columbia River include sightseeing from Cascade Locks and Stevenson to the Bonneville Dam.
[More]

Image, 2003, Cascade Locks, Sternwheeler, looking upstream, click to enlarge
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Looking upstream from Cascade Locks. Looking upstream from Cascade Locks, at the sternwheeler "Columbia Gorge". Image taken June 15, 2003.
Image, 2006, Cascade Locks, Sternwheeler, click to enlarge
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Sternwheeler "Columbia Gorge". Image taken August 23, 2008.
Image, 2006, Cascade Locks, Sternwheeler, click to enlarge
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Sternwheeler "Columbia Gorge". Image taken August 23, 2008.


"Dalles City" ... (1891)
The "Dalles City" was built in Portland in 1891 and then rebuilt in 1909. She was one of seven steamers ("Dalles City", "Harvest Queen", "Maria", "Regulator", "Sadie B.", "Sarah Dixon", and "Water Witch") to go through the Cascade Locks when it opened on November 5, 1896.

"... in 1891 The Dalles, Portland & Astoria Navigation Company was organized and launched two fine sternwheel steamers. The Regulator for the middle river was set afloat at The Dalles and was one hundred and fifty-two feet long, twenty-eight feet beam, and six feet hold, with engines sixteen by seventy-two inches. ...   The Dalles City, on the Portland end of the line, was built at that place, and is one hundred and forty-two feet long, twenty-six feet five inches beam, and six feet hold, with engines fourteen by sixty inches. ...   The steamers have been very successful ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.

Penny Postcard, Cascade Locks, Steamers, including the Dalles City, ca.1910
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Penny Postcard: Cascade Locks, with steamers, including the "Regulator" and the "Dalles City", ca.1910.
Penny Postcard, ca.1910, "Columbia River Steamers in Cascade Locks". Caption on back reads: "Columbia river is one of the largest rivers in the west side of America. Its estimated length is 1400 miles. The river is broken by falls and rapids into many separate portions, and the ingress and egress are embraced by a surf eaten bar, still it is open to steamboat navigation from its mouth to the Cascade. About 160 miles along the river are located some of the largest salmon canneries in the world." Card #90. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Steamer past Cape Horn, ca.1920
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Penny Postcard: Cape Horn and Cape Horn Landing, Washington, and the steamer "Dalles City", ca.1920. Penny Postcard, ca.1920, "Passing Cape Horn, Columbia River". Caption along the bottom reads "'Dalles City', one of the many steamers out of Portland". Published by Chas. S. Lipschuetz Company, Portland, Oregon. Card has postmark of August 1921. Card #248. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Image, 2011, Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, click to enlarge
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Warren Salmon Cannery, Warrendale, Oregon, with two steamships, the "Dalles City" and the "Tahoma". Image shows two steamships, the "Dalles City" and the "Tahoma" docking at the Warren Cannery docks. Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, Stevenson, Washington. Image taken July 15, 2011.


"Dixie Thompson" ... (1871)

"... in January, 1871, the following steamers were flying the Oregon Steam Navigation flag: sidewheelers, Oneonta, 497 tons; Idaho, 302; Josie McNear, 159; sternwheelers, Dixie Thompson, 443.44; Tenino, 329.46; Yakima, 453.96; Owyhee, 313.40; Okanogan, 278.07; Rescue, 126.14; Shoshone, 299.73; Fannie Troup, 229.48; Wenat, 87.79; and the barge Wasp. All of their boats had been in service for a considerable length of time with the exception of the Dixie Thompson, which was launched at Portland, January 2d, and after completion started on the Astoria run in command of Capt. Richard Hoyt ...   Her first trip to Astoria was made in eight hours, which, according to the Oregonian, was the fastest time yet recorded on the route. In 1872 H.A. Snow commanded the steamer, and was succeeded the following year by Captain Babbidge, who ran her through the summer months a round trip a day. The Dixie continued in this trade as a passenger steamer until 1881, and was subsequently operated on the Cascade route in opposition to the Fleetwood, then connecting with the Gold Dust above the Cascades. The Oregon Railway & Navigation steamer carried passengers for fifty cents each, and, when that competition ended, the Dixie returned to the lower river as a freight boat, but in 1885 again plied on the Cascade route, continuing there in charge of Capt. John Wolf and A.B. Pillsbury until 1887, when Capt. Henry Kindred ran her as a towboat. Charlges Spinner, Edward Sullivan, and a number of other Oregon Railway & Navigation Company captains, handled her in the towing business until 1893, when she was sent to the boneyard to be dismantled. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"Eagle" ... (1852)
In 1852 a small iron propeller called the Eagle (who was brought around Cape Horn on the deck of a ship) ran between Portland and Oregon City in command of Capt. W.B. Wells and Capt. Richard Wiliams, who coined money with her, carrying passengers between the two cities at the rate of $5 a head.

In 1854 she was placed on the route between Portland and Vancouver and later she ran from Portland to the Cascades along with the "Belle" and "Fashion", taking the place of the steamer Maria who had sunk at the wharf in Portland. In 1865 the "Eagle" was sold to Tackaberry & Ham, continuing in the towing business until 1871, when John West purchased her, removed the engines, and placed them in the steamer Jane West.



"Empress of the North" ... (2004)
(to come)

Image, 2004, Mount Hood from Hayden Island, under the I-5 Bridge, click to enlarge
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Mount Hood, Oregon, and the Empress of the North, from Hayden Island. View from under the Interstate 5 bridge, Columbia River. Image taken March 29, 2004.
Image, 2006, Empress of the North, Columbia River, click to enlarge
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Empress of the North, Columbia River, as seen from Fisher's Landing, Washington. Image taken March 26, 2006.
Image, 2006, Empress of the North, Cathedral Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Empress of the North, Willamette River, Cathedral Park, St. Johns, Oregon. Image taken February 5, 2006.


"Fashion" ... (1852)
In 1852, the "Fashion", once the "James P. Flint" with engines from the "Columbia", covered the lower Columbia River from the Cowlitz to the Cascade Rapids. During the Cascades Massacre in 1856, the "Fashion" brought help from Portland.

"... The steamer Fashion, which had risen from the ruins of the Jas. P. Flint, in command of Capt. J.O. Van Bergen, was covering several routes, going to the Cowlitz Monday and Tuesday, Oregon City Wednesday and Thursday, and the rest of the week to Vancouver and the Cascades. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"Geo. H. Mendell" ... (1889)
In 1889 the steam tug the "Geo. H. Mendell" was launched. This tug was used for towing large stone barges filled with tons of basalt rock from the (quarried at Fisher Quarry near Vancouver, Washington) between Astoria and Fort Stevens, for use in construction of the South Jetty.

"The GEO. H. MENDELL"


The New Government Steam Tug Ready.


The new steam tug that has been in the process of construction for the past few weeks, was successfully launched at 5 p.m. yesterday.

This boat was built under the direction of Major T.J. Handbury, the United States engineer, officer in charge of the work of improving the mouth of the Columbia river. It is to do the towing necessary to this work between Astoria and Fort Stevens and in the vicinity of the jetty. The heavy stone barges are towed between Astoria and the contractor's quarry above Fisher's landing, by the government steam Cascades. This new boat will be a valuable and necessary adjunct to the plant belonging to the work at the mouth of the river. The rock and other material used in the construction of the jetty will now be moved with regularity and dispatch.

The boat is named after Colonel George H. Mendell, corps of engineers, United States army, an officer well known throughout the country, and especially on the Pacific coast, where he has been identified professionaly for many years with all the government engineering projects, both civil and military, and with many private and corporate engineering enterprises. It is 90 feet, 6 inches in length over all, 18 feet beam and 7 feet depth of hold. The hull and cabin are built of the very best selected material. ..."


Source:    "The Daily Morning Astorian", May 12, 1889, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2013.



"Geo. W. Elder" ... (1905)
"Elder Rocks" is the name given to a 56-foot-high rock pillar located 1/2 mile south of Goble, at Columbia River Mile (RM) 75.

Quite possibly named after the steamer "George W. Elder", who grounded there in 1905. Removal of the steamer wasn't accomplished until 1906.

"The steamer Geo. W. Elder is on the rocks near Goble, in the Columbia river, and cannot be gotten off. Her equipment will be saved and put to other use." [Oregon City courier, January 27, 1905, courtesy University of Oregon "Historic Oregon Newspapers" online archives, 2015.]

"The steamer George W. Elder is on the rocks near Goble, in the Columbia river, and cannot be gotten off. She will be stripped of her equipments and a new boat will be built." [Roseburg Plaindealer, February 6, 1905, courtesy University of Oregon "Historic Oregon Newspapers" online archives, 2015.]


STEAMER STRIKES ROCK AND
SINKS IN COLUMBIA RIVER

The George W. Elder Goes to the
Bottom, but ALl on Board
Are Saved

By Associated Press.

PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 22. -- The steamship George W. Elder, which left Portland last night for San Francisco, struck a rock in the Columbia river near Globe, forty miles from here, about midnight and stove a hole in her port side a short distance forward of amidships and she sank in about fifteen feet of water. The accident was caused by the rudder becoming fouled by a snag. While in this helpless condition before she could be stopped she left the channel and piled upon a jagged rock which lies near the bank of the river.

The river steamer Hassalo, which left the city for Astoria about the same time as the Elder, went to the assistance of the steamer and brought her passengers back to this city.

A force of longshoremen was sent immediately to the disabled vessel for the purpose of unloading her, which will consume about two days. The Elder will be brought to this city and dry-docked, when the full extent of the damage will be made known."


Source:    "Los Angeles Herald", January 23, 1905, Vol.32, No.114, courtesy California Digital Newspaper Collection, 2015.



Memoranda.

PORTLAND, Jan.23. -- Water is rising rapidly in the hold of the steamer George W. Elder, previously reported beached near Gobel. Most of the cargo has escaped damage and been removed to this city."


Source:    "San Francisco Call", January 24, 1905, Vol.97, Number 55, courtesy California Digital Newspaper Collection, 2015.


"W.H. Baker, who superintends the floating of the steamer Geo. W. Elder, came up from Goble yesterday to secure another anchor to be used in keeping the wreck from going ashiore while being raised. Mr. Baker says he expects to float the Elder Saturday if the wind dies down or shifts to the north." [Morning Oregonian, May 17, 1906, courtesy University of Oregon "Historic Oregon Newspapers" online archives, 2015.]

Penny Postcard, 'Geo.W.Elder' in drydock, Portland, click to enlarge
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Penny Postcard: "The Geo. W. Elder in drydock, Portland, Oregon". Penny Postcard ca.1905. Edward H. Mitchell Publisher, San Francisco, #1021. Printed in the United States. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.


"Harvest Queen" ... (1878)
There were two "Harvest Queen's" on the Columbia in the years of the steamers. The first "Harvest Queen" was built in Celilo in 1878 and dismantled in 1899. The second "Harvest Queen" was built in 1900 and ran until 1927. The first "Harvest Queen" was one of seven steamers ("Dalles City", "Harvest Queen", "Maria", "Regulator", "Sadie B.", "Sarah Dixon", and "Water Witch") to go through the Cascade Locks when it opened on November 5, 1896.

"... The Oregon Steam Navigation Company built the Harvest Queen at Celilo in 1878 to run in connection with the improved service on the middle and lower river. The Queen was the largest steamer on the upper river, and, while she was not very rapid in her movements, was as elegantly equipped as the steamers farther down stream. Capt. James W. Troup was given command and ran the Queen between Celilo and Lewiston until February, 1881, when she was taken over Tumwater Rapids, furnishing one of the most exciting trips ever made on the Columbia. ...   Capt. John McNulty commanded the steamer on the middle river, where she remained until 1890, when Captain Troup piloted her safely over the Cascades. Since that time she has been engaged on the lower river, with Capt. Edward Sullivan in charge most of the time. The Harvest Queen is two hundred feet long, thirty-seven feet beam, and seven feet six inches hold, with engines twenty by ninety-six inches. She was extensively repaired in 1890. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, "Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest": The Lewis & Dryden Printing Company, Portland, Oregon.

Image, 2013, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Model, "Harvest Queen", Columbia Gorge Discovery Center exhibit, The Dalles, Oregon. The "Harvest Queen" was one of seven steamers to go through the Cascade Locks on opening day in 1896. Image taken May 8, 2013.


"Harvest Queen" ... (1900)
There were two "Harvest Queen's" on the Columbia in the years of the steamers. The second "Harvest Queen" was built in 1900 and operated until 1927. On February 18, 1921, this "Harvest Queen" was the last steamer to run from Portland to Astoria.

"... There were two Harvest Queens that were built as stern-wheelers. One was built at Celilo Falls, Oregon in 1878. She weighed 846 tons, measured 200 feet, and operated above Celilo Falls until 1881 when the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company completed railroad tracks. She was dismantled in 1899. The second Harvest Queen was built in 1900, weighed 585 tons and measured 187 feet. She operated on the lower Columbia and was abandoned in 1927. ..."


Source:    State of Washington Libraries, Washington Rural Heritage website, 2011.


"Hassalo" ... (1880)
The Hassalo (not to be confused with an earlier 1857 steamer of a similar name) was built at The Dalles in 1880 for the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company. The "Hassalo" was built entirely of wood and was advertised as the fastest river boat in the world. She worked the river until 1888 when she left for Puget Sound. On May 26, 1888, Captain Troup took the "Hassalo" over the Cascades Rapids, an event which attracted over 3,000 spectators. In 1892 the "Hassalo" returned from Puget Sound and was converted to a towboat. She retired in 1898. In 1899 another steamer, larger and heavier, was built in Portland and named "Hassalo".

"... The Oregon Railway & Navigation Company constructed their first steamer, the Hassalo, at The Dalles in 1880. She was one hundred and sixty feet long, thirty feet beam, and six feet hold, with engines seventeen by sixty inches. Capt. Fred Wilson, first in command, was succeeded by H.F. Coe. Capt. John McNulty was in charge during her last five years on the middle river, and in May, 1888, she was piloted over the Cascades by Captain Troup at a stage of water lower than when any other steamer except the Okanogan had attempted the passage. She was slightly repaired after reaching Portland and was then sent to the Sound in charge of Capt. O.A. Anderson, and on arrival was started on the Bellingham Bay route. She remained on the Sound until 1892, when Capt. Cyrus Harriman brought her back to the Columbia. Since that time she has been employed principally as a towboat. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.

Image, 2013, Cascade Locks Museum, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Model, "Hassalo" (built in 1880), Cascade Locks Museum exhibit, Cascade Locks, Oregon. Image taken May 19, 2013.
Image, 2013, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"Hassalo", Exhibit detail, "Sternwheelers on the Upper River", Columbia Gorge Discovery Center exhibit, The Dalles, Oregon. Image taken May 8, 2013.

Caption reads:   "River steamer Hassalo tied to Oregon Steam Navigation Co. dock, 1888 high water."


"Hassalo" running the Cascade Rapids ... (1888)
On May 26, 1888, Capt. James W. Troup took the sternwheeler "Hassalo" through the Cascades of the Columbia, covering the six miles of whitewater in just seven minutes. While other captains had come through the Cascades, and even bested Troup's time, as had Captain McNulty in the "R.R. Thompson" a few years before, the famous run of the "Hassalo" was witnessed by 3,000 people and made the subject of a well-known photograph.

illustration from Lewis and Dryden, 1895
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ILLUSTRATION: Steamer "Hassalo" running the Cascade Rapids, May 26, 1888, from Lewis & Dryden, 1895. Source: E.W. Wright (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"Hassalo" ... (1899)
The second "Hassalo" was built in Portland in 1899, and operated for the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company on the Lower Columbia between Portland and Astoria. This "Hassalo" was longer and heavier than the previous steamer of that name (186 foot length, 30 foot beam, and 8 foot hold). Her stern wheel was 24 feet in diameter and the buckets were 14 feet long and 2 feet wide. Built for speed, the "Hassalo" did a test run on the Columbia and attained the phenomenal speed of 26 miles per hour. She was expected to make the 100 mile trip from Portland to Astoria within four hours.

Newspaper image
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Newspaper image, Six Steamers (including the second "Hassalo"), "Morning Oregonian", September 2, 1917.

"S.G. Reed",
"R.R. Thompson",
"Geo. E. Starr",
"Hassalo",
"Willamette Chief", and
"Annie Faxon".


"Hassaloe" ... (1857)
In July 1857 the "Hassaloe" (note: sometimes erroneously spelled "Hassalo") joined the group of steamboats on the middle Columbia River, Cascade Rapids to Celilo Falls. The "Hassaloe" was built at the Attwell Boatyard, located at the head of the Cascade Rapids.

"... A new line to The Dalles was established in 1857 by the steamer Hassalo, just completed on the middle river, and the steamer Mountain Buck, built at Portland to connect with her. ...   The Hassalo was the first sternwheeler built at the Cascades, and was 135 feet long, 19 feet beam, and 5 feet hold. She made her initial trip in July, 1857, and while not very speedy was a serviceable boat. ...    The steamer went into the Oregon Steam Navigation Company with the rest of the boats on the middle river at the time of the organization, and continued running until 1865, when she was laid up. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"Hattie Belle" ... (1892)
"... The Hattie Belle [built 1892], length one hundred and ten feet, beam twenty-four feet, and depth of hold four feet five inches, was constructed at Portland by Capt. M.A. Hackett, who operated her as a towboat until 1894, when she was secured by the Hosfords, who used her on the Cascade route in connection with the Ione, which was frequently on the bottom of the river. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.

Penny Postcard, Rooster Rock, Oregon, Image ca.1896, Card ca.1905
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Penny Postcard: Rooster Rock, Oregon, Image ca.1896, Card ca.1905.
Penny Postcard, Image ca.1896, Card ca.1905. "Rooster Rock, Columbia River, Oregon." Oregon Historical Society original image is titled "Hattie Belle at Rooster Rock, by Benjamin Gifford, ca.1896." Published by B.B. Rich, Official Stationer. Card is in the same style as offical cards from the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.


"Henderson" Paddle Wheel ... (1901 - 1956)
The sternwheeler the "Henderson" began her career on the Columbia River in 1901 and continued until she beached in 1956. One highlight of her career occurred in 1952 when she played the riverboat "River Queen" in the Jimmy Stewart movie "Bend Of The River". In advertising for this movie the "Henderson" participated in the last sternwheeler race on the Columbia. The "Henderson" raced the Port of Portland's new steel-hulled sternwheeler the "Portland". During the race the "Henderson" came from behind to beat the "Portland" in the 3.6-mile race, blowing a gasket in the process. The "Henderson" met her dimise in 1956 when she colided with her tow and subsequently beached near Columbia City. Her paddle wheel was salvaged, renovated, and is now on display at the History Museum in Hood River, Oregon.

THE HENDERSON - GONE but NOT forgotten

"The 160-foot sternwheeler M.F. Henderson was built by the Shaver Transportation Co. in 1901 as a combination freighter and tow-boat. In 1911, during an overhaul, she lost the initials "M.F." and became the Henderson. The Henderson enjoyed a long and distinguished career on the Columbia towing log rafts, pushing barges, and tugging ships. By 1950, the Henderson was one of only two wood-hulled sternwheelers still working on the river.

In December 1956, with a grain ship in tow, the Henderson encountered heavy swells near the mouth of the Columbia. The vedssel's hull pounded so hard against the unyielding tow that the crew was forced to beach her near Columbia City. Declared a "constructive total loss," the Henderson languished on the shore until she was burned to salvage scrap metal in 1964."




THE HENDERSON PADDLE WHEEL

"The "M.F. Henderson" was launched in 1901. Being a work-class steamer, she towed log rafts, grain barges and pushed ships. During an overhaul in 1912 she lost her initials and became known as the "Henderson".

During World War II she moved powerless ships through Portland's harbor bridges. In 1952 she starred in the movie "Bend of the River" under the name of "River Queen".

"The Henderson" had a long life for a wood steamer. Her end came in 1956 near Astoria. Heavy winds and surging waves smashed her against the steel side of her tow. Damaged beyond repair, she was eached near Columbia City.

John Hounsell, Hood River orchardist and boat builder, obtained permission to remove the wheel, which he renovated at this site in 1977."




Source:    Information signs, The History Museum, Hood River, Oregon, 2014.

Image, 2014, Exhibit, Hood River Museum, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Paddle Wheel from the "Henderson", Hood River Museum, Hood River, Oregon. Image taken July 26, 2014.
Image, 2014, Exhibit, Hood River Museum, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Paddle Wheel from the "Henderson", Hood River Museum, Hood River, Oregon. Image taken July 26, 2014.
Image, 2014, Exhibit, Hood River Museum, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Paddle Wheel from the "Henderson", Hood River Museum, Hood River, Oregon. Image taken July 26, 2014.
Image, 2014, Exhibit, Hood River Museum, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Paddle Wheel from the "Henderson", Hood River Museum, Hood River, Oregon. Image taken July 26, 2014.
Image, 2014, Exhibit, Hood River Museum, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Sign, Paddle Wheel from the "Henderson", Hood River Museum, Hood River, Oregon. Image taken July 26, 2014.


"Idaho" ... (1860)
Between 1860 and 1861 the steamer "Idaho" was used on the middle Columbia, Cascade Rapids to Celilo Falls. The "Idaho" was a sidewheeler, 147 feet long, 26 feet beam, and 6 feet 9 inches depth of hold, and was built at the Attwell Boatyard, located at the head of the Cascade Rapids.

"... The steamer Idaho ... was constructed at the Cascades in 1860 for Col. John S. Ruckel, and naturally fell into the hands of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, for whom she proved very profitable. She continued on the middle river ...   in 1861 she was piloted over the Cascades by Capt. James Troup, and, after being repaired and strengthened throughout, was sent around to Puget Sound the following year. ... when Capt. D.B. Jackson organized the Northwestern Steamship Company, he bought the Idaho and put her on the Port Townsend mail route, where she is still running and making better time than many steamers of less than one-third her age. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.

illustration from Lewis and Dryden, 1895
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ILLUSTRATION: Steamer "Idaho", from Lewis & Dryden, 1895. Source: E.W. Wright (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"Inland Empire" ...
In 1915 the "Inland Empire" and the "J.N. Teal" were the first two steamers through The Dalles - Celilo Canal.

Image, 2013, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Exhibit detail, "Sternwheelers on the Upper River", Columbia Gorge Discovery Center exhibit, The Dalles, Oregon. Image taken May 8, 2013.


"James P. Flint" ... (1851)

"... The first steamboat on the middle river, the James P. Flint, appeared this year [1851]. She was built at the Cascades by the Bradfords and Van Bergen, and after her completion she was hauled up over the Cascades to run to The Dalles, where there was an established military post. ...   The following season she was taken below the Cascades, and in September was sunk opposite Multnomah Falls, while in command of Capt. George Coffin. No lives were lost, but the craft was abandoned until 1853, when she was taken to Vancouver and renamed the Fashion. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"Jennie Clark" ... (1854)

"... In 1854 a "steam canoe" was no longer a curiosity to the Indians in the Northwest, and only on rare occasions did they go out to welcome the mariners with tomahawks as in olden times. Instead they crowded aboard whenever a vessel appeared ...   This year witnessed an innovation in Northwestern steamboating - the building of the first sternwheeler. Prior to this date propellers and sidewheelers were the only steam craft which had been tried here; but Captain Ainsworth and Jacob Kam concluded that sternwheelers were better adapted to the river business than the other styles. ...   They built the Jennie Clark at Milwaukie, on the same spot where the Lot Whitcomb was constructed; and after her completion she was placed on the Oregon City route with Ainsworth in command, where she continued for several years. In 1862 she enjoyed the distinction of being the first regular seaside boat, making a weekly trip to Clatsop Landing on the Lewis and Clarke River. This was after the steamer had passed into the hands of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, and was almost her last work, as she went to the boneyard the following year, where, after her engines had been removed ...   the old hull remained until October, 1865, when it was burned for the iron. The Jennie Clark was a primitive boat compared with the sternwheelers which followed her, but, owing to the fact that she was planned by two of the most successful and practical steamboatmen that ever followed the river, few of the prominent features of her construction have since been improved upon. The steamer's dimensions were: length, one hundred and fifteen feet; beam, eighteen feet six inches; depth, four feet. ... ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"Jessie Harkins" ("Pearl") ...
The "Jessie Harkins" was built 1909 and was the first boat of Harkins Transportaion Company. She was later sold to the Shaver Transportation Company and renamed "Pearl". Image on information kiosk shows the "Jessie Harkins" docked at the Washougal dock.

"The Jessie Harkins made a regular round-trip from Portland to Washougal. It came in at 7:00 a.m., picked up passengers, supplies, and goods from the mills, and fruit, nuts, milk, or cream from the local farmers, and headed to Portland. It left Portland at 2:00 p.m. and returned to Washougal by 6:00 p.m. Washougal residents had approximately three hours in Portland for pleasure or buisiness. The trip cost 25cents."


Source:    Richenda Fairhurst, 2006, Washougal, Images of American, Arcadia Publishing, San Francisco, Ca.


Image, 2004, Steamboat Landing, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Information kiosk, Steamboat Landing, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 21, 2004.
Image, 2004, Steamboat Landing, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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"Jessie Harkins", information kiosk, Steamboat Landing, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 21, 2004.
Image, 2016, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington, click to enlarge
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Detail, Information panel, Parkers Landing Historical Park, Washougal, Washington. Image taken November 4, 2016.

"Parker's Landing, circa 1920s. The passenger-freight steamer Jessie Harkins stopped often at Parker's Landing to pick up milk cans and livestock." Illustration by Sandra Neil.


"J.N. Teal" ...
In 1915 the "Inland Empire" and the "J.N. Teal" were the first two steamers through The Dalles - Celilo Canal.


"Lot Whitcomb" ... (1850)

"... The glory of the first steamer, Columbia, had not yet begun to fade when the steamer Lot Whitcomb, a much more pretentious boat, was launched on Christmas Day, 1850, during a tremendous jollification meeting at Milwaukie. She was named in honor of the founder of Milwaukie ...   She was a commodious sidewheeler, 160 feet long, 24 feet beam, 5 feet 8 inches depth of hold, with wheels 18 feet in diameter. ...   The Lot Whitcomb's first work was on the Astoria route, making two trips each week. Soon after this service was inaugurated, she ran on the rocks opposite Milwaukie, carrying away wheel, wheel-house and guard, and tearing a hole in her hull. She continued on the lower river, connecting at Rainier with the Cowlitz River Canoe and Bateau line, and carried considerable freight and many passengers. Having very good power, she made a fine towboat, and handled nearly all the sailing vessels that came up the Coumbia. She was an expensive boat to run, however, and in 1854 was sold to the California Steam Navigation Company, and on August 12th steamed out over the bar in command of Capt. George Flavel. ...   On the Sacramento her name was changed to the Annie Abernethy, and she ran regularly for many years between Sacramento and San Francisco. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.

illustration from Lewis and Dryden, 1895
Click image to enlarge
ILLUSTRATION: Steamer "Lot Whitcomb", from Lewis & Dryden, 1895. Source: E.W. Wright (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"Maria" ... (1862)
The "Maria" ran for four years on the Fraser River in British Columbia before being brought to the Columbia in 1862, intended for the Cascade route. Before she could begin her runs she ran into legal problems and while waiting for clearance she sank at the wharf in Portland. The small steamer "Eagle" took her place on the Cascades run.


"Maria" ... (1887)
The second "Maria" was built in Portland in 1887 and abandoned in 1923. She was one of seven steamers ("Dalles City", "Harvest Queen", "Maria", "Regulator", "Sadie B.", "Sarah Dixon", and "Water Witch") to go through the Cascade Locks when it opened on November 5, 1896.


"Mary", "Wasco", and "Hassaloe" ... (1853, 1855, and 1857)
In 1853 the "Mary" was built and put into use above the Cascades. In 1855 the "Wasco" followed, and in 1857 the "Hassaloe" (often seen spelled "Hassalo") joined them. All three were built at the Attwell Boatyard, located on the south side of the Columbia at the head of the Cascade Rapids. The "Mary" and the "Hassaloe" were operated by Bradford & Company above the portage on the north side of the Columbia while the "Wasco" was operated by Ruckle and Olmstead who owned the portage on the south side of the Columbia. The "Belle" and the "Fashion" operated below the Cascades, with the "Belle" connecting with the "Mary" and the "Fashion" connecting with the "Wasco".

"... The building of the "Mary" was the result of a community effort and team work. Many individuals in the community at that time played a role. Issac Bush, Daniel and Putman Bradford, and F.A. Chenoweth, all buisiness men, who were building a tramway portage on the North Bank of the Columbia Supplied the funds.

It was at Bradford's Landing that Mr. Bush met Roger G. Attwell, a master-carpenter and boat-wright. Roger had just crossed the plains on the Oregon Trail. He came with 500 pounds of the tools of his trade. Arriving at Bradford's Landing in August of 1852, ready to go to work. In Roger, Issac Bush, owner of the local hotel and interested in the transportation on the river, had found his man to construct a steamer. Roger liked the looks of the possibilities and decided to stay.

It was at this time that Roger met Mary Jane Hervey-Williams. She had also just crossed the Plains on the Oregon Trail. Roger and Mary got married and Mary also became a member of the team.

Roger and Mary Jane's first move was to establish a land grant. They chose 320 acres just above the Rapids on the Oregon side. Roger selected this location as the best spot in the area for the project in mind. There was a mountain stream suitable for water-power for a saw mill. Good timber was available. There was also a suitable landing and launch site.

The river had created a large sandbar that acted as a sand-spit in the river creating a long slough. The slough was large enough to float several vessels plus an adequate harbor for docking. ...

Roger G. Attwell and Issac Bush knew of a 57 foot vessel that was grounded near Eagle Creek, on the south bank of the Columbia. They both saw the possibility of getting this hull and constructing a usable vessel. Bush and Company bought the hull. Roger was sure it could be moved up river to the Attwell landing and mill. The vessel was secured and Roger got to work on the project. ...

Roger attwell and his crew raised the hull of the small beached vessel ...   It was too long and heavy to move in one section. So Roger had the crew cut the vessel in half. He was sure it could be made into a side-wheeler, by adding 20 feet in the mid-ship and in strengthing the hull. ...

The two havles were moved ...   to the boat yard at the Attwell site at the Rapids. ...

The "Mary" was far from a luxury steamer found in many of the models to follow. However, she was well constructed for the hard work in the swift waters of the Mid-Columbia River.

These boats of the mid-river needed to be of rather shallow draft. Especially when the need was to be able to land at many places along the river bank. To pick up and unload passengers, mail and freight. The pilots were keen at reading the river from all aspects.

The "Mary" was finished and ready for launching, September 12, 1853. There was a big celebration held on board. This little steamer, a side-wheeler was named "Mary", after Mary Jane Attwell. A strong and brave person who was a member of the group who built the vessel. The "Mary" -- the first active steamer on the Mid-Columbia.

The "Mary's" home port was to be at Bradford's Landing. Her run was to The Dalles and back down river to the Upper Cascades. A duty faithfully done for eight years, 1853 to 1861. She was dismantled in 1861. ..."


Source:    Al Attwell, ca.1995, "The Mary, The Mid-Columbia's First Steamer".



"... The steamer Belle was plying to the Cascades to connect with the first steamer built above that point, the Mary, a small sidewheeler constructed by the Bradfords and L.W. Coe. In command of Captain Baughman, the Mary ran in connection with the Belle and the Fashion until 1857, when she joined forces with the Senorita. While not so noted in a financial way as some of her more pretentious sisters before and since her time, the Mary was an important factor in some of the liveliest Indian skirmishes in which the pioneers participated. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.

Image, 2013, Cascade Locks Museum, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Model, "Mary", Cascade Locks Museum exhibit, Cascade Locks, Oregon. Image taken May 19, 2013.


"Mountain Buck" ... (1857)
The "Mountain Buck" was launched in 1857 and covered the lower Columbia River to the Cascade Rapids. She met with the "Hassaloe" at the Cascades for passenger journey up the Columbia River. The "Mountain Buck" was 133 feet long, 25 feet 4 inches beam, and 5 feet 6 inches hold.

"... A new line to The Dalles was established in 1857 by the steamer Hassalo ["Hassaloe"], just completed on the middle river, and the steamer Mountain Buck, built at Portland to connect with her. The Mountain Buck left the city July 29th on her first trip, in command of Capt. Tom Wright. ...   She was launched June 6th and began running on the Cascade route immediately. Her chief claim to distinction was the fact that she was one of the few boats that were originally taken into the Union Transportation Company or Oregon Steam Navigation Company. In the service of this big corporation she continued on the original route until 1864, when she was stripped of her machinery and left in the boneyard, where she was burned in October, 1865. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"Oneonta" ... (1863)
The "Oneonta" was a Mississippi-river-boat-style side-wheeler built in 1863 by Samuel Forman for the Oregon Steam Navigation Company. The "Oneonta" traveled between the Cascade Rapids and the lower part of Celilo Falls until she retired in 1877 and served as a barge until being abandoned in 1880.

illustration from Lewis and Dryden, 1895
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ILLUSTRATION: Steamer "Oneonta", from Lewis & Dryden, 1895. Source: E.W. Wright (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.
Image, 2013, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"Oneonta" detail, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center exhibit, The Dalles, Oregon. Image taken May 8, 2013.


"Portland" in the movie "Maverick" ... (1994)
The riverboat scenes in the movie "Maverick", released in 1994 and starring Mel Gibson, James Garner, and Jodie Foster, were filmed aboard the sternwheeler "Portland". The "Portland" is now docked on the Willamette River at the Portland, Oregon waterfront, and is home to the "Oregon Maritime Museum".

Image, 2012, Sternwheeler Portland, movie Maverick, click to enlarge
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Screencapture, Sternwheeler "Portland" in the 1994 movie "Maverick". Screencapture from trailer on IMDB.com website. Image taken December 24, 2012.
Image, 2009, Sternwheeler Portland, click to enlarge
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Sternwheeler "Portland", now the home to the Oregon Maritime Museum. Willamette River, Portland, Oregon. Image taken February 14, 2009.


President Hayes and the "Wide West", "Hassalo", and "Harvest Queen" ... (1880)

THE PRESIDENT ON THE COLUMBIA.
SIGHT-SEEING AT THE CASCADES --- RECEPTIONS AT DALLES AND WALLA WALLA.

"PORTLAND, Oregon, Oct. 4. -- The President and his party to-day left Vancouver's on the steamer "Wide West", and proceeded up the Columbia River to Dalles. Along the river, the residents greeted the party in a cordial manner. At the Cascades, the President was greeted by the Mayor and Common Council of Dalles.

JOHN DAY'S RIVER, Oct. 5. -- The meeing of the President and the committee of officers and citizens from Dalles, at the Upper Cascades was informal and no speeches were made. The party was soon on board the "Hassalo", which was brought down by the Dalles committee, who had decorated the steamer with colors and flowers. At the Lower and Upper Cascades the large crowds which had collected were greeted by the President with his accustomed cordiality. Major Powell, in charge of the Cascade Canal work, and a party at the Upper Cascades, invited the President and his party to visit the works. The "Hassalo" steamed over and landed the entire party. ...   The passage up the Dalles was without incident. The wharf-boat at Dalles and the cliffs immediately back of the place were crowded as the "Hassalo" reached her landing, and cheer after cheer were given ...   the train moving off, amid deafening applause. A stop was made in the centre of the town ... Seven miles above Dalles the train halted and the party walked down to the "Narrows", where the waters of the Columbia rushed in through a two-hundred-foot channel between walls of solid rock, and attempts to cast rocks across were unsuccessfully made, the President, however, making the best throw by several feet. It has been determined to return to Portland on Thursday night.

UMATILLA, Oregon, Oct. 5. -- At 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon the Presidential party left the cars at the John Day River and took passage on the steam-boat "Harvest Queen". The officers had elaborately decorated the boat with banners and draperies of bunting and festoons of sage-brush. The night ride up the river was delightful. Under the leadership of Mrs. Hayes the party formed a choir; and spent two hours or more in a concert. At 11 o'clock the "Harvest Queen" was tied up until morning. She arrived here at 6:45 a.m., when a committee from Walla Walla, with Judge Mix at its head, was in waiting with a special train. The pier here was crowded, and as the President appeared on the bow of the boat he was loudly cheered. ..."


Source:    New York Times, October 6, 1880.



"Regulator" ... (1891)
The "Regulator", built in 1891 and rebuilt with a larger and heavier hull in 1899, navigated the "middle river" between the Cascade Rapids and The Dalles, Oregon. In 1906 while under repair at St. Johns, Oregon, the "Regulator" caught fire and exploded, killing two. The "Regulator" was one of seven steamers to be the first to go through the Cascade Locks on November 5, 1896.

"... in 1891 The Dalles, Portland & Astoria Navigation Company was organized and launched two fine sternwheel steamers. The Regulator for the middle river was set afloat at The Dalles and was one hundred and fifty-two feet long, twenty-eight feet beam, and six feet hold, with engines sixteen by seventy-two inches. ...   The Dalles City, on the Portland end of the line, was built at that place, and is one hundred and forty-two feet long, twenty-six feet five inches beam, and six feet hold, with engines fourteen by sixty inches. ...   The steamers have been very successful ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.

illustration from Lewis and Dryden, 1895
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ILLUSTRATION: Steamer "Regulator", from Lewis & Dryden, 1895. Source: E.W. Wright (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.
Image, 2014, North Bonneville, Washington click to enlarge
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"Regulator", Mural, North Bonneville, Washington. Image taken April 7, 2014.
Image, 2012, North Bonneville, Washington, click to enlarge
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Mural depicting the "Regulator", North Bonneville, Washington. The basalts of Cape Horn are in the background. Image taken January 3, 2012.


Riverboat Race between the "Henderson" and the "Portland" ... (1952)
The last steamboat race on the Columbia River was between the "Henderson" and the "Portland". The two steamboats raced between Portland, Oregon, and Rooster Rock as part of the promotion for the 1952 motion picture Bend of the River, staring James Stewart. The "Henderson" won the race but blew a gasket doing it. In the film the steamer "River Queen" is played by the "Henderson". The sternwheeler "Portland" is now docked on the Willamette River at the Portland, Oregon waterfront, and is home to the "Oregon Maritime Museum".

"... The last steamboat race on the Columbia was held in 1952, between Henderson and the new steel-hulled Portland, both towboats. This was actually more of an exhibition than a race. The famous actor James Stewart and other members of the cast of the recently-filmed movie Bend of the River were on-board the Henderson. The race was witnessed by Capt. Homer T. Shaver, who stated that as both were running fast for their design, as towboats, the speeds were not much compared to what he'd seen as a young man on the river. ..."


Source:    Gordon R. Newell, (ed.), 1966, H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Superior Publishing, Seattle.

Image, 2011, Bend of the River, click to enlarge
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Sternwheeler "Henderson", as the "River Queen", passing Cape Horn, Washington. "Bend of the River", 1952. Image captured July 20, 2011.
Image, 2009, Sternwheeler Portland, click to enlarge
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Sternwheeler "Portland", now the home to the Oregon Maritime Museum. Willamette River, Portland, Oregon. Image taken February 14, 2009.


"R.R. Thompson" ... (1882)
The "R.R. Thompson" holds the record (6 minutes and 40 seconds) for the fastest run of any steamer through the infamous Cascade Rapids.

"... the iron horse was steadily rolling toward the last tie which would unite the upper country with tide water. When the surplus grain had been removed, the glorious days of steamboating on the middle river ended forever, and the best steamers were got in readiness for the plunge to the lower river. The first to go was the R.R. Thompson, which shot the rapids June 3d in record-breaking time in charge of Capt. John McNulty ...   She left The Dalles at 6:10 a.m., passed Klickitat Landing, ten miles below, in twenty-four minutes, White Salmon, about twenty-three miles, in fifty-one minutes, Hood River, twenty-five miles, in fifty-eight minutes, and reached the Cascades, forty-six miles, in two hours and one minute. She remained there as short time and then swung into the stream and entered the swirling and eddying waters under full stroke, making the run to Bonneville in six minutes and forty seconds, passing through the heart of the rapids at the rate of a mile a minute. The trip to Portland was accomplished in two hours and fifty minutes, and she steamed past Ash Street dock at 12:17 p.m. Her actual running time was five hours. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.

illustration from Lewis and Dryden, 1895
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ILLUSTRATION: Steamer "R.R. Thompson", from Lewis & Dryden, 1895. Source: E.W. Wright (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"Sarah Dixon" ... (1892)
The "Sarah Dixon" was built in 1892 and rebuilt in 1906. She was one of seven steamers ("Dalles City", "Harvest Queen", "Maria", "Regulator", "Sadie B.", "Sarah Dixon", and "Water Witch") to go through the Cascade Locks when it opened on November 5, 1896.

"... the Sarah Dixon, one of the most perfectly equipped steamers for her size on the river. She was one hundred and forty-five feet long, twenty-six feet beam, and six feet hold, with engines fourteen by eighty-four inches, and was equipped with steam steering gear, hoisting engines, electric lights and all modern appliances, costing complete $35,000. ...   The steamer was on the Clatskanie route until 1894, when she commenced running to Astoria. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.

illustration from Lewis and Dryden, 1895
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ILLUSTRATION: Steamer "Sarah Dixon", from Lewis & Dryden, 1895. Source: E.W. Wright (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"Tacoma" ... (1884 to 1908)
Both a train ferry and a passenger ferry existed between Goble, Oregon, and Kalama, Washington. The train ferry began in 1884 and continued until 1908.
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Penny Postcard, Northern Pacific Railroad Train crossing the Pacific on the ferry 'Tacoma', click to enlarge
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Penny Postcard: Northern Pacific Railroad Train crossing the Columbia on the ferry "Tacoma". Penny Postcard, Postmarked 1908, "Northern Pacific Railroad Train crossing the Columbia River on Ferry.". Published by Portland Post Card Company, Portland, Oregon (Made in Germany). Card #7009. Card is postmarked July 16, 1908. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Image, 2006, Kalama, Washington, click to enlarge
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Mural, Kalama, Washington. The Tacoma train ferry between Kalama, Washington, and Goble, Oregon. Image taken April 19, 2006.


"T.J. Potter" ... (1888)

"... Port Captain J.W. Troup, of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, demonstrated his ability as a practical steamboatman in 1888 by building the T.J. Potter, the fastest sidewheel steamer in the Northwest. The Potter was modeled after the famous Hudson River steamer Daniel Drew, but Troup made some changes of material benefit in the design. She is two hundred and thirty feet long, thirty-five feet beam, and ten feet four inches hold, with engines thirty-two by ninety-six inches. The house and upper works were taken from the old Wide West, and no faster or finer steamer of her size has ever floated. She was placed on the seaside route soon after completion ...   She made remarkable time on that run and was taken off in September and sent to Puget Sound ...  She was engaged on that Seattle and Olympia route until the seaside business opened on the Columbia in 1889, when she returned to the traffic for which she was intended. She was on the Sound again in 1890, indulging in some lively steamboat races, and in June made a record of one hour twenty-two and one-half minutes between Seattle and Tacoma. While on the inland sea she raced with the City of Seattle, Bailey Gatzert, and Multnomah, and returned to the Columbia with a gilt greyhound and a broom on her pilot-house. ...  Capt Edward Sullivan has handled her most of the time since, making a round trip a day on the Astoria route, alternating with the R.R. Thompson. Critics have failed to appreciate some of Captain Troup's steamboating methods, but the steamer T.J. Potter and her remarkable performances demonstrate, in the best possible manner, the talent and ability of her builder. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.

illustration from Lewis and Dryden, 1895
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ILLUSTRATION: Steamer "T.J. Potter", from Lewis & Dryden, 1895. Source: E.W. Wright (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"T.J. Potter and "Hassalo" ... (1913)

North Beach


20 Miles of Incomparable Beach -- A long Stretch of Fun, of Rest, of Real Recreation

The Queen of
Summer Resorts

Reached Via O.-W.R. & N. Steamers
T.J. Potter and Hassalo


Steamer Potter leaves daily, except Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 A.M. (Saturday 1:00 P.M.), Steamer Hassalo leaves daily, except Sunday, at 9:30 P.M.

Make Reservations, Ash-Street Dock or City Ticket Office, Third and Washington
Phones Marshall 4500 and A-6121

Breakfast served on Steamer Hassalo. Excellent restaurant service on both boats -- service a la carte


Source:    "The Sunday Oregonian", September 13, 1913, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2013.


"Undine" ... (1915)
With more than 100 people aboard, the sternwheeler "Undine" was the first steamer to go from Portland, Oregon, to Lewiston, Idaho, during the week-long celebrations of the opening of The Dalles - Celilo Locks and Canal. The "Undine" was the flagship to a long string of vessels participating in the celebrations. She left Portland at 1 a.m. on April 30 and arrived in Lewiston the morning of May 3. On the return trip she led the "fleet" from community to community to participate in canal opening celebrations.
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"... The Undine party left Portland at 1 o'clock Friday morning, April 30. The vessel passed through the Cascade locks at 6 o'clock in the morning and reached The Dalles about 10 o'clock. The vessel was delayed there for several hours on account of high winds, but about 3 o'clock in the afternoon left on the up-river journey. It took about four hours to go through the locks and waterways. The Undine's first stop was at Maryhill, Wash., ...

The Undine reached Pasco, Wash., on Saturday night, with a brief call at Umatilla, Or., in the afternoon.

On Sunday night they stopped about three miles below Almota, Wash., after calling at Riparia in the afternoon for copies of The Sunday Oregonian.

At 10 o'clock Monday morning the Undine reached Lewiston -- its objective point. ...

The Undine, followed by the steamer J.N. Teal and the Government vessels ...   left at daybreak the following morning for the festivities at lower river points. ..."


Source:    "The Sunday Oregonian", May 9, 1915, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2013.


Photo of steamer Undine, Sunday Oregonian, May 2, 1915
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Photo, Steamer "Undine" going through a lock of The Dalles-Celilo Canal, as published in the "Sunday Oregonian", May 2, 1915.


"Venture" ("Umatilla") ... (1858)
The "Venture" was built in 1858 at the Attwell Boatyard, located at the head of the Cascade Rapids. On her maiden trip the current caught the steamer, sending her backwards down the rapids, letting her become the first steamer to run the Cascades. She was repaired and renamed the "Umatilla".

"... The steamer Venture, the first sternwheeler built on the middle river, was constructed by Thompson & Coe, for the upper Columbia, at Five Mile Creek near the Cascades (location ???, other sources have the vessel built at the Attwell Boatyard, located on today's "Dry Creek"). She was one hundred and ten feet long, twenty-two feet beam, and four feet six inches hold, with 14 x 48 engines. On the day of her trial trip, with about forty passengers on board, she started from the upper Cascades with a very low pressure of steam and could not make headway. Every effort was made to reach the bank again, but before the lines could be made fast the booming current caught the vessel and swept her over the rapids. She went down stern first and made the passage beautifully until she reached the foot of the Cascades. Here she poised on a rock in the middle of the river, in rather a dangerous position. Capt. E.W. Baughman, who was running a small schooner below the Cascades, sailed up and rescued the passengers. Only one life was lost, that of an excited man who jumped overboard, while the boat was making the perilous run, and disappeared in the swirling waters. As the river was rising the steamer soon floated off and was picked up at the lower Cascades, where she was bought by Ainsworth, Leonard & Green, who repaired the hull, named her the Umatilla and sent her to Victoria in tow of the steamship Columbia. Ainsworth went over and began running the steamer on the Fraser, but had only made one trip when she was traded for the steamer Maria, which Capt. William Lubbock had brought up from San Francisco on a barge, on which the Umatilla was then loaded and towed to San Francisco. She has the distinction of having been the first sternwheel steamer on the middle Columbia, the first steamer to go over the Cascades, the first to the Sound from the Columbia, and the first sternwheeler from the Sound to San Francisco. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"Wide West" ... (1877)

"... being men of practical ideas, they soon determined that sternwheelers were better adapted to the western streams. The result of this determination was the building of the Jennie Clark, and each steamer which followed was an improvement on its predecessor, until, in 1877, the Oregon Steam Navigation Company constructed a craft which might appropriately be called the perfect sternwheeler, as, notwithstanding the lapse of nearly twenty years, no better production has since appeared. The Wide West, as this palatial steamer was christened, was launched in Portland, August 15th, and made her trial trip October 17th. She was two hundred and eighteen feet long, thirty-nine feet six inches beam, and eight feet hold, with engines twenty-eight by ninety-six inches, net tonnage 928. At the time of her advent the entire inland empire was enjoying a period of wonderful development, and thousands of tons of wheat taxed the steamers to their utmost capacity on the downstream trips, while the up cargoes of merchandise, building material, farm machinery, etc., fairly glutted the warehouses before transportation could be provided. This was the condition of affairs when the Wide West went into commission, and, without waiting to complete her furnishings and cabins, she was ushered into service as a freight steamer, making a round trip each day between the Cascades and Portland, loaded to the guards. The following spring she was completely fitted out ...   The West continued on the Cascade route for several years, with occasional trips to Astoria, and in 1880 made the run from Portland to Astoria in five hours, a record that remained unbroken for several years. ...   Her power and speed can be understood when it is stated that she towed the hull of the Oneonta faster than it had ever been able to go while equipped with power. ...   in 1887 she went to the boneyard, where her house and most of her fittings were transferred to the new sidewheeler T.J. Potter. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.

illustration from Lewis and Dryden, 1895
Click image to enlarge
ILLUSTRATION: Steamer "Wide West", from Lewis & Dryden, 1895. Source: E.W. Wright (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.

The house and upper works of the Wild West were used in the T.J. Potter in 1888.


"Yakima" ... (1864)
In 1864 the steamer "Yakima" was built and launched on the upper Columbia, Celilo Falls to the Snake River. She served this route until 1875 when she struck a rock near the John Day Rapids and sunk. She was a handsome steamer, 150 feet long, 29 feet beam, and 5 feet hold, with 26 staterooms elegantly furnished and with a freight capacity of over two hundred tons.

"... On the upper river the fleet was reinforced with the steamers Yakima and Owyhee. The Yakima, which in her day was the champion of the upper Columbia, was built at Celilo in 1864, making her trial trip May 4th in command of Capt. Charles Felton. ...   Her engines were seventeen by seventy-two inches, and they sent her along like a racehorse giving her a record of forty-one hours and thirty-five minutes from Celilo to Lewiston, a distance of two hundred and seventy-nine miles, against a very swift current and with many rapids to climb. This run was made by Capt E.F. Coe in June, 1867, and has never been excelled. Coe commanded the Yakima the greater part of the time until 1870, when he was succeeded by Capt. Thomas Stump, who was the last master of the steamer. In 1875, while on her way down the river with one hundred and sixty tons of freight, she struck a rock in the John Day's Rapids, which stove in the bottom from the bow aft nearly past the boiler. She was immediately headed for the Oregon shore and sank in shallow water. While this experience was not a new one for the steamer, the mishap was of such a serious nature that she was of but little value after she was raised. ..."


Source:    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.

illustration from Lewis and Dryden, 1895
Click image to enlarge
ILLUSTRATION: Steamer "Yakima", from Lewis & Dryden, 1895. Source: E.W. Wright (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, Oregon.


"The Golden Age of Postcards" ...

The early 1900s was the "Golden Age of Postcards". The "Penny Postcard" became a popular way to send greetings to friends and family. Today the "Penny Postcard" has become a snapshot of history.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 30, 1805 ...
A cool morning, a moderate rain all the last night, after eating a partial brackfast of venison we Set out [from their camp near Drano Lake and the Little White Salmon River]     passed Several places where the rocks projected into the river & have the appearance of haveing Seperated from the mountains and fallen promiscuisly into the river, Small nitches are formed in the banks below those projecting rocks which is comon in this part of the river, Saw 4 Cascades caused by Small Streams falling from the mountains on the Lard. Side,

[The possiblities in a two-mile area are - upstream to downstream - Starvation Creek and Falls, the seasonal Cabin Creek and Falls, Warren Creek and Falls, Wonder Creek and Lancaster Falls, Lindsey Creek and Falls, and Summit Creek and Falls.]

a remarkable circumstance in this part of the river is, the Stumps of pine trees [Submerged Forest]

[The Submerged Forest existed along the reach from above Dog Mountain/Viento Creek on the upstream edge and Wind Mountain/Shellrock Mountain on the downstream edge.]

are in maney places are at Some distance in the river, and gives every appearance of the rivers being damed up below from Some cause which I am not at this time acquainted with [Bonneville Landslide],     the Current of the river is also verry jentle not exceeding 1 1/2 mile pr. hour and about 3/4 of a mile in width. Some rain, we landed above the mouth of a Small river on the Stard. Side [Wind River] and Dined ...   :  here the river widens to about one mile large Sand bar in the middle, a Great [rock] both in and out of the water, large <round> Stones, or rocks are also permiscuisly Scattered about in the river, ...     The bottoms above the mouth of this little river [Wind River] <which we Call> is rich covered with grass & firn & is about 3/4 of a mile wide rich and rises gradually, below the river (which is 60 yards wide above its mouth) the Countery rises with Steep assent. we call this little river <fr Ash> New Timbered river from a Speces of Ash <that wood> which grows on its banks of a verry large and different from any we had before Seen, and a timber resembling the beech in bark <& groth> but different in its leaf which is Smaller and the tree smaller. passed maney large rocks in the river and a large creek on the Stard. Side in the mouth of which is an Island [Rock Creek near Stevenson, Washington], passed on the right of 3 Islands <on> near the Stard. Side, and landed on an Island close under the Stard. Side at the head of the great Shute [head of the Cascades Rapids], and a little below a village of 8 large houses on a Deep bend on the Stard. Side, and opposit 2 Small Islands imediately in the head of the Shute, which Islands are covered with Pine, maney large rocks also, in the head of the Shute. Ponds back of the houses, and Countrey low for a Short distance. The day proved Cloudy dark and disagreeable with Some rain all day which kept us wet. The Countary a high mountain on each Side thickly Covered with timber, Such as Spruc, Pine, Cedar, Oake Cotton &c. &c.     I took two men and walked down three miles to examine the Shute and river below proceeded along an old Indian path, passd. an old village at 1 mile [vicinity of Ice House Lake] ...     I found by examonation that we must make a portage of the greater perpotion of our Stores 2 1/2 miles, and the Canoes we Could haul over the rocks, I returned at Dark ...     a wet disagreeable evening, the only wood we could get to burn on this little Island on which we have encamped [near Ashes Lake, the island is now under the waters of the Bonneville Reservoir. Ashes Lake was near the head of the Cascade Rapids. Across from Ashes Lake is Cascade Locks, Oregon.] is the newly discovered Ash, which makes a tolerable fire. we made fifteen miles to daye






Clark, November 2, 1805 ...
Examined the rapid below us [from their camp at Fort Rains, looking at the Cascade Rapids] more pertcelarly the danger appearing too great to Hazzard our Canoes loaded, dispatched all the men who could not Swim with loads to the end of the portage below, I also walked to the end of the portage with the carriers where I delayed untill everry articles was brought over and canoes arrived Safe. here we brackfast and took a Meridn. altitude 59° 45' 45" about the time we were Setting out 7 Squars came over loaded with Dried fish, and bear grass neetly bundled up, Soon after 4 Indian men came down over the rapid in a large canoe.     passed a rapid at 2 miles & 1 at 4 miles opposite the lower point of a high Island on the Lard Side [Bradford Island], and a little below 4 Houses on the Stard. Bank, a Small Creek on the Lard Side [Tanner Creek] opposit Straw berry Island [Hamilton Island], which heads below the last rapid, opposit the lower point of this Island [Hamilton Island] passed three Islands covered with tall timber [today there are two, Ives and Pierce] opposit the Beatin rock [Beacon Rock]    Those Islands are nearest the Starboard Side, imediately below on the Stard. Side passed a village of nine houses [indentified on Atlas map#79 as the "Wah-clallah Tribe of Shahala Nation", location near today's Skamania and Skamania Landing], which is Situated between 2 Small Creeks [Woodard Creek and Duncan Creek], and are of the Same construction of those above; here the river widens to near a mile, and the bottoms are more extensive and thickly timbered, as also the high mountains on each Side, with Pine, Spruce pine, Cotton wood, a Species of ash, and alder.     at 17 miles passed a rock near the middle of the river [Phoca Rock], about 100 feet high and 80 feet Diamuter,     proceed on down a Smoth gentle Stream of about 2 miles wide, in which the tide has its effect as high as the Beaten rock [Beacon Rock] or the Last rapids at Strawberry Island [Hamilton Island],- Saw great numbers of waterfowl of Different kinds, Such as Swan, Geese, white & grey brants, ducks of various kinds, Guls, & Pleaver [today just below Beacon Rock is Franz National Wildlife Refuge]. ...     we encamped under a high projecting rock on the Lard. Side [Rooster Rock, with Crown Point rising above it],     here the mountains leave the river on each Side [leaving the Columbia River Gorge, Steigerwald Land NWR is on the north and the Sandy River delta is on the south], which from the great Shute to this place is high and rugid [Columbia River Gorge]; thickly Covered with timber principalley of the Pine Species. The bottoms below appear extensive and thickly Covered with wood.     river here about 2˝ miles wide.     Seven Indians in a Canoe on their way down to trade with the nativs below, encamp with us, those we left at the portage passed us this evening and proceeded on down The ebb tide rose here about 9 Inches, the flood tide must rise here much higher- we made 29 miles to day from the Great Shute [Cascade Locks]-





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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:    Alley, B.F., and Munro-Fraser, J.P., 1885, History of Clarke County, Washington Territory: compiled from the most authentic sources: also biographical sketches of its pioneers and prominent citizens, Portland, Oregon;    "AmericanWestSteamboat.com" website, 2006;    Attwell, A., ca.1995, "The Mary, The Mid-Columbia's First Steamer";    Columbia Gorge Discovery Center website, 2004, 2006;    Gulick, B., 2004, Steamboats on Northwest Rivers Before the Dams, Caxton Press, Idaho;    "Historic Oregon Newspapers" website, University of Oregon, 2013;    "historylink.org" website, 2006, 2012;    Lyman, W.D., 1917, The Columbia River: Its History, Its Myths, Its Scenery, Its Commerce;    Magellan, the Ships Navigator website, 2012, citations from the Tacoma Public Library; New York Times Newspaper Archives website, 2011;    Newell, G.R., (ed.), 1966, H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Superior Publishing, Seattle;    Oregon Historic Photograph Collection website, 2011, Ben Maxwell images;    Oregon Historical Society website, 2006, 2013;    University of Oregon Libraries, "Historic Oregon Newspapers", 2014;    Western Waters Digital Library, University of Oregon website, 2013;    Wright, E.W. (ed.), 1895, Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, 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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November 2016