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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Guy W. Talbot State Park, Oregon"
Includes ... Guy W. Talbot State Park ... Latourell ... Latourell Falls ... Talbot Footbridge ... The Golden Age of Postcards ...
Images, 2013, Guy W. Talbot State Park at Latourell, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Sign, Guy W. Talbot State Park at Latourell Falls, Oregon, looking east. Image taken March 3, 2013.


Guy W. Talbot State Park ...
Guy Webster Talbot and his family used the area of Latourell Falls as a summer estate until early 1929 when they donated 220 acres to the state of Oregon. Today, this property is the Guy W. Talbot State Park. The lower section of the park, located on the south side of the small community of Latourell, has a beautiful picnic area with a modern picnic shelter, a gently sloping grassy hill dotted with Port Orford cedars, Douglas firs, alders and maples, and a trailhead leading upslope to the upper park, traversing underneath the Historic Columbia River Highway Bridge and arriving at Latourell Falls. The Historic Columbia River Highway separates the two sections of park.

Historic Columbia River Highway ...
The Historic Columbia River Highway cuts the Guy W. Talbot State Park into an upper section with trails and the falls, and a lower section, with picnic tables and a cooking shelter. The lower section lies on the south side of the small Oregon community of Latourell.

West of Guy W. Talbot State Park is Crown Point and Vista House, and east of the park is Shepperd's Dell and Shepperd's Dell State Natural Area.

Upslope, south of the Guy W. Talbot State Park lies the George W. Joseph State Natural Area. In 1934, the heirs of George W. Joseph, gave the State of Oregon property for a park on the upper part of Latourell Creek, a spot today known as the George W. Joseph State Natural Area. Access to the area is the trail from the parking at Guy W. Talbot State Park. A trail leads to the top of Latourell Falls. Beyond this point the State Natural Area begins. The trail continues to Upper Latourell Falls.

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

  • HMP 26.1 ... Guy W. Talbot State Park (created 1929)
  • HMP 26.1 ... Guy W. Talbot State Park Plaque (1939)

  • Guy W. Talbot State Park (created 1929):   "The park is lcoated on both sides of the Columbia River Highway, approximately five miles west of Bridal Veil. A gift of 125 acres from Guy W. and Geraldine W. Talbot on March 29, 1929, was the beginning of the park. This parcel of land has the distinction of being the first tract in Multnomah County to be obtained for a state park. ...   The park includes Latourell Falls (249-foot drop)." [National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 1983]

  • Guy W. Talbot State Park Plaque (1939):   "The large bronze plaque was erected on the north side of the CRH." [National Historic Landmark Nomination Form, 1996]

Latourell Falls ...
Latourell Falls plunges 249 feet, and is one of many falls in the Columbia River Gorge located off the Historic Columbia River Highway, in Oregon's Guy W. Talbot State Park. The falls is on Latourell Creek and was named after Joseph Latourell, a prominent Columbia River Gorge settler. The falls itself was located on the property of Guy W. Talbot of Portland, who, in 1929, donated 220 acres of property to the State of Oregon.
[More]

Image, 2009, Latourell Falls, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Latourell Falls, Guy W. Talbot State Park, Oregon. Image taken March 22, 2009.


Upper Guy W. Talbot State Park ...
The upper section of the Guy W. Talbot State Park is located on the Historic Columbia River Highway with parking on both sides of the road. Trailheads from the parking area and views of Latourell Falls can be had.

Image, 2014, Latourell, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Bronze Plaque for Guy Webster Talbot, upper section Guy Talbot State Park, Latourell, Oregon. Image taken June 30, 2014.
Image, 2014, Latourell, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bronze Plaque for Guy Webster Talbot, upper section Guy Talbot State Park, Latourell, Oregon. Image taken June 30, 2014.


Footpath ...
There is a footpath connecting the two halves of the Guy Talbot State Park.

Image, 2014, Latourell, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Footpath at the upper section Guy Talbot State Park, Latourell, Oregon. Image taken June 30, 2014.


Lower Guy W. Talbot State Park ...
The lower section of the Guy W. Talbot State Park lies on the south side of the small Oregon community of Latourell. It can be reached from the Historic Columbia River Highway by turning north on to Latourell Road, from either east or west of the upper parking lot.

Image, 2014, Latourell, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Sign, Guy W. Talbot State Park, Lower section, Latourell, Oregon. Image taken June 30, 2014.
Image, 2014, Latourell, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Shelter, Guy W. Talbot State Park, Lower section, Latourell, Oregon. Image taken June 30, 2014.
Image, 2014, Latourell, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Drinking fountain, Guy W. Talbot State Park, Lower section, Latourell, Oregon. Image taken June 30, 2014.
Image, 2014, Latourell, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Pioneer Memorial Marker, Guy W. Talbot State Park, Lower section, Latourell, Oregon. Image taken June 30, 2014.
In MEMORY OF
THE PIONEERS OF
BRIDAL VEIL
LATOURELL
PALMER & BROWER
1930


Guy W. Talbot State Park in 1946 ...
GUY W. TALBOT STATE PARK

"The Guy W. Talbot State Park, which Crown Point Park adjoins on the west side, is entered at Mile Post 26.18. It is described as being in Section 29, Township 1 North of Range 5 East W.M., in Multnomah County, containing 125 acres.

This park area, with its dwellings, out buildings and water system, was a gift to the State of Oregon by Guy W. Talbot and Geraldine W. Talbot, his wife, by deed dated March 9, 1929. The deed has two clauses excepting certain grants for right of way purposes. It was the first tract in Multnomah County to be obtained for a State Park.

The caretaker's dwelling and other buildings are just below the highway and to the right of the approach road that leads to the picnic area and the adjoining hamlet of Latourell, which boasts a post office, small store and a railroad station. Below the caretaker's quarters is an open grass plot of two acres, more or less, in which a number of Port Orford cedars have been planted. These were set out some ten years ago and are making a splendid growth, indicating their possibilities for reforestation purposes in this locality, where they have so readily adapted themselves to the soil and climate. To the eastward is the picnic area, in a carefully thinned grove of tall and straight Douglas firs, liberally interspersed with Broad-leaf maples, rising above an open, grassed surface, free of undergrowth. Water is piped to the grounds, there are fireplaces for cooking, benched tables for serving meals and the usual sanitary facilities, all in clean, attractive surroundings. The park is popular with Portland groups for week end outings.

The greater park acreage is on the rising ground south of the highway. These upper and lower portions, separated by the highway, are connected by a well constructed, overhead foot bridge, from which a trail ascends to the water supply source. The old county road which leaves the loops just below Mile Post 25, passes through a delightful area of open grass land, beside a picturesque, cliff sided point of rock, that offers a pleasing secluded retreat for ground picnics. This old road was a unit of the once Dalles-Sandy Military Road, the route of early pioneers. From here it descends to the park area and railroad station.

The outstanding scenic feature of Talbot Park is the Latourell Fall, on the creek of this name. Joseph Latourell, whose name attaches to several local features, was a pioneer settler.

The Latourell fall is the first of the series of beautiful water-falls to be seen along, or adjacent to the highway going from west to east. Like water from a pitcher, it pours over the lip of the basalt cliff, dropping 249 feet, practically to the level of the highway, from which this smooth column of water is clearly visible. In peace times all the highway stages paused a few minutes to afford passengers an opportunity to view them. A second fall, with a drop of about fifteen feet, rises a short distance up streams from the top of the main one.

A switch-back trail ascends the slope east of the creek, crosses it at the head of the lesser fall, and circulates out to a rock point which affords a fine view of the river and its opposite shore, then reverses itself and soon connects with the park water supply trail, a short distance westward; making a very interesting walk for those who do not mind a bit of climbing.

The records show that detachments of CCC forces worked part time in Talbot Park during the second period, October 1933 to April 1934, the third period, April to October 1934 and the fifth period, April to October 1935.

In these periods the accomplishments were one rustic foot bridge, fourteen rods of guard rail, four fireplaces for cooking, thirteen table and bench combinations; nine tenths of a mile of difficult forest trail, one mile of firebreak, three quarters of a mile of roadside fire hazard reduction, six and one half miles of trailside fire hazard reduction, three acres of other fire hazard reduction and one mile of lineal survey. Other trail work was done by state park forces."

Signed:
W.A. Langille, State Parks Historian.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
"Additional picnic tables should be provided. One three-stove kitchen should be constructed with electric plates to take the place of stoves now in place. A parking area should have consideration as part of a street is now being used. An additional thirty-acre tract on the east side of Latourell Creek and south of the highway is needed for the protection of the park. The land is located in the NW 1/4 SE 1/4, Section 29, Township 1 North, Range 5 East. I had its purchase before the commission for $3500.00 but was turned down. This land is absolutely necessary for the protection and completion of the park. A new trail bridge leading from the park to the highway should be constructed."

Signed:
S.H. Boardman, State Parks Superintendent, March 25, 1946.


Source:    W.A. Langille and S.H. Boardman, 1946, State Parks Historical Sketches: Columbia Gorge State Parks, courtesy of Oregon State Archives website, 2014.



Guy W. Talbot State Park in 1965 ...
GUY W. TALBOT STATE PARK

Guy W. Talbot State Park is located in the scenic Columbia River Gorge, on both sides of the old Columbia River Highway approximately five miles west of the community of Bridal Veil in Multnomah County.

A gift of 125 acres from Guy W. and Geraldine W. Talbot on March 9, 1929, was the beginning of this enjoyable park area. This parcel of land has the distinction of being the first tract in Multnomah County to be obtained for a state park. Multnomah County donated 62.75 acres on November 13, 1935. The purchase of five additional areas has increased the acreage in Talbot Park to 241.23 acres as of the close of 1963. The last parcel of land added to this park was the B. B. Bennett property, for which negotiations were started in 1944 and not completed until 1959. This acquisition placed the impressive Latourell Falls and the lively stream below the falls entirely on state-owned land.

Preservation of the natural beauty and scenic features of the Columbia River Gorge is the reason for acquiring this land.

A plaque to the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Guy W. Talbot was placed near the use area in 1938 by their friends. Another plaque, on the county road near the northeast corner of the picnic area, was installed by the Bridal Veil Pioneer Association in 1941 as a memorial to Bridal Veil Pioneers. The park was named Guy W. Talbot to honor the Talbot family.

Improvements by the state and the Civilian Conservation Corps at this park are a car parking area, picnic area, tables, stoves, water, trails, two cottages and sanitary facilities.

The 1963 attendance was 52,072 day visitors."


Source:    Chester H. Armstrong (compiler), 1965, "History of the Oregon State Parks: 1917-1963, published by Oregon State Parks.


Talbot Footbridge ...

Penny Postcard, Latourell Foot Bridge across Highway, ca.1920
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Penny Postcard: Foot Bridge across Columbia River Highway, at Latourelle Falls, ca.1920, view looking west.
Penny Postcard, ca.1920, "Foot Bridge Over Highway Near Latourelle Falls.". Caption on back reads: "Artistic Foot Bridge. Over the Columbia River Highway near Latourelle Falls connecting the two parts of a country estate through which the right of way of the Highway runs. Care has been taken in this, as in all other matters connected with the highway, to preserve artistic walues.". Image copyright Weister Co. Published by Chas. S. Lipschuetz Company, Portland, Oregon. Card #358. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Image, 2014, Latourell Falls, Oregon, click to enlarge
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GPS location, northern cement support of the Talbot footbridge, Guy W. Talbot State Park, Latourell Falls, Oregon. Image taken June 30, 2014.
Image, 2014, Latourell Falls, Oregon, click to enlarge
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North support, Talbot footbridge, Guy W. Talbot State Park, Latourell Falls, Oregon. Image taken June 30, 2014.
Image, 2014, Latourell Falls, Oregon, click to enlarge
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South support, Talbot footbridge, Guy W. Talbot State Park, Latourell Falls, Oregon. Image taken June 30, 2014.
Image, 2014, Latourell Falls, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Looking east along the Historic Columbia River Highway, with the Talbot footbridge supports, Latourell Falls, Oregon. Image taken June 30, 2014.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

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:    For sources, see Latourell Falls    plus:    Armstrong, C.H., (compiler), 1965, "History of the Oregon State Parks: 1917-1963, published by Oregon State Parks;    Langille, W.A., and Boardman, S.H., 1946, State Parks Historical Sketches: Columbia Gorge State Parks, courtesy of Oregon State Archives website, 2014.

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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June 2014