Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Home Regions Campsites Penny Postcards My Corps of Discovery Image Index Links About This Site Main Menu
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Tanner Creek, Oregon"
Includes ... Tanner Creek ... "Plumb Creek" ... Tanner Spring ... Tanner Butte ... "Tanner Creek Butte" ... Campsite of April 9, 1806 ... Bonneville Fish Hatchery ... The Golden Age of Postcards ...
Image, 2005, Tanner Creek, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mouth, Tanner Creek, Oregon, looking towards Hamilton Island. Hamilton Mountain is in the background. Image taken October 22, 2005.


Tanner Creek ...
Tanner Creek, Oregon, merges with the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 144, just downstream of Eagle Creek, Wauna Point, Bonneville, the Bonneville Dam, and Bradford Island. Tanner Creek lies upstream of McCord Creek and Moffett Creek. Across the river on the Washington side is Hamilton Island. Since 1909 the waters of Tanner Creek have been used for the Bonneville Fish Hatchery.

Tanner Creek Drainage ...
Tanner Creek heads in Tanner Spring on the southwest flank of Tanner Butte. Tanner Creek and nine hatchery wells provide water for rearing fall chinook salmon, coho salmon, and summer and winter steelhead. Wahclella Falls, not quite a mile above the creek's mouth prevents fish passage beyond that point.

Views of Tanner Creek Drainage ...

Image, 2004, Tanner Creek drainage, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tanner Creek drainage, Oregon, from Hamilton Island. View from Fort Cascades Informational Kiosk. Robins Island is in the foreground. Image taken October 27, 2004.
Image, 2005, Tanner Creek drainage, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tanner Creek, Oregon, from Hamilton Island, Washington. Image taken April 2, 2005.


Lewis and Clark and Tanner Creek ...
Lewis and Clark first pass Tanner Creek on November 2, 1805, but do not stop.

"... passed a rapid at 2 miles & 1 at 4 miles opposite the lower point of a high Island on the Lard Side, and a little below 4 Houses on the Stard. Bank, a Small Creek on the Lard Side opposit Straw berry Island, which heads below the last rapid. ..." [Clark, November 2, 1805]

The "high Island" on the left is Bradford Island and "Straw berry Island" is today's Hamilton Island.


Campsite of April 9, 1806 ...
Lewis and Clark's campsite of April 9, 1806 was just upstream of Tanner Creek, on the Oregon side of the Columbia River behind Bradford Island. Today this is the location of the Bonneville Fish Hatchery and the Bonneville Dam complex. While the journals make no mention of Tanner Creek on this date, it was mentioned on November 2, 1805 and shown on the route map (Moulton, vol.1, map#79). The men were once again at the "Cascades Rapids", a spot they called the "Lower Falls of the Columbia".

"... at 4 P. M. we arived at the first rapid at the head of Straw berry island at which place on the N W. Side of the Columbia ... as we Could not pass with the large Canoes up the N. W. Side for the rocks, the wind high and a rainey disagreeable evining. our Smallest Canoe being too low to cross through the high waves, we Sent her up on the N W. side with Drewyer and the two Fields and after purchaseing 2 dogs Crossed and into the Sluce of a large high Island seperated from the S. E Side by a narrow chanel, in this chanel we found a good harbor and encamped on the lower Side. ... made 16 Miles to day. evening wet & disagreeable. [Clark, April 9, 1806]

Three of the men could not get the canoe across the Columbia and therefore spent the night on the north side of the Columbia, near today's North Bonneville.

"... our small canoe with Drewyer and the two feildses was unable to pass the river with us in consequence of the waves they therefore toed her up along the N. side of the river and encamped opposite the upper point of brant Island ..." [Lewis, April 9, 1806]

Lewis and Clark's previous campsite was at Shepperds Dell, and their campsite of April 10, 1806, was upstream on the Washington side of the Columbia River near Fort Rains.


Wahclella Falls ...
Wahclella Falls is a beautiful two-tiered falls with the largest drop being 79 feet for a total drop of 127 feet. Just upstream lies another falls, often considered a third tier to Wahclella. According to "waterfallsnorthwest.com" website, Wahclella Falls was named in 1915 by the Mazamas, after a nearby Native American village near Beacon Rock, on the Washington side of the Columbia.

Early History ...
According to Oregon Geographic Names (McArthur and McArthur, 2003) Tanner Creek was named after a "J.T. Tanner" who had a donation claim near it's mouth.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records, show a John C. Tanner and Andrew Johnson being issued a land title on September 20, 1861, for 151.17 acres of parts of T2N R7E Section 21 and 28 (Script Warren Act of 1855).

An 1882 survey of Bradford Island had the creek called "Plumb Creek".


Views ...

Image, 2005, Tanner Creek, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tanner Creek, Oregon, from Hamilton Island. Image taken June 29, 2005.
Image, 2014, Tanner Creek drainage, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tanner Creek, looking downstream from the Historic Columbia River Highway bridge. Image taken June 5, 2014.


Tanner Creek, etc.

  • Bonneville Fish Hatchery ...
  • Historic Columbia River Highway ...
  • Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail ...
  • Tanner Butte ...
  • Tanner Creek Recreation Area ...
  • Tanner Creek Viaduct ...


Bonneville Fish Hatchery ...
The Bonneville Fish Hatchery and Sturgeon Center lies on the upstream bank of Tanner Creek as it enters the Columbia River and uses its waters in its operations. Tanner Creek and nine hatchery wells provide water for rearing fall chinook salmon, coho salmon, and summer and winter steelhead. A waterfall not quite a mile above the creek's mouth prevents fish passage beyond that point.
[More]

Image, 2014, Bonneville Dam, on the Columbia River click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bonneville Fish Hatchery buildings and pens, Bonneville Dam, Oregon. Image taken April 13, 2014.
Image, 2005, Sturgeon, Bonneville Fish Hatchery, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sturgeon, Bonneville Fish Hatchery. Image taken June 19, 2005.
Image, 2011, Sturgeon and Trout watching, Bonneville Fish Hatchery, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Watching through the window, Fish Viewing Windows, Bonneville Fish Hatchery, Bonneville Dam, Oregon. Image taken June 19, 2005.


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

  • HMP 41.1 ... Tanner Creek Bridge (1915)

  • Tanner Creek Bridge (1915):   "The reinforced concrete deck girder bridge is 60 feet in length. The outside girders are elliptical shaped. The width is 23 feet with a 20-foot roadway. Part of the railing is missing. This bridge was bypassed in the late 1940s or early 1950s." [National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 1983]

Image, 2014, Tanner Creek drainage, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Historic Columbia River Highway bridge at Tanner Creek. View looking west. Image taken June 5, 2014.
Image, 2014, Tanner Creek drainage, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Historic Columbia River Highway bridge at Tanner Creek. View looking west. Image taken June 5, 2014.


Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail ...
[More HCRH State Trail]
[More HCRH Route]

  • HMP 41.7 and 42.8 ... Tanner Creek to Eagle Creek

  • Tanner Creek to Eagle Creek:   "In 1996, ODOT reopened the CRH segment between Tanner Creek and Eagle Creek (between HMP 41.7 and 42.8) for non-motorized use as part of the HCRH State Trail. The rehabilitated segment includes the Toothrock and Eagle Creek viaducts." [National Historic Landmark Nomination Form, 1996]

Image, 2014, Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sign, Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, Moffett Creek to Tanner Creek. Image taken June 5, 2014.


Tanner Butte ...
Tanner Butte was originally called "Tanner Creek Butte", until 1917 when the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Tanner Butte" official. Tanner Butte is 1,372 feet elevation.


Tanner Creek Recreation Area ...
(to come)

Image, 2014, Tanner Creek Recreation Area, Bonneville Dam, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tanner Creek Recreation Area, Bonneville Dam, Oregon. Image taken April 13, 2014.
Image, 2014, Tanner Creek Recreation Area, Bonneville Dam, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tanner Creek Recreation Area, Bonneville Dam, Oregon. Image taken April 13, 2014.


Tanner Creek Viaduct ...
The Tanner Creek Railroad Viaduct is a 900-foot-long, double track, earth-filled, spandrel arch viaduct. Construction began in early October 1934. Construction of the viaduct forced the entrance of the Bonneville Fish Hatchery to be re-located 180 degrees and open off the Bonneville entrance road to the north.

Penny Postcard, Columbia River Highway at Tanner Creek, ca.1938 Penny Postcard: Columbia River Highway, Tanner Creek Span and the Bonneville Spur, ca.1938. Penny Postcard, Postmarked 1938, "Tanner Creek Span and Bonneville Spur, Columbia River Highway, Oregon.". Published by Wesley Andrews, Co., Portland, Oregon. Card #853. Card is postmarked July 31, 1938. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Image, 2014, Tanner Creek Viaduct, Bonneville Dam, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tanner Creek Railroad Viaduct, Bonneville Dam, Oregon. Image taken April 13, 2014.
Image, 2014, Tanner Creek Viaduct, Bonneville Dam, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tanner Creek Railroad Viaduct, Bonneville Dam, Oregon. Image taken April 13, 2014.
Image, 2014, Tanner Creek Viaduct, Bonneville Dam, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tanner Creek Viaduct over Bonneville Dam Road, Bonneville Dam, Oregon. Image taken April 13, 2014.


"The Golden Age of Postcards" ...

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

Penny Postcard, Columbia River Highway at Tanner Creek, ca.1938 Penny Postcard: Columbia River Highway, Tanner Creek Span and the Bonneville Spur, ca.1938. Penny Postcard, Postmarked 1938, "Tanner Creek Span and Bonneville Spur, Columbia River Highway, Oregon.". Published by Wesley Andrews, Co., Portland, Oregon. Card #853. Card is postmarked July 31, 1938. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Fish Wheel on the Columbia River, ca.1915
Click image to enlarge
Fish Wheel on the Columbia River, ca.1915
Penny Postcard, Postmarked 1915, "Fish Wheel, Columbia River, Oregon, On Line O.W.R. & N. Co." Image copyright Weister. Card #1459. Card is postmarked January 29, 1915. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
From: "Fishwheels on the Columbia" (Donaldson and Cramer, 1971):   "Tanner Creek Scow Wheel looking toward Washington shore and Table Mountain."


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]-






Clark, April 9, 1806 ...
at 7 A. M. we Set out [from their camp in Shepperds Dell] and proceeded on to the Camp of Joseph & Reubin Fields [possibly near Dodson, Oregon]. they had killed nothing. here we did not delay but proceeded on to Wah-clel-lah Village on the North Side and brackfast [upstream of today's Skamania and Skamania Landing, between Duncan and Woodard Creeks] ...     This Village appears to be the wintering Station of two bands of the Shah-ha-la Nation. One band has already moved the Falls of the Multnomah which is the place they take their Salmon. The other band is now moveing a fiew miles above to the foot of the first rapid on this river, at which place they take their Salmon. 14 houses only appear occupied and the inhabitants of those moveing off hourly, they take with them in their Canoes independent of all their household effects the bark of their houses, and boards. 9 houses has been latterly abandened and 14 others is yet is thinly inhabited at present, and the remains of 10 or 12 others are to be Seen and appears to have been enhabited last fall. those people were not hospital and with Some dificuelty we precured 5 dogs and a fiew Wappato of them. ...    at 2 oClock P. M we Set out and passed under the Beacon rock [Beacon Rock] on the North Side of two Small Islds [Pierce and Ives Islands[. Situated nearest the N. side. at 4 P. M. we arived at the first rapid [beginning of the Cascades Rapids, also known as the "Lower Falls of the Columbia"] at the head of Straw berry island [Hamilton Island] at which place on the N W. Side of the Columbia here we found the nativs from the last village rebuilding their habitations of the bark of <from> their old Village 16 Huts are already Compleated and appear only temporrary it is most probable that they only reside here <in> dureing the Season of the Salmon. as we Could not pass with the large Canoes up the N. W. Side for the rocks, the wind high and a rainey disagreeable evining. our Smallest Canoe being too low to cross through the high waves, we Sent her up on the N W. side with Drewyer and the two Fields and after purchaseing 2 dogs Crossed and into the Sluce of a large high Island [Bradford Island] seperated from the S. E Side by a narrow chanel, in this chanel we found a good harbor and encamped on the lower Side [near Tanner Creek]. We Saw Some deer Sign and Collins to hunt in the mornig untill the Canoes were toed above the rapids. made 16 Miles to day. evening wet & disagreeable.



Lewis, April 9, 1806 ...
This morning early we commenced the operation of reloading our canoes; at 7 A. M. we departed [from their camp at Shepperds Dell] and proceeded on to the Camp of Reubin and Joseph Fields [near Dodson, Oregon] they had not killed any game; we made no halt at this place but continued our rout to the Wah-clel-lah Village which is situated on the North side of the river [upstream of the location of today's Skamania and Skamania Landing, between Duncan and Woodard Creeks] about a mile below the beacon rock [Beacon Rock]; here we halted and took breakfast. ...     this village appears to be the winter station of the Wah-clel-lahs and Clahclellars, the greater part of the former have lately removed to the falls of the Multnomah, and the latter have established themselves a few miles above on the North side of the river opposite the lower point of brant island [Bradford Island], being the commencement of the rapids, here they also take their salmon; they are now in the act of removing, and not only take with them their furniture and effects but also the bark and most of the boards which formed their houses. 14 houses remain entire but are at this time but thinly inhabited, nine others appear to have been lately removed, and the traces of ten or twelve others of ancient date were to be seen in the rear of their present village. ...     on our way to this village we passed several beautifull cascades which fell from a great hight over the stupendious rocks which cloles the river on both sides nearly, except a small bottom on the South side in which our hunters were encamped. the most remarkable of these casscades falls about 300 feet perpendicularly over a solid rock into a narrow bottom of the river on the south side. it is a large creek, situated about 5 miles above our encampment of the last evening. several small streams fall from a much greater hight, and in their decent become a perfect mist which collecting on the rocks below again become visible and decend a second time in the same manner before they reach the base of the rocks. [Multnomah Falls area]     the hills have now become mountains high on each side are rocky steep and covered generally with fir and white cedar. ...     at 2 P. M. we renewed our voyage; passed under the beacon rock [Beacon Rock] on the north side, to the left of two small islands situated near the shore [Ives and Pierce Islands].     at four P.M. we arrived at the Clah-clel-lah village; here we found the natives busily engaged in erecting their new habitations, which appear to be reather of a temperary kind; it is most probable that they only reside here during the salmon season. we purchased two dogs of these people who like those of the village blow were but sulky and illy disposed; they are great rogues and we are obliged to keep them at a proper distance from our baggage. as we could not ascend the rapid [foot of the Cascade Rapids] by the North side of the river with our large canoes [Hamilton Island area], we passed to the oposite side and entered the narrow channel which seperates brant Island [Bradford Island] from the South shore; the evening being far spent and the wind high raining and very cold we thought best not to attempt the rapids [Cascade Rapids] this evening, we therefore sought a safe harbour in this narrow channel and encamped on the main shore [Tanner Creek, Oregon]. our small canoe with Drewyer and the two feildses was unable to pass the river with us in consequence of the waves they therefore toed her up along the N. side of the river and encamped [upstream end of Bonneville Dam, location of today's North Powerhouse] opposite the upper point of brant Island [Bradford Island]. after halting this evening I took a turn with my gun in order to kill a deer, but was unsuccessful. I saw much fresh sign. the fir has been lately injured by a fire near this place and many of them have discharged considerable quantities of rozin. we directed that Collins should hunt a few hours tomorrow morning and that Gibson and his crew should remain at his place untill we returned and employ themselves in collectng rozin which our canoes are now in want of.





Columbia River GorgeReturn to
Menu
 



SNAKE RIVER CONFLUENCE | COLUMBIA PLATEAU
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE | VANCOUVER PLAINS | JOURNEY TO THE PACIFIC
CAMPSITES


HOME | REGIONS | PENNY POSTCARDS | MY CORPS OF DISCOVERY
IMAGE INDEX | LINKS | ABOUT THIS SITE


COLUMBIA RIVER IMAGES - HOME
NORTHWEST JOURNEY - HOME
NORTHWEST BIRDING
RIDGEFIELD NWR - BIRDS
COMPLETE BIRD LIST - PHOTOS
THE BARLOW ROAD
THE COLUMBIA RIVER HIGHWAY
WILDFLOWERS and WEED BLOSSOMS



*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:    Bonneville Dam Historic District, National Historic Landmark 1986 Nomination Form;    Donaldson, I.J., and Cramer, F.K., 1971, "Fishwheels on the Columbia";    McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland;    Oregon Fish and Wildlife Brochure, "Bonneville Fish Hatchery", downloaded April 2014;    U.S. Bureau of Land Management website, 2006, General Land Office Records;    "waterfallsnorthwest.com" website, 2014, "Wahclella Falls";   

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.
ColumbiaRiverImages.com/Regions/Places/tanner_creek.html
© 2017, Lyn Topinka, "ColumbiaRiverImages.com", All rights reserved.
Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
April 2014