Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Tualatin Mountains, Oregon"
Includes ... Tualatin Mountains ... Portland West Hills ... Council Crest ... Cornelius Pass ... Logie Trail ... Tualatin Basin ... Tualatin Plains ... Tualatin River ... Tualatin Valley ...
Image, 2006, Tualatin Mountains, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Tualatin Mountains and Oregon Highway 30. View heading west, downstream of Linnton and upstream of St. Helens. Image taken October 31, 2006.


"... high bold Shore on the Starboard Side ..." [Clark, April 2, 1806]

"... S. 30 E 2 miles to a bend under the high lands on the Stard Side ..." [Clark, April 2, 1806]


Tualatin Mountains ...
Locally known as the "Portland West Hills", the Tualatin Mountains dominate the western skyline of Portland, Oregon. The "mountains" form a ridgeline running from northwest to southeast, with the southeastern portion of the ridge bordering the Multnomah Channel and the Willamette River, and ending at Portland. The community of Linnton lies at the base of the Tualatin Mountains.

Image, 2012, Tualatin Mountains, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Tualatin Mountains and Oregon Highway 30, near Westport, Oregon. View from Highway 30, heading west. Image taken January 27, 2012.


Lewis and Clark and the Tualatin Mountains ...
Captain Clark commented on the Tualatin Mountains on April 2, 1806, while he explored the lower reach of the Willamette River.

"... high bold Shore on the Starboard Side ..." [Clark, April 2, 1806]

"... S. 30 E 2 miles to a bend under the high lands on the Stard Side ..." [Clark, April 2, 1806]

"Tualatin" ...
"Tualatin", "Twality", "Tuality" ... The name Tualatin is from Atfalati (rhymes with "quality"), the name of the Native American Kalapuyan tribe which once occupied the Tualatin River valley. Early settlers shorten the name to "Tualati" or "Tualatin".

"Oregon Geographic Names" (2003, McArthur and McArthur) says:

"Tualatin is probably an Indian word meaning lazy or sluggish, this being the character of the river's flow. Other meanings are "land without trees", signifying the plains of Tualatin, and "forks" or "forked" for the numerous upper tributaries, including Gales and Dairy creeks."

Tualatin Mountain Geology ...
The Geology of Portland:

"The City of Portland sits at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers and occupies the western half of the Portland Basin and much of the adjacent Tualatin Mountains. The flat floor of the Portland Basin is punctuated by several small buttes and the Boring Hills, a complex region where small volcanic cones mix with blocks uplifted by faulting. The Tualatin Mountains, a straight and narrow range with a sharp, fault-bounded eastern edge, separate the Portland Basin from the Tualatin Basin to the west. The Tualatin Basin is generally flat, with a few faulted and folded highs in the center of the basin."


Source:    Ian P. Madin, 2009, "Portland, Oregon, Geology by Tram, Train, and Foot": Oregon Geology, vol.69, no.1, Fall, 2009, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Portland.


Views ...

Image, 2005, Tualatin Mountains, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tualatin Mountains and the Multnomah Channel. View from the Sauvie Island Bridge looking downstream on the Multnomah Channel. The Tualatin Mountains rise on the left. Image taken November 20, 2005.
Image, 2006, St. Johns Bridge, click to enlarge
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St. Johns Bridge, Oregon, with fog hanging over the Tualatin Mountains. View from Cathedral Park, St. Johns, Oregon. Image taken February 5, 2006.
Image, 2010, Portland, Oregon, from Mount Tabor, click to enlarge
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Portland, Oregon, from Mount Tabor. View of Portland from Mount Tabor, a Boring Lava Cone located east of Portland. The Tualatin Mountains, also known as the Portland West Hills, rise as a backdrop to Portland. Image taken May 9, 2010.


Tualatin Mountains, etc.

  • Cornelius Pass ...
  • Council Crest ...
  • Logie Trail ...
  • Morgan Road and Rainbow Lake ...
  • Tualatin Basin, Plains, River, and Valley ...


Cornelius Pass ...
Cornelius Pass crosses the Tualatin Mountains in a northeast/southwest direction, linking Oregon Highway 30 from near Sauvie Island with Oregon Highway 26 and the Tualatin Plains. One mile downstream of Cornelius Pass lies the older Logie Trail (see more below). Both Cornelius Pass and Logie Trail were used by Native Americans and then early explorers and trappers, before becoming improved for use by wagons and tradesmen.

In the 1800s pioneer and statesman Thomas R. Cornelius built Cornelius Pass. Thomas Cornelius arrived in Oregon with his family and settled in Washington County, Oregon, in 1845. He fought in both the Cayuse War and the 1855 Yakima Indian War.

In 1850/1851 Cornelius Pass was considered for a railroad passage from St. Helens, Oregon, across Cornelius Pass and heading south to the Willamette Valley. The plan failed.

"The first Oregon proposition for a railroad in Oregon was made by H.M. Knighton, the original owner of the townsite of St. Helens. Mr. Knighton proposed to make good the claim of his town to the seaport head of navigation on the Columbia river by building a railroad in 1851 from St. Helens through the Cornelius pass and across Washington county to the city of Lafayette, that town being at that time the big town of the Willamette valley." [Joseph Gaston, 1912, "The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912, vol.1", S.J. Clarke Publishing Company]

"H.M. Knighton, owner of the original townsite at St. Helens, Oregon, proposed in 1850 to build a railroad from that town, then a serious competitor of Portland for supremacy as the metropolis at the head of river navigation, the route of which railroad was to follow through the Cornelius Pass and across Washington County to Lafayette." [Chards Henry Carey, 1922, "History of Oregon, vol.1", Pioneer Historical Publishing Company]

Image, 2017, Tualatin Mountains, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Cornelius Pass Road at Oregon Highway 30. The Tualatin Mountains rise on the left. Image taken April 15, 2017.
Image, 2017, Tualatin Mountains, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Cornelius Pass Road heading southwest. Image taken April 15, 2017.


Council Crest ...
Council Crest, at 1,200 feet, is the high point of the Tualatin Mountains and overlooks the location of the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition. From 1907 until 1929, Council Crest was once the home of an amusement park. Today it is a Portland, Oregon, city park. The Columbia River and five different Cascade Range volcanoes can be seen from the top.
[More]

Penny Postcard, Council Crest, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Council Crest, Portland, Oregon. Penny Postcard, Divided Back (1907-1915), "Council Crest, the Dreamland of Portland, Oregon". Copyright - 1911 - J. Weinstein, 9-2-11. Postmarked April 29, 1912. Published by the Portland Post Card Co., Portland, Oregon. Card #A-1252. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Caption on back: "Council Crest is 1200 feet above the City. All the Mountains surrounding Portland can be seen from this Point. Tourists will find this one of the most pleasant spots of recreation."
Penny Postcard, Council Crest, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Council Crest, Portland, Oregon, with Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Hood. Penny Postcard, Divided Back (1907-1915), "Council Crest". Published by Council Crest Company, Portland, Oregon. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.


Logie Trail ...
The Logie Trail is an early native route which crosses the Tualatin Mountains linking the Columbia River lowlands to the higher Tualatin Plains. One mile upstream of Logie Trail lies Cornelius Pass. At one time the Logie Trail was the main trail connecting the Columbia River to the Tualatin Valley.

According to "Oregon Geographic Names" (McArthur and McArthur, 2003):

"Logie Trail Road (Multnomah County) ... James Logie was one of the earliest settlers on Sauvie Island. He was a Hudson's Bay Company employee and was sent to the island about 1840 to take charge of butter-making in one of the company's dairies. He worked on the old Indian trail over the hills into the Tualatin Valley and made a better route out of it. It was named for him on that account. James Logie was born in the Orkney Islands. He died March 24, 1854, and his widow, Isabella, also from the Orkneys, married Jonathan Moar. ... Much of the original trail is now the route of Johnson Road."

Today's Logie Trail connects Oregon's Highway 30 with Portland's Skyline Boulevard. The eastern end of the Trail begins at Multnomah Channel "River Mile" 17. It runs along the southern side of Rainbow Lake while Morgan Road runs along the northern side of Rainbow Lake.

[More]


Image, 2018, Logie Trail, Tualatin Mountains, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Logie Trail sign, Tualatin Mountains, Oregon. View heading west along Oregon Highway 30. Image taken February 15, 2018.
Image, 2018, Logie Trail, Tualatin Mountains, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Logie Trail crossing Oregon Highway 30, with Tualatin Mountains, Oregon. View heading west along Oregon Highway 30. Image taken May 7, 2018.


Morgan Road and Rainbow Lake ...
Rainbow Lake is a reservoir located along Oregon Highway 30, approximately at Multnomah Channel "River Mile" 17. The Logie Trail runs along the south side of the lake and Morgan Road runs along the north side.

Image, 2013, Tualatin Mountains, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Morgan Road heading west, Tualatin Hills, Portland, Oregon. Image taken November 3, 2013.
Image, 2018, Rainbow Lake, Morgan Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Rainbow Lake, Morgan Road, Portland, Oregon. Image taken May 7, 2018.


Tualatin Basin, Plains, River, and Valley ...
The Tualatin River Valley, also seen referred to as "Tualatin Basin", "Tualatin Plains", and "Tualatin Valley", is a high flat fertile plain through which the Tualatin River meanders.

The Tualatin River is a tributary to the Willamette River, and merges into the Willamette at Willamette River Mile (RM) 28.5. The river heads in the Coast Range, is approximately 83 miles long, and drains the fertile Tualatin Plains. The U.S. Board of Geographic Names made the name "Tualatin River" official in 1913, with variants at the time being "Tualitin River" and "Tualtin River".

The name Tualatin is from Atfalati (rhymes with "quality"), the name of the Native American Kalapuyan tribe which once occupied the Tualatin River valley. Early settlers shorten the name to "Tualati" or "Tualatin".

"The Atfalati band of the Kalapuya Indians, who settled in the basin of the Tualatin Valley some 10,000 years ago, where the first peoples to call Washington County home. ...

After the first settlers arrived in the early 1800s, smallpox decimated the native people. In 1855, when the Kalapuya and other Northwest tribes ceded their land to the United States government in exchange for other services like education, protection and social services, it is estimated that there were only 600 Kalapuya still living.

With the Kalapuyans, more than 25 other tribes were moved to the Grand Ronde Indian reservation in 1856, and the collected tribes became known as the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. However, after the U.S. Government passed the Western Oregon Indian Termination Act in 1954, the reservation and status of the confederation were terminated.

The tribe existed as a non-recognized government entity until Congress passed the Grand Ronde Restoration Act in 1983, a piece of legislation aided by former Oregon Congresswoman Elizabeth Furse. ...

David Lewis, cultural liaison for the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, said that after 130 years of the various tribes being united as the Confederted Tribes of Grand Ronde, it's nearly impossible to separate the tribes. Many of the peoples' ancentry are compoosed of multiple groups. ..."


Source:    Taylor Smith, 2013, "Kalapuya tribes remembered, honored in Washington County Museum's mobile exhibit", "OregonLive.com", August 2013.



According to "Oregon Geographic Names" (McArthur and McArthur, 2003):

"Tualatin River (Clackamas and Washington Counties) ... Tualatin is probably an Indian word meaning lazy or sluggish, this being the character of the river's flow. Other meanings are "land without trees", signifying the plains of Tualatin, and "forks" or "forked" for the numerous upper tributaries, including Gales and Dairy creeks. The "treeless plains" was vouched for by Tolbert Carter, pioneer of 1846, whose home was near Wells, Benton County, to Geo. H. Himes. Tualatin was Twha-la-ti, according to Silas B. Smith, and John Work gave Faladin in 1834. The name has had many variations, among them Twality, Quality, Falatine, and Nefalatine. There is a town named Tualatin in Washington County. The settlements near what are now known as Hillsboro and Forest Grove were in pioneer days called East and West Tualatin precincts. One of the original districts or counties in Oregon was called Twality. The spelling Tuality was also used officially."

In 1848, Lieutenant Neil M. Howison of the U.S. Navy wrote about his 1846 examination of Oregon.

"On the 26th [July 26, 1846], I dropped down to the mouth of the Wilhammette, six miles below Vancouver, and made an effort to get the schooner over the bar at the mouth of the river, with the view of ascending it as far as navigable for sea-going vessels ... Finding it impossible to get the schooner into the Wilhammette river, I left her at Vancouver, and made a visit to Oregon city ... From the city the governor accompanied me for a week's ride through the Wilhammette valley, and a more lovely country nature has never provided for her virtuous sons and daughters than I here travelled over. ... In person I visited the Twality plains, and returned again by the city and river."

"I saw personally but little of Oregon, but that comprised its most interesting parts, viz: all settled spots on the Columbia below the Cascades, the Wilhammette valley for sixty miles above Oregon city, and the Twality and Clatsop plains."

"Leaving Astoria, we ascended the Columbia eighty miles, and there entering the Wilhammette, find, three miles within its mouth, the city of Linton, on its left or western shore. This site was selected by a copartnership of gentlemen as the most natural depot for the produce of the well settled Twality plains, and a road was opened over the ridge of hills intervening between the plains and the river. It contains only a few log-houses, which are over-shadowed by huge fir trees that it has not yet been convenient to remove. ... Eight or nine miles above Linton, on the same side of the Wilhammette, we come to a more promising appearance of a town. It has been named Portland by the individual under whose auspices it has come into existence, and mainly to whose efforts its growth and increase are to be ascribed. This is Mr. F.W. Pettygrove, from Maine, who came out here some years back as agent for the mercantile house of the Messrs. Benson, of New York. ... He selected Portland as the site of a town accessible to shipping, built houses, and established himself there; invited others to settle around him, and appropriated his little capital to opening wagon roads (aided by neighboring farmers) into the Twality plains, and up the east side of the river to the falls where the city of Oregon stands."

Image, 2012, Tualatin Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Barns, Tualatin Valley near Fernhill, Oregon. Image taken September 4, 2012.


"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.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, April 2, 1806 ...




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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:
  • Friedman, R., 1990, "In Search of Western Oregon", Caxton Press, Caldwell, Idaho;
  • Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2019;
  • Madin, I.P., 2009, "Portland, Oregon, Geology by Tram, Train, and Foot": Oregon Geology, vol.69, no.1, Fall, 2009, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Portland;
  • McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, "Oregon Geographic Names", Oregon Historical Society Press;
  • Smith, T., 2013, "Kalapuya tribes remembered, honored in Washington County Museum's mobile exhibit", "OregonLive.com", August 2013;
  • "TualatinOregon.gov" website, 2017;
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office (GLO) Records database, 2017;


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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April 2017