Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Vancouver, Washington"
Includes ... Vancouver ... Fort Vancouver ... "City of Columbia" ... "Columbia City" ... "Kanaka Village" ... "City of Vancovuer" ... "All-America City" ... Vancouver Monument ("Boat of Discovery") ... Vancouver Landing ... Vancouver Station ... Captain George Vancouver Monument ... Old Apple Tree ... Old Apple Tree Park ... Railroad Underpass Murals ... Remembrance Wall ... Waterfront Park ... Waterfront Renaissance Trail ... The Golden Age of Postcards ... Vancouver History Timeline ...
Image, 2004, Vancouver, Washington, and a steaming Mount St. Helens, click to enlarge
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Vancouver, Washington, with a steaming Mount St. Helens. View is from Hayden Island. Image taken December 18, 2004.


Vancouver, Washington ...
Vancouver, Washington, is located at Columbia River Mile (RM) 106. Downstream on the Oregon side is the mouth of the Willamette River and upstream on the Oregon side is the Portland International Airport. In the middle of the Columbia lie Hayden Island and its neighbor Tomahawk Island, and slightly upstream is Government Island. Two bridges, the Interstate 5 Bridge and the Interstate 205 Bridge connect Vancouver with the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. Vancouver was settled in 1825 when Dr. John McLoughlin moved the northwest headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company from Astoria, Oregon to a more favorable location upstream, Fort Vancouver. He named the site after Point Vancouver, a location upstream at RM 128, and named after British explorer Captain George Vancouver. In 1792, William Broughton, of the Vancouver expedition, traveled up the Columbia River as far as Point Vancouver, before turning around.

Image, 2005, Flags, Vancouver, U.S.A., and Washington State, click to enlarge
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Flags, Vancouver, Washington, United States of America, and Washington State. View from Vancouver Landing. Image taken July 3, 2005.


"Columbia City" ...
The location of the City of Vancouver began as the British Fort Vancouver. The site served as a fur trapping trade center. A small "village" evolved around the Fort, which eventually became known as "Kanaka Town" or "Kanaka Village", referring to the Hawaiian word for "person". Many Hawaiians were employed at the Fort and lived in the neighboring village. In 1849 the British headquarters left Fort Vancouver, and the American army moved in. In 1860 the British moved out, leaving the Fort and the surrounding area to the Americans. In 1852 the Americans met at Monticello (today the location of Longview) and created the Washington Territory. Two years later, on March 15, 1854, a Territorial Legislature act passed, which named today's Vancouver "Columbia City" and made it the county seat of Clark County. In 1855, the second session of the legislature changed the name back to "Vancouver". "Vancouver" honors Captain George Vancouver who explored the Columbia River in 1792. The town inherited the name from Fort Vancouver, which had been named by Sir George Simpson on March 19, 1825. See "Vancouver History Timeline" below for more tidbit history of the city. Today there is an Columbia City located on the Oregon side of the Columbia River a few miles downstream of Vancouver.

Views of Vancouver ...

Image, 2004, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
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Vancouver, Washington, as seen from Washington State Highway 14 ramp to Interstate 5. Image taken March 27, 2004.
Image, 2004, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
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Vancouver, Washington, with Mount St. Helens and the Interstate 5 Bridge. View is from Hayden Island. Image taken March 29, 2004.
Image, 2004, Vancouver, Washington, and Mount St. Helens, click to enlarge
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Vancouver, Washington, with Mount St. Helens. View is from Hayden Island. Image taken March 29, 2004.
Image, 2004, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
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Vancouver, Washington, upstream of the Interstate 5 Bridge. View is from Hayden Island. Image taken March 29, 2004.


Vancouver History Timeline ... "Tidbits"

From a variety of sources:
  • In May 1792, American Captain Robert Gray became the first to explore the mouth of the Columbia River, but did not get more than 20 miles upriver.

  • In October 1792, British Lieutenant William Broughton, serving under Captain George Vancouver, was the first European to explore the Columbia River and pass the area which one day would be the City of Vancouver, Washington. Lieutenant Broughton explored 100 miles upriver, reaching as far as a point of land he named Point Vancouver. He first sited the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington, area on October 29, 1792, and commented on the view of Mount Hood. His camp that night was on the Oregon shore, in the vicinity of today's Portland International Airport. The next day Broughton would name the "very high, snowy mountain" after British Admiral Samuel Hood.

    "... A very high, snowy mountain now appeared rising beautifully conspicuous in the midst of an extensive tract of low or moderately elevated land lying S 67 E., and seemed to announce a termination to the river. ..." [Broughton, October 29, 1792]

  • In 1805, American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark came through the area on their way to the Pacific, and on November 4, 1805, Captain Clark walked on the "Small Prarie" which someday would become Pearson Airpark.

    "... a Small Prarie in which there is a pond opposit on the Stard.    here I landed and walked on Shore, about 3 miles a fine open Prarie for about 1 mile, back of which the countrey rises gradually and wood land comencies ...    a few Cottonwood trees & the Ash of this countrey grow Scattered on the river bank ..." [Clark, November 4, 1805]

  • Heading back home in 1806, Lewis and Clark's campsite of March 30, 1806 was on that "beautifull prarie", which was to become known as "Jolie Prairie".

    "... we encamped a little before sunset in a beautifull prarie above a large pond ... " [Lewis, March 30, 1806]

  • In 1825, Dr. John McLoughlin moved the northwest headquarters of the Hudson’s Bay Trading Company from Astoria to a more favorable setting upriver. He named the new site "Fort Vancouver", after the "Vancouver" of Point Vancouver on Broughton’s original map. The original location of Fort Vancouver was on the bluff back from the river.

  • On March 19, 1825, Sir George Simpson, in charge of the British, named the fort "Fort Vancouver" after British Captain George Vancouver, who's company explored the Columbia River in 1792.

  • The site of Fort Vancouver, called "Jolie Prairie" was located near a Chinook Indian village named "Ske-chew-twa" that was located on the site of the Kaiser Shipyards at Ryan Point.

  • Vancouver's "Old Apple Tree" was planted in 1826 at Fort Vancouver and is thought to be the oldest apple tree in the Northwest. It is also considered the matriarch of Washington State's apple industry. Today there is a city park at the location.

  • In 1829, Fort Vancouver moved to its location along the Columbia. The Village of Fort Vancouver was established along side the fort and it became one of the largest settlements in the West during its time. During peak times, the population of the village exceeded 600 people, and included several hundred square miles of agricultural land, a shipyard, distillery, tannery, sawmill, gristmill, and dairies.

  • In 1841, Charles Wilkes and the U.S. Exploring Expedition charted the area. Wilkes wrote:

    "... The shores of the Columbia near Vancouver are low. The river bank is a kind of levee, which is several feet above the river, at its highest flood; were it not for this, it would spread over the while extent of prairie. On this levee is a thick growth of trees and shrubs, which binds the earth together, and prevents a break. ..."

  • For many years, Fort Vancouver was the center of all fur trading in the Pacific Northwest. It was also a center of British dominion over the Oregon Territory. In 1846, American control was extended north to the 49th parallel. The northwest became part of the United States.

  • About 1846 John Switzer operated a ferry from the Hayden Island area across the Columbia River to Fort Vancouver.

  • In 1849 the British transfered their base of operations from Fort Vancouver north to Canada.

    In 1849 the U.S. Army established the post of Columbia Barracks (later Vancouver Barracks), just up the slope from Fort Vancouver. The neighboring settlement which developed was called "the City of Columbia". The Army and the Hudson's Bay Company coexisted. The Army rented many of the village buildings, hired Native American laborers, and made use of the trade available through the Fort's market.

  • During the late 1840s and early 1850s, as fur trapping declined and trades became more popular, the numbers of Hawaiian employees increased. By the 1850s the village became known as "Kanaka Town," or "Kanaka Village," referring to the Hawaiian word for "person".

  • In 1845, Amos and Esther Short and their eight children landed at Fort Vancouver, and eventually located a donation land claim in the wilderness near the fort and built a cabin. Thus the city of Vancouver really began, although to the Shorts this tract of land was just a place to raise potatoes, and to the British a claim to be looked on with suspicion and resentment. Its eastern boundary, marked by a balm of Gilead tree on the banks of the Columbia River, was one day to become Main Street. Then nothing but forests existed except near the western boundary of the square mile claim where level bottomland afforded an opportunity to raise crops.

  • In the early 1850s, the U.S. Army built several new buildings in the village area, including the Quartermaster Depot and Captain Rufus Ingalls' house, where Ulysses S. Grant lived from 1852 until 1853.

  • 1850-1855

    "... The 1850 census listed 95 houses in the newly organized Clark County, of which Vancouver City was the county seat. Two schools were opened, a ferry franchise was granted for river service, and construction began on the Army reservation. R.H. Lnasdale, appointed county agent, replatted the townsite, ignoring the lines used in earlier surveys, which started from the "Witness Tree", a giant cottonwood on the river bank. This new survey not only kindled private boundary disputes, but also infringed on the military reserve. One group of local patriots wished to change the name of the town to Columbia City, but the Washington Territorial Legislature ruled, in 1855, that the legal name was, and should remain, Vancouver. ..." ["The New Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State", Federal Writers' Project, 1941]

  • On March 15, 1854, a Territorial Legislature act passed, naming this place Columbia City and made it the county seat of Clark County. In 1855, the second session of the legislature changed the name back to the present designation. It is to honor Capt. George Vancouver who explored the Columbia River in 1792. The town inherited the name from Fort Vancouver, which had been named by Sir George Simpson on March 19, 1825. That name appeared on maps such as on Johnson's 1863 "Washington and Oregon" and William's 1873 "Map of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho" show the Washington "Columbia City". Mitchell's 1860 map however shows Vancouver named "Vancouver".

  • In 1855 Mrs. Esther Short platted the City of Vancouver, donated Esther Short Park and a long strip of waterfront to the city.

  • In 1857, the City of Vancouver was incorporated.

  • From the 1858 United States Senate Report "The Superintendent of the Coast Survey showing the Progress of the Survey during the Year 1858":

    "... Five miles above the Willamette, on the north side, is the military post of Fort Vancouver, which, with the town of Vancouver, covers part of the grounds formerly occupied by the Hudson Bay Company as a mercantile station, but then designated as Fort Vancouver. The Hudson Bay Company still have a trading station here, but their farms and grazing lands have been occupied by settlers. The site for a town is one of the most beautiful on the river, and capitally located for increasing trade. ..."

  • In 1858 the first Northwest railroad, the Cascade Railroad Company, began operation in the Columbia River Gorge. The Walla Walla and Columbia River Railroad became the second Northwest railroad in 1873, and a large number of local railroads subsequently spring up in the 1880s.

  • In 1860 the Hudson's Bay Company, which in 1849 had transferred its headquarters from Fort Vancouver to Fort Victoria, abandoned Fort Vancouver and in June moved to British Columbia, leaving the fort and village to the Americans. The Army occupied some of the buildings, but fire destroyed all visible traces of the establishment by 1866.

  • After 1866, the Army used the Kanaka Village area in a variety of ways, from a drill ground to a motor pool.

  • In 1905, one hundred years after the Lewis and Clark expedition, Lincoln Beachey in the dirigible, The Gelatin, took off from Jantzen Beach, Oregon (during Portland's 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition) and landed on the polo grounds of Vancouver Barracks, Vancouver, Washington. This was the first aerial crossing of the Columbia River, and marked the beginning of Pearson Field, which today remains the oldest continually operating airfield in the United States.

  • In 1908, the first rail line, the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway, heading along the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge reached Vancouver.

  • In 1910, a railroad bridge was opened heading south across the Columbia River.

  • In 1911, the first airplane flight at Vancouver Barracks was Charles Walsh and Silas Christofferson flying Curtiss Pusher biplanes. The pilots used the Army's field as a landing field in order to experiment with various configurations of aircraft.

  • In 1917, the Interstate 5 Bridge opened.

  • During World War I, the area around Pearson Field was the location of the world's largest spruce cut-up mill, cutting raw timber into lumber used to build the planes which helped win the war in Europe.

  • Between 1933 to 1942, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) used the village area as a regional training facility and headquarters. The CCC was responsible for many regional public works projects, such as Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood.

  • On June 20, 1937, Soviet aviator Valeri Chkalov and crew landed there at the end of history's first non-stop, trans-polar flight, a flight which took 63 hours and 16 minutes. Today a monument commemorating that flight is on display just west of the museum. This is the first monument to commemorate a Russian accomplishment on U.S. soil.

  • During World War II, Vancouver was the site of the Kaiser Shipyards, builders of the Victory Ships.

  • In 1952, Vancouver’s current city charter was adopted.

  • Construction of a second span of the Interstate 5 Bridge began in 1956 (today's southbound lanes) and opened in 1958.

  • In 1957 and again in 1987, Vancouver was honored with "All-America City" distinction.

  • In 1977 groundbreading began on the Glenn Jackson Bridge connecting Vancouver, Washington, to Portland, Oregon. On December 15, 1983, the first cars crossed the "Interstate 205 Bridge".

  • In 1980 Mount St. Helens exploded. Vancouver became the home of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory.

  • In 1996, the 366-acre Vancouver National Historic Reserve was established to protect important areas of Vancouver's history, including Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Vancouver Barracks, Officers' Row, and Pearson Field.


Vancouver Places, etc.

  • Arches ...
  • "Boat of Discovery" ...
  • "Old Apple Tree" ...
  • Railroad Overpass Murals ...
  • "Remembrance Wall" ...
  • Vancouver Landing ...
  • Vancouver National Historic Reserve ...
  • Vancouver Station ...
  • Waterfront Park ...
  • Waterfront Renaissance Trail ...
  • Total Eclipse of the Moon ...
  • Miscellaneous Views around Vancouver ...

Arches ...
The brick "Vancouver Arches" are located at 5th Street and Main Street, and were installed in 1984 to create a landmark for downtown Vancouver. They can nicely be seen from the Highway 14 off-ramp to Interstate 5 heading south, or from leaving the Interstate 5 Bridge, heading north.

Image, 2010, Vancouver Arches, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
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Vancouver Arches, as seen from moving car, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 17, 2010.


"Boat of Discovery" ... (Vancouver Monument) ...
The Smithsonian Institution's "Art Inventory Catalogue" has Vancouver, Washington's "Vancouver Monument" listed as a sculpture titled "Boat of Discovery".
"... The unclad keel of a long boat made of steel and painted red. It sits high over a walkway, and is supported by two pyramidal concrete bases with polished black granite facings, one under each end. The bases are on either side of the brick-walled walkway and the boat keel acts as an arch over it. The sculpture is placed in a plaza of sloping, rounded brick-topped walls. Set in one wall of the plaza is a series of three plaques. Starting at the top of the plaque on the proper right, a replica of the original charted map of the Columbia River continues across and down the other two plaques, to end near the bottom of the plaque on the proper left. ..."

The monument was dedicated October 31, 1992, to coincide with the bicentennial of Captain George Vancouver's exploration of the Columbia River.
[More]


Image, 2007, Vancouver Monument, click to enlarge
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"Boat of Discovery", Vancouver Monument, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken April 1, 2007.
Image, 2007, Vancouver Monument, click to enlarge
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Captain George Vancouver Monument, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken April 1, 2007.


"Old Apple Tree" ...
Vancouver's "Old Apple Tree" was planted in late 1826 and then eventually placed outside of the gates of the first Fort Vancouver. The seeds for the tree were brought over from England by Emilius Simpson. Every year the City of Vancouver holds the "Old Apple Tree Festival" on the first saturday in October at the Old Apple Tree Park.
[More]

Image, 2007, Old Apple Tree, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
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"Old Apple Tree", Vancouver, Washington. Currently the "Old Apple Tree" and the "Old Apple Tree Park" are closed and the area is under construction. This picture was taken with permission obtained from the construction crew. Upon completion the Old Apple Tree Park will be one of the endpoints for Vancouver's "Land Bridge" over Washington State Highway 14, connecting Fort Vancouver with the Waterfront Renaissance Trail. Image taken April 5, 2007.


Railroad Overpass Murals ...
Located at Vancouver's Columbia Street at 4th Street, these two murals were created by the students from Lewis and Clark High School, with a grant from the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington. Vancouver Sign Company donated installation of the mural in 2000.

Image, 2008, Vancouver Remembrance Wall, click to enlarge
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Mural, south side Railroad Underpass, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken October 12, 2008.
Image, 2008, Vancouver Remembrance Wall, click to enlarge
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Mural, north side Railroad underpass, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken October 12, 2008.


"Remembrance Wall" ...
Vancouver's "Remembrance Wall" was painted in 2005 to honor military veterans from World War II to Vietnam. Commissioned by the Clark County Mural Society, the mural is located just west of the Railroad underpass (see murals above), on the north side of a 550-foot-long retaining wall owned by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe.
[More]

Image, 2008, Vancouver Remembrance Wall, click to enlarge
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"Remembrance Wall", Vancouver, Washington. Image taken October 12, 2008.


Vancouver Landing ...
Vancouver Landing is located on the downstream side of the Interstate 5 Bridge at Columbia River Mile (RM) 106.5. This once was the location of a ferry landing. It is now a public dock and city park for the city of Vancouver, Washington.
[More]

Image, 2005, at Vancouver Landing, click to enlarge
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View at Vancouver Landing. Image taken July 3, 2005.
Image, 2005, at Vancouver Landing Public Dock, click to enlarge
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Dock at Vancouver Landing. Image taken July 3, 2005.


Vancouver National Historic Reserve ...
Fort Vancouver was established in 1825 along the banks of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 106.5. The fort was a fur-trading post for the British Hudson's Bay Company. Today the Fort, along with Officer's Row and Pearson Field are a part of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve.
[More]

Image, 2006, Palisades and Bastion, Fort Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
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Fort Vancouver, Washington. Image taken August 27, 2006.
Image, 2006, Grant House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
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Grant House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 27, 2006.


Vancouver Station ...
[More]

Image, 2005, at Vancouver station, click to enlarge
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Vancouver Station, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 3, 2005.
Image, 2007, Amtrak at Vancouver Station, click to enlarge
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Amtrak at Vancouver Station, Vancouver, Washington. Vancouver Station is visible on the left and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Bridge across the Columbia River is visible on the right. Image taken March 29, 2007.


Waterfront Park ...
Vancouver's Waterfront Park is located at the east end of the Interstate 5 Bridge and is along Vancouver's Waterfront Renaissance Trail. The park is 5 acres with lots of park benches and viewing platforms and provides excellent views of the Columbia River and the Oregon shore.
[More]

Image, 2007, Waterfront Park, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
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Waterfront Park, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken April 5, 2007.


Waterfront Renaissance Trail ...
Vancouver's Waterfront Renaissance Trail is a 14-foot-wide concrete path stretching along the Columbia River shoreline and starts at Vancouver Landing and the Interstate 5 Bridge, passes locations such as the Capt. George Vancouver Monument, Vancouver's "Old Apple Tree", Waterfront Park, Columbia Shores and the Ilchee Bronze, past Ryan Point and Marine Park, the Water Resources Education Center,the condominium development of Tidewater Cove, and ends at Wintler Park. A "Land Bridge" currently being built (2007) will soon connect the Trail with Fort Vancouver and the Vancouver National Historic Reserve.
[More]

Image, 2006, Waterfront Renaissance Trail, Columbia Shores, click to enlarge
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Waterfront Renaissance Trail, Columbia Shores. Image taken December 31, 2006.
Image, 2006, Ilchee Bronze, Columbia Shores, click to enlarge
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Ilchee Bronze. Columbia Shores, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken December 31, 2006.


Total Eclipse of the Moon ...
[More]

Image, 2008, Eclipse, click to enlarge
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Total eclipse of the moon, Vancouver, Washington, February 20, 2008. Image shot with Sony H5 with 1.6 "doubler".
Image, 2014, Lunar Eclipse, click to enlarge
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Almost total, Lunar Eclipse, Vancouver, Washington, April 15, 2014, just after midnight. Image shot with Sony HX100v.


Miscellaneous Views around Vancouver ...
Most views of Vancouver have their own topics and pages (see some above), but there's always that handful which have no real place to go ... so a few are gathered here. Enjoy.

Image, 2007, Mount Hood, click to enlarge
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Mount Hood and clouds. Telephoto view from the Fishers Landing area, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken March 21, 2007.


click More Mount Hood
Image, 2007, Hillside, click to enlarge
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Vancouver hillside scene. Telephoto view from the Fishers Landing area, Vancouver, Washington. Flank of Mount Hood, Oregon, is in the background. Image taken March 21, 2007.
Image, 2007, Blossoms, click to enlarge
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Ornamental plum blossoms, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken March 20, 2007.
Image, 2007, Camellia Blossom, click to enlarge
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Camellia blossom, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken March 24, 2007.
Image, 2005, Sunset, click to enlarge
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Sunset. View from Vancouver, Washington Image taken June 19, 2005.


click More Sunsets
Image, 2006, Geese, local Vancouver pond, click to enlarge
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Geese, at local Vancouver pond, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken, December 28, 2006.


"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 an image of history.

Penny Postcard, Vancouver Water Front, ca.1907
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Penny Postcard: Water Front, Vancouver, Washington, ca.1907. Penny Postcard, Postmarked 1907, "Columbia River, Vancouver, Washington.". Published by M. Reider, Los Angeles. Made in Germany. Card is postmarked July 23, 1907. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Mount Hood from Vancouver Barracks, ca.1909
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Penny Postcard: Mount Hood, Oregon, from Vancouver Barracks, Washington, ca.1909. Penny Postcard, Postmarked 1909, "Mount Hood from Vancouver Barracks, Vancouver, Wash.". Published by Portland Post Card Company, Portland, Oregon. Card #1010. Divided back, card is postmarked July 1, 1909. This area was known as "Jolie Prairie", today the location of Fort Vancouver, Vancouver Barracks, Pearson Airfield, and Vancouver industry and condominiums. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Vancouver Water Front, ca.1910
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Penny Postcard: Water Front, Vancouver, Washington, ca.1910. Penny Postcard, ca.1910, "Water Front, Columbia River, Vancouver, Wash.". Published by Portland Post Card Co., Portland, Ore. Card #1009. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Vancouver Business District, ca.1920
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Penny Postcard: "Bird's-eye view", Business District, Vancouver, Washington, with the Interstate Bridge, ca.1920. Penny Postcard, ca.1920, "Bird's-eye View of Part of Business Section of Vancouver, Wash., also Showing Pacific Interstate Bridge between Portland and Vancouver.". Published by The Oregon News Co., Portland, Oregon. Card #V-3. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Interstate 5 Bridge and the Portland-Vancouver Ferry, ca.1920
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Penny Postcard: Interstate 5 Bridge and the Portland-Vancouver Ferry, ca.1920. Penny Postcard, ca.1920, "Interstate Bridge, between Vancouver, Wash., and Portland, Ore.". Caption on back reads: "Interstate Bridge, between Vancouver, Wash., and Portland, Ore. -- This bridge was erected during 1917 at a cost of $1,500,000. Previous to the erection of same, the traffic was taken care of by the ferry shown in the picture.". Published by The Oregon News Co., Portland, Oregon. Card #8241. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Vancouver and Vancouver Lake, ca.1936
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Penny Postcard: Aerial view, Vancouver, Washington, with Vancouver Lake, ca.1936. Penny Postcard, Postmarked 1936, "Vancouver Washington and Columbia River looking Northwest". Caption on bottom reads: "On Pacific Highway". Divided back, card is postmarked September 28, 1936. Copyright Brubaker Aerial Surveys. Card #549. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
MORE Penny Postcards of Vancouver and Vicinity Button


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 4, 1805 ...
A cloudy cool morning wind from the West we Set out at 1/2 past 8 oClock [from their camp on the north side of Government Island, approximately across from Fisher's Landing], one man Shannon Set out early to walk on the Island [Government Island] to kill Something, he joined us at the lower point with a Buck. This island is 6 miles long and near 3 miles wide thinly timbered     (Tide rose last night 18 inches perpndicular at Camp) near the lower point of this diamond Island [Government Island] is The head of a large Island Seperated from a Small one by a narrow chanel [Lewis and Clark show two large islands on their maps, both in today's Government Island area], and both Situated nearest the Lard Side, those Islands [even today the Government Island reach is a complex of many islands] as also the bottoms are thickly Covered with Pine &c. river wide, Country low on both Sides; [since 1983 the Interstate 205 bridge crosses Government Island connecting Oregon to Washington]     on the Main Lard Shore a Short distance below the last Island we landed at a village of 25 Houses: [near Portland International Airport]; ...     This village contains about 200 men of the Skil-loot nation ...

at 7 miles below this village passed the upper point of a large Island [Hayden Island] nearest the Lard Side, a Small Prarie [Jolie Prairie, today the location of Fort Vancouver and Pearson Airpark. Lewis and Clark camp on this prairie on their return] in which there is a pond [one of the many ponds which use to dot this area] opposit on the Stard. here I landed and walked on Shore, about 3 miles a fine open Prarie for about 1 mile, back of which the countrey rises gradually and wood land comencies Such as white oake, pine of different kinds, wild crabs with the taste and flavour of the common crab and Several Species of undergroth of which I am not acquainted, a few Cottonwood trees & the Ash of this countrey grow Scattered on the river bank, ...     joined Capt. Lewis at a place he had landed with the party for Diner. ...

dureing the time we were at dinner those fellows Stold my pipe Tomahawk which They were Smoking with [Tomahawk pipe, thus giving rise to the name Tomahawk Island] ...    we proceeded on

[The men have passed through the area which, 20 years later, Dr. John McLoughlin would choose for a trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company, later to become Fort Vancouver and eventually the city of Vancouver, Washington.]

met a large & a Small Canoe from below, with 12 men the large Canoe was ornimented with Images carved in wood the figures of <man &> a Bear in front & a man in Stern, Painted & fixed verry netely on the <bow & Stern> of the Canoe, rising to near the hight of a man [Lewis and Clark then named Hayden Island "Image Canoe Island"]     two Indians verry finely Dressed & with hats on was in this canoe passed the lower point of the Island [Hayden Island] which is nine miles in length haveing passed 2 Islands on the Stard Side of this large Island [the location of Vancouver Landing and since 1917 the Interstate 5 Bridge connecting Oregon to Washington State], three Small Islands at its lower point [The downstream end of Hayden Island was at one time composed of small islands. One of these, Pearcy Island, would become today's Kelley Point.]. the Indians make Signs that a village is Situated back of those Islands on the Lard. Side and I believe that a Chanel is Still on the Lrd. Side [it wasn't until Lewis and Clark's return trip they would discover the mouth of the Willamette River] as a Canoe passed in between the Small Islands, and made Signs that way, probably to traffick with Some of the nativs liveing on another Chanel, at 3 miles lower [Sauvie Island is located at this stretch, but it is not until the return that Lewis and Clark recognize it as a separate island], and 12 Leagues below quick Sand river [Sandy River] passed a village of four large houses on The Lard. Side [on Sauvie Island], near which we had a full view of Mt. Helien [Mount St. Helens, Washington] which is perhaps the highest pinical in America from their base it bears N. 25° E about 90 miles- This is the mountain I Saw from the Muscle Shell rapid [Umatilla Rapids, Captain Clark actually saw Mount Adams] on the 19th of October last Covered with Snow, it rises Something in the form of a Sugar lofe- about a mile lower passed a Single house on the Lard. Side, and one on the Stard. Side, passed a village on each Side and Camped near a house on the Stard. Side [Post Office Lake vicinity, today within the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge] we proceeded on untill one hour after dark with a view to get clear of the nativs who was constantly about us, and troublesom, finding that we could not get Shut of those people for one night, we landed and Encamped on the Stard. Side ...

This evening we Saw vines much resembling the raspberry which is verry thick in the bottoms. A range of high hills at about 5 miles on the Lard Side [Portland's West Hills'] which runs S. E. & N W. Covered with tall timber the bottoms below in this range of hills and the river is rich and leavel, Saw White geese with a part of their wings black. The river here is 1½ miles wide, and current jentle. opposite to our camp on a Small Sandy Island [one of the small sandy islands prevelent in this stretch of the Columbia. Today the Willow Bar Islands on the east side of Sauvie Island lie across from Post Office Lake.] the brant & geese make Such a noise that it will be impossible for me to Sleap. we made 29 miles to day






Clark, March 30, 1806 ...
we got under way verry early [from their camp near Wapato Portage] and had not proceeded to the head of the island [Bachelor Island] before we met with the three men of the Clan-nar-min-a-mon's who met us yesterday brackfast at the upper point of the Island [Bachelor Island] we met Several of the Clackstar and Cath-lah-cum-up in two canoes. Soon after we were overtaken by Several Canoes of different tribes who reside on each Side of the river the three above Tribes and the Clâh-in-na-ta cathy-lah-nah-qui-up & Cath-lah-com-mah-tup reside on each Side of Wappato inlet [Multnomah Channel] and back of Wappato Island [Sauvie Island] which Island is formed by a Small Chanel which passes from the Lower part of Image Canoe Island [Hayden Island] into an inlet which makes in from the S W. Side, and receves the water of a Creek which heads with the Kil a mox River. this wappato Island [Sauvie Island] is about 18 or 20 Miles long and in places from 6 to 10 miles wide high & furtile with ponds on different parts of it in which the nativs geather Wappato. nearly opposit the upper point of the Isld. behing which we encamped last night, or on the Wappato Isld. is Several Camps of the nativs catching Sturgion. about 5 miles Still higher up and on the N E. Side we halted for brackfast at the place which We had encamped the 4th of November last [near Post Office Lake, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge]. here we were visited by several canoes of Indians from two Towns a Short distance above on the Wappato Island [Sauvie Island]. the 1st of those Tribes Call themselves Clan-nah-quah and Situated about 2 miles above us, the other about a mile above Call themselves Mult-no-mah ...     at 10 a. m. we Set out and had not proceeded far before we came to a landing place where there was Several large canoes hauled up, and Sitting in a canoe, appearantly waiting our arival with a view to join the fleet indian who was then along Side of us. this man informed he was a Shoto and that his nation resided a little distance from the river. we landed and one of the indians pointed to the Shoto village which is Situated back of Pond [Vancouver Lake] which lies parrelal with the river on the N E. Side nearly opposit the Clan-nah quah village. here we were also joined by Several Canoes loaded with the natives from the Island who Continued to accompany us untill about 4 oClock when they all returned and we proceeded on to the place the Indians Stole my Tomahawk 4th Novr. last [Hayden Island] and Encamped in a Small Prarie ["Jolie Prairie" where Fort Vancouver and Pearson Airpark would some day be located] above a large Pond on N. E and opposit the Center of image Canoe Island [Hayden Island]. capt Lewis walked out and Saw Several deer. Jo. Field Shot at Elk he killed and brought in a fine duck. ...     we made 22 Miles only to day the wind and a Strong current being against us all day, with rain. discovered a high mountain S E. Covered with Snow which we call Mt. Jefferson [Mount Jefferson, Oregon]





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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:    City of Vancouver website, 2008;    "Columbian.com" website, 2004, "Reflections";    Federal Writers' Project, 1941, "The New Washington: A Guild to the Evergreen State";    NOAA Office of Coast Surveys website, 2005;    Oregon Department of Transportation website, 2004;    Pearson Airpark Museum website, 2004;    Smithsonian Institution website, 2008, "Art Inventory Catalogue";    U.S. National Park Service website, 2004, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site;    Vancouver City website, 2004, 2005, 2008;    Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation website, 2004;   

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 2014