Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Vancouver National Historic Reserve, Washington"
Includes ... Vancouver National Historic Reserve ... Fort Vancouver ... Fort Vancouver National Historic Site ... Officer's Row ... Vancouver Barracks ... Pearson Field ... Vancouver Land Bridge ... Old Apple Tree Park ... Waterfront Park ... Water Resources Education Center ... National Register of Historic Places ... The Golden Age of Postcards ...
Image, 2004, Fort Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fort Vancouver, Washington. Looking towards Vancouver Barracks. Image taken March 7, 2004.


Vancouver National Historic Reserve ...
The 366-acre Vancouver National Historic Reserve is located in Vancouver, Washington, and was established in October 1996. It includes not only Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, but also adjacent historical areas, such as Vancouver Barracks, Officer's Row, Pearson Field, Old Apple Tree Park, and Vancouver's Waterfront Park. Further east, following the Waterfront Renaissance Trail along the Columbia, is located the Kaiser Viewing Tower and the Water Resources Education Center, both a part of the Reserve. The Vancouver "Land Bridge" crosses Washington Highway 14, connecting all the parts of the Reserve.

Boundary Description ...
"The 366-acre Reserve is located in the City of Vancouver, Washington, on banks of the Columbia River. For the main Reserve area, the west boundary is bounded by the right-of-way for Interstate I-5; the north boundary by the north edge of the alley that runs behind Officers' Row; the east boundary by the area east of Pearson Airpark, and the south boundary by the Columbia River. A separate parcel located along the Columbia River east of the main Historic Reserve is also part of the Historic Reserve, and includes Kaiser Tower and the Water Resources Education Center."


Source:    Vancouver National Historic Reserve Cultural Landscape Report, October 2005, produced by Jones & Jones, Architects and Landscape Architects, Ltd., Seattle, Washington, for the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.

Timeline ...
1948, 1966, and 2003:   In 1948 Fort Vancouver became a National Monument. In 1966 the area was expanded and re-designated as the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and listed on the National Register of Historic Places (Site - #66000370). In 2003 the John McLoughlin house in Oregon City, Oregon, became a part of the National Historic Site.

1974:   In 1974 Officers Row and the Fort Vancouver Barracks were listed on the National Register of Historic Places (District - #74001948).

2007:   In 2007 the Vancouver National Historic Reserve Historic District (District #06001216) was established. The area is approximately bounded on the north by Officers' Row, on the south by the Columbia River, on the east by East Reserve Street, and on the west by the Interstate 5.


Vancouver Land Bridge ...
The Vancouver Land Bridge crosses Washington State Highway 14 and connects the northern part of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve (Fort Vancouver area) to to Columbia River stretch of the National Reserve (Old Apple Tree Park and Waterfront Park). The bridge was dedicated August 23, 2008.
[More]

Image, 2011, Vancouver Land Bridge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Vancouver Land Bridge crossing Washington State Highway 14, Vancouver, Washington. View looking southeast, from north side of Washington State Highway 14. Image taken August 2, 2011.


Lewis and Clark and the Vancouver National Historic Reserve area ...
Lewis and Clark passed through this area on November 4, 1805, on their journey to the Pacific Ocean. Captain Clark walked upon the "Small Prarie", later known as "Jolie Prairie". On their return, their campsite of March 30, 1806 was on the "beautifull prarie".
[More]

Image, 2006, Columbia River from Officers Row, click to enlarge
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Columbia River and "Jolie Prairie", from Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 26, 2006.


Views of the Reserve ...

Image, 2006, Palisades and Bastion, Fort Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fort Vancouver, Washington. The "Palisades" were built to protect trade goods from theft, and the "bastion" wasn't built until 1845. Image taken August 27, 2006.
Image, 2006, Fort Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
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Inside Fur Storage, Fort Vancouver, Washington. Image taken August 27, 2006.
Image, 2006, Vancouver Barracks, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Gazebo, Vancouver Barracks, Vancouver, Washington. Vancouver Barracks (left) and the Gazebo located on the Vancouver Barracks Parade Ground. Image taken August 27, 2006.
Image, 2006, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 27, 2006.
Image, 2006, Grant House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Grant House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 27, 2006.
Image, 2004, Pearson Air Museum, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Army Air Corps, Pearson Field, Washington.
Image taken March 8, 2004.
Image, 2007, Old Apple Tree, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Old Apple Tree", Vancouver, Washington. Image taken April 5, 2007.
Image, 2007, Waterfront Park, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Waterfront Park, Vancouver, Washington. Columbia River and the Oregon shore. Image taken April 5, 2007.
Image, 2004, Kaiser Viewing Tower, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Kaiser Shipyard Viewing Tower, Ryan Point, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken December 18, 2004.
Image, 2006, Water Resources Education Center, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Water Resources Education Center, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken January 1, 2006.


More ...


"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, 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. Caption on top reads: "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 Barracks, ca.1920
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Penny Postcard: Vancouver Barracks, Vancouver, Washington, ca.1920. Penny Postcard, ca.1920, "The Vancouver Barracks, Vancovuer, Washington.". Published by Wesley Andrews Co., Portland, Oregon. Card #552. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Officers Row, General Headquarters, Vancouver, Washington, ca.1918
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Officer's Row, "General Headquarters", Vancouver, Washington, ca.1918. Penny Postcard, Postmarked 1918, "General Headquarters, Department of the Columbia, Vancouver, Wash. On the North Bank Road.". Published by Portland Post Card Co., Portland, Oregon. Card #P1415. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.


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 1 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





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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, 2004;    Clark County, Washington website, 2011;    National Register of Historic Places website, 2005, 2011;    U.S. National Park Service website, 2004, 2011, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site;    Vancouver National Historic Reserve Cultural Landscape Report, October 2005, produced by Jones & Jones, Architects and Landscape Architects, Ltd., Seattle, Washington, for the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior;

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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August 2016