Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Walker and Lord Islands, Oregon"
Includes ... Walker Island ... Lord Island ... "Dibblee Island" ... Dibblee Point Beach ... Campsite of March 26, 1806 ...
Image, 2005, Walker Island and Green Point, Oreogn, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Walker Island and Green Point, Oregon. View from Washington State Highway 4, at the mouth of Germany Creek. Mount Hood, Oregon, can just be seen on the horizon. Image taken July 28, 2005.


Walker Island and Lord Island
Walker Island and Lord Island (often called "Dibblee Island") lie along the Oregon side of the Columbia River, beginning at approximately Columbia River Mile (RM) 60 through RM 64. These islands are across from Longview, Washington, and just downstream of the Lewis and Clark Bridge. Downstream of the islands, close to the Washington shore, is Fisher Island. Good views of Walker Island can be had from Willow Grove Beach and views of Lord Island can be had from Oregon Highway 30 west of Rainier, Oregon. Walker Island is approximately 1.2 miles long and Lord Island is approximatly 2.5 miles long.

Lewis and Clark and Walker and Lord Islands ...
Lewis and Clark went past Walker and Lord Islands on November 6, 1805, on their way to the Pacific Ocean. Captain Clark noted Cottonwood Island (the "long Island") off the Washington shore, and Walker and Lord Islands and Green Point off the Oregon shore.

"... opposit <this long Island is 2 others one Small and about the middle of the river> the other larger and nearly opposit its lower point, and opposit a high clift of Black rocks on the Lard. Side ..." [Clark, November 6, 1805]

The Lewis and Clark maps show only one island in the Walker Island area, and in the proper location to be Walker Island. The group spent the night of March 26, 1806, on Walker Island.


Campsite of March 26, 1806 ...
On March 26, 1806, Lewis and Clark passed "Fanny's Island", today's Crims Island, and, according to Captain Lewis, they camped at the "next island above fanny's Island".

"... after dinner we proceeded on and passed an Elegant and extensive bottom on the South side and an island near it's upper point which we call Fanny's Island and bottom. ... we continued our rout after dinner untill late in the evening and encamped on the next island above fanny's Island. ..." [Lewis, March 26, 1806]

"... we continued untill late in the evening and encamped on a Small Island near the Middle of the river haveing made 18 Miles. ..." [Clark, March 26, 1806]

"... we proceeded on our way and halted on fanneys Island to dine then proceed. on as usal Camped on an Island in thick brush &C ..." [Ordway, March 26, 1806]

"... At 8 o'Clock A. M. we proceeded on ascending the Columbia River, & halted at an Island called by our Officers Fannys Island to dine. We continued on our way at 2 o'Clock P. M. and towards evening we halted at an Island & encamped for the night in a Thicket of Woods on the same ..." [Whitehouse, March 26, 1806]

Lewis and Clark's previous campsite was on the Clatskanie River/Beaver Slough delta across from the upper end of Wallace Island. Their campsite of April 27, 1806 was at Goble, Oregon.


Early Walker and Lord Islands ...
Walker Island was seen and named in 1792 by Lieutenant Broughton of the Captain George Vancouver expedition. William Walker was the surgeon on Vancouver's ship Chatham.

"... At seven the next morning with the stream still running down very rapidly, they proceeded in their examination, passing to the north of a small woody island, which, after the surgeon of the Chatham, was named Walker's island. The soundings were from four to seven fathoms. ..." [Broughton, October 27, 1792]

Lewis and Clark went past Walker and Lord Islands on November 6, 1805, on their way to the Pacific Ocean. On their return in 1806 they spent the night of March 26, 1806, on Walker Island (see above).

The 1888 U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey's Chart #641B, "Columbia River Sheet No.4, Grim's Island to Kalama" has "Walkers Island" in correct location in reference to Mount Solo. The area around Lord Island is sandbars. Next to Walker Island, Green Point is labeled "Green Pt.".

In 1920 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made the name "Walker Island" official over "Walkers Island", a common spelling of the time.

In 1986 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Lord Island" the official name for the island often known as "Dibblee Island".


Views of Walker Island ...

Image, 2007, Willow Grove Beach, looking upstream, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Hump Island, Walker Island, and Green Point from Willow Grove Beach, Washington. Hump Island is in the middle, and Walker Island is just barely visible on the right below the Oregon cliff of Green Point. Image taken January 28, 2007.


Views of Lord Island ...

Image, 2004, From Longview Overlook, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River and Lord Island. View from Oregon Highway 30, west of Rainier. Green Point is the treed slope on the left. Image taken November 20, 2004.
Image, 2005, Upstream end, Lord Island, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Upstream end of Lord Island, Oregon. View from Dibblee Point Beach. Image taken February 19, 2005.
Image, 2005, Lord Island, Oregon, undergrowth, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Lord Island undergrowth. View from Dibblee Point Beach. Image taken February 19, 2005.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 6, 1805, first draft ...


Clark, November 6, 1805 ...





Clark, March 26, 1806 ...


Lewis, March 26, 1806 ...
The wind blew so hard this morning that we delayed untill 8 A. M ...     after dinner we proceeded on and passed an Elegant and extensive bottom on the South side [Clatskanie River delta] and an island [Crims Island] near it's upper point which we call Fanny's Island and bottom.     the greater part of the bottom is a high dry prarie. near the river towards the upper point we saw a fine grove of whiteoak trees [Oak Point]; we saw some deer and Elk at a distance in the prarie, but did not delay for the purpose of hunting them. we continued our rout after dinner untill late in the evening and encamped on the next island [Walker Island] above fanny's Island.




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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:
  • NOAA Office of Coast Survey website, 2005;
  • U.S. Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database, 2006;


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.
/Regions/Places/walker_island.html
December 2008