Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Welch Island, Oregon"
Includes ... Welch Island ...
Image, 2005, Welch Island and Price Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Welch Island, Oregon. View from the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge, on Steamboat Slough Road, just upstream of Price Island. Image taken July 28, 2005.


Welch Island ...
Welch Island is a large marshy island on the downstream side of Tenasillahe Island, and separated from Tenasillahe Island by Red Slough. Welch Island is the upstreammost island of the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge. On the Washington shore, parallel to Welch Island is Price Island. The mouth of the Skamokawa Creek is also across from Welch Island. Fitzpatrick Island borders the downstream tip of Welch Island, and on the Oregon side of Welch Island the rest of the islands of the wildlife refuge curve around Aldrich Point.

Early Welch Island ...
In 1792 Lieutenant William Broughton, of the George Vancouver expedition, passed by Welch Island on October 25, 1792.

In 1805 and 1806, Lewis and Clark called Tenasillahe Island and a nearby smaller island (today's Welch Island) the "Marshy Islands", a descriptive name rather than a naming of the islands.

In 1841 Charles Wilkes of the U.S. Exploring Expedition shows Welch Island as part of Tenasillahe Island and called the entire area "Katalamet I.".

Before 1915 the island was referred to as "Welches Island" or "Welch Island".

"[July 1890] ... Miller's Sands used to be the scene of many a bloody battle in years gone by when rival seiners fought for possession. This year the approach of the time of the seining harvest makes trouble at Welch Island. Messrs. Getchell and Lundberg, and Jno. Fitzpatrick both asserting claim to that valuable strip. In such cases possession goes a good way toward retaining the usufract." ["The Daily Morning Astorian", July 23, 1890, coutesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2019]

In 1915 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made official "Welch Island".


Views ...

Image, 2005, Welch Island and Cargo Ship, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Welch Island in background with Cargo Ship "New Diamond" on the Columbia. View from the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge, on Steamboat Slough Road, as seen from just upstream of Price Island. Image taken July 28, 2005.
Image, 2005, Welch Island and Price Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Welch Island, Oregon (left) and tip of Price Island, Washington (right). View from the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge, on Steamboat Slough Road, just upstream of Price Island. Image taken July 28, 2005.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 7, 1805 ...




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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:
  • Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2019;
  • 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/welch_island.html
January 2014