Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Cape Horn Landing, Washington"
Includes ... Cape Horn Landing ... Cape Horn ...
Image, 2005, Cape Horn, tunnel, train, landing, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Train leaving Cape Horn Tunnel and approaching Cape Horn Landing. View from Bridal Veil Overlook. Image taken October 22, 2005.

Cape Horn Landing ...
Cape Horn Landing is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 132, just upstream of the massive basalt cliffs known as Cape Horn. Just offshore is Phoca Rock. Good views of Cape Horn and Cape Horn Landing can be had from the Oregon side of the river at the Bridal Veil Overlook.

Early Cape Horn Landing ...
Excerpts from the "Cape Horn Conservancy" website (2019):

  • "American settlement at Cape Horn began in 1846, when James Walker and his family established a homestead near the landing just upstream from the cliffs of Cape Horn. Walker had come west by ox team from Pennsylvania in 1844. Until 1855, when John and Sarah Stevenson settled at Cape Horn, the Walkers were the only settlers in the vicinity."

  • “By 1875, ten families were living in the Cape Horn vicinity, and by 1882 that number had grown to fifteen, warranting the establishment of a post office in June of the following year (Ramsey 1963:41, SCAS 1958-1959). According to one source (SCAS 1958- 1959), the post office was initially located in “the old dock building” at the river landing, and later moved to the home of Loren Wright, on his farm “at the top of the hill.” Mail was brought to the community by boat from Bridal Veil, across the river, several times a week.

  • "By the 1880s, the landing itself had become a small hub of business and commerce and a regular stop for several Columbia River steamboats (McClure 2002:7)."

  • “A schedule of service for 1912 indicates that the Dalles City made two stops a day at the Cape Horn wharf (Timmen 1973:214)."

  • “Cape Horn landing, also known as Breslin Landing (Williams 1980), was an important distribution point for agricultural products from local farms. According to the 1900 census, the majority of adult men in the Cape Horn Precinct worked as farmers or day laborers."

  • “In 1926, construction of the Evergreen Highway (State Route 14) was begun across Cape Horn. While blasting a ledge across the face of the cliffs in November 1927, the construction crew triggered a landslide that swept through Cape Horn landing. An eyewitness reported that, “Old man Stevenson’s house was pushed right out into the river...The slide took the houses and went across the railroad tracks. It took the docks and the landing and filled the dock channel...The slide pushed like a bull dozer, and it took the track and fill right into the river...” (Bethea 1980:9). Apparently, the force of the slide created a wave that swamped boats across the Columbia River (McClure 2002:11)”.

Gustavus Hine's "Cape Horn" ??? ...
Rev. Gustavus Hines wrote about a third "Cape Horn" in 1843, with this Cape Horn being a "low point of land". Its location quite possibly is today's Cape Horn Landing, just east of the basalt feature of that name.

"... At twelve o’clock, we passed a low point of land which has received the name of Cape Horn, in consequence of the difficulty of the navigation of this part of the river arising, from the strength of wind which generally prevails here. Often, when it is safe running on all other parts of the river, canoes, on arriving here, are obliged to lie by, sometimes for days, before they can possibly pass this point. Indeed, the Cape Horn of the Columbia is more difficult to double with the pigmy craft which is used on this river, than the Stormy cape bearing the same Name at the southern extremity of Terra del Fuego. ..." [Hines, May 1, 1843]

Views ...

Penny Postcard, Bailey Gatzert, Cape Horn
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Penny Postcard: Steamer "Bailey Gatzert" at Cape Horn, Washington. Penny Postcard, Divided Back (1907-1915), "Palisades on the Columbia River.". Published by The J.K. Gill Co., Portland, Ore. Made in Germany. Card No.3952. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Cape Horn Landing
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Penny Postcard: Steamer "Dallas City", Cape Horn Landing, Washington. Penny Postcard, Divided Back (1907-1915), "Passing Cape Horn, Columbia River. "Dallas City", one of the Many Passenger Steamers Out of Portland.". Chas S. Lipschuetz Company, Portland, Oregon. American Art Post Card. Card #248. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Image, 2006, Cape Horn Landing and Phoca Rock, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Location of Cape Horn Landing and Phoca Rock, as seen from the Cape Horn Viewpoint. Image taken April 22, 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 a snapshot of history.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, ...

Columbia River GorgeReturn to

*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

  • Cape Horn Conservency website, 2019;

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.
September 2011