Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Fort Lugenbeel, Washington ... (Upper Blockhouse)"
Includes ... Fort Lugenbeel ... "Upper Blockhouse" ... Ashes Lake ... Cascades Rapids ...
Image, 2006, Fort Lugenbeel information sign, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sign information, Fort Lungenbeel Blockhouse. Information sign located at the site of "Fort Rains", downstream from Ashes Lake. Caption reads: "The Upper Cascades was only a village during the March 26, 1856 battle. Civilians defended themselves from nearby Bradford Store until Colonel George Wright caused the Indian withdrawal on the 28th. He ordered immediate construction of Fort Lugenbeel." Image taken April 22, 2006.


The Forts of the Cascades Rapids ...
Throughout history four different forts or blockhouses existed along a rough 4.5 mile stretch of the Columbia River Gorge between Hamilton Island and Cascades Locks, known throughout history as the "Cascade Rapids".

  • The first fort built was Fort Gilliam, established in 1848 and located at the upper end of the Rapids. Fort Gilliam was a supply depot for the Cayuse Indian Wars.

  • Next came Fort Cascades, built in 1855 at the lower end of the Rapids. It was built to defend the portage and was known as the "Lower Blockhouse".

  • Next came Fort Rains, also built in 1855. It was located at the lower end of the portage around the "Upper Cascades" and was known as the "Middle Blockhouse".

  • The last fort built was Fort Lugenbeel, built in 1856 and located at the upper end of the "Upper Cascades" portage, and was known as the "Upper Blockhouse".

[More]

Fort Lugenbeel ...
On March 26, 1856, Indians attacked the white settlements at the Cascade Rapids. Settlers took refuge at Fort Rains and Bradford's Store. The Fort Cascades was burned to the ground. The settlers were rescued by Lieutenant Sheridan who arrived March 27, 1856. Gunfire was exchanged the rest of the 27th and 28th, with the Indians surrendering late in the evening on March 28, 1856. After this battle, Fort Cascades was rebuilt and another blockhouse, Fort Lugenbeel, was added to protect the Upper Cascades. Fort Lugenbeel (also known as the "Upper Blockhouse") was located on the north bank of the Columbia, on a hill, near today's Little Ashes Lake. Presumably the fort was named after Major Pinckney Lugenbeel, who, in 1856 was a captain in the 9th Infantry and was engaged in the defense of Fort Cascades. In 1862 Major Lugenbeel became Commander at the Army Post, Vancouver Barracks.

Penny Postcard, Fort Lugenbeel
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Fort Lungenbeel, "Famous Block House on the Columbia River".
Penny Postcard, Divided Back (1907-1915), "Famous Block House on the Columbia River". Published by Edward H. Mitchell, San Francisco. Card #O-63. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.


Early Maps ...

Cadastral Survey Map detail, Fort Lugenbeel, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Cadastral survey map (tax survey) detail, 1860, for T2N R7E, showing the Washington bank of the Columbia River from Fort Lugenbeel ("U.S. Garrison") to Rock Creek. Original cadastral survey map courtesy U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database, 2014.


Fort Lugenbeel blockhouse model, Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center ...

Image, 2011, Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Model, Fort Rains, Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, Stevenson, Washington. Image taken July 15, 2011.
Image, 2011, Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Information sign, Fort Lugenbeel, Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, Stevenson, Washington. Image taken July 15, 2011.


Ashes Lake, etc.

  • Ashes Lake, "Upper Cascades", "Upper Landing" ...


Ashes Lake, "Upper Cascades", and "Upper Landing" ...
Fort Gilliam and Fort Lugenbeel were located on the Washington side of the Columbia in a "Deep bend" above today's Ashes Lake. This area, at the upper end of the Cascade Rapids, was known as the "Upper Cascades" or "Upper Landing".
[More]

Image, 2005, Ashes Lake, looking south towards the Columbia River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Ashes Lake, Washington. View from Ashes Lake Road, looking south towards the Columbia River. Image taken February 26, 2005.
Cadastral Survey Map detail, Fort Lugenbeel, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Cadastral survey map (tax survey) detail, 1860, for T2N R7E, showing the Washington bank of the Columbia River from Fort Lugenbeel ("U.S. Garrison") to Rock Creek. Original cadastral survey map courtesy U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database, 2014.


"The Golden Age of Postcards" ...

The early 1900s was the "Golden Age of Postcards", with the "Penny Postcard" being a popular way to send greetings to family and friends. The postcards now have become a image of history.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 30, 1805 ...




Columbia River GorgeReturn to
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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:    see Cascade Rapids;   

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/fort_lugenbeel.html
July 2011