Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Mill Creek, Washington ... (Cowlitz County)"
Includes ... Mill Creek ... "Abernethy's Mill Creek" ... "Negisticook Creek" ...
Image, 2005, Mill Creek, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mill Creek, Cowlitz County, Washington. View from near mouth, off of Washington Highway 4. Image taken November 9, 2005.

Mill Creek ...
Mill Creek, Washington, begins in Wahkiakum County, and then flows east to Cowlitz County, where it enters the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 54, on the east side of Oak Point. Mill Creek was named for a water-powered mill which was built at the mouth of the creek in 1848 by Alexander S. Abernethy. A bit upstream of Mill Creek is Abernethy Creek. Good views of Crims Island and Mount St. Helens can be had from the mouth of Mill Creek.

Early Mill Creek ...
In 1937 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Mill Creek" the official name. Previously used names were "Abernathys Mill Creek" and "Negisticook Creek".

Name Chronology ...
There are three creeks in the Stella/Oak Point area which have sported various names throughout the years, often sharing and switching names. They are today's Germany Creek (RM 56), Abernethy Creek (RM 54), and Mill Creek (RM 54).

The 1858 Cadastral Survey (tax survey) for T8N R4W has Mill Creek named "Abernethy's Mill Creek" ("South Fork" and "North Fork"). At its mouth, a "Mill" is shown on the right bank and a "Store" is shown on the left bank. The Abernethy home was shown upstream, about half way between today's Mill Creek and today's Abernethy Creek (shown but not named). Further upstream is depicted a "Methodist Church", "Meagers" homestead, and "Nequally Creek" (today's Germany Creek).

The 1878 U.S. Coast Survey's Chart No.6142, "Columbia River, Sheet No.3", had today's Mill Creek labeled "Negisticook Cr." and today's Abernethy Creek labeled "Nequally Cr.". Germany Creek was depicted but not named.

Mill Creek, etc.

  • Columbia River from Mill Creek ...
  • Mount St. Helens from Mill Creek ...

Columbia River from Mill Creek ...

Image, 2003, Gull Island and Crims Island, downstream tips, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Gull Island and Crims Island, downstream tips. Downstream tips of Gull Island (left) and Crims Island (right), as seen from Washington State, just downstream of Mill Creek. Image taken November 9, 2003.

Mount St. Helens from Mill Creek ...

Image, 2004, Mount St. Helens from Mill Creek, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mount St. Helens from Mill Creek, Washington. View from downsteam Mill Creek near Oak Point. Bunker Hill is on the left and Gull Island is on the right. Image taken June 16, 2004.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 6, 1805 ...

Lewis, March 26, 1806 ...

Journey to the PacificReturn 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

  • Hitchman, R., 1985, "Place Names of Washington", Washington State Historical Society;
  • NOAA Office of Coast Survey website, 2007;
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database, 2007;
  • U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database, 2007;

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 2008