December 7 - 25, 1805
A Place to Winter - Tongue Point to Fort Clatsop
 
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The Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark

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Volcanoes, Basalt Plateaus, Major Rivers, etc.

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Mount Adams, Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Mount Rainier, and Mount St. Helens

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October 1805 to June 1806

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Pacific Northwest Maps - Columbia River, Volcanoes, Flood Basalts, Missoula Floods, Geology, etc.

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The Journey of Lewis and Clark

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Links to USGS Websites highlighting the Lewis and Clark Journey

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PREVIOUS

December 1-6
Looking for a Place to Winter, At Tongue Point
December 7-25

A Place to Winter
Tongue Point to Fort Clatsop

Tongue Point, Smith Point and Astoria, Youngs Bay, Youngs River, Lewis and Clark River, Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams, and Fort Clatsop
CONTINUE

March 23-24, 1806
Heading Home, Fort Clatsop to Tenasillahe Island
 

On October 7, 1805, Lewis and Clark and the "Corps of Discovery" began their journey down the Clearwater River and into the volcanics of the Pacific Northwest. The Corps travelled from the Clearwater to the Snake and down the "Great Columbia", finally reaching the Pacific Ocean on November 15, 1805. Along the journey they encountered the lava flows of the Columbia Plateau, river channels carved by the great "Missoula Floods", and the awesome beauty of five Cascade Range volcanoes.

Map, Lewis and Clark in the Pacific Northwest, click for brief
                         summary
[Click map for brief summary about the area]


 
At the Pacific - December 1805
A Place to Winter - Tongue Point to Fort Clatsop
 

Lewis and Clark's camp of November 27 through December 6, 1805, was on the west side of Tongue Point, just east of present-day Astoria, Oregon. The majority of the party under Captain Clark remained there until December 7, 1805, while Captain Lewis and five men scouted for a suitable winter camp. On December 7, 1805, the entire group left for the location of their winter camp.

Saturday, December 7, 1805
[The morning] was fair; we therefore loaded our canoes, and proceeded [leaving Tongue Point for the Fort Clatsop area where the expedition would winter over]. But the tide was against us, and the waves very high, so that we were obliged to proceed slowly and cautiously. We at length turned a point [Smith Point, location of today's city of Astoria],


Along the Journey - December 7, 1805
Astoria-Megler Bridge, Smith Point, and Astoria, Oregon, 2003

Smith Point and Astoria:
Smith Point, Astoria, Oregon, is located at Columbia River Mile 11.3 on the Oregon side of the Columbia, and is the eastern-most point of Youngs Bay, and the western termination of a high wooded ridge. Smith Point is the first prominent point on the southern bank of the Columbia southeast of Point Adams. The ridge culminates in Coxcomb Hill, 595 feet high, behind Astoria. Captain Clark used "Point Meriwether," after Lewis's first name, to identify this land, however the name did not stick. Throughout history, Smith Point has had many names, a result of the long-disputed sovereignty over the Pacific Northwest. In 1792, after exploring the Columbia River, Lieutenant Broughton named the feature "Point George," honoring the king of England and emphasizing Great Britain's territorial claims. The point became "Point Astoria" when the first commercial settlement of Americans on the Pacific Coast was founded by John Jacob Astor in 1811. In 1813 the Americans surrendered the point to the British as a result of the British-American War of 1812. The British rechristened the trading post, built Fort George, and used the "Point George" name again. The name Astoria was gradually restored after Americans reclaimed the settlement five years later, with the point's name still not settled. The present name for the point is derived from early American settler Sammuel Smith, who took up a donation land claim on the point. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2003, and Washington State Historical Society Website, 2002


Map, 1798, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1833, Illman and Pilbrow, Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1849, Alexander Ross's Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1853, Washington and Oregon and the Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1855, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1855, Northwest Oregon and mouth Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1887, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1949, Youngs Bay, Smith Point, Astoria, click to enlarge Map, 1987, Youngs Bay, Smith Point, Astoria, click to enlarge NASA Image, 2001, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Engraving, 1848, Fort George (Astoria), click to enlarge Image, 1986, Mouth of the Columbia River with Astoria and the Astoria-Megler Bridge, click to enlarge Image, 2003, Astoria-Megler Bridge, Smith Point, and Astoria, Oregon
  1. 1798 Map, Mouth of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Inset map of original, showing the mouth of the Columbia River, including Cape Disappointment, Point Adams, Youngs River, Point George (today's Astoria), and Grays Bay. Original Map: George Vancouver's "A Chart Shewing Part of the Coast of N.W. America." In A Voyage of discovery to the North Pacific ocean, and Round the World. London, 1798. University of Virginia Special Collection "Lewis & Clark, The Maps of Exploration 1507-1814". -- University of Virginia Library Archives Website, 2004
  2. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark's map of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Astoria and Smith Point are depicted but not named. Map includes three of the five volcanoes Lewis and Clark saw and commented on. While the journals mention the expedition seeing Mount Adams, it does not appear on their map. Mount Jefferson is to the south (bottom) and off the map. From the "Nicholas Biddle/Paul Allen" 1814 publication. Original Map: "A Map of Lewis and Clark's Track, Across the Western Portion of North America, From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean". From: History of the expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark : to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the river Columbia to the Pacific Ocean : performed during the years 1804-5-6 : by order of the government of the United States / prepared for the press by Paul Allen. Philadelphia : Bradford and Insskeep, 1814. Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University #upbover maps37. -- Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library Website, 2004.
  3. 1833 Map (section of original), Columbia River. (Click to enlarge). Includes Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson. Note: Mount Baker is depicted (upper middle) but Mounts Adams, Rainier and St. Helens are missing. The Columbia River is shown as "Oregon River" at its mouth and "Columbia or Oregon R." further inland. "Wappatoo Valley" is labeled. Also shows Fort Clatsop ("F. Clatsop or F. George"), the Willamette River ("Multnomah R."), Sandy River ("Quicksand R."), John Day River ("R.La Page"), Walla Walla River ("Wallwullah R."), Snake River ("Lewis R."), and the Yakima River ("Tapete R."). Original Map: Oregon Territory, 1833. Creator: Illman & Pilbrow, published by Illman & Pilbrow, New York. Comments: Illman & Pilbrow is the engraving firm which copyrighted and published this map, the actual artist is unknown. Washington State University Digital Maps Collection #WSU323. University of Washington Digital Maps Collection #UW104. -- Washington State University Early Washington Maps Digital Collection Website, 2004
  4. 1849 Map (section of original), Alexander Ross's Columbia River. (Click to enlarge). Original Map: Map of the Columbia to illustrate Ross's adventures. Author: Alexander Ross; Publication Date: 1849; Publisher: London, Smith, Elder and Co., 1849. Washington State University Archives #WSU478. -- Washington State University Early Washington Maps Digital Collection Website, 2004
  5. 1853 Map, Washington and Oregon and the Columbia River, from the Clearwater River to the Snake River and down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Includes: Clearwater River (Kooskooski), Lapwai Creek (Lapwai R.), Snake River (Saptin or Lewis R.), Columbia River (Columbia R.), Yakima River (Yakima R.), Walla Walla River (Wallawalla R.), Umatilla River (Umatilla R.), Willow Creek (Quesnells R.), John Day River (John day's R.), Deschutes River (Fall R.), Willamette River (Willammette R.), and Cowlitz River (Cowlitz R.). Original Map: "Map of California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and New Mexico (1853)", by Thomas Cowperthwait & Co. Washington State University Archives #WSU22. -- Washington State University Library Collections Website, 2003
  6. 1855 Map, Mouth of the Columbia River, with Cape Disappointment and Long Beach Peninsula (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Original Map: "Map of a part of the Territory of Washington : to accompany report of Surveyor General (1855)". By James Tilton, Washington (State) Surveyor General's Office. Relief shown by hachures, Scale 1:1,140,480. Washington State University Historical Maps Collection #WSU314, and University of Washington Map Collection #UW114. -- Washington State University Library Archives Website, 2004
  7. 1855 Map, Northwest Oregon and mouth of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Includes the Columbia River, Cape Disappointment, Point Adams, Saddle Mountain, Lewis and Clark River, Youngs River. Original Map: From the northern boundary of California to the Columbia River : from explorations and surveys / made under the direction of Hon. Jefferson Davis, Sec. of War by Lieut. R. S. Williamson, U.S. Topl. Engrs. and Lieut. H. L. Abbot, U.S. Topl. Engrs., H. C. Fillebrown, J. Young, and C. D. Anderson, Assts., 1855. Notes: Scale 1:760,320. Relief shown by hachures. At head of title: Routes in Oregon and California. Map no. 2. "Drawn by John Young." From U.S. War Department, Explorations and Surveys for a Railroad Route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Topographical Maps... to Illustrate the Various Reports... (Washington, 1859) Library of Congress American Memory Archives #G4290 1855 .W5 RR 170. -- U.S. Library of Congress Archives, 2004, "American Memory"
  8. 1887 Map (section of original), Mouth of the Columbia River. (Click to enlarge). Original Map: The Columbia River from Celilo to the mouth showing locations of the salmon fisheries, 1887. Scale ca. 1:375,000, Relief shown by hachures. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Office, G.P.O. 1888. University of Washington Archives #UW128. -- University of Washington Library Archives Website, 2002
  9. 1949 Map, Youngs Bay, Smith Point, Astoria (section of originial). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Pacific Ocean to Harrington Point, 1949, Chart#6151, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  10. 1987 Map, Youngs Bay, Smith Point, Astoria (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Pacific Ocean to Harrington Point, 1987, Chart#18521, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  11. 2001, NASA Image, Mouth of the Columbia River, including Astoria. (Click to enlarge). NASA Space Shuttle photograph of the mouth of the Columbia River, including the location of Fort Clatsop, the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge, Tenasillahe Island, Puget Island, and Crim's Island, June 20, 2001. NASA Astronaut Photography of Earth #SS002-724-30. -- NASA Astronaut Photography of Earth Website, 2002
  12. 1848, Watercolor, Fort George formerly Astoria, 1848. (Click to enlarge). This watercolor view portrays Astoria, Oregon, during the year 1845, by Sir Henry James Warre. Tongue Point is in the middleground. Washington State University Photo Archvies #WSU553. -- Washington State University Library Archives Website, 2002
  13. 1986, Aerial view looking west towards the mouth of the Columbia River at Astoria and the Astoria-Megler Bridge. (Click to enlarge). Photographer: Bob Heims. Photograph Date: August 1, 1986. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Photo Archives #Col0356.jpg. -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Photo Archives Website, 2003
  14. 2003, Astoria-Megler Bridge, Smith Point, and Astoria, Oregon, as seen for the U.S. Highway 101 bridge across Youngs Bay. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


and found ourselves in a deep bay [Youngs Bay]; here we landed for breakfast, and were joined by the party sent out three days ago to look for the six elk. In seeking for the elk they had missed their way for a day and a half, and when they reached the place, found the elk so much spoiled that they brought the skins only of four of them.


Along the Journey - December 7, 1805
Youngs Bay, 2003

Youngs Bay:
Youngs Bay is a shallow body of water just west of Smith Point. The bay is crossed by U.S. Highway 26/101 vertical-lift highway bridge, approximately 0.3 mile above the junction of Youngs Bay with the Columbia River. Youngs Bay is a part of the Columbia River estuary. It receives water from four major streams - the Lewis and Clark River, Youngs River, Klatskanine River, and Wallooskee River. Captain Clark named the bay "Meriwether Bay" after Meriwether Lewis. Today the bay is named after the Youngs River, a river named in 1792 by Lieutenant William Broughton after Sir George Young of the Royal Navy. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2003, and Washington State Historical Society Website, 2004, "Lasting Legacy".


Map, 1798, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1870, Youngs Bay, Lewis and Clark River, Youngs River, click to enlarge Map, 1887, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1949, Youngs Bay, Smith Point, Astoria, click to enlarge Map, 1987, Youngs Bay, Smith Point, Astoria, click to enlarge NASA Image, 2001, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Image, 2003, Youngs Bay, Oregon
  1. 1798 Map, Mouth of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Inset map of original, showing the mouth of the Columbia River, including Cape Disappointment, Point Adams, Youngs River, Point George (today's Astoria), and Grays Bay. Original Map: George Vancouver's "A Chart Shewing Part of the Coast of N.W. America." In A Voyage of discovery to the North Pacific ocean, and Round the World. London, 1798. University of Virginia Special Collection "Lewis & Clark, The Maps of Exploration 1507-1814". -- University of Virginia Library Archives Website, 2004
  2. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark's map of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Youngs Bay is depicted but not named. Also depicted but not named are the Lewis and Clark River and Youngs River, both of which empty into Youngs Bay. Map also includes three of the five volcanoes Lewis and Clark saw and commented on. While the journals mention the expedition seeing Mount Adams, it does not appear on their map. Mount Jefferson is to the south (bottom) and off the map. From the "Nicholas Biddle/Paul Allen" 1814 publication. Original Map: "A Map of Lewis and Clark's Track, Across the Western Portion of North America, From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean". From: History of the expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark : to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the river Columbia to the Pacific Ocean : performed during the years 1804-5-6 : by order of the government of the United States / prepared for the press by Paul Allen. Philadelphia : Bradford and Insskeep, 1814. Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University #upbover maps37. -- Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library Website, 2004.
  3. 1870 Map (section of original), Youngs Bay, Lewis and Clark River, and Youngs River. (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Columbia River, Sheet No.1, 1870, Plate No.1130, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  4. 1887 Map (section of original), Mouth of the Columbia River. (Click to enlarge). Original Map: The Columbia River from Celilo to the mouth showing locations of the salmon fisheries, 1887. Scale ca. 1:375,000, Relief shown by hachures. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Office, G.P.O. 1888. University of Washington Archives #UW128. -- University of Washington Library Archives Website, 2002
  5. 1949 Map, Youngs Bay, Smith Point, Astoria (section of originial). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Pacific Ocean to Harrington Point, 1949, Chart#6151, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  6. 1987 Map, Youngs Bay, Smith Point, Astoria (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Pacific Ocean to Harrington Point, 1987, Chart#18521, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  7. 2001, NASA Image, Mouth of the Columbia River, including Youngs Bay. (Click to enlarge). NASA Space Shuttle photograph of the mouth of the Columbia River, including the location of Fort Clatsop, the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge, Tenasillahe Island, Puget Island, and Crim's Island, June 20, 2001. NASA Astronaut Photography of Earth #SS002-724-30. -- NASA Astronaut Photography of Earth Website, 2002
  8. 2003, Youngs Bay and part of Astoria, Oregon, as seen from the U.S. Highway 26/101 Bridge crossing the bay. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


After breakfast we coasted round the bay [Youngs Bay], which is about four miles across, and receives, besides several small creeks, two rivers called by the Indians, the one Kilhowanakel [Youngs River],


Along the Journey - December 7, 1805
Youngs River from Astoria Column, 2004

Youngs River:
In 1792, Lieutenant William Broughton, with Captain George Vancouver's expedition, named the waterway "Young's River", after Sir George Young of the Royal Navy. The British name has been retained, without the use of the possessive. Lewis and Clark used the native words "Kil how a nah Me" and "Wo lump ked" on draft maps to identify today's Youngs River. There is no indication in the journals of the source of the aboriginal words. -- Washington State Historical Society Website, 2004, "Lasting Legacy".


Map, 1798, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1855, Northwest Oregon and mouth Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1870, Youngs Bay, Lewis and Clark River, Youngs River, click to enlarge Map, 1887, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1987, Youngs Bay, Smith Point, Astoria, click to enlarge Image, 2004, Youngs River, as seen from Astoria Column
  1. 1798 Map, Mouth of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Inset map of original, showing the mouth of the Columbia River, including Cape Disappointment, Point Adams, Youngs River, Point George (today's Astoria), and Grays Bay. Original Map: George Vancouver's "A Chart Shewing Part of the Coast of N.W. America." In A Voyage of discovery to the North Pacific ocean, and Round the World. London, 1798. University of Virginia Special Collection "Lewis & Clark, The Maps of Exploration 1507-1814". -- University of Virginia Library Archives Website, 2004
  2. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark's map of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Youngs River is depicted flowing into Youngs Bay (depicted but not named) but is not named. The Lewis and Clark River (west of Youngs River) is also depicted but not named, however the Fort Clatsop, on the Lewis and Clark River, is shown. Map also includes three of the five volcanoes Lewis and Clark saw and commented on. While the journals mention the expedition seeing Mount Adams, it does not appear on their map. Mount Jefferson is to the south (bottom) and off the map. From the "Nicholas Biddle/Paul Allen" 1814 publication. Original Map: "A Map of Lewis and Clark's Track, Across the Western Portion of North America, From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean". From: History of the expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark : to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the river Columbia to the Pacific Ocean : performed during the years 1804-5-6 : by order of the government of the United States / prepared for the press by Paul Allen. Philadelphia : Bradford and Insskeep, 1814. Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University #upbover maps37. -- Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library Website, 2004.
  3. 1855 Map, Northwest Oregon and mouth of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Includes the Columbia River, Cape Disappointment, Point Adams, Saddle Mountain, Lewis and Clark River, Youngs River. Original Map: From the northern boundary of California to the Columbia River : from explorations and surveys / made under the direction of Hon. Jefferson Davis, Sec. of War by Lieut. R. S. Williamson, U.S. Topl. Engrs. and Lieut. H. L. Abbot, U.S. Topl. Engrs., H. C. Fillebrown, J. Young, and C. D. Anderson, Assts., 1855. Notes: Scale 1:760,320. Relief shown by hachures. At head of title: Routes in Oregon and California. Map no. 2. "Drawn by John Young." From U.S. War Department, Explorations and Surveys for a Railroad Route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Topographical Maps... to Illustrate the Various Reports... (Washington, 1859) Library of Congress American Memory Archives #G4290 1855 .W5 RR 170. -- U.S. Library of Congress Archives, 2004, "American Memory"
  4. 1870 Map (section of original), Youngs Bay, Lewis and Clark River, and Youngs River. (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Columbia River, Sheet No.1, 1870, Plate No.1130, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  5. 1887 Map (section of original), Mouth of the Columbia River. (Click to enlarge). Original Map: The Columbia River from Celilo to the mouth showing locations of the salmon fisheries, 1887. Scale ca. 1:375,000, Relief shown by hachures. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Office, G.P.O. 1888. University of Washington Archives #UW128. -- University of Washington Library Archives Website, 2002
  6. 1987 Map, Youngs Bay, Smith Point, Astoria (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Pacific Ocean to Harrington Point, 1987, Chart#18521, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  7. 2004, Youngs River as seen from Coxcomb Hill, Astoria Column, Astoria, Oregon. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2004 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


the other Netul [Lewis and Clark River].


Along the Journey - December 7, 1805
Lewis and Clark River from Fort Clatsop, 2004

Lewis and Clark River:
Lewis and Clark called this river by the Indian word "Netul". "Fort River" was also used in the journals. Fort Clatsop, the 1805-06 winter camp of Lewis and Clark was located on the left bank of the Lewis and Clark River. -- Washington State Historical Society Website, 2004, "Lasting Legacy"


Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1855, Northwest Oregon and mouth Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1870, Youngs Bay, Lewis and Clark River, Youngs River, click to enlarge Map, 1887, Columbia River from mouth to Pillar Rock, click to enlarge Map, 1987, Youngs Bay, Smith Point, Astoria, click to enlarge Image, 2004, Lewis and Clark River, as seen from Fort Clatsop
  1. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark's map of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) The Lewis and Clark River is depicted flowing into Youngs Bay (depicted but not named) but not named. Fort Clatsop, located on the Lewis and Clarks River, is depicted. Map also includes three of the five volcanoes Lewis and Clark saw and commented on. While the journals mention the expedition seeing Mount Adams, it does not appear on their map. Mount Jefferson is to the south (bottom) and off the map. From the "Nicholas Biddle/Paul Allen" 1814 publication. Original Map: "A Map of Lewis and Clark's Track, Across the Western Portion of North America, From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean". From: History of the expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark : to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the river Columbia to the Pacific Ocean : performed during the years 1804-5-6 : by order of the government of the United States / prepared for the press by Paul Allen. Philadelphia : Bradford and Insskeep, 1814. Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University #upbover maps37. -- Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library Website, 2004.
  2. 1855 Map, Northwest Oregon and mouth of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Includes the Columbia River, Cape Disappointment, Point Adams, Saddle Mountain, Lewis and Clark River, Youngs River. Original Map: From the northern boundary of California to the Columbia River : from explorations and surveys / made under the direction of Hon. Jefferson Davis, Sec. of War by Lieut. R. S. Williamson, U.S. Topl. Engrs. and Lieut. H. L. Abbot, U.S. Topl. Engrs., H. C. Fillebrown, J. Young, and C. D. Anderson, Assts., 1855. Notes: Scale 1:760,320. Relief shown by hachures. At head of title: Routes in Oregon and California. Map no. 2. "Drawn by John Young." From U.S. War Department, Explorations and Surveys for a Railroad Route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Topographical Maps... to Illustrate the Various Reports... (Washington, 1859) Library of Congress American Memory Archives #G4290 1855 .W5 RR 170. -- U.S. Library of Congress Archives, 2004, "American Memory"
  3. 1870 Map (section of original), Youngs Bay, Lewis and Clark River, and Youngs River. (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Columbia River, Sheet No.1, 1870, Plate No.1130, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  4. 1887 Map, Columbia River from the Mouth to Pillar Rock (section of original). (Click to enlarge). The Lewis and Clark River (left of Young's R.) is depicted but not named. Original Map: The Columbia River from Celilo to the mouth showing locations of the salmon fisheries, 1887. Scale ca. 1:375,000, Relief shown by hachures. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Office, G.P.O. 1888. University of Washington Archives #UW128. -- University of Washington Library Archives Website, 2004
  5. 1987 Map, Youngs Bay, Smith Point, Astoria (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Pacific Ocean to Harrington Point, 1987, Chart#18521, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  6. 2004, Lewis and Clark River, as seen from Fort Clatsop. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2004 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


We called it Meriwether's bay [Youngs Bay], from the christian name of captain Lewis, who was no doubt the first white man who surveyed it. As we went along the wind was high from the northeast, and in the middle of the day it rained for two hours, and then cleared off. On reaching the south side of the bay, we ascended the Netul [Lewis and Clark River] for three miles to the first point of highland on its western bank, and formed our camp [near the later site of Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark wintered over] in a thick grove of lofty pines, about two hundred yards from the water, and thirty feet above the level of the high tides.
"... Some rain from 10 to 12 last night this morning fair, we Set out at 8 oClock down to the place Capt Lewis pitched on for winter quarters ...
To point Adams is West
To pt Disapointment N.75 W.
They informed me that they found the Elk after being lost in the woods for one Day and part of another. ... we stopd & Dined in the commencement of a bay, after which proceeded on around the bay to S E & assended a creek 8 miles to ahigh pt. & camped haveing passed arm makeing up to our left into the countrey
'Mt. St. Helens' is the mountain we mistook for 'Mt. Reeaneer' receved 2 Small Brooks on the East, extencive marshes at this place of Encampment We propose to build & pass the winter The situation is in the Center of as we conceve a hunting Countrey. This day is fair except about 12 oClock at which time Some rain and a hard wind imedeately after we passed the point from the N. E which Continued for a about 2 hours and Cleared up ..." [Clark, December 7, 1805, first draft]

On November 25 the Lewis and Clark identified a peak they saw at the mouth of the Columbia as Mount Rainier, when it was really Mount St. Helens. What they didn't comment on was in certain areas near the mouth of the Columbia River, Mount Adams can also be seen.



Along the Journey - December 7, 1805
Mount Adams (left) and Mount St. Helens from near mouth of the Columbia, 2004

Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens:
On November 25, 1805, Captain Clark wrote in his journal
"... Mt St. Hilians Can be Seen from the mouth of this river ..."
Astoria, Oregon, near the mouth of the Columbia River, is nearly 100 miles east of Mount St. Helens, Washington. In Lewis and Clark's time Mount St. Helens was 9,677 feet high. Since the eruption of May 18, 1980, the volcano is 8,364 feet high. Mount Adams, which Captain Clark did not mention, is east of Mount St. Helens, and, at 12,236 feet, can also be seen from near the mouth of the Columbia River.


Map, the Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark, click to enlarge Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1853, Washington and Oregon and the Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1855, Columbia River, Vancouver to the Pacific, click to enlarge Map, 1860, Columbia River, Washington, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 1987, Mount Adams, Washington, from Troutlake, click to enlarge Image, ca.1853, Mount St. Helens and the mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Image, 1889, Mount St. Helens and the mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Image, 1978, Mount St. Helens, before the May 18, 1980 eruption, click to enlarge Image, 1982, Mount St. Helens from Spirit Lake, click to enlarge Image, 2004, Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens from Point Ellice
  1. Map, "Lewis and Clark Volcano Sitings"
  2. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark's map of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Map includes three of the five volcanoes Lewis and Clark saw and commented on. While the journals mention the expedition seeing Mount Adams, it does not appear on their map. Mount Jefferson is to the south (bottom) and off the map. From the "Nicholas Biddle/Paul Allen" 1814 publication. Original Map: "A Map of Lewis and Clark's Track, Across the Western Portion of North America, From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean". From: History of the expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark : to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the river Columbia to the Pacific Ocean : performed during the years 1804-5-6 : by order of the government of the United States / prepared for the press by Paul Allen. Philadelphia : Bradford and Insskeep, 1814. Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University #upbover maps37. -- Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library Website, 2004.
  3. 1853 Map, Washington and Oregon and the Columbia River, from the Clearwater River to the Snake River and down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Includes: Clearwater River (Kooskooski), Lapwai Creek (Lapwai R.), Snake River (Saptin or Lewis R.), Columbia River (Columbia R.), Yakima River (Yakima R.), Walla Walla River (Wallawalla R.), Umatilla River (Umatilla R.), Willow Creek (Quesnells R.), John Day River (John day's R.), Deschutes River (Fall R.), Willamette River (Willammette R.), and Cowlitz River (Cowlitz R.). Original Map: "Map of California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and New Mexico (1853)", by Thomas Cowperthwait & Co. Washington State University Archives #WSU22. -- Washington State University Library Collections Website, 2003
  4. 1855 Map, Columbia River from Vancouver to the Pacific, including Mount St. Helens (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Original Map: "Map of Oregon and Washington Territories: showing the proposed Northern Railroad route to the Pacific Ocean, by John Disturnell, 1855. University of Washington Archives #UW155. -- University of Washington Library Collections Website, 2002
  5. 1860 Map, Columbia River, Washington State, and Oregon (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Original Map: Map of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, (1860). This map dates between March 2nd, 1861 (when the Dakota Territory was formed) and March 4th, 1863 (when the Idaho Territory was formed from eastern Washington and western Dakota) Nearing retirement from a thirty year long and rather successful career, S. Augustus Mitchell printed this map showcasing Oregon, the Territory of Washington, and British Columbia. Washington became a territory in 1853, arguing that distances to Willamette Valley kept them from obtaining a voice in the Oregon territorial government. As this map shows, when it split from Oregon proper the Washington territory included parts of Wyoming and Montana and all of Idaho. Territorial government for Idaho would not be approved until 1863. When Mitchell retired he left the business for his son to manage. Washington State University Archives #WSU7. -- Washington State University Archives, 2004
  6. 1987, USGS Photo showing Mount Adams, Washington, from Trout Lake (Click to enlarge). Photographer: Lyn Topinka, Date: November 1987. -- USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory Photo Archives, 2004
  7. ca.1853, Engraving. Mouth of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Engraving depicts the Mouth of the Columbia River, Point Ellice, Mount St. Helens, and Tongue Point. Original also depicts Cape Disappointment and Point Adams. From: NOAA Photo Archives, America's Coastline Collection #line2075. -- NOAA Photo Archvies Website, 2002
  8. 1889, Engraving/Sketch. Mouth of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Engraving depicts the Mouth of the Columbia River, Point Ellice, Mount St. Helens, and Tongue Point. Original also depicts Scarborough Hill. From: NOAA Library, Pacific Coast Coast Pilot of California, Oregon, and Washington, 1889 -- NOAA Photo Archives Website, 2004
  9. 1978, View of Mount St. Helens, before the eruption of May 18, 1980. (Click to enlarge). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Photograph #Sce0234. Photograph Date: 1978. Photographer: unknown. From: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Photo Archives. -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Website, 2002
  10. 1982, USGS Photo showing Mount St. Helens after the May 18, 1980 eruption. The volcano is reflected in Spirit Lake. (Click to enlarge). Photographer: Lyn Topinka, Date: May 19, 1982. -- USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory Photo Archives, 2004
  11. 2004, Mount Adams (left) and Mount St. Helens, Washington, as seen from Point Ellice, Washington, 14 miles upstream from the mouth of the Columbia River. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2004 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.



"... Some rain from 10 to 12 last night, this morning fair, have every thing put on board the Canoes and Set out to the place Capt Lewis had viewed and thought well Situated for winter quarters -- we proceeded on against the tide to a point about [blank] miles ... we proceeded on around the point into the bay and landed to take brackfast ... then proceeded around this Bay which I have taken the liberty of calling Meriwethers Bay the Cristian name of Capt. Lewis who no doubt was the 1st white man who ever Surveyed this Bay, we assended a river which falls in on the South Side of this Bay 3 miles to the first point of high land on the West Side, the place Capt. Lewis had viewed and formed in a thick groth of poine about 200 yards from the river, this situation is on a rise about 30 feet higher than the high tides leavel and thickly Covered with lofty poine. this is certainly the most eligable Situation for our purposes of any in its neighbourhood. ... Meriwethers Bay is about 4 miles across deep & receves 2 rivers the 'Kil how-a-nah-kle' and the 'Ne tul' and Several Small Creeks. we had a hard wind from the N. E. and Some rain about 12 oClock to day wich lasted 2 hours and Cleared away. From the Point above Meriwethers Bay to Point Adams is 'West' to point Disapointment is N. 75o W. -- ..." [Clark, December 7, 1805]


Along the Journey - December 7, 1805
The Camp - December 7, 1805
Near the later site of Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark wintered over.



The Winter Months - Fort Clatsop
December 25, 1805
"... rainy & wet. disagreeable weather. we all moved in to our new Fort, which our officers name Fort Clatsop after the name of the Clatsop nation of Indians who live nearest to us. the party Saluted our officers by each man firing a gun at their quarters at day break this morning. they divided out the last of their tobacco among the men that used and the rest they gave each a Silk hankerchief, as a Christmast gift, to keep us in remembrence of it as we have no ardent Spirits, but are all in good health which we esteem more than all the ardent Spirits in the world. we have nothing to eat but poor Elk meat and no Salt to Season that with, but Still keep in good Spirits as we expect this to be the last winter that we will have to pass in this way. ..." [Ordway, December 25, 1805]
"... We had hard rain & Cloudy weather as usual. We all moved into our new Garrison or Fort, which our Officers named after a nation of Indians who resided near us, called the Clatsop Nation; Fort Clatsop. We found our huts comfortable, excepting smoaking a little. ..." [Whitehouse, December 25, 1805]


Along the Journey
Fort Clatsop, 1960

Fort Clatsop National Memorial:
This site comemorates the 1805-06 winter encampment of the 33-member Lewis and Clark Expedition. A 1955 community-built replica of the explorers' 50'x50' Fort Clatsop is the focus of this 125-acre park. The fort, historic canoe landing, and spring are nestled in the coastal forests and wetlands of the Coast Range as it merges with the Columbia River Estuary. The Salt Works unit commemorates the expedition's salt-making activities. Salt obtained from seawater was essential to the explorers' winter at Fort Clatsop and their journey back to the United States in 1806. -- U.S. National Park Service Website, Fort Clatsop National Memorial, 2002


Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1833, Illman and Pilbrow, Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1987, Youngs Bay, Smith Point, Astoria, click to enlarge NASA Image, 2001, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Image, 1940, Lewis and Clark Fort Clatsop location, click to enlarge Image, 1960, Lewis and Clark Fort Clatsop location, click to enlarge
  1. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark's map of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Shows Fort Clatsop. Map also includes three of the five volcanoes Lewis and Clark saw and commented on. While the journals mention the expedition seeing Mount Adams, it does not appear on their map. Mount Jefferson is to the south (bottom) and off the map. From the "Nicholas Biddle/Paul Allen" 1814 publication. Original Map: "A Map of Lewis and Clark's Track, Across the Western Portion of North America, From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean". From: History of the expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark : to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the river Columbia to the Pacific Ocean : performed during the years 1804-5-6 : by order of the government of the United States / prepared for the press by Paul Allen. Philadelphia : Bradford and Insskeep, 1814. Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University #upbover maps37. -- Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library Website, 2004.
  2. 1833 Map (section of original), Columbia River. (Click to enlarge). Includes Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson. Note: Mount Baker is depicted (upper middle) but Mounts Adams, Rainier and St. Helens are missing. The Columbia River is shown as "Oregon River" at its mouth and "Columbia or Oregon R." further inland. "Wappatoo Valley" is labeled. Also shows Fort Clatsop ("F. Clatsop or F. George"), the Willamette River ("Multnomah R."), Sandy River ("Quicksand R."), John Day River ("R.La Page"), Walla Walla River ("Wallwullah R."), Snake River ("Lewis R."), and the Yakima River ("Tapete R."). Original Map: Oregon Territory, 1833. Creator: Illman & Pilbrow, published by Illman & Pilbrow, New York. Comments: Illman & Pilbrow is the engraving firm which copyrighted and published this map, the actual artist is unknown. Washington State University Digital Maps Collection #WSU323. University of Washington Digital Maps Collection #UW104. -- Washington State University Early Washington Maps Digital Collection Website, 2004
  3. 1987 Map, Youngs Bay, Smith Point, Astoria (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Pacific Ocean to Harrington Point, 1987, Chart#18521, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  4. 2001, NASA Image, Mouth of the Columbia River, including the location of Fort Clatsop. (Click to enlarge). NASA Space Shuttle photograph of the mouth of the Columbia River, including the location of Fort Clatsop, the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge, Tenasillahe Island, Puget Island, and Crim's Island, June 20, 2001. NASA Astronaut Photography of Earth #SS002-724-30. -- NASA Astronaut Photography of Earth Website, 2002
  5. 1940, This is the site of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's camp during the long wet winter of 1805-1806 in the Oregon Country. (Click to enlarge). It is now called Fort Clatsop and is a few miles south of Astoria and the Columbia River mouth. Photographer: Ben Maxwell. Photograph Date: 1940. Oregon State Archives Ben Maxwell Collection #5410A. -- Oregon State Archives Website, 2003
  6. 1960, Re-creation of Fort Clatsop. (Click to enlarge). Pictured is a re-creation of Fort Clatsop near Youngs River, south of Astoria, in September, 1960. The log buildings face each other with a wooden fence made out of spiked poles with an opening gate between them. The roof of each building slopes towards the center so the rainwater could be gathered. The fort was the first military establishment built in Oregon. Photographer: Ben Maxwell. Photograph Date: September 1960. Oregon State Archives Ben Maxwell Collection #8234. -- Oregon State Archives Website, 2003


Geology of Fort Clatsop:
Fort Clatsop is located in the northern Coast Range of Oregon. Generally, the geology of the area is composed of a stratum of older Cenozoic marine and estuarine sedimentary rocks with minor volcanic rocks covered by a layer of post-early Miocene marine sedimentary and minor volcanic rocks. The Astoria Formation of sandstone and siltstone intertwines with basalt flows and submarine breccias. The western edge of the Columbia River Basalt Flow is also located in this area. -- U.S. National Park Service, Fort Clatsop National Memorial Website, 2002

History of Fort Clatsop:
When the Corps of Discovery saw the broad tidal estuary of the Columbia River on November 14, 1805, they considered their mission complete. The following month, they crossed to the south side of the river to seek a winter camp site that was more sheltered from the ocean winds. Lewis described the site as being located 2 or 3 miles from the mouth of the Netul River (now the Lewis and Clark River) "on a rise about 30 feet higher than the high tides and thickly covered with lofty pine [and] certainly the most eligible situation for winter purposes." A log (probably unpeeled log) Fort, 50 feet square with two rows of cabins divided by a 20 by 48 foot parade ground, was constructed and occupied on December 25, 1805. Clark's journals provide sketchy accounts of the Fort construction and two drawings of the proposed floor plan.

The journal accounts describing Fort Clatsop are accepted as the record for the floor plan of the original structure and were used later to guide construction of the Fort replica in 1955. Clark's journals indicate that the design of Fort Clatsop shows no particular similarities to the expedition's 1804 winter encampment at Fort Mandan on the Missouri River beyond the use of log construction and pickets. Although important elements of both Forts, these features were universal elements characteristic of frontier architecture at that time. In many ways, the Fort structure did share common design elements with period Clatsop dwellings. However, the Fort was most likely not built of cedar but of western hemlock found in abundance at the site and appropriately sized from which cabin logs could be cut, carried, and hewn.

The Lewis and Clark expedition began its return journey on March 23, 1806 and the Fort was reportedly given to a Clatsop Chief named Comowool (Coboway). The chief, in keeping with the Clatsop or local Indian land-use tradition, occupied the Fort intermittently until it fell into ruin due to the effects of the wet coastal climate, and dismantling over time for use as fuel. This version of events is probably accurate. Hussey reports that on December 14, 1813, evidence of two Clatsop dwellings were sited at what was known as the canoe landing site. Fort remnants were visible until at least the 1830s, but by 1842 no structural members remained. Records indicate that until 1850, a place named Fort Clatsop village, existed within vicinity of or at the present-day encampment site. Reports still placed the Fort site about 2 miles from the mouth of the Lewis and Clark River on the west bank. This is the location of the present Fort replica.

Confirmed by local residents, the alleged Fort Clatsop site was photographed in 1899 by Olin D. Wheeler, a writer and publicist from the Northern Pacific Railway. Increased publicity surrounding Wheeler's visit encouraged the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) to purchase the site as the established location of the Fort. Carlos Shane, who had occupied the site some 40 years earlier, accompanied Wheeler and the OHS to the property and provided critical testimony of features identifying the original Fort site. Shane's donation land claim had included the site and remains of the Fort. Remnants of two rooms or "cabins" of the Fort structure measuring 16 by 30 feet were surrounded by second-growth forest, which was ultimately surrounded by the original climax forest. Three log rounds of the south cabin still stood with the remains of a large stump in the interior. Although Shane had burned the remains and cleared the timber in order to build his home, he was able to identify the site by topography and familiar trees. Shane's testimony was further collaborated by Preston W. Gillette who recalled seeing the log remnants, and by the discovery of Clark's drawings of the Fort by Reuben Thwaites in 1903. The OHS subsequently outlined the site with wood stakes and placed an iron pipe at center. In 1912, the OHS placed a marker of unknown description at the outlined site. Over the next few decades the marker was often stolen, yet the unmanaged site continued to be recognized as the authentic Fort site.

With limited funding, Louis R. Caywood conducted the first archeological investigation of the Fort site in 1948. Caywood discovered convincing evidence of occupation of the area by Euro-Americans: he uncovered some of the firepits which confirmed location of the Fort structure. In 1955, Caywood's conclusions and the impending Lewis and Clark Sesquicentennial prompted the construction of a replica of Fort Clatsop by the Clatsop County Historical Society. Additional land was donated and the Fort replica and associated areas were developed based on the available data in the Lewis and Clark journals, the recollections of Caywood, Shane, Gillette, and local tradition.

In 1958, Congress declared the OHS Fort site and surrounding landscape was declared a National Memorial to be managed by the National Park Service.

-- U.S. National Park Service Website, Fort Clatsop National Memorial, 2002




 
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