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The Volcanoes of
Lewis and Clark
November 6, 1805
Heading to the Pacific - Prescott Beach to Wallace Island
 
Home
The Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark

Map of the Journey
Volcanoes, Basalt Plateaus, Major Rivers, etc.

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

CALENDAR of the Journey
October 1805 to June 1806

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

The Corps of Discovery
The Journey of Lewis and Clark

About the Reference Materials
The Journals, Biddle/Allen, DeVoto, Gass, Moulton, Topo Maps, and others

USGS Lewis and Clark Links
Links to USGS Websites highlighting the Lewis and Clark Journey

Resources
Publications Referenced and Websites Visited


PREVIOUS

November 5
Ridgefield NWR to Prescott Beach, Oregon
November 6

Heading to the Pacific,
Prescott Beach to Wallace Island

Prescott Beach, Cottonwood Island, Cowlitz River, Longview (Washington) and Rainier (Oregon), Lewis and Clark Bridge, Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens, Mount Coffin, Clatskanie River, Crims Island, Eagle Cliff and Cape Horn
CONTINUE

November 7
Nearing the Pacific, Wallace Island to Pillar Rock
 

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]


 
To the Pacific - November 1805
Heading to the Pacific - Prescott Beach to Wallace Island
 

Lewis and Clark's campsite of November 5, 1805, was "under a point of high ground, with thick pine trees", near the location of today's Prescott Beach County Park, Oregon.

Wednesday, November 6, 1805
The morning was cool, wet, and rainy. We proceeded at an early hour between the high hills on both sides of the river, till at the distance of four miles we came to two tents of Indians in a small plain on the left, where the hills on the right recede a few miles from the river, and a long narrow island [Cottonwood Island] stretches along the right shore.


Along the Journey - November 6, 1805
Cottonwood Island:
Today, Carrolls Channel, between Cottonwood Island and the Washington shore of the Columbia River, is used for log storage and fishing boats. About 13 feet can be carried through the channel. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2003


Behind this island [Cottonwood Island] is the mouth of a large river a hundred and fifty yards wide, and called by the Indians, Coweliske [Cowlitz River].


Along the Journey - November 6, 1805
Mouth of the Cowlitz River, 2003

Cowlitz River:
The "Cow-e-lis-kee River" was noted on Lewis and Clark's westbound exploration but actually named on the homeward journey. The Cowlitz River originates on the west slope of of the Cascade Range in southwest Washington State. The river flows west and then then south to where it empties into the Columbia River at Kelso, Washington, at River Mile (RM) 68. The Cowlitz River drains approximately 2,480 square miles over a distance of 151 miles. Principle tributaries to the Cowlitz River include the Coweman, Toutle, Tilton, Cispus, Ohanapecosh and the Clear Fork. The Toutle River is the largest, draining 512 square miles and enters the Cowlitz River at RM 20.0. The Cispus River (RM 89.8) is the most significant tributary in the upper Basin and drains 433 square miles. The mainstem above the confluence of the Cispus-Cowlitz River drains 609 square acres. The runoff from portions of Mount Rainier, Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens drains into the Cowlitz River. These normally inactive volcanoes have helped shape the geography of the area. For example, the eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980 sent a tidal wave of melted ice and pulverized rock down the Toutle Valley into the Cowlitz River, and carried so much of this coarse sandy material and debris all the way to the Columbia River that dredging was required to clear the channel before river shipping could be resumed. Large scale removal of this volcanic material in the Cowlitz River began at the lower end of the Toutle River by July, 1980 and continued on down the Cowlitz River until engineers were reasonably confident that the cleared channel could handle expected winter flows without topping dikes and flooding Castle Rock, Longview and Kelso. A dam to control sediment was then constructed further up the Toutle River by the Corp of Engineers to prevent the re-silting of the dredged sections. -- Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority Website, 2004, and Washington State Historical Society Website, 2004, "Lasting Legacy".


Map, 1992, Mount Rainier and Vicinity, 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, 1887, Cowlitz River vicinity, click to enlarge Map, 1988, Longview, Washington, and the Cowlitz River, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River from Crim's Island to Deer Island, including the Cowlitz River, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River and the mouth of the Cowlitz River, click to enlarge Image, 1980, Mouth of the Cowlitz River, carrying Toutle River sediment from Mount St. Helens, click to enlarge Image, 2003, Mouth of the Cowlitz River
  1. 1992 Map, Mount Rainier and Vicinity, with major stream drainages. (Click to enlarge). The Green, White, Puyallup, and Nisqually Rivers flow into Puget Sound. The Cowlitz River drains south and eventually enters the Columbia River (not shown on map). The Toutle River drainage from Mount St. Helens flows into the Cowlitz River upstream of Castle Rock, Washington. Modified from Scott, et.al., 1992, USGS Open-File Report 90-385.
  2. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark's map of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Shows the Cowlitz River ("Cow-elis-kee R."). 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. 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. 1887 Map (section of original), Columbia River and the Cowlitz River vicinity. (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. 1988 Map, Longview, Washington, and the Cowlitz River(section of original). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Crims Island to St. Helens, 1988, Chart#18524, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  6. 1994, NASA Image, Columbia River from Crim's Island to Deer Island (section of original). (Click to enlarge). View from space - north-northeast-looking, low-oblique photograph, showing a section of the Columbia River from Crim's Island to Deer Island, including the Cowlitz River, October 1994. The Columbia River is flowing right to left in this image (east to west). Washington State is the upper half of the image (north) and Oregon is to the bottom half (south). NASA Earth from Space #STS068-262-025. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  7. 1994, NASA Image, Columbia River and the mouth of the Cowlitz River (section of original). (Click to enlarge). View from space - North-northeast-looking, low-oblique photograph, showing a section of the Columbia River at the mouth of the Cowlitz River (center), October 1994. The city of Kelso, Washington is located at the mouth of the Cowlitz. On the west side of the Columbia (bottom of image) is Columbia County, Oregon. White puffs on the right are clouds. NASA Earth from Space #STS068-262-025. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  8. 1980, Aerial view of the mouth of the Cowlitz River, carrying Toutle River sediment from the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. (Click to enlarge). The Cowlitz (left) enters the Columbia River (right) at Kelso, Washington. Note two dredges, one at the mouth of the Cowlitz and on in the Columbia. Photographer: Bill Johnson. Photograph Date: July 1, 1980. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Photo Archives #Msh0661.jpg. -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Photo Archives Website, 2003
  9. 2003, Mouth of the Cowlitz River, Washington, as seen from near Rainier, Oregon. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


We halted for dinner on the island [Cottonwood Island], but the red wood and green briars are so interwoven with the pine, alder, ash, a species of beech, and other trees, that the woods form a thicket, which our hunters could not penetrate.

Lewis and Clark are passing areas where today are located the cities of Longview, Washington (on the right bank) and Rainier, Oregon (on the left bank). Connecting the two cities is the Lewis and Clark Bridge. Had the day been clear, Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens would have been visible from the Oregon side of the Columbia River.


Along the Journey - November 6, 1805
Longview, Washington, and Mount Rainier, 2004

Longview, Washington:
Longview, Washington, is located at the confluence of the Cowlitz and Columbia Rivers at River Mile 57. Less than seventy-five years ago, the area of Longview was a sparsely populated wilderness and rural homesteads. The first written account of the area can be found in the journals of Lewis and Clark which camped beside the "Cow-elis-kee" River in 1805. In 1849, pioneeers began to arrive in this area to settle along the river. Harry Huntington named the settlement "Monticello" in honor of Thomas Jefferson's home in Virginia. In 1852, people from all over what was to become Washington state gathered in Monticello to draft a memorial to Congress. The memorial expressed their desire to be granted statehood under the name of Columbia. This meeting came to be known as the Monticello Convention. The desires of the Convention were met favorably in Congress, but it was decided that a state named Columbia might be confused with the preexisting District of Columbia. The state was instead named Washington in honor of our first president. Today, a monument to the Monticello Convention stands not far from the Longview Civic Center. Longview city was the dream of Robert Alexander Long, a midwestern businessman whose holdings included the Long-Bell Lumber Company. This firm in 1918 claimed to be the largest lumber retailer and manufacturer in the United States. With southern timber stands vanishing quickly, Long redirected his effort to tapping the Pacific Northwest's abundant old-growth forest. Part of Long's vision was the planned city of Longview. NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2003, City of Longview Website, 2003, and U.S. Library of Congress, American Memories Website, 2003

Rainier, Oregon:
Rainier, Oregon, was named for Mount Rainier, which is often visible to the northeast [see below]. Rainier was an important stop in the days of river commerce. The town was founded by Charles E. Fox in 1851, was first called Eminence, later changed to Fox's Landing, and finally to Rainier. In 1854 F.M. Warren erected a large steam sawmill and began producing lumber for the homes and other buildings of the settlers. Rainier, Oregon, was incorporated in 1885. Oregon State Archives Website, 2002


Map, 1854, Columbia River, Fort Vancouver area, click to enlarge Map, 1887, Cowlitz River vicinity, click to enlarge Map, 1988, Longview, Washington, and the Cowlitz River, click to enlarge Image, 1927, Long-Bell Ferry, at location of today's Lewis and Clark Bridge, click to enlarge Image, 2004, Longview, Washington, and Mount Rainier Image, 2004, Mount Rainier as seen from Rainier, Oregon Image, 2004, Mount St. Helens and the Lewis and Clark Bridge
  1. 1853-54 Map, Columbia River, including the Fort Vancouver area (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Includes Longview, Washington (Monticello), Coweeman River (Minter R.), Kalama River (Ca-la-ma R.), Lewis River (Cath-la-pootle R.), Willamette River, Fort Vancouver, Cape Horn, and "The Cascades". Vancouver Lake is depicted but not labeled. Original Map: "Rocky Mountains to Puget Sound : from explorations and surveys / made under the direction of the Hon. Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War by Isaac I. Stevens Governor of Washington Territory, 1853-4." Inset: (Supplementary sketch) Reconnaissance of the railroad route from Wallawalla to Seattle via Yak-e-mah River & Snoqualmie Pass. By A. W. Tinkham in January 1854. Drawn by J. R. P. Mechlin. 20 x 28 cm. Topographer, John Lambert, Published in Washington D.C., 1859, 1:1,200,000, Notes: From the 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, U.S. Library of Congress American Memories Reference "LC Railroad Maps #156". -- U.S. Library of Congress, American Memories Website, 2004
  2. 1887 Map (section of original), Columbia River and the Cowlitz River vicinity. (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
  3. 1988 Map, Longview, Washington, and the Cowlitz River(section of original). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Crims Island to St. Helens, 1988, Chart#18524, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  4. 1927, Long-Bell Ferry landing west of the Longview Dock, present site of today's Lewis and Clark Bridge. (Click to enlarge). Looking across the Columbia River at Rainier, Oregon. Photograph Date: 1927. City of Longview Archives, Longview Public Library. -- City of Longview Website, 2003
  5. 2004, Longview, Washington, and Mount Rainier, as seen from Rainier, Oregon. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2004 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.
  6. 2004, Mount Rainier, Washington, as seen from near Rainier, Oregon. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2004 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.
  7. 2004, Mount St. Helens, Washington, and the Lewis and Clark Bridge, as seen from near Rainier, Oregon. (Click to enlarge). The Lewis and Clark Bridge connects Longview, Washington, with Rainier, Oregon. Copyright © 2004 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


Lewis and Clark Bridge:
Completed in 1930, the Lewis and Clark Bridge (Longview-Rainier Bridge) spans the Columbia River between Longview, Washington and Rainier, Oregon. At the time of construction this bridge was the longest cantilever span in North America with its 1,200-feet central section. -- U.S. Library of Congress, American Memories Website, 2003


On a clear day Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens are visible from the Oregon side of the Columbia River.


Along the Journey - November 6, 1805
Mount Rainier, Washington, as seen from near Rainier, Oregon, 2004

Mount Rainier as seen from near Rainier, Oregon:
Mount Rainier, Washington, is the highest (14,410 feet) and third-most voluminous volcano in the Cascades after Mount Shasta, California, and Mount Adams, Washington. Mount Rainier is, however, the most dangerous volcano in the range, owing to the large population and to the huge area and volume of ice and snow on its flanks that could theoretically melt to generate debris flows during cataclysmic eruptions.


Map, the Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark, click to enlarge Map, 1992, Mount Rainier and Vicinity, 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, 1975, Mount Rainier as seen from Paradise, click to enlarge Image, 2004, Mount Rainier as seen from Rainier, Oregon
  1. Map, "Lewis and Clark Volcano Sitings"
  2. 1992 Map, Mount Rainier and Vicinity, with major stream drainages. (Click to enlarge). The Green, White, Puyallup, and Nisqually Rivers flow into Puget Sound. The Cowlitz River drains south and eventually enters the Columbia River (not shown on map). The Toutle River drainage from Mount St. Helens flows into the Cowlitz River upstream of Castle Rock, Washington. Modified from Scott, et.al., 1992, USGS Open-File Report 90-385.
  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. 1975, USGS Photo showing Mount Rainier, Washington, from Paradise (Click to enlarge). Photographer: Lyn Topinka, Date: 1975. -- USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory Photo Archives, 2004
  7. 2004, Mount Rainier, Washington, as seen from near Rainier, Oregon. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2004 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.




Mount St. Helens and the Lewis and Clark Bridge, 2004

Mount St. Helens as seen from near Rainier, Oregon:
Mount St. Helens (8,364 feet, 9,677 feet before May 18, 1980) is located in southwestern Washington about 50 miles northeast of Portland, Oregon, and is one of several lofty volcanic peaks that dominate the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest. On May 18, 1980, the volcano was transformed. The catastrophic eruption, was preceded by 2 months of intense activity that included more than 10,000 earthquakes, hundreds of small phreatic (steam-blast) explosions, and the outward growth of the volcano's entire north flank by more than 260 feet. A magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck beneath the volcano at 8:32 a.m. on May 18, setting in motion the devastating eruption.


Map, the Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark, click to enlarge Map, 1978, Mount St. Helens and Vicinity, 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, 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 St. Helens and the Lewis and Clark Bridge
  1. Map, "Lewis and Clark Volcano Sitings"
  2. 1978 Map, Mount St. Helens and Vicinity, and its major river drainages. (Click to enlarge). Swift Creek, Pine Creek, and the Muddy River drain the southern flanks of Mount St. Helens and drain into the Lewis River. The Kalama River drains west into the Columbia River. The North and South Fork Toutle Rivers drain to the north west and enter the Cowlitz (a tributary from Mount Rainier), which drains into the Columbia River south of Longview, Washington. Map modified from Crandell and Mullineaux, 1978, USGS Bulletin 1383-C.
  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. 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
  7. 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
  8. 2004, Mount St. Helens, Washington, and the Lewis and Clark Bridge, as seen from near Rainier, Oregon. (Click to enlarge). The Lewis and Clark Bridge connects Longview, Washington, with Rainier, Oregon. Copyright © 2004 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.



Below the mouth of the Coweliske [Cowlitz River] a very remarkable knob [Mount Coffin] rises from the water's edge to the height of eighty feet, being two hundred paces round the base; and as it is in a low part of the island, and some distance from the high grounds, the appearance of it is very singular.
"... pasd. a remarkable Knob of high land on the Stard. Side at 3 miles ..." [Clark, November 6, 1805, first draft]
"... I had like to have forgotten a verry remarkable Knob riseing from the edge of the water to about 80 feet high, and about 200 paces around at its Base and Situated on the long narrow Island above and nearly opposit to the 2 Lodges we passed to day, it is some distance from the high land & in a low part of the Island ..." [Clark, November 6, 1805]


Along the Journey - November 6, 1805
Mount Coffin:
Marked as "Knob," a descriptive notation, on the route map, the large rock was observed by the corps as they hurried toward the Pacific Ocean. The "remarkable knob" was used by the natives for interment of their dead and was noted by other earlier travelers on the river. The 240-foot basalt landmark was leveled for its gravel during port construction at Longview, Washington. Mount Coffin was the name given by Broughton in 1792 because of several Indians being buried in canoes in the vicinity. Captain Clark's wording gives the impression that the rock was on an island, but its historic location is on the mainland in the area of Longview, just downstream from the mouth of the Cowlitz River. Clark's estimate of 80 feet was considerably short of it's height when it existed. Beginning in the early 1900's Mount Coffin was extensively quarried and leveled. It was composed of the volcanic unit of the Eocene-age Cowlitz Formation. -- Washington State Historical Society Website, 2002, and Moulton, 1990, v.6


Map, 1949, Columbia River, Mount Coffin, Longview, Cowlitz River, click to enlarge
  1. 1949 Map, Columbia River, Mount Coffin and Longview, Washington. (Click to enlarge). The Cowlitz River is visible on the right. Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Crims Island to Saint Helens, 1949, Chart#6153, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004


On setting out after dinner ...... Nine miles below that river [Cowlitz River] is a creek on the same [Coal Creek, Note: this Biddle/Allen quotation says 9 miles apart, Thwaites and Moulton editions say 6 miles, and Clark's Journey Log says nothing]; and between them three smaller islands; one on the left shore, the other about the middle of the river; and a third near the lower end of the long narrow island [Cottonwood Island], and opposite a high cliff of black rocks on the left, sixteen miles from our camp. ......
"... A cool wet raney morning we Set out early at 4 miles passed 2 Lodges of Indians in a Small bottom on the Lard Side I believe those Indians to be travelers. opposit is the head of a long narrow Island close under the Starboard Side, back of this Island two Creeks fall in about 6 miles apart, and appear to head in the high hilley countrey to the N. E. opposit this long Island is 2 others one Small and about the middle of the river the other larger and nearly opposit its lower point, and opposit a high clift of Black rocks on the Lard. Side at 14 miles ..." [Clark, November 6, 1805]
At these cliffs the mountains, which had continued high and rugged on the left, retired from the river, and as the hills on the other side had left the water at the Coweliske, [Cowlitz River], a beautiful extensive plain now presented itself before us: [beginning of the flood plain of the Clatskanie River. On their map, Lewis and Clark call this "Fannys Valley"]


Along the Journey - November 6, 1805
Clatskanie River and Clatskanie, Oregon, 2004

Clatskanie River:
The Clatskanie River is a tributary of the Beaver Slough, which enters Wallace Slough near the southeast end of Wallace Island. The town of Clatskanie, Oregon, is four miles inland and was named after the Tlatskanai tribe who lived in the hills south of the Clatskanie River. The Tlatskanai, linguistically an Athapascan tribe, originally lived in the flat lands bordering the Chehalis River in Washington State. As game became scarce and their food supply diminished, they left the area, heading south, and crossed the Columbia River to occupy the hills traditionally occupied by the Chinook Indians, who were a large Indian tribe living along the Oregon Coast. After driving away the more peaceful Chinook Indians, the Tlatskanai established themselves within the Clatskanie-Westport area, and extended their numbers into the head of the Nehalem. The word "Tlatskanai" was used by these Indians to denote the route they took to get to a particular meeting place, applying to particular steams and not to others. White men carelessly applied this work to the name of the stream. One source lists "Tlatskanai" as meaning "swift running water." The Clatskanie is indeed a swift beautiful stream. Other names that existed for the Tlatskanai were the Clackstar, Klatskanai and Klaatshan, among others. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2003, and Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce Website, 2003


Map, 1887, Puget Island vicinity, click to enlarge Map, 1989, Wallace Island, click to enlarge Image, 2004, Clatskanie River
  1. 1887 Map (section of original), Columbia River and the Puget Island vicinity, including the Clatskanie 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
  2. 1989 Map, Cape Horn, Eagle Cliff, Wallace Island, Wallace Slough, Clatskanie River and Beaver Slough. (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Harrington Point to Crims Island, 1989, Chart#18523, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  3. 2004, Clatskanie River and the town of Clatskanie, Oregon. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2004 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


for a few miles we passed along side of an island a mile in width and three miles long [Crims Island. Lewis and Clark later name this island "Fannys Island"], below which is a smaller island, where the high rugged hills, thickly covered with timber, border the right bank of the river, and terminate the low grounds: these were supplied with common rushes, grass, and nettles; in the moister parts with bullrushes and flags, and along the water's edge some willows. ......


Along the Journey - November 6, 1805
Crims Island, 2003

Crims Island:
Lewis and Clark named this island "Fanny's Island", after Captain Clark's younger sister Frances, on their journey home in 1806. In 1792 William Broughton called the island "Baker's Island" for a Second Lieutenant in Captain Vancouver's command. Charles Wilkes, in 1841, named the island "Gull", which now is the name of the small island north of the west end of Crims Island. Today it retains the surname of a pioneer homesteader on the island. -- Washington State Historical Society Website, 2004, "Lasting Legacy"


Map, 1887, Puget Island vicinity, click to enlarge Map, 1989, Crims Island, click to enlarge NASA Image, 2001, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River and Crims Island to Deer Island, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River and Crims Island vicinity, click to enlarge Image, 2003, Crims Island
  1. 1887 Map (section of original), Columbia River including the Clatskanie River. (Click to enlarge). Crims Island is not named on the map, but is the 3rd island to the right of Puget Island (compare to the NASA aerials). 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
  2. 1989 Map, Crims Island and Bradbury Slough (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Left half: Columbia River, Harrington Point to Crims Island, 1989, Chart#18523, 1:40,000. Right half: Columbia River, Crims Island to St. Helens, 1988, Chart#18524, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  3. 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 Crims Island, June 20, 2001. NASA Astronaut Photography of Earth #SS002-724-30. -- NASA Astronaut Photography of Earth Website, 2002
  4. 1994, NASA Image, Columbia River from Crims Island to Deer Island (section of original). (Click to enlarge). View from space - north-northeast-looking, low-oblique photograph, showing a section of the Columbia River from Crims Island to Deer Island, including the Cowlitz River, October 1994. The Columbia River is flowing right to left in this image (east to west). Washington State is the upper half of the image (north) and Oregon is to the bottom half (south). NASA Earth from Space #STS068-262-025. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  5. 1994, NASA Image, Columbia River and Crims Island vicinity (section of original). (Click to enlarge). View from space - north-northeast-looking, low-oblique photograph, showing a section of the Columbia River in the vicinity of Crim's Island, October 1994. The Columbia River is flowing right to left in this image (east to west). Crims Island is the long island on the right side of the light-colored point of land. On the left of the image is an area containing the Westport Slough and the two halves of Wallace Island. The river (barely visible) entering the Columbia here is the Clatskanie River. Washington State is to the north (top) and Oregon is to the south (bottom). NASA Earth from Space #STS068-262-025. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  6. 2003, Crims Island, as seen from the road to Mayger, Oregon. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


After crossing the plain and making five miles, we proceeded through the hills for eight miles. The river is about a mile in width, and the hills so steep [vicinity of Eagle Cliff, Washington side] that we could not for several miles find a place sufficiently level to sufer us to sleep in a level position: at length, by removing the large stones, we cleared a place fit for our purpose above the reach of the tide, and after a journey of twenty-nine miles slept among the smaller stones under a mountain to the right [Washington side between Eagle Cliff and Cape Horn, across from Wallace Island].


Along the Journey - November 6, 1805
Cape Horn of Wakiakum County, 2003

Eagle Cliff and Cape Horn:
There are two Cape Horns on the Washington side of the Columbia River. One is located in Wakiakum County, downstream from Eagle Cliff and across from Wallace Island. The other is upstream in Skamania County, near Washougal, Washington. In 1866, the first cannery on the Columbia River was built at Eagle Cliff, Washington Territory by the Hume Brothers. -- Clatsop County Historical Society Website, 2003


Map, 1989, Wallace Island, click to enlarge Image, 2004
  1. 1989 Map, Cape Horn, Eagle Cliff, Wallace Island, Wallace Slough, Clatskanie River and Beaver Slough. (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Harrington Point to Crims Island, 1989, Chart#18523, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  2. 2003, Cape Horn of Wakiakum County, Washington, as seen from Puget Island. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


The weather was rainy during the whole day; we therefore made large fires to dry our bedding and to kill the fleas, who have accumulated upon us at every old village we have passed.


Along the Journey - November 6, 1805
The Camp - November 6, 1805:
On the Washington side of the Columbia River, between Eagle Cliff and Cape Horn, across from Wallace Island.



 
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June/July 2004, Lyn Topinka
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