Link to USGS home page.
USGS HOME
Contact USGS

  • Assess
  • Prepare
  • Forecast
  • |
  • Activity
  • Products
  • Observatories
  • About

The Volcanoes of
Lewis and Clark
November 7, 1805
Nearing the Pacific - Wallace Island to Pillar Rock
 
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 6
Heading to the Pacific, Prescott Beach to Wallace Island
November 7

Nearing the Pacific,
Wallace Island to Pillar Rock

Wallace Island, Mount St. Helens, Puget Island, Cathlamet (Washington) and the Cathlamet Channel, Julia Butler Hansen NWR, Tenasillahe Island, Saddle Mountain, Skamokawa (Washington), Cathlamet Bay and the Lewis and Clark NWR, Columbia River Estuary, "View of the Ocian", Pillar Rock
CONTINUE

November 8-9
Nearing the Pacific, Pillar Rock to Grays Point
 

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
Nearing the Pacific - Wallace Island to Pillar Rock
 

Lewis and Clark's camp of November 6, 1805, was on the Washington side of the Columbia River, between Eagle Cliff and Cape Horn, across from Wallace Island.

Thursday, November 7, 1805
The morning was rainy and the fog so thick that we could not see across the river. We observed however, opposite to our camp, the upper point of an island [Wallace Island], between which and the steep hills on the right [between Eagle Cliff and Cape Horn] we proceeded for five miles.

Mount St. Helens is visible along this stretch of the Columbia.


Along the Journey - November 7, 1805
Wallace Island, 2004

Wallace Island:
Lewis and Clark called Wallace Island "Sturgeon Island", however there appears to have been an error in transferring information from the draft map to the route map. The position of modern islands is not consistent with Clark's drawings. Today's Wallace Island is named after an early settler, Wallace Slang. -- Washington State Historical Society Website, 2004, "Lasting Legacy"


Map, 1887, Puget Island vicinity, click to enlarge Map, 1989, Cape Horn, Eagle Cliff, Wallace Island, Wallace Slough, Beaver Slough, click to enlarge NASA Image, 2001, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Image, 2004, Wallace Island with Mouth St. Helens in the distance
  1. 1887 Map (section of original), Columbia River and the Puget Island vicinity. (Click to enlarge). While Wallace Island is not named on this map, it is at the location of the two island along the Oregon shore upstream of Puget Island, near the wording of the Clatskanie River. 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, 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. 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
  4. 2004, Downstream tip of Wallace Island with Mount St. Helens in the distance. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2004 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


Three miles lower is the beginning of an island [Puget Island] separated from the right shore by a narrow channel [Cathlamet Channel];


Along the Journey - November 7, 1805
Puget Island, 2003

Puget Island:
Lieutenant Broughton, in 1792, named the island for one of Captain Vancouver's lieutenants, Peter Puget. The present place name retains the British identification for the island, named for the same person honored by the naming of Puget Sound. -- Washington State Historical Society Website, 2004, "Lasting Legacy"


Map, 1855, Northwest Oregon and mouth Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1887, Puget Island vicinity, click to enlarge Map, 1989, Puget Island Island, click to enlarge NASA Image, 2001, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Image, 1997, West tip of Puget Island, click to enlarge Image, 2003, Puget Island
  1. 1855 Map, Northwest Oregon and mouth of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Puget Island is unnamed, but depicted (long island on right). 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"
  2. 1887 Map (section of original), Columbia River and the Puget Island 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. 1989 Map, Puget Island (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Also includes Cathlamet, Washington. 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
  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 Crims Island, June 20, 2001. NASA Astronaut Photography of Earth #SS002-724-30. -- NASA Astronaut Photography of Earth Website, 2002
  5. 1997, Aerial view, west tip of Puget Island. (Click to enlarge). Washington State Department of Ecology Shorelines Aerial Photo #WAH0097, May 13, 1997. -- Washington State Department of Ecology Website, 2002
  6. 2003, Puget Island, Washington, as seen from Bradley Wayside, Oregon. (Click to enlarge). Behind Puget Island is the Cathlamet Channel, with the town of Cathlamet, Washington, on the far bank. Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


down this we proceeded under the direction of some Indians whom we had just met going up the river, and who returned in order to show us their village. It consists of four houses only, situated on this channel [Cathlamet Channel]

The town of Cathlamet, Washington, is situated on the Cathlamet Channel, behind Puget Island.


Along the Journey - November 7, 1805
Cathlamet, Washington, and the Cathlamet Channel, 2003

Cathlamet, Washington, and the Cathlamet Channel:
The Cathlamet Channel divides Puget Island from the Washington banks of the Columbia River, from approximately Nassa Point (upstream) to where it merges with the main Columbia River channel at River Mile 32.3. Today's city of Cathlamet is located near the downstream end of the Cathlamet Channel where the Elochoman Slough meets the Channel. The Cathlamet Channel is used by fishing boats, tugs, log rafts, and barges. There is some log storage above the city of Cathlamet. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2003


Map, 1887, Puget Island vicinity, click to enlarge Map, 1989, Puget Island Island, click to enlarge NASA Image, 2001, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Image, 1941, Cathlamet Waterfront, click to enlarge Image, 1997, Cathlamet, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 1997, Cathlamet, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2004
  1. 1887 Map (section of original), Columbia River and the Puget Island 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
  2. 1989 Map, Puget Island (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Also includes Cathlamet, Washington. 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. 2001, NASA Image, Mouth of the Columbia River. (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
  4. 1941, Cathlamet Waterfront. (Click to enlarge). Photograph Date: October 1941. Photographer: Russell Lee. U.S. Library of Congress, Farm Security Administration, Office of War Information Photograph Collection #LC-USF34-070590-D. -- U.S. Library of Congress, American Memories Website, 2003
  5. 1997, Aerial view, part of today's Cathlamet, Washington, showing basalt cliffs along the Columbia River shoreline. (Click to enlarge). Washington State Department of Ecology Shorelines Aerial Photo #WAH0173, May 13, 1997. -- Washington State Department of Ecology Website, 2002
  6. 1997, Aerial view, part of today's Cathlamet, Washington. (Click to enlarge). Washington State Department of Ecology Shorelines Aerial Photo #WAH0085, May 13, 1997. Bridge (lower right) goes to Puget Island. -- Washington State Department of Ecology Website, 2002
  7. 2003, Cathlamet, Washington, and the Cathlamet Channel, as seen from Puget Island. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


behind several marshy islands [Hunting Islands] formed by two small creeks [Elochman River and Nelson Creek merging into the Elochoman Slough].

Lewis and Clark are entering the upstream edge of the "Columbia River Estuary", the upper end which is the Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge for Columbian White-tailed Deer. The Hunting Islands are one of the many islands in the refuge.


Along the Journey - November 7, 1805
Hunting Islands, 2003

Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge:
Located in southwestern Washington, the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge as established in 1972 specifically to protect and manage the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer. The refuge contains over 5,600 acres of pastures, forested tidal swamps, brushy woodlots, marshes, and sloughs along the Columbia river in both Washington and Oregon. The mainland refuge unit, the Hunting Islands, and Price Island are in Washington. Tenasillahe Island, Wallace Island, and several parcels around Westport are in Oregon. -- Recreation.gov Website, 2003


Map, 1989, Welsh Island and Tenasillahe Island, click to enlarge Image, 1997, Hunting Islands, downstream of Cathlamet, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2004
  1. 1989 Map, Welsh Island and Tenasillahe Island (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Also includes the Hunting Islands, Steamboat Slough, and Skamokawa, Washington. 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. 1997, Aerial view, Hunting Islands, part of the Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge. (Click to enlarge). The Hunting Islands are part of the Julia Butler Hansen NWR, and are located downstream of Cathlamet, Washington. The Elochoman River lies behind the islands. Washington State Department of Ecology Shorelines Aerial Photo #WAH0068, May 13, 1997. -- Washington State Department of Ecology Website, 2002
  3. 2003, Hunting Islands, as seen from Puget Island, Washington. (Click to enlarge). The Hunting Islands are a part of the Julia Butler Hansen Wildlife Refuge for Columbia White-Tailed Deer. Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


On our arrival they gave us some fish, and we afterwards purchased wappatoo roots, fish, three dogs, and two otter skins, for which we gave fishhooks chiefly, that being an article of which they are very fond. After remaining with them about an hour, we proceeded down the channel [Cathlamet Channel] with an Indian dressed in a sailor's jacket for our pilot, and on reaching the main channel [of the Columbia River] were visited by some Indians who have a temporary residence on a marshy island in the middle of the river [Tenasillahe Island] where is a great abundance of water fowl.
"... a large marshey Island near the middle of the river near which Several Canoes Came allong Side with Skins, roots fish &c. to Sell, and had a temporey residence on this Island, here we See great numbers of water fowls about those marshey Islands; ..." [Clark, November 7, 1805]


Along the Journey - November 7, 1805
Tenasillahe Island, 2003

Tenasillahe Island:
Lewis and Clark used a descriptive term rather than an applied place name to identify this large island and nearby smaller island as "Marshy Islands." The island's present name is composed of two Chinook-jargon words, "tenas," meaning small, and "illahe," meaning land. The upstream Tenasillahe Island is part of the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for Columbia White-Tailed Deer, while the downstream Welsh Island is part of the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge. -- "Recreation.gov" Webiste, 2004, and Washington State Historical Society Website, 2004, "Lasting Legacy"


Map, 1887, Pillar Rock vicinity, click to enlarge Map, 1989, Welsh Island and Tenasillahe Island, click to enlarge NASA Image, 2001, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Image, 2003, Tenasillahe Island
  1. 1887 Map (section of original), Columbia River and the Pillar Rock vicinity. (Click to enlarge). Tenasillahe Island is unnamed on the map, but is part of the islands just downstream (left) of Puget Island, before the Columbia rounds Aldrich Point (also unnamed). 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, Welsh Island and Tenasillahe Island (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Also includes the Hunting Islands, Steamboat Slough, and Skamokawa, Washington. 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. 2001, NASA Image, Mouth of the Columbia River, including Tenasillahe Island. (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
  4. 2003, Tenasillahe Island, as seen from Puget Island. (Click to enlarge). Tenasillahe Island is part of the Julia Butler Hansen Wildlife Refuge for Columbian White-Tailed Deer. Neighboring Welsh Island is part of the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge. Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


Here the mountainous country again approaches the river on the left [vicinity of Clifton, Oregon], and a higher mountain is distinguished towards the southwest. [Saddle Mountain]
"... a high mountn. to the S.W. about 20 miles ..." [Clark, November 7, 1805]


Along the Journey - November 7, 1805
Saddle Mountain and Youngs Bay, 2003

Saddle Mountain:
Saddle Mountain, at 3,283 feet elevation, is one of the highest peaks in the Coast Range, and affords a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains and the coast to the west. It is located 10 miles east of Seaside, Oregon, and is reached from the Sunset Highway (U.S. 26) a mile east of Necanicum Junction. A narrow paved road runs eight miles to the north from the highway to a large parking lot at the base of the mountain. A gentle, four-mile trail climbs nearly 1,500 feet from the parking lot to the forest fire lookout on the summit. The Saddle Mountain breccia (a rock consisting of broken angular fragments cemented together in a fine-grained matrix) is volcanic. It was produced about 15 million years ago by thermal shock, when a great lava flow of Columbia River basalt came down an ancestral valley of the Columbia River (south of its present course) and entered the Astoria Sea. The still-hot rock, meeting cold water, caused steam explosions which broke it up into a great pile of basalt fragments. Saddle Mountain appeared as "Mont de la Selle" on explorer John Meares' 1788 map of the Western coast of North America. -- Allen, 1987, and Deja View Antique Maps and Prints Website, 2004.


Map, 1855, Northwest Oregon and mouth Columbia River, click to enlarge Penny Postcard, ca.1930, Saddle Mountain and Seaside, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 1972, Saddle Mountain, click to enlarge Image, 2003, Saddle Mountain and Youngs Bay
  1. 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"
  2. ca.1930, Penny Postcard, Aerial view Saddle Mountain and Seaside, Oregon. (Click to enlarge). Air view showing Saddle Mountain and Seaside, Oregon, Brubaker Aerial Surveys, Oregon. #483, Wesley Andrews Co., Portland, Oregon. -- L.Topinka private collection, 2003, used with permission.
  3. 1972, Saddle Mountain. (Click to enlarge). Aerial photo of the Necanicum River entering the Pacific Ocean at Seaside, Oregon. Taken from over the ocean looking towards the east, this photograph shows the town of Seaside, the channel of the Necanicum as it enters the ocean, and Saddle Mountain in the background. Photograph Date: June 1, 1972. Oregon State Archives #OMB0031, Oregon State Marine Board. -- Oregon State Archives Website, 2002
  4. 2003, Saddle Mountain and Youngs Bay, as seen from Astoria, Oregon. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


At a distance of twenty miles from our camp we halted at a village of Wahkiacums, consisting of seven ill-looking houses, built in the same form with those above, and situated at the foot of the high hills on the right, behind two small marshy islands [Skamokawa, Washington, area] ,


Along the Journey - November 7, 1805
Skamokawa River, Steamboat Slough, and Price Island, 1997

Skamokawa, Washington:
Skamokawa, Washington, with the Skamokawa River (left) merging with Steamboat Slough (middle) at the tip of Price Island. Steamboat Slough begins at Columbia River Mile 29.3, and is used by fishing boats, tugs, and for log storage. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2003


Map, 1989, Columbia River, Skamokawa, Steamboat Slough, Price Island, click to enlarge Image, ca.1885, Skamokawa and Skamokawa Creek, click to enlarge Image, 1997, Skamokawa River, click to enlarge Image, 1997, Price Island, click to enlarge
  1. 1989 Map, Columbia River, Skamokawa, Steamboat Slough, Price Island (section of original). (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. ca.1885, Skamokawa Creek and the town of Skamokawa. (Click to enlarge). University of Washington Photo Archives #WAS0994. Photographer: Wm. B. Rush. Photograph Date: ca.1885. -- University of Washington Library Archives Website, 2003
  3. 1997, Aerial view, Skamokawa River entering the Columbia River. (Click to enlarge). The town of Skamokawa is along the Washington shore of the Columbia River, and the tip of Price Island is in the lower right foreground. The Skamokawa River enters on the left and the Brooks Slough is on the right. Washington State Department of Ecology Shorelines Aerial Photo #WAH0059, May 13, 1997. -- Washington State Department of Ecology Website, 2002
  4. 1997, Aerial view, Price Island. (Click to enlarge). View of the upstream tip of Price Island, the Columbia River in the foreground and Steamboat Slough behind Price Island. Brooks Slough appears at the top of the image. Washington State Department of Ecology Shorelines Aerial Photo #WAH0063, May 13, 1997. -- Washington State Department of Ecology Website, 2003


We merely stopped to purchase some food and two beaver skins, and then proceeded. Opposite to these islands the hills on the left retire, and the river widens into a kind of bay crowded with low islands [Cathlamet Bay, Oregon side of the Columbia, today part of the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge.], subject to be overflowed occasionally by the tide.
"... the river widens into a kind of Bay & is Crouded with low Islands Subject to be Covered by the tides ..." [Clark, November 7, 1805]


Along the Journey - November 7, 1805
Cathlamet Bay, Lewis and Clark National Wildife Refuge, 2004

Cathlamet Bay and the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge:
Cathlamet Bay is east of Astoria, Oregon and Tongue Point, Oregon, and south of the main ship channel of the Columbia River, and is part of the broad Columbia River Estuary. There are many islands which are covered with tule in the summer, but in the winter they are almost indiscernible. Cathlamet Bay is part of the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1972 to preserve the estuary land and water as vital fish and wildlife habitat. The refuge includes 35,000 acres of islands, bars, mud flats and tidal marshes. The refuge is the largest marsh in western Oregon and provides habitat for peak populations of 3,000 tundra swans, 2,000 Canada geese and 5,000 ducks in February and March each year as they gather here before the northward migration. Woody, Horseshoe, Karlson, and Marsh islands are the main islands in the wildlife refuge on Oregon's side of the Columbia. In 1805, on their trip to the Pacific Ocean, Lewis and Clark referred to these islands simply as "marshy islands". On their return in 1806, they called this area "Seal Islands". -- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Website, 2003, Lewis and Clark Bicentennial in Oregon Website, 2002, NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2003 and Washington State Historical Society Website, 2002


Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1855, Northwest Oregon and mouth Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1887, Map, 1987, Tongue Point and western part of Cathlamet Bay, click to enlarge NASA Image, 2001, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Image, 2004, Cathlamet Bay, part of the Lewis and Clark NWR
  1. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark's map of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Cathlamet Bay is depicted but not named (on the south side of the river and full of islands). 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.
  2. 1855 Map, Northwest Oregon and mouth of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge). The "Marshy" or "Seal Islands" are depicted but not named (group of many island to the left of the tape). 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. 1887 Map (section of original), Columbia River and the "Seal Islands" vicinity. (Click to enlarge). Cathlamet Bay, the bay east (right) of Tongue Point, is unnamed on the map. 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
  4. 1987 Map, Tongue Point and western part of Cathlamet Bay (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
  5. 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
  6. 2003, Cathlamet Bay, Oregon, part of the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


Columbia River Estuary:
The broad estuary of the Columbia River, where the fresh water of the land mingles with the salt water of the ocean, has played a vital role in natural and human history for thousands of years. As it nears the ocean, the slowing current deposits the river's silt load to form low, marshy islands and sandbars. Twice a day, the islands are part of the land, and twice they are reclaimed by the water whe rising ocean tides slow the river's current. These estuary islands form a chain that begins just above Tongue Point and follows the Oregon shore of the main channel upriver to Tenasillahe Island. -- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Website, 2003


We had not gone far from this village when the fog cleared off, and we enjoyed the delightful prospect of the ocean; that ocean, the object of all our labours, the reward of all our anxieties. This cheering view exhilirated the spirits of all the party, who were still more delighted on hearing the distant roar of the breakers.
" ... Great joy in camp we are in View of the Ocian, this great Pacific Octean which we been So long anxious to See. and the roreing or noise made by the waves brakeing on the rockey Shores (as I Suppose) may be heard distictly ..." [Clark, November 7, 1805]


Along the Journey - November 7, 1805
Map, Mouth of the Columbia River, 1855

"View of the Ocian"
Lewis and Clark mistakenly thought they had reached the Pacific Ocean, when in reality they were just upstream of Pillar Rock, more than 20 miles away.


Map, 1855, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1887, NASA Image, 2001, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge
  1. 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
  2. 1887 Map (section of original), Columbia River and the "Seal Islands" vicinity. (Click to enlarge). Cathlamet Bay, the bay east (right) of Tongue Point, is unnamed on the map. 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. 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


We went on with great cheerfulness under the high mountainous country which continued along the right bank; the shore was however so bold and rocky, that we could not, until after going fourteen miles from the last village, find any spot fit for an encampment [downstream of Jim Crow Point across from Pillar Rock].
"... we proceeded on about 12 miles below the Village under a high mountaneous Countrey on the Stard. Side. Shore boald and rockey and Encamped under a high hill on the Stard. Side opposit to a rock Situated half a mile from the Shore, about 50 feet high and 20 feet Diamieter ..." [Clark, November 7, 1805]


Along the Journey - November 7, 1805
Pillar Rock, ca.1910

Pillar Rock:
Pillar Rock is a 70-foot high basaltic column sitting in water approximately 50 feet deep near the northern shore of the Columbia River. Simply marked "Rock" on Clark's route map, the basalt rock rose 75 to 100 feet above water level, depending on the tide. The landmark was given its present place name by Wilkes in 1841. Currently there is a navigation beacon located on top of Pillar Rock. -- U.S. National Park Service, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Website, 2002, Pacific County Friends of Lewis and Clark Website, 2002, and Washington State Historical Society Website, 2002


Map, 1887, Pillar Rock vicinity, click to enlarge Map, 1989, Pillar Rock and Jim Crow Point, click to enlarge NASA Image, 2001, Mouth of the Columbia River, click to enlarge Penny Postcard, ca.1910, Pillar Rock, click to enlarge Image, 1997, Pillar Rock, click to enlarge Image, 1997, Jim Crow Point, click to enlarge
  1. 1887 Map (section of original), Columbia River and the Pillar Rock 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
  2. 1989 Map, Pillar Rock and Jim Crow Point (section of original). (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. 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
  4. ca.1910, Penny Postcard, Pillar Rock. (Click to enlarge). Caption reads "Pilot Rock", Lower Columbia River. "Pilot Rock" is also known as "Pillar Rock". Published by the Portland Post Card Co. Date: ca.1907-1915. -- L.Topinka private collection, 2003, used with permission
  5. 1997, Aerial view, Pillar Rock. (Click to enlarge). Washington State Department of Ecology Shorelines Aerial Photo #WAH0033, May 13, 1997. -- Washington State Department of Ecology Website, 2002
  6. 1997, Aerial view, Jim Crow Point. (Click to enlarge). Washington State Department of Ecology Shorelines Aerial Photo #WAH0038, May 13, 1997. -- Washington State Department of Ecology Website, 2002


At that distance, having made during the day thirty-four miles, we spread our mats on the ground, and passed the night in the rain. Here we were joined by our small canoe, which had been separated from us during the fog this morning.


Along the Journey - November 7, 1805
The Camp - November 7, 1805:
Camped opposite Pillar Rock, between Brookfield and Dahlia, Washington, west of Jim Crow Point.



 
Home Previous Continue


If you have questions or comments please contact: GS-CVO-WEB@usgs.gov
June/July 2004, Lyn Topinka
The Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark Home Page | CVO Home Page