Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Austin Point, Woodland, Washington"
Includes ... Austin Point ... Lewis River ... Woodland ...
Image, 2007, Lewis River, downstream towards mouth, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Lewis River looking towards mouth. Looking towards Austin Point (on the right) and the Columbia River (middle distance). Industry of St. Helens, Oregon, is in the background. Image taken March 29, 2007.

Austin Point ...
Austin Point is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 87.5. Austin Point is the downstream bank (right bank) of the Lewis River and is part of the Lewis River floodplain, also known as the "Woodland Bottoms". The community of Woodland lies to the east. The Port of Woodland purchased the 140 acres of Austin Point in 1961, to be used as a possible shipping dock (The Daily News, 2013). The property includes more than half a mile of Columbia River shoreline and is a popular place for bank fishing. Downstream of Austin Point is another Port of Woodland popular bank fishing spot, Martin's Bar.

Early Austin Point ...
The 1854 cadastral survey (tax survey) for T4N R1W shows "Wm. H. Tappan" having a home on the tip of todays Austin Point.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office Records (GLO) website (2007) shows William H. Tappan being granted title to 330.61 acres of parts of T4N R1W Sections 4 and 11, on December 22, 1865, under the 1850 Oregon Donation Act, an area which includes todays Austin Point.

The 1888 U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey's Chart #6144, "Kalama to Fales Landing, Sheet #5" shows "Austin's Pt.".

The U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Austin Point" official in 1915. Other variant spellings in use were "Austin's Point" and "Austins Point".

So, who was Austin ???

Early Maps ...

Image, 1888, Map detail, NOAA,  click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1888, Map detail, Oregon's "Saint Helens" and Washington's "Austin's Pt.". U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey's Chart #6144, "Columbia River, Kalama to Fales Landing, Sheet #5", 1888.

Includes "Saint Helens", "Saint Helens Bar", "Milton's Sta.", "Warrior Pt.", and "Austin's Pt.".

Views ...

Image, 2007, Austin Point, Woodland, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River beach at Austin Point, Woodland, Washington. Image taken March 29, 2007.

Views from Austin Point ...
Good views of Warrior Point and the Warrior Rock Lighthouse, and the Oregon community of St. Helens with the Columbia County Courthouse can be had from Austin Point.

Image, 2007, Warrior Rock Lighthouse, Sauvie Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Warrior Rock and Warrior Rock Lighthouse, Sauvie Island, Oregon. The Warrior Rock Lighthouse sits on Warrior Rock and is visible from Austin Point at the mouth of the Lewis River. Image taken March 29, 2007.
Image, 2007, St. Helens, Oregon, from near mouth Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
St. Helens, Oregon. View from just downstream the mouth of the Lewis River, Washington, showing the Columbia County Courthouse and Public Docks. Image taken March 29, 2007.
Image, 2007, St. Helens, Oregon, from near mouth Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia County Courthouse, St. Helens, Oregon. View from the Washington side of the Columbia River, just downstream the mouth of the Lewis River, Washington, showing both the old (left) and the new (right) Columbia County Courthouse. Image taken March 29, 2007.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, March 29, 1806 ...
we Set out very early this morning [from their camp on Deer Island] and proceeded to the head of deer island [Deer Island, Oregon] and took brackfast. the morning was very cold wind Sharp and keen off the rainge of Mountains to the East Covered with snow [Cascade Mountain Range]. the river is now riseing very fast and retards our progress very much as we are compelled to keep out at Some distance in the Curent to clear the bushes, and fallin trees and drift logs makeing out from the Shore. dureing the time we were at Brackfast a Canoe with three Indians of the Clan-nar-min-na-mon Nation came down, ...     they reside on Wappato Inlet [Multnomah Channel] which is on the S W. side about 12 miles above our encampment of the last night [Deer Island] and is about 2 miles from the lower point, four other Tribes also reside on the inlet and Sluce which passes on the South W. Side of the Island [Sauvie Island], ...    we proceeded on to the lower point of the Said island [Sauvie Island] accompanied by the 3 Indians, & were met by 2 canoes of nativs of the quath-lah-pah-tal who informed us that the chanel to the N E of the Island [Sauvie Island, the other channel being today's Multnomah Channel] was the proper one. we prosued their advice and Crossed into the mouth of the Chah-wah-na-hi-ooks River [Lewis River] which is about 200 yards wide and a great portion of water into the columbia at this time it being high. The indians inform us that this river is crouded with rapids after Some distance up it. Several tribes of the Hul-lu-et-tell Nation reside on this river. at 3 oClock P. M. we arived at the Quath lah pah tle Village [Cathlapotle Village, today within the Ridgefield NWR, Carty Unit] of 14 Houses on main Shore to the N E. Side of a large island [Bachelor Island]. ...     we purchased wappatoe and Some pashaquar roots.     gave a Medal of the Small Size [Jefferson Peace Medal] to the principal Chief, and at 5 oClock reembarked and proceeded up [on Lake River] on the N E. of an Island [Bachelor Island] to an inlet [??? perhaps drainage from Carty Lake] about 1 mile [Lewis says 2 miles] above the village and encamped on a butifull grassy plac [Wapato Portage], where the nativs make a portage of their Canoes and Wappato roots to and from a large pond at a Short distance [Carty Lake]. in this pond [Carty Lake] the nativs inform us they Collect great quantities of pappato, which the womin collect by getting into the water, Sometimes to their necks holding by a Small canoe and with their feet loosen the wappato or bulb of the root from the bottom from the Fibers, and it imedeately rises to the top of the water, they Collect & throw them into the Canoe, those deep roots are the largest and best roots. Great numbers of the whistling Swan, Gees and Ducks in the Ponds. ...     we made 15 miles to day only.

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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

  • The Daily News (Longview), May 2, 2013, "Port of Woodland stepping up security at Austin Point", written by Tom Paulu;
  • NOAA Office of Coast Survey website, 2007;
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management website, 2007;
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records (GLO) website, 2007;
  • U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) website, 2007.
  • Washington Secretary of State website, 2016, "Washington State Library";

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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August 2016