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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Belle Vue Point"
Includes ... Belle Vue Point ... Sauvie Island ... Kelley Point ... Coon Island ...
Image, Belle Vue Point, Sauvie Island, Oregon
Click image to enlarge
Belle Vue Point, Sauvie Island, Oregon, as seen from Blurock Landing, Washington. The mouth of the Willamette River is visible on the left. Image taken July 1, 2009.


Belle Vue Point ...
The location of Lieutenant Broughton's "Belle Vue Point" has always been an interesting problem, with some historians saying Sauvie Island while some historicans saying Kelley Point. In 1934 the U.S. Board of Geographic names, based on research from J. Neilson Barry, made Sauvie Island's "Belle Vue Point", the official "Belle Vue Point".

Sauvie Island's "Belle Vue Point" ...
Sauvie Island's "Belle Vue Point" is located on the "northern" (left) bank at the mouth of the Willamette River. In 1934 the U.S. Board of Geographic names made Sauvie Island's "Belle Vue Point", the official "Belle Vue Point". Other variants in use were "Belle View Point" and "Coon Island".

"Kelley Point" and "Belle Vue Point" ...
Some historians say that Kelley Point, located on the "southern" (right) bank of the mouth of the Willamette River, is Broughton's "Belle Vue Point", based on Broughton's statement that Belle Vue Point was on the Willamette River's "southern point of entrance".

"Jolie Prairie" and "Belle Vue Point" ...
"Jolie Prairie" is the name of the flood plain on the Washington (north) side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 107. In 1829 it became home to the second Fort Vancouver. "Jolie Prairie" was occasionally referred to as "Belle Vue Point".
[More]

Image, 2003, Kelley Point and mouth of the Willamette River, Oregon, from Blurock Landing, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Kelley Point (treed area middle left) and mouth of the Willamette River (to the right of Kelley Point), and the point of Sauvie Island (treed area right), thought by some to be Broughton's "Belle Vue Point"). View from Blurock Landing, Washington. Image taken July 2, 2003.


History

  • 1792 ... Broughton
  • 1825 ... Hudson's Bay Company's Survey Map
  • 1926 ... J. Neilson Barry
  • 1931 ... J. Neilson Barry
  • 1934 ... U.S. Board of Geographic Names
  • 1937 ... Washington Historical Quarterly


1792 ... Lieutenant Broughton ...
Some historians say that Kelley Point, located on the "southern" (right) bank of the mouth of the Willamette River, is Broughton's "Belle Vue Point", based on Broughton's statement that Belle Vue Point was on the Willamette River's "southern point of entrance".

"... At one o'clock they quitted their dinner station, and after rowing about five miles still in the direction of the river S.5 E., they passed on the western side of a small river leading to the southwestward; and half a mile further on the same shore came to a larger one that took a more southerly course. In the entrance of the latter, about a quarter of a mile in width, are two small woody islets; the ajacent country extending from its banks presented a most beautiful appearance. This river Mr. Broughton distinguished by the name of River Munnings. Its southern point of entrance, situated in latitude 45o 39', longitude 237o 21', commanded a most delightful prospect of the surrounding region, and obtained the name of Belle Vue Point from whence the branch of the river, at least that which was so considered, took a direction about S.57E. for a league and a half. ... [Broughton, October 29, 1792]

The "River Munnings" (also seen as "River Mannings") is today's Willamette River.


1825 ... Hudson's Bay Company's Survey Map ...
The 1825 map of the Hudson's Bay Company called "Columbia River, Surveyed 1825" (printed 1826), called today's Multnomah Channel the "Willamitte Riv.". "Chenow's Village" is shown located on it's northern/western bank where the the Multnomah Channel merges with the Columbia. Today this area is a part of the community of St. Helens. The upper mouth of the river (today called the Willamette River) is depicted as two small channels with presumably an island inbetween them. The eastern/southern point of the furthest east channel is labeled "Belle Vue Pt.".

Hudson's Bay Company map detail, 1825, Willow Point to Fort Vancouver, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1825 Hudson's Bay Company map "Columbia River, Surveyed 1825", showing the area from Willow Point, Sauvie Island, Oregon, to Fort Vancouver, Vancouver, Washington. Original topographic map courtesy Washington State Historical Society, 2013.


1926 ... J. Neilson Barry ...
"... They mention 'A small river' which was probably the old channel by Coon Island, since filled by the dredgers. The Willamette River was named River Mannings; there was a Samuel Manning, the boatswain's mate, on the Discovery. 'Its southern point of entrance commanded a most delightful prospect of the surrounding region, and obtained the name of Belle Vue Point'. There is a lighthouse there at the present time, and it is now named Kelley Point, for Hall J. Kelley, 'The Prophet of Oregon', who planned a trading city at this place about 1829. ..."

Source:    J. Neilson Barry, 1926, Broughton on the Columbia River, 1792, IN: Oregon Historical Quarterly, vol.27, no.4, December 1926

J. Neilson Barry goes on to show "Belle Vue Point (Kelley Point)" located on the southern bank of "Manning's River (Willamette River) in his included map "A Suggested Interpretation of the Map in Vancouver's Voyages".


1931 ... J. Neilson Barry
"... Lieutenant W.R. Broughton, R.N., was in command of H.M.S. Chatham, one of the squadron of Captain George Vancouver, R.N., who was engaged in a survey of the northwest coast for the British admiralty. Broughton had ascended the river, with two boats, and, on October 29, 1792, reached Belle Vue Point, now Coon Island, at the mouth of the Willamette (Manning's) River, and there first saw Mount Hood *.

* Engineers have closed the old channel, so that Coon Island is now consolidated with Sauvie Island. ..."

Source:    J. Neilson Barry, 1931, Broughton up the Columbia River, 1792, IN: Oregon Historical Quarterly, vol.32, no.4, December 1931

The report gives no indication why J. Neilson Barry changed the location of Belle Vue Point between his 1926 report (Kelley Point) and his 1931 report (Sauvie Island).


1934 ... U.S. Board of Geographic Names
On February 7, 1934, the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Belle Vue Point" the official name over "Belle View Point" and "Coon Island". The location given is "45 39 21N" and "122 46 03W", and the decision was based on information submitted by J.N. Barry on September 14, 1930. Comments include "Belle Vue point; on left bank of Columbia River, Multnomah County, Ore., near lat. 45 39 43N, long. 122 46W, about half mile northwest of Kelley Point. So named by Lieut. W.R. Broughton, R.N., October 29, 1792." Reference: 1792, "Sketch of the River Columbia", by Lieut. Broughton, October 1792. Local usage "Coon Island", with comment "Recently island has been consolidated with Sauvie Island".

1937 ... Washington Historical Quarterly
News Department
Belle Vue Point


"The United States Geographic Board has officially approved the identification of Belle Vue Point as named on the Columbia River in 1792 by Lieutenant W.R. Broughton. This is a distinct triumph for J. Neilson Barry who gave years of intensive study to the subject. Part of the study led to the Admiralty archives in London where a photostatic copy of Broughton's original chart was obtained."

Source:    Washington Historical Quarterly, vol.24, no.2, April 1937


Maps, Mouth of the Willamette River

1825 Hudson's Bay Company ...

Hudson's Bay Company map detail, 1825, Willow Point to Fort Vancouver, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1825 Hudson's Bay Company map "Columbia River, Surveyed 1825", showing the area from Willow Point, Sauvie Island, Oregon, to Fort Vancouver, Vancouver, Washington. Original topographic map courtesy Washington State Historical Society, 2013.

1841 Charles Wilkes, U.S. Exploring Expedition ...

Wilkes map detail, 1841, Deer Island to Fort Vancouver, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1841 Charles Wilkes, U.S. Exploring Expedition map "Map of the Oregon Territory", showing the area from Deer Island, Oregon, to Fort Vancouver, Vancouver, Washington. Original map courtesy NOAA Office of Coast Surveys, 2013.


1854 and 1862 Cadastral Surveys, mouth of the Willamette River ...

Cadastral map detail, 1854, T2N R1W, mouth of the Willamette River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1854 Cadastral Survey Map for T2N, R1W, showing islands in the mouth of the Willamette River. Original cadastral courtesy Bureau of Land Management, 2013.
Cadastral map detail, 1862, T2N R1W, mouth of the Willamette River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1862 Cadastral Survey Map for T2N, R1W, showing islands in the mouth of the Willamette River. Original cadastral courtesy Bureau of Land Management, 2013.


1859 and 1887, U.S. Army, mouth of the Willamette River ...

U.S. Army map detail, 1859, mouth of the Willamette River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1859 U.S. Army COE Map, "Columbia River Vancouver Wash. to Mouth of Willamette River (1859)". Original map courtesy UW/WSU Libraries, 2013.
U.S. Army map detail, 1887, mouth of the Willamette River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1887 U.S. Army COE Map, "The Columbia River from Celilo to the mouth showing locaion of the salmon fisheries (1887)". Original map courtesy UW/WSU Libraries, 2013.


1888 NOAA, mouth of the Willamette River ...

Nautical map detail, 1888, mouth of the Willamette River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1888 Navigation (NOAA) Map for the Columbia River, sheet no.6, Fales Landing to Portland, 1:40000, showing the mouth of the Willamette River. Original topographic map courtesy NOAA Office of Coast Surveys, 2013.


1896 Topographic, mouth of the Willamette River ...

Topographic map detail, 1896, mouth of the Willamette River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1896 Topographic Map for Portland, Oregon, 1:62500, showing islands in the mouth of the Willamette River. Original topographic map courtesy University of Texas Libraries, 2013.


1949 NOAA, mouth of the Willamette River ...

Nautical map detail, 1949, mouth of the Willamette River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1949 Nautical (NOAA) Map for the Columbia River, St. Helens to the Willamette River, 1:40000, showing the mouth of the Willamette River. Original topographic map courtesy NOAA Office of Coast Surveys, 2013.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, ...
 




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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

Sources:    Washington Historical Quarterly, vol.24, no.2, April 1937;    Washington State Historical Society website, 2013;   

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 2013