Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Celilo and Celilo Park, Oregon"
Includes ... Celilo, Oregon ... Celilo Park ... Celilo Falls ... The Dalles-Celilo Canal ...
Image, 2005, Celilo Park and Celilo, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Celilo Park and Celilo, Oregon, as seen from Washington State Highway 14. Image taken May 24, 2005.

Today's Celilo Park looks over the area which once was Celilo Falls. Celilo Park was also the upper end of the The Dalles-Celilo Canal.


Celilo, Oregon ...
(to come)

Celilo Park ...
Celilo Park, Oregon, on Lake Celilo, is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and has facilities for picnicking, fishing, swimming and boat launching. The park, which overlooks the former Indian fishing grounds at Celilo Falls and includes the upper end of the historic The Dalles - Celilo Canal, is accessible from Interstate 84 Exit 97 about 12 miles east of The Dalles.

"Celilo" ...
There are several suggested meanings for the origin of the name "Celilo", including "tumbling waters", "shifting sands", and the name of an Indian chief.
[More]

Views of Celilo Park ...

Image, 2013, Celilo Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Celilo Park, Oregon. Image taken February 8, 2013.
Image, 2013, Celilo Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Celilo Park, Oregon, looking towards Wishram, Washington. Image taken February 8, 2013.
Image, 2013, Celilo Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Celilo Park, Oregon, looking towards Wishram, Washington. Image taken February 8, 2013.
Image, 2013, Celilo Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Celilo Park, Oregon, looking downstream. Image taken February 8, 2013.


Celilo, etc.

  • Celilo Post Office ...
  • Celilo Treaty Fishing Access Site, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission ...
  • Celilo Treaty Fishing Access Site ...
  • Historical Location ...
  • Leucistic Great Blue Heron ...
  • Oregon History Sign ...
  • Views from Celilo Park ...


Celilo Post Office ...
According to McArthur and McArthur in "Oregon Geographic Names" (2003), a post office named Celilo was established on November 27, 1889 (or possibly 1899, McArthur and McArthur actually has 1989 - a typo - and 1889 or 1899 are best resolutions), near the mouth of the Deschutes River. The office ran until 1914 when it was closed. A year later, it was reestablished a few miles to the west by the changing of name of the short-lived Dillon office to Celilo. Celilo post office closed in 1957 with the completion of the dam.


Celilo Treaty Fishing Access Site, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission ...
All four Columbia River treaty tribes enjoy fishing rights along the Columbia from the Bonneville to McNary dams. This 147-mile stretch of the river is called Zone 6. The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) operates and maintains 31 fishing sites (2015, Note: the website map only shows 30 sites) in Zone 6. These sites were set aside by Congress to provide fishing locations to Indian fishers whose traditional fishing grounds were inundated behind dams.

"For fisheries management purposes, the 292-mile stretch of the Columbia River that creates the border between Washington and Oregon is divided into six zones. Zones 1-5 are between the mouth of the river and Bonneville Dam, a distance of 145 miles. Oregon and Washington manage the commercial fisheries that occur in these zones. Zone 6 is an exclusive treaty Indian commercial fishing area. This exclusion is for commercial fishing only. Non-commercial sports fishers may still fish in this stretch of the river." [Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission website, 2016]

The Zone 6 sites include 19 Treaty Fishing Access sites (Bonneville, Wyeth, White Salmon, Stanley Rock, Lyle, Dallesport, Celilo, Maryhill, Rufus, Preacher's Eddy, North Shore, LePage Park, Pasture Point, Roosevelt Park, Pine Creek, Threemile Canyon, Alderdale, Crow Butte, and Faler Road), five "In-lieu" sites (Cascade Locks, Wind River, Cooks, Underwood, and Lone Pine), two "Shared-use" sites (Avery and Sundale Park, for both Tribal use and Public use), and four "Unimproved" sites with no services (Goodnoe, Rock Creek, Moonay, and Aldercreek).



Celilo Treaty Fishing Access Site ...
CELILO
TREATY FISHING ACCESS SITE

U.S. GOVERNMENT PROPERTY
United States Department of the Interior
BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
Portland Area Office

FOR THE USE OF MEMBERS OF THE FOLLOWING TRIBES
IN PURSUIT OF THEIR TREATY FISHING RIGHTS:

Nez Perce Tribe
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation
Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon
Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Indian Nation



Source:    Information sign, Celilo Park, visited May 2015.

Image, 2015, Celilo Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Celilo Treaty Fishing Access Site, Celilo Park, Oregon. Image taken May 9, 2015.


Historical Location ...

Image, 2013, Celilo Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Information signs, Celilo Park, Oregon. Image taken February 8, 2013.
Image, 2013, Celilo Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"Lewis and Clark Expedition", information sign, Celilo Park, Oregon. Image taken February 8, 2013.
Image, 2013, Celilo Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"Greatest Indian Fishery of the Northwest", information sign, Celilo Park, Oregon. Image taken February 8, 2013.


Leucistic Great Blue Heron ...

Image, 2013, Celilo Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Leucistic Great Blue Heron, Celilo Park, Oregon. Image taken February 8, 2013.


Oregon History Sign ...
Wyam Falls

"Before a network of dams controlled the Columbia River it was often a raging torrent. Here at Wyam Falls, known toady as Celilo Falls, a vertical drop of more than 20 feet and sheer basalt bluffs on either shore forced the river into seething, boiling rapids.

From time immemorial this region comprised the fishing grounds of all Indian tribes of the middle Columbia River area. Early Indians speared huge salmon while standing on the rocks and their descendants built platforms over the rushing waters from wheich they gathered fish in long-handled nets. These fishing grounds and the right to take fish from the Columbia River were reserved in 1855 treaties between the tribes and the United States.

Dam construction, which began in the 1930s, forever altered the river's character. When The Dalles Dam was completed in 1957, the storage basin behind it filled in above the falls and inundated the fishing grounds. Treaty reserved fishing rights, however, contrinue to be exercised by Indian people in the middle Columbia River area. The loss of Wyam Falls did not mean the loss of the Indian way of life."


Source:    Information sign, Celilo Park, visited February 2013.


Image, 2013, Celilo Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Oregon History Sign, Celilo Park, Oregon. Image taken February 8, 2013.
Image, 2013, Celilo Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"Ancient Indian Fishing Grounds", Oregon History sign, Celilo Park, Oregon. Image taken February 8, 2013.


Views from Celilo Park ...
Celilo Park offers good views of Wishram, Washington, Haystack Butte, and the Oregon Trunk Railway Bridge, with the Columbia River Basalt flows rising behind.

Image, 2013, Haystack Butte from Celilo Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Haystack Butte, Washington, as seen from Celilo Park, Oregon. Image taken February 8, 2013.
Image, 2013, Wishram from Celilo Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Wishram, Washington, as seen from Celilo Park, Oregon. Image taken February 8, 2013.
Image, 2013, Wishram from Celilo Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Wishram, Washington, as seen from Celilo Park, Oregon. Image taken February 8, 2013.
Image, 2006, Oregon Trunk Line Railroad Bridge, Oregon side, click to enlarge
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Oregon Trunk Line Railroad Bridge, Oregon side. View from Celilo Park. Image taken October 2, 2006.
Image, 2006, Oregon Trunk Line Railroad Bridge, Washington side, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Oregon Trunk Line Railroad Bridge, Washington side. View from Celilo Park. Image taken October 2, 2006.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 22, 1805 ...
A fine morning calm and fare we Set out [downstream of the John Day Dam] at 9 oClock passed a verry bad rapid [today the location of the "Sam Hill Memorial Bridge", U.S. Highway 97 crossing from Biggs Junction, Oregon, to Maryhill, Washington. The rapid, which was labeled "Five-Mile Rapid" in 1858, is now under the waters of the Lake Celilo, the reservoir behind The Dalles Dam.] at the head of an Island close under the Stard. Side [???], above this rapid on the Stard. Side is Six Lodges of nativs Drying fish [Maryhill vicinity], at 9 mls. passed a bad rapid [Deschutes Rapid, also under the waters of Lake Celilo] at the head of a large Island [Miller Island] of high, uneaven [rocks], jutting over the water, a Small Island in a Stard. Bend [???] opposit the upper point, on which I counted 20 parcels of dryed and pounded fish; on the main Stard Shore opposit to this Island five Lodges of Indians are Situated Several Indians in Canoes killing fish with gigs [Haystack Butte, Columbia Hills, vicinity], <and nets> &c. opposit the center of this Island of rocks [Miller Island] which is about 4 miles long we discovered the enterence of a large river on the Lard. Side [Deschutes River] which appeared to Come from the S. E. - we landed at Some distance above the mouth of this river [Deschutes River] and Capt. Lewis and my Self Set out to view this river above its mouth, as our rout was intersepted by a deep narrow Chanel which runs out of this river into the Columbia a little below the place we landed, leaveing a high dry rich Island of about 400 yards wide and 800 yards long here we Seperated, I proceeded on to the river and Struck it at the foot of a verry Considerable rapid [Deschutes Rapids], here I beheld an emence body of water Compressd in a narrow Chanel of about 200 yds in width, fomeing over rocks maney of which presented their tops above the water, when at this place Capt. Lewis joined me haveing ....     at about two miles above this River appears to be confined between two high hils below which it divided by numbers of large rocks, and Small Islands covered with a low groth of timber, and has a rapid as far as the narrows three Small Islands in the mouth of this River, <we returned> this River haveing no Indian name that we could find out, except "the River on which the Snake Indians live," we think it best to leave the nameing of it untill our return [Deschutes River].

we proceeded on pass the mouth of this river [Deschutes River] at which place it appears to discharge 1/4 as much water as runs down the Columbia. at two miles below this River passed Eight Lodges on the Lower point of the Rock Island [Miller Island] aforesaid at those Lodges we saw large logs of wood which must have been rafted down the To war-ne hi ooks River [Deschutes River], below this Island [Miller Island] on the main Stard Shore is 16 Lodges of nativs; here we landed a fiew minits to Smoke, the lower point of one Island opposit [???] which heads in the mouth of Towarnehiooks River [Deschutes River] which I did not observe untill after passing these lodges     about 1/2 a mile lower passed 6 more Lodges on the Same Side and 6 miles below the upper mouth of Towarnehiooks River [Deschutes River] the comencement of the pitch of the Great falls [Celilo Falls], opposit on the Stard. Side is 17 Lodges of the nativs [near Wishram, Washington]     we landed and walked down accompanied by an old man to view the falls [Celilo Falls], and the best rout for to make a portage ...     we made 19 miles to day






Clark, October 24, 1805 ...
The first pitch of this falls [Celilo Falls] is 20 feet perpendicular, then passing thro' a narrow Chanel for 1 mile to a rapid of about 18 feet fall below which the water had no perceptable fall but verry rapid ...     It may be proper here to remark that from Some obstruction below, the cause of which we have not yet learned, the water in high fluds (which are in the Spring) rise <nearly> below these falls nearly to a leavel with the water above the falls; the marks of which can be plainly trac'd around the falls. at that Stage of the water the Salmon must pass up which abounds in Such great numbers above- below thos falls are Salmon trout and great numbers of the heads of a Species of trout Smaller than the Salmon. those fish they catch out of the Salmon Season, and are at this time in the act of burrying those which they had drid for winter food. ...    Capt Lewis and three men crossed the river and on the opposit Side to view the falls which he had not yet taken a full view of-     At 9 oClock a. m. I Set out with the party and proceeded on down a rapid Stream of about 400 yards wide at 2 1/2 miles the river widened ito a large bason to the Stard. Side on which there is five Lodges of Indians. here a tremendious <heigh> black rock Presented itself high and Steep appearing to choke up the river [the future Browns Island] nor could I See where the water passed further than the Current was drawn with great velocity to the Lard Side of this rock at which place I heard a great roreing. I landed at the Lodges and the natives went with me to the top of this rock which makes from the Stard. Side; from the top of which I could See the dificuelties we had to pass for Several miles below; at this place the water of this great river is compressed into a Chanel [the "Short Narrows" or Tenmile Rapids] between two rocks not exceeding forty five yards wide and continues for a 1/4 of a mile when it again widens to 200 yards and continues this width for about 2 miles when it is again intersepted by rocks. This obstruction in the river accounts for the water in high floods riseing to Such a hite at the last falls. The whole of the Current of this great river must at all Stages pass thro' this narrow chanel of 45 yards wide. as the portage of our canoes over this high rock would be impossible with our Strength, and the only danger in passing thro those narrows was the whorls and Swills arriseing from the Compression of the water, and which I thought (as also our principal watermen Peter Crusat) by good Stearing we could pass down Safe, accordingly I deturmined to pass through this place notwithstanding the horrid appearance of this agitated gut Swelling, boiling & whorling in every direction (which from the top of the rock did not appear as bad as when I was in it;[)] however we passed Safe to the astonishment of all the Inds: of the last Lodges who viewed us from the top of the rock [this high rock became Browns Island when the waters of Lake Celilo inundated the valley]. passed one Lodge below this rock and halted on the Stard. Side to view a verry bad place, the Current divided by 2 Islands of rocks the lower of them large and in the middle of the river, this place being verry bad I Sent by land all the men who could not Swim and Such articles as was most valuable to us Such as papers Guns & amunition, and proceeded down with the Canoes two at a time to a village of 20 wood housies in a Deep bend to the Stard. Side [area of Horsethief Butte and Horsethief Lake] below which a rugid black rock about <the> 20 feet hiter <of> than the Common high fluds of the river with Several dry Chanels which appeared to Choke the river up quite across; this I took to be the 2d falls or the place the nativs above call timm, The nativs of this village reived me verry kindly, one of whome envited me into his house, ...    I dispatched a Sufficent number of the good Swimers back for the 2 canoes above the last rapid and with 2 men walked down three miles to examine the river Over a bed of rocks, which the water at verry high fluds passes over, on those rocks I Saw Several large Scaffols on which the Indians dry fish; as this is out of Season the poles on which they dry those fish are tied up verry Securely in large bundles and put upon the Scaffolds, I counted 107 <Scaff> Stacks of dried pounded fish in different places on those rocks which must have contained 10,000 w. of neet fish, The evening being late I could not examine the river to my Satisfaction, the Chanel is narrow and compressed for about 2 miles [the "Long Narrows" or Fivemile Rapids], when it widens into a deep bason to the Stard. Side ["Big Eddy", today the location of Spearfish Lake], & again contracts into a narrow chanel divided by a rock [head of Threemile Rapids] I returned through a rockey open countrey infested with pole-cats to the village where I met with Capt. Lewis the two old Chiefs who accompanied us & the party & canoes who had all arrived Safe; the Canoes haveing taken in Some water at the last rapids. here we formed a Camp near the Village [near Horsethief Butte and Horsethief Lake] ...





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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:    See The Dalles for sources ... PLUS    Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission website, 2016;   

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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January 2016