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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Dabney State Recreation Area, Oregon"
Includes ... Dabney State Recreation Area ... Dabney State Park ...
Image, 2015, Dabney State Recreation Area, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Dabney State Recreation Area sign, Sandy River, Oregon. Image taken March 16, 2015.


Dabney State Recreation Area ...
Dabney State Recreation Area is located on the right bank of the Sandy River at approximately Sandy River Mile (RM) 6. Just downstream is the Sandy River Bridge at Stark Street, one of the Historic Columbia River Highway crossings of the Sandy River. Nearby is the clubhouse location once owned by the Portland Automobile Club. The community of Troutdale lies downstream and the small communities of Springdale and Corbett lie upstream.

Early Dabney ...
According to the Oregon Parks and Recreation website (2015):

"The park was acquired between 1945 and 1968 through gift and purchase. The first tract was a gift from Multnomah County in 1945. Dabney Park was originally owned by Richard T. Dabney and his wife Martha. The Dabneys came to Oregon in 1887 and prospered from their investments in timber and real estate. Richard Dabney was an enthusiastic promoter of the Columbia River Highway and proposed a large hotel at Crown Point. Nothing came of the hotel, but the Dabneys maintained a summer house at the park site until his death in 1916. Acreage: 134.96"

The "Sunday Oregonian", July 10, 1921, mentions Richard T. Dabney, Mrs. Martha A. Dabney, and the Dabney summer home.

"The photograph [not shown here] was made just a few yards off the main traveled Columbia river highway, near where it passes the second bridge over the Sandy river, just across from the old automobile club. The grounds are the property of Mrs. Martha A. Dabney of Portland, and comprises 51 acres, being used as a summer home for the family. ...

... about ten years ago Richard T. Dabney found the spot that he liked, in the valley of the Sandy river. At that time there was no Columbia river highway. Indeed it had not even been seriously considered, and Dabney just purchased the place that he loved as it made an appeal to him possessed by no other. Even now it is nearly in the same state as when Mr. Dabney made the deal, the underbrush has been cleared out to a certain extent, paths have been broadened and some of the trees removed so as to give the others more room, but the primitive park has been left, it yet retains its identity, just as nature intended it should ...   [Dabney] died in 1916, and never had a chance to see the Columbia river highway, or to travel its magnificent length from his home place on. ...

The Dabney place is now being used merely as a summer home, and is but one of many that line up the Sandy. The location is not built up, but there are a few homes being constructed there. It is about a half hour's ride from the city, and the old Portland Automobile club is just across the road from it. The old Automobile club is now being transformed into an entertainment place, somewhat similar to many of those operated along the highway. The Dabney acres are not public, and few of the people going along the highway would dream that there was such a place nearby. ..."


Source:    "Sunday Oregonian", July 10, 1921, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers, University of Oregon Libraries, 2015.



The 1927 Metsker Map for Multnomah County shows an M.A. Dabney owning the area of Dabney Park. The 1944 map however shows Multnomah County owning the area.


Dabney Park and Country Homes ...
The Dabney country home or summer home is mentioned many times in the news.

"Miss Doris Dabney and a party of girl friends are passing a week at "Dabney Park", the R.F. Dabney country place on the Sandy River." ["Sunday Oregonian", July 13, 1913, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2015.]

"... P.P. Dabney, who owns Dabney Park, near the Automobile Club clubhouse, plans to erect a building on the bluff above the Columbia River.    On completion of the hard-surface on the highway a number of country homes will be built. That of Julius L. Meier is the first to rise. Mr. Meier has taken up with the Portland Railway, Light & Power Company the matter of extending electric light cable in that district." ["Sunday Oregonian", June 27, 1915, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2015.]

"Mr. and Mrs. Henry R. Dabney have returned form Aberdeen, Wash., where they have been entertained with dinner parties and motor trips. The Dabneys are pioneers of Aberdeen with extensive property holdings. The rest of the Summer will be spent at their country home on the Columbia Highway, Dabney Park." ["Sunday Oregonian", August 19, 1917, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2015.]

In 1919 the area was being offered up to development.

DABNEY PARK
AND
SANDY ACRES

The most beautiful and desirable locations on the Columbia River Highway are now

OFFERED TO
BUILDERS OF
SUMMER HOMES

Who desire to be on a paved highway, have magnificent trees and be situated on the banks of a mountain stream with daily stage service on

EASY PAYMENTS

10% down, balance 5% per month with 6% interest on deferred payments.

For particulars see

DABNEY
INVESTMENT CO.
Room 1 Worcester Bldg.


Source:    "Sunday Oregonian", March 2, 1919, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2015.


Maps, 1927 and 1944 ...

Map, 1927, Sandy River and Dabney Park, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
MAP detail, 1927, Multnomah County T1S R4E, showing the Sandy River, the "Oregon State Motor Association", and the "Dabney Park" development. Metsker Maps. Map courtesy "HistoricMapWorks.com" website, 2015.
Map, 1944, Sandy River and Dabney Park, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
MAP detail, 1944, Multnomah County T1S R4E, showing the Sandy River, the "Viking Club", and the "Dabney Park" development. Metsker Maps. Map courtesy "HistoricMapWorks.com" website, 2015.

Dabney State Park in 1965 ...
DABNEY STATE PARK

"Dabney State Park is located on the scenic, old Columbia River Highway near its junction with Base Line Road, approximately 16 miles east of Portland in Multnomah County. The land lies on both sides of the highway along the north side of Sandy River.

The original area of 70 acres was a gift to the state from Multnomah County in 1945. It is a delightful area for public use, being moderately low land divided into two benches south of the road. The lower bench is subject to flooding during periods of heavy river flow. This area is extensively covered with maple and other indigenous species. The river shore furnishes an excellent beach for wading, swimming and fishing. The parcel north of the road is covered with a dense, young growth of fir trees.

The park acreage has been increased from time to time. At the close of 1963 there were 78.65 acres in this park.

Improvements are an entrance road, car parking area, sanitary facilities, tables, stoves, water from the local water district, trails, swimming beach, cottage and a completely facilitated overnight camp.

The river bank has been riprapped along the shore to prevent the stream cutting into the use area.

The name for this park was taken from the platted area comprising the same land and carrying the name of Dabney Park. All of the streets were vacated by the county in 1946.

Dabney Park is heavily used by residents of Portland and Multnomah County.

Attendance during 1963 was 260,680 day visitors and 9,251 overnight campers."


Source:    Chester H. Armstrong (compiler), 1965, "History of the Oregon State Parks: 1917-1963, published by Oregon State Parks.


Views ...

Image, 2015, Sandy River from Dabney State Rec Area, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sandy River looking downstream, from Dabney State Recreation Area, Oregon. View looking at the Stark Street Bridge over the Sandy River. Treed area on the left was once the grounds of the Portland Automobile Club. Image taken March 16, 2015.
Image, 2005, Sandy River at Dabney State Recreation Area, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sandy River, Oregon, as seen from Dabney State Recreation Area. Looking downstream towards the Stark Street Bridge. Lewis and Clark explored up the Sandy to about this location. Broughton Bluff is on the right. Image taken November 19, 2005.
Image, 2005, Dabney State Recreation Area, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Dabney State Recreation Area, Sandy River, Oregon. Image taken November 19, 2005.


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:    Armstrong, C.H., (compiler), 1965, "History of the Oregon State Parks: 1917-1963, published by Oregon State Parks;    "HistoricMapWorks.com" website, 2015;    Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2015;    Oregon Secretary of State website, 2015;  &bnsp;

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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© 2017, Lyn Topinka, "ColumbiaRiverImages.com", All rights reserved.
Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
October 2015