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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Fishers Landing, Washington"
Includes ... Fishers Landing ... Fisher ... Fishers Cemetery ... Fisher Quarry ... "Pumpkin Center" ...
Image, 2005, Columbia River looking upstream from Fishers Landing, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River looking upstream from Fishers Landing, Washington. Mount Hood, Oregon, is in the background. Greenery on right is Government Island. Image taken October 21, 2005.


Fisher and Fishers Landing ...
The small community of Fisher and the once thriving docks of Fishers Landing are located at Columbia River Mile (RM) 115, directly across from Government Island and approximately 2 miles upstream of the Vancouver Trout Hatchery and the Interstate 205 Bridge, and 3 miles downstream of Lady Island and Camas, Washington. In the late 1800s Fishers Landing was a steamboat landing. In the early 1900s to the late 1960s it was the Washington end of a ferry which went across to Government Island. Today there is a small community park and beach, and not much left of the old ferry landing. Throughout the years the community of Fisher has been known as "Fishers Landing", "Fishers", and "Fishers Wharf", and even at one time "Pumpkin Center".

Solomon W. Fisher ...
Fishers Landing was named for Solomon W. Fisher who, in the 1850s, filed a Donation Land Claim on 160 acres on Government Island, and 160 acres on the north side of the Columbia River, 8 miles east of Vancouver, Washington. The settlement of "Fisher" developed, which later became commonly known as "Fishers Landing". Today "Fisher" is still located along the banks of the Columbia River, while the name "Fishers Landing" refers to a high-tech community development located on the hill a few miles above Fisher.

The Fisher Family ...
In 1850 the Fisher Family left Missouri by wagon train to settle in the Pacific Northwest. From "Columbian.com" website (2005):

"... It was in 1850 that the six brothers and sisters of the famous family left Missouri by wagon train. They included Solomon, John, Adam, Job, Ann Jemima and Rachel. Ann Jemima was married to William Mortimer Simmons while Rachel was to marry H.M. Knapp, another well-known pioneer of the east county area. William and Ann Simmons brought five children with them, two of whom died on the trail, and took out a donation land claim east of 164th Avenue. Solomon also took out a claim, lying west of 164th. Adam Fisher's claim lay to the north, taking in what is now Cascade Park. Solomon, who was to become the best-known member of the family, established a riverboat landing at the foot of 164th Avenue. This evolved into a community called Fisher's Landing, which at one time was considered for the county seat. The entire area today is known as Fisher's Landing, although the docks and most of the historic buildings are long gone. ..." ["Columbian.com" website, 2005]

Fisher in 1941 ...
From "The New Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State, Federal Writers' Project, 1941":

"... FISHER, (48 alt., 35 pop.), is a railroad center among orchard lands. A large camping ground near has picnic facilities. West of Fisher is a junction, with a dirt road. Right on this road to the BIDDLE FISH HATCHERY, 1.3 m., owned by Stephen Biddle, a student of Indian lore. The hatchery is surrounded by timber and enclosed by a waire fence hidden from the road. ..."


Views of Fishers Landing ...

Image, 2005, Beach at Fishers Landing, click to enlarge
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Beach, Fishers Landing, Washington. Interstate 205 Bridge is in the background. Image taken November 23, 2005.
Image, 2005, Beach at Fishers Landing, click to enlarge
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Beach, Fishers Landing, Washington. Interstate 205 Bridge is in the background. Image taken October 25, 2005.
Image, 2005, Beach at Fishers Landing, click to enlarge
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Trader on the beach, Fishers Landing, Washington. Interstate 205 Bridge is in the background. Image taken October 25, 2005.
Image, 2005, From beach towards Fishers Landing, click to enlarge
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Rocks at Fishers Landing as seen from downstream. Government Island is in the background. Image taken October 25, 2005.
Image, 2005, No Parking sign, Fishers Landing, click to enlarge
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No Parking, Standing, or Stopping sign, Fishers Landing. Image taken October 25, 2005.


The "Landing" ...
Two docks existed at Fisher's Landing, complete with buildings and warehouses. According to Richenda Fairhurst in "Images of America: Fisher's Landing", published 2008 by Arcadia Publishing:

"Buisnessman Solomon Welton Fisher built Fisher's Landing in 1851 as a commercial shipping and refueling dock for steamships on the Columbia River, with a second dock added later. The site included a post office, started as early as 1852 but recognized in 1858, a livery stable, C.H. Danforth's blacksmith shop, mercantile shops, and the Pioneer Building. Near the landing were the Mill Plain Shipping and Trading Company, the Washougal and La Camas Transportation Company, the Columbia Fruit Canning Company, the North Pacific Brewing Company, and Prudence Powell Barnes's store. ... Fisher's Landing projected 20 to 30 feet into the river and featured a two-story warehouse. It was wide enough for a wagon and team of horses (and later trucks) to travel down and back and also to accommodate piles of cordwood, milk and butter exports, and sacks of grain and potatoes. The Spokane, Portland, and Seattle Railway Company stopped at Fishers, but did not ... come out over the water." [Richenda Fairhurst, 2008, "Images of America: Fisher's Landing", Arcadia Publishing]

Government Island to Fishers Landing Ferry ...
A ferry once ran between Government Island and Fishers Landing.

The 1948 NOAA Chart "Columbia River Vancouver to Bonneville" shows "Fisher" as the Washington end of a ferry, with the Government Island end of the ferry located on the downstream side of today's Jewitt Lake drainage, near today's "Government Island Dock". Also shown was "Bartlett Ldg.", located upstream on Government Island, with a road extending from Bartlett Landing across Government Island to the southern shore.

The 1966 NOAA Chart #6156, "Columbia River Vancouver to Bonneville", also shows the ferry between Fisher and Government Island, with a road heading across the island from the Government Island ferry location. The 1969 and 1971 editions still show the ferry, however the 1973 edition shows no ferry.

The 1975 edition shows simply a "ramp" located at the point of land at Fisher, while the 1977 edition has no "ramp".


Image, 2005, Pilings at Fishers Landing, click to enlarge
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Pilings, Fishers Landing, Washington. Image taken October 21, 2005.
Image, 2005, Government Island old ferry landing, click to enlarge
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Government Island old ferry landing as seen from Fishers Landing. Image taken November 23, 2005.
Image, 2005, Piling remains, Fishers Landing, click to enlarge
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Piling remains, Fishers Landing, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken October 25, 2005.


"Pumpkin Center" ...
Between the 1930s to the 1950s a gas and grocery stop called "Pumpkin Center" operated next to the Fisher's Cemetery. A local move to rename "Fisher" to "Pumpkin Center" never succeeded. Today the foundation is all that remains.

Image, 2009, Pumpkin Center, Fishers Landing, Washington, click to enlarge
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"Pumpkin Center" location, Fishers Landing, Washington. Image taken March 17, 2009.
Image, 2009, Pumpkin Center, Fishers Landing, Washington, click to enlarge
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"Pumpkin Center" foundation, Fishers Landing, Washington. Image taken March 17, 2009.


Early Fishers Landing ...
On November 3, 1805, Lewis and Clark camped on Goverment Island, across the Columbia River from what would become Fisher's Landing.

According to the "Columbian.com" website (2011):

"Fishers Landing:   Originally named Fisher for Solomon W. Fisher, who filed a land claim in the early 1850s, including 160 acres on the Columbia River's north bank and 160 acres on Government Island. The name later was modified to Fishers Landing by popular usage. At one time Fishers was called Pumpkin Center, a name placed there by a businessman, but the name didn't stick."

The 1852 Cadastral Survey (tax survey) for T1N R2E shows a road from the area of todays Lieser Point, follows the Columbia River until it reaches the Hudson's Bay Company Mills (today the location of the Vancouver Trout Hatchery), swings inland and then heads once again south ending at the location of today's Fishers Landing.

A post office was established at Fisher's Landing in 1851 and formally recognized in 1858, with Solomon Fisher being postmaster. This Post Office closed in 1870. In 1880, residents of the Fisher's area petitioned for another post office, and in 1881 one was opened, again with Solomon Fisher as postmaster. This Post Office was named Fisher's. In 1894 the name was shortened to Fisher. This post office closed in 1917.

The 1863 Cadastral Survey (Tax Survey) for T1N R2E, shows S.W. Fisher having a DLC of 160.39 acres (Claim No.41), of sections 1 and 12. Just to the east is the DLC of Wm. M Simmons, for 243.13 acres (Claim No.43).

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office Records website (2007) shows Solomon W. Fisher being granted title to 160.39 acres of T1N R2E Sections 1 and 12, on September 1, 1865, under the 1850 Oregon-Donation Act. Solomon W. Fisher was also granted title to 12.4 acres of T1N R2E section 1, on July 2, 1866, under the 1820 Sale-Cash Entry. There is also a listing for an Adam Fisher being granted title to 162.01 acres of T1N R2E Section 1, on December 3, 1859, under the 1850 Oregon-Donation Act.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office Records website (2007) shows Amy J. Simmons and Willaim M. Simmons being granted title to 639.86 acres of T1N R2E Sections 1, 6, 7, and 12, on December 22, 1865, under the 1850 Oregon-Donation Act.

Steamers stopped at Fisher's Landing to load cordwood for fuel. A sawmill existed a Hudson's Bay Company mill near today's Vancouver Trout Hatchery and wood was towed upriver to Fisher's Landing or nearby Remington Landing (today the site of Gentry's Landing, a marina and moorage).

The 1888 plat map for Clark County had "Fisher's Landing" mapped on east side of what is now 164th, and "S. Fisher" owning Donation Land Claim (DLC) property on the west side of what is now 164th. No ferry is depicted on this map other than the "Steam Ferry" downstream between Vancouver and the Oregon shore upstream of Hayden Island.

Early maps of Washington made by The George F. Cram Company show the development of the early Columbia River communities east of Vancouver, including Image, Ellsworth, and Fisher.

  • Cram's 1883 "Rail road & township map of Washington" shows "Vancouver" and the "Fisher's P.O.".
  • The 1889 "Railroad and county map of Washington" shows "Vancouver", "Vancouver Barracks", and the "Fisher's".
  • The 1904 "Map of Washington" shows "Vancouver" and "Vancouver Sta." with "Fisher" to the east.
  • Cram's 1911 map however lists "Vancouver" and "V. Sta.", "Image", "Ellsworth", and then "Fisher".
  • Their 1925 map of Washington shows only "Vancouver", "Ellseworth", and "Fisher".

In 1914 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Fisher" the official name.



Fishers Landing, etc.

  • Fisher Cemetery ...
  • Fisher Quarry ...
  • Mount Hood from Fishers Landing ...
  • Mount St. Helens from Fishers Landing ...


Fisher Cemetery ...
In 1852 William Simmons donated land for a cemetery, making it the first public cemetery in Washington State. The cemetery is located near the Columbia River at the base of todays' 164th Street.

"... the cemetery's original graves may pre-date the 1850s, and the first wooden grave markers, perhaps identifying Hudson's Bay men or early pioneers, have long eroded away. Monuments to mothers lost and children drowned chronicle the stories and tragedies of Fishers Landing's first families. ... Norman Powell served as Fishers Cemetery caretaker for 30 years. He relates that his aunt Clara Powell Kreeger "lost sleep" thinking about those buried in the unmarked graves. At her urgings, Powell erected a memorial for the adventurers, laborers, and pioneers buried -- with and without markers -- at Fishers. The monument, erected with community donations and support, features a marble top that Powell purchased himself." [Richenda Fairhurst, 2008, "Images of America: Fisher's Landing", Arcadia Publishing]

The scripture on the reverse of the marble top says:

"This memorial is dedicated to the memory of th early Pioneers who lie here in unmarked graves. Fishers Cemetery Association, 1988."

Image, 2009, Fisher Cemetery, Fishers Landing, Washington, click to enlarge
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Fisher Cemetery, Fishers Landing, Washington. Image taken August 24, 2009.
Image, 2009, Fisher Cemetery, Fishers Landing, Washington, click to enlarge
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Fisher Cemetery, Fishers Landing, Washington. Image taken August 24, 2009.
Image, 2009, Fisher Cemetery, Fishers Landing, Washington, click to enlarge
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Fisher Cemetery, Fishers Landing, Washington. Image taken August 24, 2009.
Image, 2009, Fishers Cemetery, Fishers Landing, Washington, click to enlarge
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Fisher Cemetery, Fishers Landing, Washington. Image taken March 17, 2009.
Image, 2009, Fishers Cemetery, Fishers Landing, Washington, click to enlarge
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Fisher Cemetery, Fishers Landing, Washington. Image taken March 17, 2009.
Image, 2009, Fishers Cemetery, Fishers Landing, Washington, click to enlarge
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Granite top, Fisher Cemetery, Fishers Landing, Washington. Image taken March 17, 2009.


Fisher Quarry ...
Also known as "Fishers Quarry" or "Fishers Landing Quarry", the Fisher Quarry lies at Columbia River Mile (RM) 116. The quarry began operations about 1881 and is still in operation today. Early rock went for the the Gray's Harbor jetty and the major part of the Columbia River jetty and rock today is used in road beds and landscaping. Fisher Quarry is located in basalt flows which erupted from a vent located on the slope of Prune Hill, a Boring Lava cone. Fisher Quarry is located a little over one mile east of Fishers Landing and approximately 3.5 miles west of the community of Camas. The edge of the Quarry can be seen from Washington State Highway 14.
[More]

Image, 1909, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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HISTORICAL PHOTO, Fisher Quarry as seen ca.1909.

"Quarry near Fishers Landing, Columbia River, Washington. Shows loading incline." Source: N.H. Darton, 1909, Structural Materials in Parts of Oregon and Washington: USGS Bulletin 387.
Image, 2014, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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Fisher Quarry as seen from SE 192nd Ave, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 31, 2014.
Image, 2014, Fisher Quarry, Washington, click to enlarge
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Fisher Quarry as seen from Washington State Highway 14, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 31, 2014.


Mount Hood from Fishers Landing ...
Views of Mount Hood, Oregon can be seen from Fishers Landing.

Image, 2005, Mount Hood from Fishers Landing, click to enlarge
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Mount Hood, Oregon, from Fishers Landing, Washington. Image taken October 21, 2005.
Image, 2005, Mount Hood from Fishers Landing, click to enlarge
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Mount Hood, Oregon, from Fishers Landing, Washington. Image taken November 17, 2005.


Mount St. Helens and Fishers Landing ...
Views of Mount St. Helens can be seen from the plain above Fishers Landing. This plain is the home to the U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory, established in the early 1980s in response to the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Image, 2005, Early morning, Mount St. Helens, from Fishers Landing, click to enlarge
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Early morning, Mount St. Helens, from top of hill at Fishers Landing, Washington. Image taken January 3, 2005.
Image, 2004, Evening sunset, Mount St. Helens, from Fishers Landing, click to enlarge
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Evening sunset, Mount St. Helens with steam, from top of hill at Fishers Landing, Washington. Image taken October 13, 2004.
Image, 2005, Mount St. Helens eruption plume, click to enlarge
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Mount St. Helens eruption plume, from Fishers Landing, Washington. Taken at approximately 5:30 pm. Image taken March 8, 2005.
Image, 2005, Mount St. Helens ash plume, click to enlarge
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Mount St. Helens ash plume, from Fishers Landing, Washington. Image taken November 22, 2005.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 3, 1805 ...
The Fog So thick [typical of the Pacific Northwest in the fall and spring] this morning that we could not See a man 50 Steps off, this fog detained us untill 10 oClock at which time we Set out [from their camp at Rooster Rock], ...    I walked on the Sand beech Lard. Side, opposit the canoes as they passed allong. The under groth rushes, vines &c. in the bottoms too thick to pass through, at 3 miles I arrived at the enterance of a river [Sandy River] which appeared to Scatter over a Sand bar, the bottom of which I could See quite across and did not appear to be 4 Inches deep in any part; I attempted to wade this Stream and to my astonishment found the bottom a quick Sand, and impassable- I called to the Canoes to put to Shore, I got into the Canoe and landed below the mouth, & Capt Lewis and my Self walked up this river about 1 miles to examine this river which we found to be a verry Considerable Stream Dischargeing its waters through 2 Chanels which forms an Island [Sandy River Delta, which has had various names throughout history] of about 3 miles in length on the river and 1 miles wide, composed of Corse Sand which is thrown out of this quick Sand river Compressing the waters of the Columbia and throwing the whole Current of its waters against its Northern banks, within a Chanel of a mile wide, Several Small Islands 1 mile up this river, This Stream has much the appearance of the River Platt: roleing its quick Sands into the bottoms with great velocity after which it is divided into 2 Chanels by a large Sand bar before mentioned, the narrowest part of this River is 120 yards-on the Opposit Side of the Columbia a <large Creek> falls in [Washougal River]     above this Creek on the Same Side is a Small prarie [location of Washougal, Washington, Cottonwood Beach, now the home of Captain William Clark Park, and the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge]. extensive low country on each Side thickly timbered [low area upstream of Cottonwood Beach and Captain William Clark Park is the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge].

The Quick Sand river [Sandy River] appears to pass through the low countrey at the foot of those high range of mountains in a Southerly direction,- The large Creeks which fall into the Columbia on the Stard. Side [Washougal River] rise in the Same range of mountains to the N. N. E. and pass through Some ridgey land- A Mountain which we Suppose to be Mt. Hood [Mount Hood, Oregon] is S. 85 E about 47 miles distant from the mouth of quick sand river [Sandy River]     This mtn. is Covered with Snow and in the range of mountains which we have passed through and is of a Conical form but rugid- after takeing dinner at the mouth of this river [Sandy River]  we proceeded on passed the head of a Island [Lady Island] near the lard Side [???] back of which on the Same Side and near the head a large Creek falls in [Washougal River, today the town of Camas, Washington, lies between Lady Island and the Washougal River], and nearly opposit & 3 miles below the upper mouth of quick Sand river is the lower mouth, [for?] This Island [Lady Island] is 3 1/2 miles long, has rocks at the upper point, Some timber on the borders of this Island in the middle open and ponney. Some rugid rocks in the middle of the Stream opposit this Island.   <proceeded in> to Center of a large Island in the middle of the river which we call Dimond Isld. [Government Island] from its appearance, here we met 15 Indn men in 2 canoes from below, they informed us they Saw 3 vestles below &c. &c. we landed on the North Side of this Dimond Island and Encamped [on the north side of Government Island, perhaps opposite Fishers Landing],     Capt. L walked out with his gun on the Island, Sent out hunters & fowlers- below quick Sand River [Sandy River] the Countrey is low rich and thickly timbered on each Side of the river  [on the Oregon side this area is the eastern end of the Columbia Slough, located on the floodplain of the Willamette River with the Columbia River],   the Islands open & Some ponds river wide and emence numbers of fowls flying in every direction Such as Swan, geese, Brants, Cranes, Stalks, white guls, comerants & plevers &c. also great numbers of Sea Otter in the river [Harbor Seals] -     a Canoe arrived from the village below the last rapid ...     Capt Lewis borrowed a Small Canoe of those Indians & 4 men took her across to a Small lake in the Isld. [Government Island] ...    ...  :  note the mountain we Saw from near the forks proves to be Mount Hood [Mount Hood, Oregon]





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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:    "Columbian.com" website, 2005, "Clark County Names";    "Columbian.com" website, 2005, "History";    Darton, N.H., 1909, Structural Materials in Parts of Oregon and Washington, USGS Bulletin 387;    Evarts, R.C., Conrey, R.M., Fleck, R.J., and Hagstrum, J.T., 2009, The Boring Volcanic Field of Portland-Vancouver area, Oregon and Washington: Tectonically anomalous forearc volcanism in an urban setting: IN: The Geological Society of America Field Guide 15;    Federal Writers' Project, 1941, "The New Washington: A Guild to the Evergreen State";    Hitchman, R., 1985, Place Names of Washington, Washington State Historical Society;    NOAA Office of Coast Survey website, 2005;    "Rootsweb.com" website, 2005;    U.S. Bureau of Land Management General Land Office (GLO) Records website, 2007;    U.S. Bureau of Land Management website, 2007, Cadastral Surveys;    U.S. Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) website, 2006;

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 2014