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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Mitchell Spur and Mitchell Point, Oregon"
Includes ... Mitchell Point ... Mitchell Spur ... Mitchell Creek ... Mitchell Point Tunnel ... "Mitchell's Point" ... "Little Storm King" ... "Great Storm King" ... "Storm Crest" ... Mitchell ... Sonny ... C.W. Parker ... "Little Boy Ranch" ... Vinzenz Lausmann Memorial State Natural Area ... The Golden Age of Postcards ...
Image, 2014, Mitchell Point from Interstate 84, click to enlarge
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Mitchell Spur and Mitchell Point, Oregon, as seen from Interstate 84. View from moving car, heading east on Interstate 84, looking at the western side of Mitchell Point. Image taken November 10, 2014.


Mitchell Creek, Mitchell Spur, and Mitchell Point ...
Mitchell Creek, Mitchell Spur (490 feet), and Mitchell Point (1,178 feet) are all located on the Oregon side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 163.5. Upstream is Ruthton Point and Hood River. Downstream is Perham Creek, Viento Creek and Viento State Park, and Starvation Creek and Starvation Creek State Park. Across the river on the Washington side is Drano Lake and views of the Washington State Highway 14 tunnels. Before construction of Interstate 84, Mitchell Point was the location of scenic tunnel on the Historic Columbia River Highway. Today the overlook at the base of Mitchell Point provides great views of the Columbia River Gorge. The Broughton Flume can be seen perched on the Washington hillsides across from the point.

Image, 2006, Mitchell Point, as seen from Spring Creek, click to enlarge
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Mitchell Point, Oregon, as seen from near Spring Creek, Washington. Image taken May 10, 2006.


Mitchell Point Overlook ...
In November 2012, the "new" overlook of the Columbia River at Mitchell Point opened. Stonework wall is reminiscent of the original Columbia River Highway walls.

Views of the Overlook ...

Image, 2014, Mitchell Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
New overlook (opened in November 2012) at Mitchell Point, Oregon. Image taken November 10, 2014.
Image, 2014, Mitchell Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Stonework wall at overlook at Mitchell Point, Oregon. Image taken November 10, 2014.
Image, 2014, Mitchell Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Information sign at overlook at Mitchell Point, Oregon. Image taken November 10, 2014.
Image, 2014, Mitchell Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Overlook at Mitchell Point, as seen from Mitchell Point Trailhead, Oregon. Image taken November 10, 2014.


Who was Mitchell ??? ...
From "Oregon Geographic Names" (McArthur and McArthur, 2003):

"Beyond the fact that a man named Mitchell lived and died near this point, there is little information available. He is reported to have been a trapper. Although there have been efforts to change the name to Storm Crest, the public has not looked with favor on the suggestion and prefers the old name. The famous Tunnel of Many Vistas on the Historic Columbia River Highway pierced Mitchell Point but was destroyed when I-84 was constructed."

Historic Columbia River Highway ...
[More Historic Columbia River Highway]
[More HCRH Route]

Image, 2010, Mitchell Point from Interstate 84, click to enlarge
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Historical Columbia River Highway path (fence) at Mitchell Point, Oregon, as seen from Interstate 84. View from moving car, heading east on Interstate 84, looking up at Mitchell Point. Image taken April 18, 2010.


Mitchell Point Tunnel ...
The Mitchell Point Tunnel on the Historic Columbia River Highway, was designed and constructed by John Arthur Elliott. The tunnel was blasted through solid rock and featured five windows overlooking the river (see "The Golden Age of Postcards" below). It served as a primary car and truck route across the Columbia until 1932, when Tooth Rock Tunnel was opened, offering an alternative route.

In the 1955 when Interstate 84 was built along the Columbia River the narrow Mitchell Point Tunnel was permanently closed. In 1966, because of crumbling condition, the tunnel was blasted from the cliff.


Mitchell Point Tunnel in 1940 ...
From the Oregon State Archives "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon":

"MITCHELL POINT TUNNEL (watch for traffic signals) 130.3 m., was bored through a cliff overhanging the river. In its 385-foot length are hewn five large arched windows overlooking the Columbia. The great projecting rock through which the bore was made was known among the Indians as the Little Storm King, while the sky sweeping mountain above was called the Great Storm King."


Penny Postcard, Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1920, click to enlarge
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Penny Postcard: Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1920. Penny Postcard, ca.1920, "Mitchell Point Tunnel, Columbia River Highway, Oregon". Published by Wesley Andrews, Inc., Portland, Oregon, Card #825. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1930, click to enlarge
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Penny Postcard: Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1930. Penny Postcard, ca.1930, Postmarked 1951, "Mitchell's Point Tunnel. Columbia River Highway, Oregon.". Image Copyright Cross & Dimmitt. Published by Angelus Commercial Studio, Portland, Oregon. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.


Mitchell Point, etc.

  • 1912 and 1915 ... C.W. Parker Summer Home (Little Boy Ranch) ...
  • 1930s ... Mitchell Point Tourist Spot ...
  • Mitchell Point Drive ...
  • Mitchell Point Geology ...
  • Mitchell Point Today - Walls and Foundations ...
  • Sonny ...
  • Storm Kings and Storm Crest ...
  • The Dalles and Sandy Wagon Road ...
  • Vinzenz Lausmann Memorial State Natural Area ...
  • Vinzenz Lausmann Memorial State Park in 1965 ...
  • Views from Mitchell Point ...


1912 and 1915 ... C.W. Parker Summer Home (Little Boy Ranch) ...

"SCENERY ALONG AUTO ROUTE NOW BEAUTIFUL"
Hood River City and Valley Residents Are Awakening to Splendor of Natural Wonders Lying on Pathway to Their Doors.
Home Commands Fine View.

"An insight into the prophecy of LeRoy Armstrong in his "Hagar's Son," a story recently appearing in Sunset and which dealt with the Columbia River road of the future lined with hundreds of Summer homes, may be had when one takes a peep at the residence of C.W. Parker, a handsome long bungalow built beside the proposed highway just beyond the ramparts of Mitchell's Point. Mr. Parker has passed his life in newspaper work. His work has taken him all over the world, but of all the spots that he has seen, he says, he is most pleased with that in the Columbia Gorge, which, he says, he has selected as his Summer home. The log walls of the livingroom have many windows opening out on terraces and from which one may look to the west for miles down the Columbia. The view presented at sunset is particularly gorgeous. In Summer time the sun seems to drop out of sight in the very center of the gorge.

Mr. Parker believes that it will be but a short time until the Columbia's banks will be dotted with many such homes. The Columbia will be the Western Hudson."


Newspaper Image, Sunday Oregonian, April 7, 1912, click to enlarge
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NEWSPAPER Illustration, "C.W. Parker Builds Summer House", Mitchell Point, Columbia River Highway, Oregon. Source: "Sunday Oregonian", April 7, 1912, courtesy University of Oregon Newspaper Archives, 2014.


Source:    "Sunday Oregonian", April 7, 1912, courtesy University of Oregon Newspaper Archives, 2014.

"Picturesque Homes Will Be Built Along The Columbia Highway"

"The first picturesque home to be built in Hood River county along the route of the Columbia highway has been constructed just west of Mitchell Point by C.W. Parker. The "Little Boy Ranch," such is the name given the place, on account of its unique beauty arouses the admiration of all who see it. The house is constructed of great hewn logs. It presents the work of master craftsman. And the interior shows the same picturesque blending. Huge fireplaces yawn at each end of a large living room, from the center of which a large stairway leads to the second story. The grounds have been terraced and beautified.

The home of the Little Boy ranch may be taken as a harbinger of what we may expect along the scenic Columbia highway."


Newspaper Image, Sunday Oregonian, August 22, 1915, click to enlarge
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NEWSPAPER Illustration, "Little Boy Ranch", Mitchell Point, Columbia River Highway, Oregon. Source: "Hood River Glacier", April 15, 1915, courtesy University of Oregon Newspaper Archives, 2014.


Source:    "Hood River Glacier", April 15, 1915, courtesy University of Oregon Newspaper Archives, 2014.

MITCHELLS POINT HAS ITS "GOOD SAMARITAN"
C.W. Parker, Who Lives at Base of Noted Grade on Scenic Highway, Gives Aid to Scores of Stalled Motorists.

"HOOD RIVER, Or., Aug.21. -- (Special.) -- C.W. Parker, whose home, "Little Boy Ranch," nestles in a cove at the west base of Mitchells Point grade, that tortuous portion of the present route of the Columbia River Highway that will be eliminated as soon as the long viaduct and tunnel at this point are opened to traffic, has won the name of "The Good Samaritan" of the Columbia River Highway. Scarecely a day or night has passed since the scenic highway was opened that Mr. Parker may not have been seen assisting some motoring wayfarer over the steep 24 per cent grade. Almost hourly he is called from his work to fill the gas tank of some automobile, having allowed a garage company to place an auxiliary station at his place. And when a machine becomes stalled on the heavy grade, Mr. Parker is one of the first to lend the strength of his arms and shoulders.

It was about three weeks ago that a Salem minister and his wife, while motoring over the steep road, were caught on the most precipitous part of the grade. Their distress was seen by Mr. Parker who hastened up the hillside with a stick to be used as a scotch under the car's wheel. After a 15-minute struggle the automobile was eased to the level near the "Little Boy Ranch" home, where additional gasoline was procured, and it was then that the minister, looking the big owner of the unique place up and down, said: "Mr. Parker, I am going to christen you "The Good Samaritan of the Columbia River Highway." And the name has stuck. ...

Inside and out the home of Mr. and Mrs. Parker is one of the most unique in Oregon. Mr. Parker has been in newspaper work both abroad and in America. From the British Isles, the Continent and the four corners of North America he has gathered interesting curios that now find a place in the Hood River County home. ...

Home Is Unique.

The entire main floor of the Parker home is given over to an enormous living-room. Two cavernous fireplaces, one at either end of the building, throw out a glow of cheer in the cool seasons. Around the entire home runs a broad, glass-inclosed veranda. The west view from this porch is declared one of the best along the entire length of the Columbia River. The towering crags of Mitchells Point rear themselves directly behind the rustic home.

"Little Boy Ranch" home was completed four Summers ago. "I knew then," says Mr. Parker, "that it would only be a question of time until the highway would be built along the Columbia."

The old State road passes through the terrace-like pass over Mitchells Point to the rear of the Parker home. The new highway takes a lower level, sweeping in a graceful curve directly to the east of the home is the wonderful open-window tunnel. ...

"I will be very glad," says the hospitable owner of the artistic home, "when the tunnel and viaduct are ready for traffic, not that I am not willing to assist every automobilist that may get stuck on the grade, but I now live in constant fear lest somebody may be injured in an accident on this steep, twisting road. As you will see from wood strewn along the hillside, I have carried half a cord up after slowly moving machines, using the pieces for scotch blocks, whenever cars stall.""


Newspaper Image, Sunday Oregonian, August 22, 1915, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
NEWSPAPER Illustration, "Little Boy Ranch", Mitchell Point, Columbia River Highway, Oregon. Source: "Sunday Oregonian", August 22, 1915, courtesy University of Oregon Newspaper Archives, 2014.


Source:    "Sunday Oregonian", August 22, 1915, courtesy University of Oregon Newspaper Archives, 2014.



1930s ... "Mitchell Point Tourist Spot" ...
"In 1912, Charles W. and Helena Parker established a summer home here at Mitchell Point. With the construction of the new Columbia River Highway and Mitchell Point Tunnel (east of here) in 1915, the Parkers' place became a one-of-a-kind landmark. Motorists stopped here to enjoy the grand view of the river -- and to admire the "Tunnel of Many Vistas," an engineering marvel of the day.

In the early 1930s, Elsie "Babe" Tenney, a single mother from Oklahoma, bought the Parker property. A savvy and hard-workng businesswoman, Babe ran a grill, service station, roadhouse, and rental cabins -- all while raising two sons.

Throughout Prohibition and the Great Depression, Babe's tourist stop earned a reputation as a place to cast away cares and woes. Here, you could eat a hearty meal, Lindy Hop (swing dance) to a hot Portland band, and rent a room for the night. Rumor has it that moonshine may have enlivened the good times.

Babe TEnney died in 1944, and her family sold the property. Later owners built a small motel. By the 1950s, the new water-level highway (Interstate 84) bypassed the site and business suffered. The owners donated the property to the state for a park. In the early 1960s, all the buildings were removed."


Source:    Information sign, Mitchell Point, November 2014.


Image, 2014, Info sign detail, Mitchell Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Detail, information sign, Cabins, Gas Station, and Roadhouse, Mitchell Point, Oregon. Image taken November 10, 2014.
Image, 2014, Info sign detail, Mitchell Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Detail, information sign, Shell Station, Motel, and Roadhouse, Mitchell Point, Oregon. Image taken November 10, 2014.


Mitchell Point Drive ...
[More]


Mitchell Point Geology ...
From Norman, et.al. (2004): Mitchell Point consists of Grande Ronde lavas of the Columbia River Basalt Group (early Miocene, erupted between 17 million and 5.5 million years ago) dipping 30 degrees to the southeast, capped by 100 feet of Troutdale Formation quartzitic gravels (Pliocene, 5.3 to 1.8 million years ago), which in turn are unconformably overlain by later lavas (Pliocene to Pleistocene) with low initial dip.

Image, 2005, Mitchell Point from Ruthton Park, click to enlarge
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Mitchell Point from Ruthton Park, Oregon. Image taken June 4, 2005.

Mitchell Point consists of Grande Ronde Basalt dipping 30 degrees to the southeast, and is capped by 100 feet of Troutdale Formation quartzitic gravels, which in turn are overlain by later lavas.
Image, 2014, Mitchell Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mitchell Spur as seen from Mitchell Point trailhead, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon. Image taken November 10, 2014.


Mitchell Point Today - Walls and Foundations ...
All of the buildings were removed from the Mitchell Point area in the 1960s. All that remains today are stone walls and concrete foundations.

Image, 2014, Mitchell Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Walls and foundations, Mitchell Point, Oregon. Image taken November 10, 2014.

Old Columbia River Highway retaining wall (bottom), Motel slab (middle), and Roadhouse retaining wall/foundation (furthest back).
Image, 2014, Mitchell Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Old Columbia River Highway retaining wall, Mitchell Point, Oregon. Image taken November 10, 2014.
Image, 2014, Mitchell Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Old Columbia River Highway retaining wall, Mitchell Point, Oregon. Image taken November 10, 2014.
Image, 2014, Mitchell Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Roadhouse retaining wall, Mitchell Point, Oregon with old motel foundation lower right. Image taken November 10, 2014.


"Sonny" ...
At the western base of Mitchell Point and east of Mitchell Creek lay a railroad station of "Sonny". According to McArthur and McArthur in "Oregon Geographic Names" (2003):

"... The Station west of Hood River bore an unusual name. It was formerly called Mitchell, but owing to confusion with another place in the state of the same name, it was decided by railroad officials to make a change. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Parker, owners of the Little Boy Ranch just west of Mitchell Point, tried to have the station named Little Boy, but this was not acceptable to the railroad because it was awkward in telegraphy. Mrs. Parker's nickname, Sonny, was finally selected as the next best thing."

Today this would be the approximate location of the exit from Oregon Highway 84 heading up to the Mitchell Point overlook.


Image, 2014, Info sign detail, Mitchell Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mitchell Point exit off of Interstate 84, looking at Mitchell Spur, Mitchell Point, Oregon. Image taken November 10, 2014.


Storm Kings and Storm Crest ...
Mitchell Spur was known as "Little Storm King" and Mitchell Point was "Great Storm King". In the 1940 publication "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon", the writers wrote:

"... The great projecting rock through which the bore was made was known among the Indians as the Little Storm King, while the sky sweeping mountain above was called the Great Storm King. ..."

"Storm Crest", a name which often shows up on early 1900s Penny Postcards, was another name used in reference to Mitchell's Spur, and the Mitchell Point Tunnel was called "Storm Crest Tunnel".

"Prominent Artist Here"

"H. Ellsworth Bassett, an artist of Newark, N.J., who has just finished a sketching tour of the Pacific coast national parks, is visitng at the Little Boy Ranch, the country home of Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Parker. Mr. Bassett will make paintings of Mitchells Point, the towering cliff, known to the early Indians as Storm King, and the famed tunnel with its open windows looking upon the Columbia.

The painter while here will make excursions to mid-Columbia streams for trout fishing."


Source:    "Hood River Glacier", July 17, 1919, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspaper Archives, University of Oregon website, 2014.



Owner of Face of Mitchell's Point
Opposes Portland Plan.

"HOOD RIVER, Or., Sept.29 -- (Special.) -- Edgar Locke, owner of the face of Mitchell's point, the huge cliff jutting out over the Columbia river highway above the windowed tunnel there, protests the proposed plan of a Portland civic organization to name the promontory for Colonel McAlexander. Mr. Locke, who said the west side of the cliff is owned by C.W. Parker and the southern portion by Seneca Fouts of Portland, protested the application of the name "Storm King", as the promontory was said to have been called by Indians, when Mitchell's point tunnel was first opened.

Mr. Locke, who says that he has a letter from an ex-governor, supporting him in his protest, cites that in extremely early pioneer times a man by the name of Mitchell settled at the east foot of the towering promontory."


Source:    "Morning Oregonian", September 30, 1921, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspaper Archives, University of Oregon website, 2015.



The Dalles and Sandy Wagon Road ...
The old wagon road and the Historic Columbia River Highway (HCRH) at Mitchell Point:

  • "This section contains three fragments of the historic highway [HCRH] between Perham Creek, on the west end, and Mitchell Point to the east. The short segment at Perham Creek is a remnant left where the historic highway curved south around a rocky point, away from the water line into the mouth of the Perham Creek draw. Historically, the highway then rose along the basalt rock shelf above the railroad, following the course of the old wagon road to Mitchell Point. At Mitchell Point the highway diverged from the wagon road over the point, going through Mitchell Point tunnel instead." [Historic Columbia River Highway Cultural Landscape Inventory Report, 2010]

[More]


Vinzenz Lausmann Memorial State Natural Area ...
In 1954 the Lausmann family donated 126 acres to the Columbia River Gorge Commission, who in turn gave the land to the State for park purposes, stipulating that it be named in memory of Vinzenz Lausmann. It was acquired to protect the scenic Mitchell Point area, joining the Wygant Natural Area to the west and the Seneca Fouts Natural Area to the east.
[More]
ANNA AND VINZENZ LAUSMANN
MEMORIAL PARK

This Plaque Is Adjacent To A Tract Of Land
Given To
The People Of The State of Oregon
For Park Purposes
Donated In Memory Of Their Father And Mother
By
Anton A. Lausmann And Joseph H. Lausmann
To Further
The Recreational And Scenic Aspects
Of The Columbia River Gorge
December 28, 1954

Image, 2014, Mitchell Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Lausmann Memorial Park, Mitchell Point, Oregon. Image taken November 10, 2014.
Image, 2014, Mitchell Point, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Plaque, Lausmann Memorial Park, Mitchell Point, Oregon. Image taken November 10, 2014.


Vinzenz Lausmann Memorial State Park in 1965 ...
VINZENZ LAUSMANN MEMORIAL STATE PARK

Vinzenz Lausmann Memorial State Park is located on Interstate Highway 80N, near Mitchell Point, approximately five miles west of the city of Hood River in Hood River County.

The entire park area, 126 acres, was a gift from the Columbia River Gorge Commission on August 14, 1961. It was first a gift to the Gorge Commission from the Lausmann family on December 28, 1954, as a memorial to Vinzenz Lausmann and to be used for park purposes. The document relinquishing title to the state specifies that title is given upon the condition that said land shall be designated and forever known as "Vinzenz Lausmann Memorial Park."

Preservation of the scenic aspects of the Columbia River Gorge prompted the Commission to accept this generous gift. The Lausmann tract is located in a scenic section of the gorge and joins Seneca Fouts State Park to the north and east and Wygant State Park to the west.

The terrain in general is quite steep, and south of the old highway it rises abruptly. The coverage is small fir trees intermingled with maple and alder, two varieties which add greatly to the beauty of the gorge when fall turns their green leaves to many brilliant colors.

A plaque giving information about Mr. Lausmann and his gift to the public is to be erected at this park. Mr. Lausmann supplied $753.45 to the Columbia Gorge Commission toward the plaque.

No improvements have been added to this area."


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



Views from Overlook at Mitchell Point ...
A "Mitchell Point Overlook" of the Columbia River Gorge is easily accessible from the eastbound lanes of Interstate 84. The viewpoint offers good views of the Columbia River, Washington State's Drano Lake, Washington State Highway 14 Tunnels, and remnants of the old Broughton Flume.

Image, 2005, Looking downstream from Mitchell Point, click to enlarge
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Columbia River looking downstream from Mitchell Point, Oregon. Image taken June 4, 2005.
Image, 2005, Columbia River Gorge from Mitchell Point, click to enlarge
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Columbia River looking downstream from Mitchell Point, Oregon. Image taken August 27, 2005.
Image, 2005, Drano Lake from Mitchell Point, click to enlarge
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Drano Lake from Mitchell Point. Image taken August 27, 2005.
Image, 2005, Tunnel No.2 from Mitchell Point, click to enlarge
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Washington State Highway Tunnel No.2 from Mitchell Point. Railroad Tunnel No.3 is not visible behind the trees. View of the west portal. Image taken June 4, 2005.
Image, 2005, Washington Highway 14 Tunnel No.3, Washington, click to enlarge
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Broughton Flume on slope above Washington State Highway 14 Tunnel No.3. Image taken June 4, 2005.


"The Golden Age of Postcards" ...

The early 1900s was the "Golden Age of Postcards", with the "Penny Postcard" being a popular way to send greetings to family and friends. The Penny Postcard today has become a snapshot of history.

Penny Postcard, Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1920, click to enlarge
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Penny Postcard: Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1920. Penny Postcard, ca.1920, "Mitchell Point Tunnel, Columbia River Highway, Oregon". Published by Wesley Andrews, Inc., Portland, Oregon, Card #825. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1920, click to enlarge
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Penny Postcard: Mitchell Point Tunnel and the Columbia River Highway, ca.1920. Penny Postcard, ca.1920, "Mitchell's Point, Columbia River Highway, Oregon.". Caption on back reads: "Mitchell's Point. This picture shows the west approach to tunnel at Mitchell's Point, which is locaed beyond Cascade Locks and near Hood River. This tunnel has five gigantic windows overlooking the Columbia and the mountains beyond, and is particularly interesting because it is the most expensive piece of construction on the highway.". Published by Chas. S. Lipschuetz Company, Portland, Oregon. Card #327. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1920, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1920. Penny Postcard, ca.1920, "Viaduct and Tunnel at Mitchell's Point from Columbia River Bank, Columbia River Highway, Oregon.". Published by The Oregon News Co., Portland, Oregon. Card #40. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1920, click to enlarge
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Penny Postcard: Mitchell Point Tunnel, also known as "Storm Crest Tunnel", with steamer, ca.1920. Penny Postcard, ca.1920, "Windows in Storm Crest Tunnel, Columbia River Highway.". Handwritten note on back states that the steamer is the "Bailey Gatzert". Copyright Weister Co., Published by Chas. S. Lipschuetz Company, Portland, Oregon. Card #323. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.

Caption on back reads: "Storm Crest Tunnel. Not only is Storm Crest Tunneled, but it has five gigantic windows overlooking the Columbia and the moutains beyond. Nothing like it is known anywhere, save in a certain point in France and in the famous Axenstrasse along the shore of Lake Lucerne, in Switzerland, and that has only three windows, while Storm Crest has five. It also has parapets at the windows and seats for vistors within.".

Penny Postcard, Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1920, click to enlarge
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Penny Postcard: Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1920. Penny Postcard, ca.1920, "Mitchells Point Tunnel. Columbia River Highway, Oregon.". Sawyer Scenic Photo. Card #C-G50. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1930, click to enlarge
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Penny Postcard: Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1930. Penny Postcard, ca.1930, Postmarked 1951, "Mitchell's Point Tunnel. Columbia River Highway, Oregon.". Image Copyright Cross & Dimmitt. Published by Angelus Commercial Studio, Portland, Oregon. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1920, click to enlarge
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Penny Postcard: Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1920. Penny Postcard, ca.1920, "Interior Mitchell Point Tunnel, Columbia River Highway, Oregon.". Published by The Oregon News Co., Portland, Oregon. Card #59. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1921, click to enlarge
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Penny Postcard: West Entrance, Mitchell Point Tunnel, ca.1921. Penny Postcard, Postmarked 1921, "West Entrance to Mitchell's Point Tunnel, Columbia River Highway, Oregon.". Caption on back reads: "This view gives one a very clear idea o the cost and ingenuity of the engineers who had charge of the construction.". Published by The Oregon News Company. Card #O-46. Card is postmarked May 26, 1921. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 29, 1805 ...
A cloudy morning wind from the West but not hard, we Set out at day light [from their camp on Rocky Island at Crates Point], and proceeded on about five miles Came too on the Stard. Side at a village of 7 houses built in the Same form and materials of those above, here we found the Chief we had Seen at the long narrows [The Dalles] ...     they are hospitable and good humered Speak the Same language of the inhabitants of the last village, we call this the friendly village [vicinity of Dougs Beach]. ...     after brackfast we proceeded on, the mountains are high on each Side [high basalt cliffs of the Rowena Gap, with Rowena Crest on the south and the Chamberlain Lake area on the north], containing Scattering pine white oake & under groth, hill Sides Steep and rockey; at 4 miles lower we observed a Small river falling in with great rapidity on the Stard. Side [Klickitat River] below which is a village of 11 houses [today the town of Lyle is on the upstream side of the Klickitat], here we landed to Smoke a pipe with the nativs and examine the mouth of the river, which I found to be 60 yards wide rapid and deep, The inhabitants of the village are friendly and Chearfull; those people inform us also those at the last village that this little river is long and full of falls, no Salmon pass up it, it runs from N. N. E. that ten nations live on this river and its waters, on buries, and what game that Can kill with their Bow & arrows

we purchased 4 dogs and Set out- (this village is the of the Same nation of the one we last passed) and proceeded on The Countrey on each side begin to be thicker timbered with Pine and low white Oake; verry rockey and broken [passing Mayer State Park on the Oregon side]. passed three large rocks in The river the middle rock is large long and has Several Squar vaults on it. we call this rockey Island the Sepulchar [Memaloose Island] - The last river we passed we Shall Call the Cataract River [Klickitat River] from the number of falls which the Indians say is on it- passed 2 Lodges of Indians a Short distance below the Sepulchar Island [Memaloose Island] on the Stard. Side river wide, at 4 mile passed 2 houses on the Stard. Side, Six miles lower passed 4 houses above the mouth of a Small river 40 yards wide on the Lard. Side [Hood River]    a thick timbered bottom above & back of those houses; those are the first houses which we have Seen on the South Side of the Columbia River, (and the axess to those dificuelt) for fear of the approach of their common enemies the Snake Indians, passed 14 houses on the Std. Side Scattered on the bank- from the mouth of this little river which we shall Call Labeasche River [Hood River], the falls mountain [Mount Hood] is South and the top is covered with Snow.    one mile below pass the mouth of a large rapid Stream on the Stard. Side [White Salmon River], opposit to a large Sand bar [from Hood River], in this creek the Indians above take their fish, here we Saw Several canoes, which induced us to call this Canoe Creek [White Salmon River] it is 28 yards wide, about 4 miles lower and below the Sand bar [Hood River sandbar] is a butifull cascade falling over a rock of about 100 feet [Wah Gwin Gwin Falls, location of the Columbia Gorge Hotel],

[On the route map (Moulton, vol.1, map#78) a "C___ Spring" is shown on the north side of the river, today the location of Spring Creek and Spring Creek Fish Hatchery, with no mention of it in any text. On the south side, at the location of Wah Gwin Gwin Falls, only "Cascade" is labeled and "4 Houses of Indians".]

a Short distance lower passed 4 Indian houses on the Lard. Side in a timbered bottom, a fiew miles further we came too at 3 houses on Stard. Side, back of which is a pond [today the location of Drano Lake. The Little White Salmon River empties into Drano Lake.] in which I Saw Great numbers of Small Swan, Capt. Lewis and went into the houses of those people ...     Here the mountains are high on each Side, those to the Lard. Side has Some Snow on them at this time, more timber than above and of greater variety.





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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;    McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland;    Norman, D.K., Busacca, A.J., and Teissere, R., 2004, Geology of the Yakima Valley Wine Country - A Geologic Field Trip Guide from Stevenson to Zillah, Washington, Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources Field Trip Guide 1, June 2004;    Oregon Department of Transportation website, 2005, 2007;    Oregon State Archives website, 2005, "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon";    Oregon State Parks and Recreation website, 2014;    University of Oregon Newspaper Archives, 2014;   

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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November 2014