Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Home Regions Campsites Penny Postcards My Corps of Discovery Image Index Links About This Site Main Menu
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Shellrock and Shellrock Mountain, Oregon"
Includes ... Shellrock Mountain ... Shell Rock, Oregon ... Mt. Talapus ... "The Dalles and Sandy Wagon Road" ... The Golden Age of Postcards ...
Image, 2004, Shellrock Mountain, Oregon, from Starvation Creek, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Shellrock Mountain, Oregon, as seen from Starvation Creek State Park, Oregon. Interstate 84 is in the foreground. Image taken September 24, 2004.


Shell Rock, Oregon ...
Shell Rock, Oregon, Post Office was established April 14, 1873, in the vicinity of Shellrock Mountain. The Post Office was later moved across the Columbia into Washington Territory and re-named "Collins Landing". Briefly, in 1878, a second Shell Rock Post Office was established in Oregon. According to Oregon Geographic Names (McArthur and McArthur, 2003):

"Shell Rock post office was in operation again on the Oregon side between May 20 and August 19, 1878, whith John Cates postmaster. Castes, of a well-known Wasco County family, operated a sawmill a couple of miles west of the present site of Wyeth. The post office was apparently reestablished to serve people connected with the Cates mill. It was about three miles west of Shellrock Mountain but named for that feature nevertheless."

Shellrock Mountain ...
Shellrock Mountain, Oregon, is located on the southern shore of the Columbia River, at River Mile (RM) 157.5, upstream of Wyeth and downstream of Starvation Creek State Park. Across the Columbia on the Washington side are Wind Mountain, Home Valley, and Collins Point.

Image, 2005, Oregon and Shellrock Mountain from Home Valley, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Oregon and Shellrock Mountain from Home Valley Park, Home Valley, Washington. Image taken August 27, 2005.


Shellrock Mountain Geology ...
There are several "Shellrock" mountains in Oregon. According to Oregon Geographic Names (McArthur and McArthur, 2003):

"Mountains of this name are so called because the rock of which they are composed breaks off in platy chunks and piles up in long slopes, like shelled corn."

From Tolan and Beeson (1984): Shellrock Mountain, along with Wind Mountain, Washington and Government Cove, Oregon (approximately 4 miles downstream), is a microdioritic intrusion. Fragments of Columbia River basalt (xenoliths) have been found in almost all of these intrusives, indicating they are younger than the Columbia River basalt (specifically, Grande Ronde Basalt).

"Most geologists who have studied these intrusions believe that magma from them reached the surface and formed volcanic edifices that were subsequently removed by erosion." [Tolan and Beeson, 1984]

From Norman, et.al. (2004): Shellrock Mountain and Wind Mountain are granodiorite porphyry intrusions, with Shellrock Mountain's platy rubble at a repose angle of 42 degrees, making it a major obstacle to early road building through the Gorge.


Image, 2006, Interstate 84 at Shellrock Mountain, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Interstate 84 at Shellrock Mountain. Barrier on right keeps Shellrock Mountain rock off of Interstate 84. Image taken September 29, 2006


Mount Talapus ...
According to H.H. Riddell, in his article "The Lesser Waterfalls Along the Columbia" (Mazama, December 1916, vol.V, no.1, p.85-86):

"... Shellrock mountain near the sources of Tanner and McCord creeks was renamed Mt. Talapus after the legendary deity of the Indians. ..."

"The Dalles and Sandy Wagon Road" ...
The The Dalles and Sandy Wagon Road was authorized by the Oregon Legislature in 1867 and appropriation made for its construction. Portions of the old dry masonry retaining wall may still be seen on Shellrock Mountain, a hundred feet or so above the Columbia Highway.
[More]

Image, 2006, Wagon Road, Shellrock Mountain, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Remnant of the old Wagon Road on Shellrock Mountain, Oregon. View from Wind Mountain, Washington, looking south towards Oregon, with the Columbia River and Interstate 84 in the foreground. Image taken May 10, 2006.


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

Image, 2012, Shellrock Mountain, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Path (behind barrier) of the Historic Columbia River Highway at Shellrock Mountain, Oregon. View seen from heading east on Interstate 84. Rain drops on window. Image taken June 12, 2012.
Image, 2013, Shellrock Mountain, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Path (behind barrier) of the Historic Columbia River Highway at Shellrock Mountain, Oregon. View seen from heading east on Interstate 84. Image taken June 15, 2013.


Views of Shellrock Mountain ...

Image, 2003, Shellrock Mountain, Oregon, and Wind Mountain, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Shellrock Mountain, Oregon (left), and Wind Mountain, Washington (right). Image taken July 5, 2003.
Image, 2006, Shellrock Mountain, Oregon, from Wind Mountain, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Shellrock Mountain, Oregon, from Wind Mountain, Washington. Remnants of an old wagon road can be on the side of Shellrock Mountain, lower left. Image taken May 10, 2006.
Image, 2005, Shellrock Mountain from Home Valley, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Shellrock Mountain, Oregon, from Home Valley Park, Home Valley, Washington. Image taken August 27, 2005.
Image, 2005, Shellrock Mountain, Interstate 84, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
In the rain, Shellrock Mountain, Oregon, and Interstate 84. Image taken October 2, 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. Today the Penny Postcard has become a snapshot of history.

Penny Postcard, Shellrock Mountain and the Columbia River Highway, ca.1937, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Shellrock Mountain, Oregon, and the Columbia River Highway, postmarked 1937. Penny Postcard, postmarked 1937, "At the foot of Shell Rock Mountain, Columbia River Highway, Oregon.". Dog Mountain, Washington, is in the background. Published by The Oregon News, Portland, Oregon. Card is postmarked August 1937. Card #54. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Shellrock Mountain and the Columbia River Highway, 1945, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: "At Shell Mountain, Columbia River Highway", postmarked 1945. Penny Postcard, postmarked September 1945, "At Shell Mountain, Columbia River Highway, Portland, Ore." B.C. Markham. Card No.26. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, ca.1920, Wind Mountain and Columbia River, ca.1920, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Shellrock Mountain (left) and Wind Mountain (right), and the Columbia River, ca.1920. Penny Postcard, ca.1920, Columbia River, Shellrock Mountain, Oregon (left), and Wind Mountain, Washington (right). Caption reads: "Columbia River and Wind Mountain, Washington, from Columbia River Highway, Oregon". Copyright A.M. Prentiss. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 30, 1805 ...
A cool morning, a moderate rain all the last night, after eating a partial brackfast of venison we Set out [from their camp near Drano Lake and the Little White Salmon River]     passed Several places where the rocks projected into the river & have the appearance of haveing Seperated from the mountains and fallen promiscuisly into the river, Small nitches are formed in the banks below those projecting rocks which is comon in this part of the river, Saw 4 Cascades caused by Small Streams falling from the mountains on the Lard. Side,

[The possiblities in a two-mile area are - upstream to downstream - Starvation Creek and Falls, the seasonal Cabin Creek and Falls, Warren Creek and Falls, Wonder Creek and Lancaster Falls, Lindsey Creek and Falls, and Summit Creek and Falls.]

a remarkable circumstance in this part of the river is, the Stumps of pine trees [Submerged Forest]

[The Submerged Forest existed along the reach from above Dog Mountain/Viento Creek on the upstream edge and Wind Mountain/Shellrock Mountain on the downstream edge.]

are in maney places are at Some distance in the river, and gives every appearance of the rivers being damed up below from Some cause which I am not at this time acquainted with [Bonneville Landslide],     the Current of the river is also verry jentle not exceeding 1 1/2 mile pr. hour and about 3/4 of a mile in width. Some rain, we landed above the mouth of a Small river on the Stard. Side [Wind River] and Dined ...   :  here the river widens to about one mile large Sand bar in the middle, a Great [rock] both in and out of the water, large <round> Stones, or rocks are also permiscuisly Scattered about in the river, ...     The bottoms above the mouth of this little river [Wind River] <which we Call> is rich covered with grass & firn & is about 3/4 of a mile wide rich and rises gradually, below the river (which is 60 yards wide above its mouth) the Countery rises with Steep assent. we call this little river <fr Ash> New Timbered river from a Speces of Ash <that wood> which grows on its banks of a verry large and different from any we had before Seen, and a timber resembling the beech in bark <& groth> but different in its leaf which is Smaller and the tree smaller. passed maney large rocks in the river and a large creek on the Stard. Side in the mouth of which is an Island [Rock Creek near Stevenson, Washington], passed on the right of 3 Islands <on> near the Stard. Side, and landed on an Island close under the Stard. Side at the head of the great Shute [head of the Cascades Rapids], and a little below a village of 8 large houses on a Deep bend on the Stard. Side, and opposit 2 Small Islands imediately in the head of the Shute, which Islands are covered with Pine, maney large rocks also, in the head of the Shute. Ponds back of the houses, and Countrey low for a Short distance. The day proved Cloudy dark and disagreeable with Some rain all day which kept us wet. The Countary a high mountain on each Side thickly Covered with timber, Such as Spruc, Pine, Cedar, Oake Cotton &c. &c.     I took two men and walked down three miles to examine the Shute and river below proceeded along an old Indian path, passd. an old village at 1 mile [vicinity of Ice House Lake] ...     I found by examonation that we must make a portage of the greater perpotion of our Stores 2 1/2 miles, and the Canoes we Could haul over the rocks, I returned at Dark ...     a wet disagreeable evening, the only wood we could get to burn on this little Island on which we have encamped [near Ashes Lake, the island is now under the waters of the Bonneville Reservoir. Ashes Lake was near the head of the Cascade Rapids. Across from Ashes Lake is Cascade Locks, Oregon.] is the newly discovered Ash, which makes a tolerable fire. we made fifteen miles to daye





Columbia River GorgeReturn to
Menu
 



SNAKE RIVER CONFLUENCE | COLUMBIA PLATEAU
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE | VANCOUVER PLAINS | JOURNEY TO THE PACIFIC
CAMPSITES


HOME | REGIONS | PENNY POSTCARDS | MY CORPS OF DISCOVERY
IMAGE INDEX | LINKS | ABOUT THIS SITE


COLUMBIA RIVER IMAGES - HOME
NORTHWEST JOURNEY - HOME
NORTHWEST BIRDING
RIDGEFIELD NWR - BIRDS
COMPLETE BIRD LIST - PHOTOS
THE BARLOW ROAD
THE COLUMBIA RIVER HIGHWAY
WILDFLOWERS and WEED BLOSSOMS


*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:    Historic Columbia River Highway website, 2006, "Historic American Engineering Record HAER OR-56";    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 State Archives website, 2006, "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon;    Riddell, H.H., 1916, "The Lesser Waterfalls Along the Columbia", IN: Mazama, December 1916, vol.V, no.1;    Tolan, T.L., Beeson, M.H., and Vogt, B.F., 1984, Exploring the Neogene History of the Columbia River: Discussion and Geologic Field Trip Guide to the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon Geology, Vol.46, No.8, August 1984, and Vol.46, No.9, September 1984, Published by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries;   

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.
/Regions/Places/shellrock_mountain.html
© 2017, Lyn Topinka, "ColumbiaRiverImages.com", All rights reserved.
Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
September 2011