Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Sheridan Point, Washington"
Includes ... Sheridan Point ... Lieutenant Phil Sheridan ... "Cascades Massacre" ... North Bank Railroad ...
Image, 2003, Columbia River looking downstream Bridge of the Gods, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River looking downstream from Bridge of the Gods. Sheridan Point. Image taken June 15, 2003.


Sheridan Point ...
Sheridan Point is on the Washington side of the Columbia River, located between the Bonneville Dam and the Bridge of the Gods. The location of Fort Rains is downstream of Sheridan Point and the location of Fort Lugenbeel is upstream.

General Philip H. Sheridan ...
Sheridan Point was named after General Philip H. Sheridan who helped the settlers in the "Cascades Massacre" of 1856. Fifty plus years later Sheridan Point was the location of the "celebration" uniting the tracks of the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway.

In 1926 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Sheridan Point" official. Other variations in use at the time were "Sheridan's Point".


Cascades Massacre ...
Sheridan Point, located near the location of the Upper Cascades, was named after General Philip H. Sheridan (then Lieutenant) who helped the settlers during the "Cascades Massacre" of 1856. Today's Sheridan Point however is upstream of the landing of Lieutenant Sheridan and a group of 40 troups.
[More]

Image, 2005, Columbia River looking downstream Bridge of the Gods, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River looking downstream from Bridge of the Gods. Sheridan Point. Image taken May 13, 2005.


North Bank Railroad ...
"The North Bank Railroad", "The North Bank Road", "Columbia River Scenic Route", and "The Northwests Own Railway" are all phrases used to refer to the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway, which was completed in 1908, with a celebration being held at Sheridan Point upstream of the Fort Rains location.

"... In a driving rain on March 11, 1908, delighted locals joined dignitaries here at Sheridan's Point to celebrate completion of the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway between Pasco and Vancouver. ..." [Information sign, 2005, Fort Rains location, Washington State Highway 14]

[More]

Image, 2005, North Bank Road information signs, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Information sign for the North Bank Road. Image taken June 29, 2005.
Image, 2005, North Bank Road information signs, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Information sign for the North Bank Road. Caption for the left image reads: "Washington boasts the river's first railraod, which was built in 1851. A wooden cart on wooden rails and pulled by mules, it assisted early settlers around the Columbia's rapids. Despite this early start, modern locomotives were a long time coming." Caption for the right image reads: "In a driving rain on March 11, 1908, delighted locals joined dignitaries here at Sheridan's Point to celebrate completion of the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway between Pasco and Vancouver." Image taken June 29, 2005.
Image, 2005, Fort Rains and the North Bank Railroad, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
North Bank Railroad tracks at the Fort Rains location. Image taken February 26, 2005.


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





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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:    U.S. Geological Survey 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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Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
September 2008