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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Wyeth, Oregon"
Includes ... Wyeth ... Nathaniel Wyeth ... Wyeth State Recreation Area ... Camp Wyeth ...
Image, 2006, Interstate 84 at Wyeth, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Interstate 84 at Wyeth, Oregon. View looking west. Image taken October 2, 2006.

Wyeth ...
Wyeth, Oregon, is located at Columbia River Mile (RM) 156, upstream of Cascade Locks, Herman Creek, and Government Cove, and downstream of Shellrock Mountain. Wyeth was a railway station and was named after Oregon pioneer Nathaniel J. Wyeth, builder of Fort Hall (today's Pocatello, Idaho) and the Fort William trading post on Sauvie Island. Today the location is the Wyeth State Recreation Area.

Nathaniel Wyeth ...
Nathaniel J. Wyeth let two expeditions to the Pacific Northwest, the first in 1832, and the second in 1834. Wyeth's purpose was the establish a fur trapping business. Between 1834 and 1835, Wyeth built Fort Williams on Sauvie Island, Oregon, in an attempt to establish a fur-trading enterprise in Hudson's Bay Company territory. The Fort was constructed on the island near the confluence of the Willamette River with the Columbia, about five miles from Fort Vancouver, and named for one of Wyeth's fur trade partners. Wyeth was unable to get a foothold into the Hudson's Bay Company trade and he abandoned the project in 1836.

Early Wyeth ...
According to McArthur and McArthur in "Oregon Geographic Names" (2003):

"... Oregon has seen fit to honor one of her notable explorers by attaching his name to a post office and a railroad station that achieved fame largely because it was for some years the site of a "tie pickling plant". The post office ran with one interruption from 1901 to 1936. More recently, Wyeth State Recreation Area has been established. ..."

Wyeth Station ...

Elliott's Restaurant
Lunch Parlor
Ice Cream
50 Miles East of Portland, on the Highway
At Wyeth's Station         J.F. ELLIOTT, Prop.

Source:    Ad appearing in "Official Columbia Highway Tour", 1916, Published by The Scenic Tours Company, Portland, Oregon.

CCC Camp ...
According to the U.S. Forest Service's "Wyeth Campground" information page (2014):

"... The Wyeth area was an early settlement site and was later used as a CCC camp in the 1930s and a Conscientious Objector camp in the 1940s. ..."

"Camp Wyeth" was established in the summer of 1933 as the CCC ("Civilian Conservation Corps") camps began. The camp closed for the winter in October and then opened again in the spring of 1935 as "Camp Cascade Locks". Another CCC camp, "Camp Latourelle", was established 26 miles downstream. This camp was a "summer camp" and existed through the summers of 1934 and 1935. The enrollees of these camps worked on road construction, roadside clearing, campground development, construction of trails, and general building projects. Camp Wyeth/Camp Cascade Locks was abandoned on November 15, 1941, making it one of the longest occupied Oregon CCC camps ("Camp Zigzag", located near Mount Hood, was the longest, occupied from 1933 through 1942.).

Wyeth State Recreation Area ...

Image, 2012, Columbia River as seen from Wyeth, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River as seen from Wyeth, Oregon. View looking north, towards Washington State, from Wyeth State Recreation Area. Image taken May 11, 2012.

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 ...     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:    McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland;    University of Oregon Libraries Columbia River Basin Digital Collection, 2013, "Official Columbia Highway Tour", 1916, Published by The Scenic Tours Company, Portland, Oregon;    U.S. Forest Service website, 2014, "Wyeth Campground";   

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.
April 2014