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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Wyeth, Oregon"
Includes ... Wyeth ... Nathaniel Wyeth ... CCC Camp Wyeth ... Wyeth Campground ... Gorton Creek ... Treaty Fishing Access Site ...
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. In the 1930s the Wyeth area was a CCC camp and in the 1940s it was a Conscientious Objector camp. Today Wyeth is part of the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area. It hosts the U.S. Forest Service Wyeth Campground (seasonal) and the Wyeth Treaty Fishing Access Site.

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. ..."

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.

Historic Columbia River Highway ...
The Historic Columbia River Highway runs through Wyeth and crosses Gorton Creek.
[More]

Image, 2015, Gorton Creek, Wyeth, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Gorton Creek Bridge, Historic Columbia River Highway, Wyeth, Oregon. View looking east. Image taken April 9, 2015.
Image, 2015, Gorton Creek, Wyeth, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Gorton Creek Bridge, Historic Columbia River Highway, Wyeth, Oregon. View looking west. Image taken April 9, 2015.


Wyeth Station ...

Elliott's Restaurant
and
Lunch Parlor
SOFT DRINKS, CIGARS
and
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.

USFS Wyeth Campground ...
According to the U.S. Forest Service, "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." (see more below).

Image, 2015, Wyeth, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Wyeth Campground, Wyeth, Oregon. Image taken April 9, 2015.


Treaty Fishing Access Site ...
Construction began in 2010 and finished in 2011 on the Wyeth Treaty Fishing Access Site. The site helps fulfill a treaty made with Native Tribes for 400 acres of Columbia River fishing, a treaty made in the late 1880s and interrupted by the building of the Bonneville Dam.

Work starts at Wyeth site on Columbia
By Duran Bobb, June 2, 2010, Spilyay Tymoo, The Newspaper of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.

"Construction began last week on the Wyeth Columbia River treaty fishing access site, located between Hood River and Cascade Locks. The $8 million in-lieu project is expected to be finished in late summer of 2011.

The Warm Springs, Yakama, Umatilla and Nez Perce tribes attended the Wyeth ground-breaking ceremony on May 27, hosted by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"This means that there will be more fishing sites for our Indian people," said Chief Delvis Heath.

At the ceremony, tribal and federal representatives signed the construction labor agreement with Corps of Engineers.

The new fishing site is to mitigate the loss of tribal fishing sites decades ago.

"They originally promised us 400 acres of in-lieu fishing sites, but we only got 40 acres," Chief Heath said.

"So we went back to them in 1988 to remind them of the promises that were made to our people. They put the Army Corp of Engineers in charge, and now they’re finally fulfilling their promises." Col. Steven Miles said that he looks forward to a future of cooperation with the Columbia River tribes. "This is one step toward making sure that we can maintain a healthy relationship with the tribes," he said.

The Columbia River treaty fishing access site (CRTFAS) is an authorized project for the mitigation of lost tribal treaty fishing access resulting from construction of the Bonneville Dam. Project elements include roadway design, a bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, marine structures—including a boat dock, a boat ramp and breakwaters—vault toilets, and campground facilities.

After signing their treaties in the 1850s, the Columbia River tribes were guaranteed their right to fish at the usual and accustomed fishing grounds along the river and its tributaries.

In 1889, Indian agent George Gordon investigated claims that the treaty tribes were being excluded from their fishing grounds. As the result of actions that followed, the tribes’ treaty-protected rights were firmly established as a matter of law.

Construction of dams on the river resulted in more loss of tribal fishing grounds.

In 1940, the Army Corps of Engineers was directed to acquire 400 acres of lands along the Columbia River and construct facilities for use by the treaty tribes.

It took almost 20 years to acquire five sites.

In 1988, the tribes suggested several sites which were already being used by tribal fishermen. The Army Corp of Engineers was provided with authority to acquire at least six additional sites adjacent to Bonneville Pool from willing sellers.

"They say they’re almost done," Chief Heath says.

"They’re coming to the end of the 400 acres… They purchased a lot of land, but I think most of it is way above, and not in the Bonneville pool. But at these sites, we don’t share with outsiders." Chief Heath said, "These are made just for our people, as compensation for what was lost when the dams were built. They need to let people know that this is an In-Lieu Fishing Site."



WYETH
TREATY FISHING ACCESS SITE

U.S. GOVERNMENT PROPERTY
United States Department of the Interior

BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
PORTLAND REGIONAL OFFICE
RESTRICTED ACCESS
FOR THE USE OF MEMBERS OF THE FOLLOWING TRIBES
IN PURSUIT OF THEIR TREATY FISHING RIGHTS

Nez Perce Tribe
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon
Yakama Nation

Image, 2015, Wyeth, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Treaty Fishing Access Site sign, Wyeth, Oregon. Image taken April 9, 2015.
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. Image taken May 11, 2012.


Wyeth, etc.

  • Gorton Creek and Harphan Creek ...
  • Wyeth Campground Timeline ... (1911 - Present)
  • CCC Camp Wyeth/Camp Cascade Locks ... (1933 - 1941)
  • CPS Camp #21 ... (1941 - 1947)


Gorton Creek and Harphan Creek ...
Gorton Creek and Harphan Creek run through the Wyeth area.
[More]

Image, 2015, Gorton Creek, Wyeth, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Gorton Creek, looking upstream, Wyeth, Oregon. View from Historic Columbia River Highway Bridge over Gorton Creek. Image taken April 9, 2015.


Timeline, Wyeth Campground ...
  
1911
Forest Service seed kiln

1933
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

1941
Civilian Public Service (CPS)

1947
Forest Service Guard Station and youth church camp

1960
No official use

1983
Forest Service Campground

Present


Source:   Information Sign, Wyeth Campground, visited June 2015.


CCC Camp Wyeth/Camp Cascade Locks ... (1933 - 1941)
Wyeth was the location of a Civilian Conservation Camp (CCC) known first at Camp Wyeth (F-7) and later as Camp Cascade Locks (F-7).

"... 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. ..." [U.S. Forest Service website, 2014]

Camp Wyeth was established in the summer of 1933 as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) 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.).

Camp Wyeth/Cascade Locks, F-7:

"Camp Wyeth was originally established and operated in the CCC's first enrollment period during the summer of 1933. The first company at Camp Wyeth was No. 606, made up of junior enrollees from Illinois ...  Carroll E. Brown, a locally enrolled foreman at the camp, noted Camp Wyeth was located about 5 miles east of Cascade Locks. Brown worked under Project Superintendent Rudy Tohl and assisted with various road, trail, and campground construction projects. The camp was one of six CCC camps on the Mount Hood National Forest sent to help fight northwest Oregon's Wilson River Fire, or Tillamook Burn, in August 1933. In October 1933, F-7 closed for the winter, and Company 606 moved to California.

Camp F-7 reopened in the spring of 1935 as Camp Cascade Locks. ...

Near the end of 1935, Company 609 moved from Summit Camp to F-7. On October 12, 1936, Company 4765, a company of 141 junior enrollees, moved into Camp Cascade Locks. ...   crews of Minnesota and Oregon enrollees worked on a building program at the nearby Columbia Gorge Ranger Station and public campground improvements at Eagle Creek. ...

The camp's frame-constructed buildings were rated from good to excellent in early 1937. They were reported to have commercially powered lighting and adequate wood heat. All buildings had been insulated from the winter weather with Celo-tex. Food supplies were obtained locally or from Vancouver Barracks, WA.

In December 1937, Company 1452 occupied F-7 ...  The 159-man company was made up of enrollees from Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Their primary tasks were to develop the Eagle Creek public campground, lookout stations, and parking area on the Columbia River Highway near Bonneville Dam. ...   According to Inspector M.J. Bowen, heavy, continual rainfall was lowering the morale of enrollees, none of whom was accustomed to Oregon's winter weather.

In 1937, work was done on the Gudhart Tract of the forest, including building a rock wall and dam in the vicinity of the Eagle Creek Campground. Extra money was not available to hire skilled labor, and rangers were instructed to utilize CCC enrollees. The rangers did not think enrollees were qualified to work without skilled supervision, however, it appears that outside help was not forthcoming, as the enrollees finished the work. ...

In February 1939, conditions at Camp Cascade Locks remained unchanged ...  Company strength was calculated to be 196 men, 156 of whom worked on road construction, roadside clearing, campground development, and general building projects. A total of 1,878 man-days had been lost on work projects due to bad weather, wood detail, camp rehabilitation, sickness, and lack of conditioning. Improvements at the camp included shingling the exterior of all buildings, painting and improving the kitchen, installing porcelain washtrays in the washroom, constructing a new education building, and a "general rehabilitation of the entire camp." ...

By February 1940, 191 men belonged to Company 1452 ...   Construction projects were of the same types as previously undertaken. Some 2,012 man-days had been lost over a 3-month period. Camp services were all rated as good to excellent, except for an undersized, inadequately furnished recreation hall rated as "poor."

Camp F-7 was abandoned on November 16, 1941. Its rigid-style buildings were left in Forest Service custody."


Source:    Otis, et.al., 1986, "The Forest Service and The Civilian Conservation Corps: 1933-42, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, FS-395, August 1986, Chapter 14, Mount Hood National Forest;



CPS Camp #21 ... (1941 - 1947)
During World War II, Conscientious Objectors through the "Civilian Public Service" (CPS) program, resided at "Camp #21", occupying the abandoned CCC "Camp Wyeth" grounds.

"The Civilian Public Service program operated from 1941 to 1947 and provided a unique structure for COs to do "work of national importance under civilian direction" as an alternative to military service. ...

One of the most notable CPS camps was right here in Oregon in the Columbia Gorge. On Dec. 5, 1941, two days before Pearl Harbor, 71 conscientious objectors, nearly all from California, arrived by train at CPS Camp #21 at Cascade Locks to begin their alternative service, expecting to serve for a year. After the U.S. entered the war, their term of service became the duration of the war plus six months, the same as those in the military. Eventually, the camp, which was actually seven miles east in Wyeth, housed nearly 200 men, who, despite long hours of physical labor on work projects for the Forest Service, were able to build a vibrant pacifist community that came to be known as the "Athens of CPS." About 550 men spent some time at Cascade Locks during the war. "


Source:    Jeffrey Kovac, 2009, "WWII pacifists served, too, in Oregon", "Oregonlive.com" ("The Oregonian") website, 2015.



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:    Bobb, D., 2010, "Work starts at Wyeth site on Columbia: Spilyay Tymoo, The Newspaper of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, June 2, 2010;    McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland;    Otis, et.al., 1986, "The Forest Service and The Civilian Conservation Corps: 1933-42, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, FS-395, August 1986, Chapter 14, Mount Hood National Forest;    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. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office Records (GLO) database, 2015;    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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April 2014