The Columbia River: Its History, Its Myths, Its Scenery, Its Commerce

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This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.


The author died in 1920, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

 

The
Columbia River


Its History, Its Myths, Its Scenery
Its Commerce

By

William Denison Lyman

Professor of History in Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington



With 80 Illustrations and a Map



G. P. Putnam's Sons
New York and London
The Knickerbocker Press
1909



Copyright, 1909

BY

G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS




The Knickerbocker Press, New York


 

TO MY PARENTS

Horace Lyman and Mary Denison Lyman

PIONEERS OF 1849, WHO BORE THEIR PART IN LAYING THE
FOUNDATIONS OF CIVILIZATION UPON THE BANKS OF
THE COLUMBIA, THIS VOLUME IS DEDICATED
BY THE AUTHOR

 
 

I see the living tide roll on,
It crowns with rosy towers
The icy capes of Labrador,
The Spaniard's land of flowers;
It streams beyond the splintered ridge
That parts the northern showers.
From eastern rock to sunset wave,
The Continent is ours.

 

PREFACE

 

As one of the American Waterways series, this volume is designed to be a history and description of the Columbia River. The author has sought to convey to his reader a lively sense of the romance, the heroism, and the adventure which belong to this great stream and the parts of the North-west about it, and he has aimed to breathe into his narrative something of the spirit and sentiment—a spirit and sentiment more easily recognised than analysed—which we call "Western." With this end in view, his treatment of the subject has been general rather than detailed, and popular rather than recondite. While he has spared no pains to secure historical accuracy, he has not made it a leading aim to settle controverted points, or to present the minutiæ of historical research and criticism. In short, the book is rather for the general reader than for the specialist. The author hopes so to impress his readers with the majesty of the Columbia as to fill their minds with a longing to see it face to face.

Frequent reference in the body of the book to authorities renders it unnecessary to name them here. Suffice it to say that the author has consulted the standard works of history and description dealing with Oregon—the old Oregon—and its River, and from the voluminous matter there gathered has selected the facts that best combine to make a connected and picturesque narrative. He has treated the subject topically, but there is a general progression throughout, and the endeavour has been to find a natural jointure of chapter to chapter and era to era.

While the book has necessarily been based largely on other books, it may be said that the author has derived his chief inspiration from his own observations along the shores of the River and amid the mountains of Oregon and Washington, where his life has mainly been spent, and from familiar conversations in the cabins of pioneers, or at camp-fires of hunters, or around Indian tepees, or in the pilot-houses of steamboats. In such ways and places one can best catch the spirit of the River and its history.

The author gladly takes this opportunity of making his grateful acknowledgments to Prof. F. G. Young, of Oregon University, for his kindness in reading the manuscript and in making suggestions which his full knowledge and ripe judgment render especially valuable. He wishes also to express his warmest thanks to Mr. Harvey W. Scott, editor of the Oregonian, for invaluable counsel. Similar gratitude is due to Prof. Henry Landes of Washington University for important assistance in regard to some of the scientific features of the first chapter.

W. D. L.

Whitman College,
Walla Walla, Wash.,
1909.

CONTENTS

PART I.—THE HISTORY

The Land where the River Flows PAGE
3
Tales of the First White Men along the Coast 33
How All Nations Sought the River from the Sea and how they Found it 43
First Steps across the Wilderness in Search of the River 69
The Fur-Traders, their Bateaux, and their Stations 98
The Coming of the Missionaries to the Tribes of the River 136
The Era of the Pioneers, their Ox-Teams, and their Flatboats 159
Conflict of Nations for Possession of the River 179
The Times of Tomahawk and Firebrand 202
When the "Fire-Canoes" Took the Place of the Log-Canoes 234
Era of the Miner, the Cowboy, the Farmer, the Boomer, and the Railroad-Builder 249
The Present Age of Expansion and World Commerce 265

PART II.—A JOURNEY DOWN THE RIVER

In the Heart of the Canadian Rockies 273
The Lakes from the Arrow Lakes to Chelan 290
In the Land of Wheat-Field, Orchard, and Garden 313
Where River and Mountain Meet, and the Traces of the Bridge of the Gods 332
A Side Trip to some of the Great Snow-Peaks 352
The Lower River and the Ocean Tides 374
Index 399

ILLUSTRATIONS


PAGE

St. Peter's Dome, Columbia River, 2300 Feet High
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Frontispiece

Copyright, Kiser Photograph Co., 1902.

Mount Adams from the South
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
74

Photo. by W. D. Lyman.

Capt. Robert Gray
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
76
The "Columbia Rediviva"
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
76
Mount Hood from Lost Lake
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
82

Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse.

Eliot Glacier, Mt. Hood
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
84

Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse.

Astoria in 1845
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
116

From an old print.

Astoria, Looking up and across the Columbia River
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
116

Photo. by Woodfield.

One of the Lagoons of the Upper Columbia River, near Golden B. C.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
120

Photo. by C. F. Yates, Golden.

Saddle Mountain, or Swallalochort near Astoria, Famous in Indian Myth
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
120

Photo. by Woodfield.

Steamer “Beaver,” the First Steamer on the Pacific, 1836
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
124
Portland, Oregon, in 1851
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
124

From an old print.

Grave of Marcus Whitman and his Associate Martyrs at Wahlatpu
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
210

Photo. by W. D. Chapman.

Cayuse Babies—1
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
212

Copyright by Lee Moorehouse, 1898.

Cayuse Babies—2
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
212

Copyright by Lee Moorehouse, 1898.

Col. B. F. Shaw, who Won the Battle of Grande Ronde in 1856
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
222

By courtesy of Lee Moorehouse.

Fort Sheridan on the Grande Ronde, Built by Philip Sheridan in 1855
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
224

By courtesy of Lee Moorehouse.

Tullux Holliquilla, a Warm Springs Indian Chief, Famous in the Modoc War as a Scout for U. S. Troops
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
228

By courtesy of Lee Moorehouse.

Hallakallakeen (Eagle Wing) or Joseph, the Nez Percé Chief
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
230

By T. W. Tolman.

Camp of Chief Joseph on the Nespilem, Wash.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
232

Photo. by T. W. Tolman, Spokane.

Tirzah Trask, a Umatilla Indian Girl—Taken as an Ideal of Sacajawea
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
234

Photo. by Lee Moorehouse, Pendleton.

Oregon Pioneer in his Cabin
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
256

Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse.

Old Portage Railroad at Cascades in 1860
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
258
A Log-boom down the River for San Francisco
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
258

Photo. by Woodfield.

Lumber Mill and Steamboat Landing at Golden, B. C.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
260

Photo. by C. F. Yates.

A Typical Lumber Camp
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
262

Photo. by Trueman.

A Logging Railroad, near Astoria
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
264

Photo. by Woodfield.

Natural Bridge, Kicking Horse or Wapta River, and Mt. Stephen, B. C.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
276

Photo. by C. F. Yates.

Sunrise on Columbia River, near Washougal
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
276

Copyright, Kiser Photograph Co., 1902.

Lake Windermere, Upper Columbia, where David Thompson's Fort was Built in 1810
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
280

Photo. by W. D. Lyman.

Mt. Burgess and Emerald Lake, One of the Sources of the Wapta River, B. C.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
282

Photo. by C. F. Yates.

Bonnington Falls in Kootenai River, near Nelson
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
284

Photo. by Allan Lean.

Bridge Creek, a Tributary of Lake Chelan, Wash.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
286

Photo. by F. N. Kneeland, Northampton, Mass.

Kootenai Lake, from Proctor, B. C.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
288

Photo. by Allan Lean, Nelson.

Lower Arrow Lake, B. C.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
290

Photo. by Allan Lean, Nelson.

Bridal Veil Falls on Columbia River
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
292

Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse.

Shoshone Falls, in Snake River, 212 Feet High
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
294

Photo. by W. D. Lyman.

Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
296

Photo. by T. W. Tolman.

Lake Cœur d'Alene, Idaho
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
296

Photo. by T. W. Tolman.

The "Shadowy St. Joe," Idaho
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
98

Photo. by T. W. Tolman.

On the Cœur d'Alene River, Idaho
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
300

Photo. by T. W. Tolman.

Gorge of Chelan River, the Outlet of Lake Chelan
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
302

Photo. by T. W. Tolman, Spokane.

Head of Lake Chelan—Looking Up Stehekin Cañon
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
304

Photo. by W. D. Lyman.

Cascade Pass at Head of Stehekin River, Wash.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
306

Photo. by T. W. Tolman, Spokane.

Doubtful Lake, Cascade Range, Washington, near Lake Chelan
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
308

Photo. by T. W. Tolman, Spokane, Wash.

Horseshoe Basin through a Rock Gap, Stehekin Cañon
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
310

Photo. by T. W. Tolman.

Lake Chelan
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
312

Photo. by W. D. Lyman.

A Harvest Outfit, Dayton, Wash.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
314
A Combined Harvester, near Walla Walla
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
314

Photo. by W. D. Chapman.

Inland Empire System's Power Plant, near Spokane, 20,000 Horse-Power
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
316

Photo. by T. W. Tolman.

Lower Spokane Falls
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
316

Photo. by T. W. Tolman.

Cañon of the Stehekin, near Lake Chelan
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
318

Photo. by T. W. Tolman.

Memorial Building, Whitman College, Walla Walla
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
320

Photo. by W. D. Chapman.

Starting the Ploughs in the Wheat Land, Walla Walla, Wash.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
322

Photo. by W. D. Chapman, Walla Walla.

On the Historic Walla Walla River
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
324

Photo. by W. D. Chapman.

Blalock Fruit Ranch of a Thousand Acres at Walla Walla, Wash.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
326

Photo. by W. D. Chapman.

Witch's Head, near Old Wishram Village. The Indian Superstition is that these Eyes will Follow any Unfaithful Woman
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
328

By courtesy of Lee Moorehouse.

Cabbage Rock, Four Miles North of the Dalles
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
330

Photo. by Lee Moorehouse, Pendleton.

Eagle Rock, just above Shoshone Falls in Snake River
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
332

Photo. by W. D. Lyman.

Stehekin Cañon, 5000 Feet Deep
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
334

Photo. by W. D. Lyman.

Steamer "Dalles City," Descending the Cascades of the Columbia
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
336
Memaloose Island, Columbia River
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
338

Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse.

Horseshoe Basin near Lake Chelan, Wash.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
340

Photo. by T. W. Tolman, Spokane.

Castle Rock, Columbia River
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
342

Copyright, Kiser Photograph Co., 1902.

The Lyman Glacier and Glacier Lake in North Star Park, near Lake Chelan
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
344

Photo. by W. D. Lyman.

Hunters on Lake Chelan, with their Spoils
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
346

Photo. by W. D. Lyman.

A Morning's Catch on the Touchet, near Dayton, Wash.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
346

Sunset Magazine.

Oneonta Gorge—Looking in
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
348

Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse.

Cape Horn, Columbia River—Looking up
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
350

Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse, Portland.

Looking up the Columbia River from the Cliff above Multnomah Falls, Ore.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
352

Copyright, 1902, by Kiser Photograph Co.

Spokane Falls and City, 1886
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
354

Photo. by T. W. Tolman, Spokane.

Spokane Falls and City, 1908
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
354

Photo. by T. W. Tolman.

In the Heart of the Cascade Mountains, above Lake Chelan, Wash.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
360

Photo. by T. W. Tolman, Spokane.

Birch-Tree Channel, Upper Columbia, near Golden, B. C.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
362

Photo by C. F. Yates, Golden.

Typical Mountain Meadow, Stehekin Valley, Wash.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
364

Photo. by T. W. Tolman.

High School, Walla Walla, Wash.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
366

Photo. by W. D. Chapman, Walla Walla.

Lake Chelan
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
368

Photo. by F. N. Kneeland.

On the Banks of the Columbia River, near Hood River
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
370

Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse.

Rooster Rock, Columbia River—Looking up
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
372

Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse, Portland.

Band of Elk on W. P. Reser's Ranch, Walla Walla, Wash.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
374

Photo. by W. D. Chapman.

Oregon City in 1845
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
376

From an old print.

Fort Vancouver in 1845
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
376
Lone Rock, Columbia River, about Fifty Miles East of Portland
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
378

Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse, Portland.

Willamette Falls, Oregon City, Ore.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
380

Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse.

Among the Big Spruce Trees, near Astoria, Oregon
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
382

Photo. by Woodfield, Astoria.

Portland in 1908. Mt. St. Helens Sixty-Five Miles Distant
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
384
Portland Harbour, Oregon
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
386

Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse, Portland.

Fish River Road in Upper Columbia Region, B. C.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
388

Photo. by Trueman, Victoria.

Multnomah Falls, 840 Feet High, on South Side of Columbia River about Sixty Miles above Portland
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
390

Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse.

Chinook Salmon, Weight 80 Pounds
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
392

Photo. by Woodfield, Astoria.

Lake Adela, near Head of Columbia River, B. C.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
394

Photo. by C. F. Yates.

Bridal Veil Bluff, Columbia River, Oregon
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
396

Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse, Portland.

Band of Kootenai Indians, B. C.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
398

Photo. by Allan Lean, Nelson.

Maps
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
At End