Columbia River Ships and History Signs
These history signs are in Astoria on the Waterfront at the Columbia River overlook.
There is a duplicate of this one up at the Astoria Column. I feel like I’ve seen a third version of it around Astoria too.
It says; “In 1804-06, Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led about 40 soldiers and boatmen on an epic journey. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned this “Corps of Discovery” to find a route to the Pacific Ocean through the newly acquired Louisiana territory. Along the way, they mapped the land, recorded it’s resources, and contacted its native inhabitants.
The landscape has changed since Lewis and Clark explored it: rivers have been dammed, forests cut over, prairies plowed under, and roads built to the horizon. Although remnants of wilderness still exist, imagine this land as Lewis and Clark first saw it two centuries ago.”
The two signs talk about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the Natives that they met here in the area.
Now days the Columbia River is a busy international Port. Large ships anchor here frequently waiting for docks to clear-up up the river.
These are reported to only be about 500 years old give or take, but here they are. On the left we have a sun like object, on the right a person with spiky hair and three fingers on one hand, four on the other. Notice that it’s painted, I didn’t get a good idea if this had been painted originally or is vandalism.
Fort Rock is one Oregon’s geologic treasures. Created between 50,000 to 100,000 years ago from lava venting into the muddy bottom of what is now called Fort Rock Lake. The resulting steam explosion threw ash and basalt particles up into the air which rained down in a circular formation around the vent. The explosion also caused huge basalt blocks to thrust upwards. This is actually fairly common in central Oregon as about 40 of these formations exist as far north as John Day, Oregon.
The actual Fort Rock
The days of explosive lava are long over, but the area has significant historical importance. In 1936 Dr. Luther Cressman from the University of Oregon found sage brush sandals that dated back 9300 years. At the time this turned the Archeology world on it’s head as up until then humans were only thought to have been on the North American continent 5000 years ago.
Across the street is the Fort Rock Valley Historical Homestead Museum. The museum was created to save several old homestead buildings from being destroyed to make way for cattle farms. Each building was taken apart, moved to the museum and restored. Most of the buildings now have mini-museums in them showing artifacts from daily life in the era. In addition to several log cabins, there is a church, a Doctor’s Office and a one room school house.
One Room School House in Fort Rock, Oregon
Unfortunately the museum itself has been closed every time I’ve been by it. This area is within a day’s drive of Portland and several nearby camp grounds provide over night opportunities. The museum and Fort Rock itself along with the famous Sandal Cave would easy take a day to explore. Nearby geological formations like South Ice Cave and Crack in the Ground would be great for a home school history/geology trip.