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The Dalles in Wasco County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

Establishing Rock Fort

 
 
Establishing Rock Fort Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 13, 2020
1. Establishing Rock Fort Marker
Inscription.  Although the Lewis and Clark expedition established Rock Fort under ominous conditions, their experience was not as threatening as they had been warned. It is possible that the perceived hostility had more to do with the tensions between the up-river Nez Perce and the mid-Columbia Wasco and Wishram than with animosity toward the white men.
After the harsh, veeless game-scarce region the expedition had passed through east of here, the Dalles was a welcome change. Clarke noted that the Rock Fort camp was in "a timbered bottom & the first timber we have Seen near the river for a long distance." To Clark the timber signaled a welcome change in diet from the rich pounded salmon to game that was virtually unavailable in eastern Oregon. Clark wrote in his journal that this place was "Convenieant to hunt" and that "one man killed a Small deer... I killed a goose, and Suped hastily on venison & goose." On October 26, 1805 Clark made an entry in his journal noting cordial relations. He said."In the evening 2 Chief and 15 men came over in a single canoe, those Chfs proved to be the 2 great Chiefs of the tribes above, one gave me a dressed Elk
Rock Fort and Establishing Rock Fort Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 13, 2020
2. Rock Fort and Establishing Rock Fort Marker
Skin, and gave us Som deer meet, and 2 Cakes of white bread made of white roots." Lewis and Clark reciprocated "we gave each Chief a Meadel of the Small Size a red Silk handkerchief & a knife to the 1st a arm ban & a pin of Paint & a Comb to his Son a piece of ribbon tied to a tin gorget and 2 hams of Venison They determined to Stay with us all night, we had a fire made for them & one man played on the violin which pleased them much my Servent danced."
The expedition arrived at Rock Fort October 25th and departed on the 28th. These three days were spent hunting, drying wet cargo, gathering pine rosin and using it to repair their dug out canoes. Visitors from up and down the Columbia visited the Rock Fort camp each day and the expedition shared their food and smoked with their guests. There was no attack at Rock Fort.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationForts and CastlesNative Americans.
 
Location. 45° 36.411′ N, 121° 11.264′ W. Marker is in The Dalles, Oregon, in Wasco County. Marker can be reached from West 1st Street near Union Street, on the right when traveling west. This marker is located in Rock Fort. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 801 West 1st Street, The Dalles OR 97058, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Archaeology of Lewis & Clark (here, next to this marker);
Rock Fort image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 13, 2020
3. Rock Fort
Rumor of Attack (here, next to this marker); The Lewis & Clark Expedition (here, next to this marker); Trade Center for 10000 Years (a few steps from this marker); Importance of Salmon (a few steps from this marker); The White Man Legend (a few steps from this marker); The Mill Creek Tunnel (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. Peter's Church (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in The Dalles.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 22, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 46 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 22, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 2, 2021