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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Morton in Lewis County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
 

Riffe Lake Overlook

East Lewis County

 
 
Riffe Lake Overlook Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2015
1. Riffe Lake Overlook Marker
Inscription.  It used to be that you could throw a stick near the headwaters of the Cowlitz River beyond Packwood and it would float past here, to the Columbia River, eventually ending in the Pacific Ocean. Native Americans and pioneers alike not only used the Cowlitz as a transportation route for themselves and their products, but also, as a food source from the mighty salmon runs that migrate yearly up the Cowlitz River to spawn.

As you look out over Riffe Lake, imagine that this was once the site of two pioneering communities, Riffe and Kosmos. In 1968, construction of the Mossyrock Dam flooded the last remnants of these communities along the Cowlitz.

The town of Riffe was established in 1898 on the Floyd L. Riffe homestead, located five miles southwest of Morton. In 1904, Charles W. Hopkinson built a sawmill and established a post office, creating the city of Kosmos. Riffe and Kosmos reached their heyday in the 1940s when local railroad-tie mills and logging companies thrived.

This marker erected in honor of the 1995 Lewis County Sesquicentennial through the support of Tacoma Public Utilities, the U.S. Forest Service and East Lewis
Marker detail: Aerial view of the pioneer community Kosmos, Washington (<i>before 1968</i>) image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Lewis County Historical Museum
2. Marker detail: Aerial view of the pioneer community Kosmos, Washington (before 1968)
County.
 
Erected 1995 by Tacoma Public Utilities, U.S. Forest Service, and East Lewis County.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 46° 32.107′ N, 122° 22.762′ W. Marker is near Morton, Washington, in Lewis County. Marker is on U.S. 12 0.4 miles east of Mossyrock Dam, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located in a pull-out on the south side of the highway, overlooking Riffe Lake. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Morton WA 98356, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mossyrock (approx. 6 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Remembering the Town of Riffe, Washington. Floyd Riffe arrived in the area in 1895 after coming west from the Appalachians in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Many settlers who came to Riffe originated from the same Appalachian region as folks went west seeking prosperity. The way of life in Riffe as well as the mountainous topography would have reminded many migrants of their former homes in West Virginia. (Submitted on October 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Kosmos, Washington (Wikipedia). Residents relocated from
Marker detail: Ferry crossing Cowlitz River at Riffe (<i>before 1912</i>) image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Lewis County Historical Museum
3. Marker detail: Ferry crossing Cowlitz River at Riffe (before 1912)
Kosmos in advance of the completion of the Mossyrock Dam in 1968. Before the Cowlitz River rose behind the dam and formed Riffe Lake, contractors razed most structures, except for their foundations. Occasionally, periods of low water expose the remains of the town. (Submitted on October 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Marker detail: Riffe Lake area map image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Riffe Lake area map
Riffe Lake Overlook Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2015
5. Riffe Lake Overlook Marker
(Riffe Lake obscured by foliage in the background)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 44 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Mar. 6, 2021