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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Umatilla in Umatilla County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

The Umatilla Rapids

 
 
The Umatilla Rapids Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 3, 2016
1. The Umatilla Rapids Marker
Inscription.
The Corps of Discovery descended the Columbia River in five dugout canoes made from pines felled at the mouth of the North Fork of the Clearwater River in Idaho. Before McNary Dam harnessed this segment of the mighty Columbia, the river plunged through the fierce Umatilla Rapids. William Clark observed ”banks of Mussle Shels” here and called it ”Muscle Shell rapid.”

While the canoes carefully shot the rapids, Clark climbed a nearby cliff and "descovered a high mountain of emence hight covered with Snow,” which he incorrectly identified as Mt. St. Helens - it was actually Mt. Adams. On a clear day Mt. Adams is visible to the northwest from this overlook. Sighting the snow-capped peaks of the Cascade Range, some of which were named by George Vancouver in 1792, indicated the expedition was approaching charted territory.

”We arrived at the head of a verry bad rapid, we came too on the Lard Side to view the rapid before we would venter to run it…”
William Clark, October 19, 1805
 
Erected by Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
 
Location.
Marker detail: The West's First Trade Mission image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 3, 2016
2. Marker detail: The West's First Trade Mission
President Thomas Jefferson instructed the Corps of Discovery to seek out Indian tribes and to record their languages, populations, religions, customs, food, clothing, and willingness to trade with Americans. The expedition found signs of Euro-American trade and commerce in this region: ”two Scarlet and a blue cloth blanket, also a Salors Jacket…,” wrote William Clark. The most prized items were blue and white trade beads. As Clark noted, ”they prefer [them]… to any thing and will part with the last mouthful or articles of clothing they have for a fiew of those beads…” Besides ornamental use, the beads could be traded with up-river tribes for robes, skins, biscuitroot bread, or other items. Clark’s distribution of gifts, the sharing of tobacco, and a fiddle tune by Pierre Cruzatte often eased tensions with the Indians.
45° 55.207′ N, 119° 18.29′ W. Marker is in Umatilla, Oregon, in Umatilla County. Marker is on Devore Road north of 6th Street (U.S. 730), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located in a pull-out and interpretive plaza on the north side of the road, overlooking the Columbia River, McNary Dam, and Lake Wallula. Marker is in this post office area: Umatilla OR 97882, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Lewis and Clark Expedition (here, next to this marker); Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla Homeland (a few steps from this marker); Patímaša Tiičámna (a few steps from this marker); Stansfield Rest Area Oregon Trial Kiosk (approx. 10.6 miles away); Jack Dempsey (approx. 13.3 miles away); Covered Wagon Museum (approx. 13.3 miles away); Umatilla County Jail (approx. 13.3 miles away); The Blockhouse (approx. 13.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Umatilla.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .  Lewis and Clark spot Mount Adams.
Lewis and Clark first see Mount Adams on October 19, 1805, while in the Umatilla region, although they mistakenly think it is Mount St. Helens. They also spot Mount Hood to the southwest. (Submitted on February 14, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
The Umatilla Rapids Marker (<i>wide view; Columbia River & McNary Dam in the background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 3, 2016
3. The Umatilla Rapids Marker (wide view; Columbia River & McNary Dam in the background)
 
 
Categories. ExplorationNative AmericansWaterways & Vessels
 
McNary Dam & Lake Wallula (<i>view northeast from marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 3, 2016
4. McNary Dam & Lake Wallula (view northeast from marker)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 14, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 14, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 84 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 14, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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