This card (posted in 1908) offers a nice view of sternwheelers and sidewheelers, I believe near Cascade Locks.
I wasn't familiar with the T.J. Potter, but apparently she had a long and distinguished history. She started service on the Columbia in 1888, was moved to the Puget sound, then back to the Columbia to run from Portland to Ilwaco. She ended her passenger service in 1916, and eventually wound up abandoned in Youngs Bay near Astoria, where she resides to this day:
"Remains of T J Potter on northeast shore of Youngs Bay, Astoria, OR, 2012" by Intrepid11 - On the northeast shore of Youngs Bay. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia.
Category: [Cascade Locks]
Ohhhhh, poor boat. Thanks Arthur for all the info and photo.
That is Beacon Rock in the background, so this would be right in the area of today's Bonneville Dam. (I think)
What settlement was there on the Oregon side for a boat landing?
L.E. on 21st July 2015 @ 7:35am
Travel on the north shore of Young's bay regularly. Will look for the "beautiful" T. J. Potter on next trip.
Buzz on 21st July 2015 @ 8:22am
The one to the right looks very much like the Bailey Gatzert.
rwf on 21st July 2015 @ 12:03pm
I thought it was taken at Eagle Creek, was that a destination in that day? Eagle Creek was a RR stop in later years.
Kenn on 21st July 2015 @ 2:38pm
This photo has become a bit of a mystery to me.
I can't find a definite date that the TJ Potter ran this part of the Columbia, so did she come here for a special occasion?
Before the Cascade Locks were completed, Tanner Creek was the departing place from the steamships to ride the Oregon Portage Railroad. And this view would be about right for Tanner Creek, but the Locks were completed in 1896. This photo was taken 1908 when passengers no longer had to portage.
By the way....the T J Potter was known as the fastest sidewheel steamer in the Northwest!
L.E. on 21st July 2015 @ 4:41pm
Oops, I guess I was wrong about Cascade Locks. I was looking at the ships and not the geology.
Arthur on 21st July 2015 @ 4:43pm
My guess is Tanner Creek--I'm with LE. Is that the portage RR with the evident piling in the middle right edge of the photo? By the way, thanks for the current photo of the TJ Potter wreckage-- I love it!
Scott Cook on 21st July 2015 @ 10:30pm
That isn't the Bailey Gatzer. It had three decks then the wheelhouse. It also had the front with a canopy over it. This is a much smaller boat.
Charlott on 22nd July 2015 @ 7:13am
Eagle Cr or Tanner Cr? I see reference of a sawmill at Eagle Cr as early as 1863 but do not know what went on at Tanner.
Kenn on 22nd July 2015 @ 6:32pm
Tanner Cr joins the river out on a point, Eagle Cr joins the river in an indentation as I see in this photo.
Kenn on 22nd July 2015 @ 6:41pm
Kenn...here is another possibility. Munra Creek at Bonneville, where the OR & N had an eating house.
Evidently the community of Bonneville was a popular picnic spot. The 1900 HR Glacier has an advertisement to spend Sunday under the trees at Bonneville. Good music and performance under the pavilion.
The book "Early Oregon Days" says in 1910 a trip up the Columbia river was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday, and summertime excursionists swarmed aboard the stern-wheelers by the hundreds....
The front boat might be the Charles R Spencer?
L.E. on 27th July 2015 @ 11:22pm
Boats from left to right in this postcard are Bailey Gatzert, T.J. Potter and Charles R. Spencer. The Spencer may have been lower to the water than the Gatzert, but she was actually longer.
The T.J. Potter was rarely seen on this stretch of river, as her primary route on the Columbia was between Astoria and Portland. This must have been a special occasion.
All three of these steamers are landing at Bonneville Park, which was a recreational area with sprawling fields and tall trees, a popular picnic area in the summer. This site was located just downriver from present-day Bonneville Dam.
Mike on 5th August 2015 @ 1:04am
Thanks Mike for your comments on the early steamship and railroad photos.
I have lived in the Gorge area all my life, but each time Arthur posts a photo of travel on or along the Columbia River, I learn more history.
Now, if we could just figure out what that special occasion was to bring the T.J. to Bonneville! A presidential visit?
L.E. on 5th August 2015 @ 12:02pm
L.E., not only is it strange that the Potter is upriver of Portland, but also that all three of those boats are seen landing at one place. My best guess is that the occasion for this was the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland. Since this event brought so many people to the Portland area, local steamers were chartered for special excursions to capitalize on the opportunity to sell more tickets. One example is the Gatzert in this photo. During the Exposition, she ran twice daily from Portland to Cascade Locks.
My bet is that the Potter ran from Portland to Bonneville Park as part of a special excursion schedule for the Exposition. I have seen two other photos of not only the Potter, but the Spencer and the Gatzert at this location, and during the afternoon. The Potter's captain would not have ran her above this point on the river because the rapids of the Lower Cascades at Bradford Island would have been too rough of water for the Potter. Her 200+ feet in length, single rudder, wide beam and sidewheels made her much less manueverable than a sternwheeler, so she would have been at great risk for wrecking.
Mychal on 12th March 2017 @ 9:33am