This is an unusual Anne Lang image because of its subject matter. I've only seen one other image by her of the Columbia River. Do you know where this steamer is docked?
The steamer is the "D.S. Baker." Lewis and Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest tells me she was 165 feet long with a beam of 27 feet, and was constructed at Celilo in 1879. She was brought over the rapids to operate the middle river from 1888 to 1893, when she was brought over the Cascades. The OR&N Company attempted to bring her back over the Cascades as they needed a ship between the Cascades and the Dalles, but were unsuccessful so she remained on the lower river at least until the date of publication of that book (1895). In 1896 passage between the lower and middle river was possible with the opening of the canal and locks at the Cascades.
I think that this naturally has to be down in the Cascade Locks - Bonneville area.
Could that be the old portage on the Washington side and the boat might not be docked at all, just running along beside it. Then I don't see the railroad, if that is what one wishes to call it running upriver from the boat. I see that building, so it could be a building where fish was housed and maybe a wheel downriver that supplied it? I don't know how much fish, if any, those steamers might pick up and haul.
That isn't a portion of the canal as it is coming into the river at the wrong angle. The canal at Cascade Locks ran along side the river. Could it be Eagle Creek coming in. Think this would have had to have been upriver from Beacon Rock somewhere along there......
Charlott on 19th October 2015 @ 7:11am
A bit off topic but Saturday the wife and our Oregon City son and family took a 4-hour ride on the Oregon Maritime Museum's historic steam-powered paddle wheeler Portland. Nice ride and GREAT whistle. OMM does a great job preserving this piece of Portland's history.
Arlen Sheldrake on 19th October 2015 @ 8:14am
The steep creek walls look like Moffatt Creek from the RR bridge but the WA hills are not there, I"m at a total loss on this one, time for Scott Cook to chime in.
Kenn on 19th October 2015 @ 2:10pm
I am on my ipad so can't see very well but, I am going to guess the Cascades area looking at the Washington shore. If you look at some of the CL photos you can see 3 layers of hills.
I just happened to read this the other day.
In July of 1891 Teunis and Maria Wyers arrived in White Salmon from The Dalles on the D. S. Baker.
L.E. on 19th October 2015 @ 3:41pm
Thanks Kenn, but this one is a stumper for me as well. I'm fairly sure that the photo isn't upriver of Cascade Locks though, as the low background hills just don't match the Gorge. And since the boat did move to the lower river...hmmm. I could guess perhaps the Washougal area, but it could also easily be somewhere below Portland. Peculiar to my eyes is the smaller "river" in the foreground which appears to be running to the right, AWAY, from the bigger river, indicating it might be a slough channel perhaps rather than a feeder-river into the Columbia. Alas, that dock structure is nothing I've ever seen in any other Gorge photo. Thx for the mystery Arthur!!
Scott Cook on 20th October 2015 @ 10:43am
Scott, you know The Gorge better than I, but I still think this could be the Upper Cascades landing.
Look at this photo
See the steam ship in the background at the landing? I think Anne Lang is looking at the small island. The the steamships stopped at that landing to load cargo and passengers onto the portage railway, which then curved around the shore and past Fort Rains.
Here is another view toward the North Bank where the Gorge mountains are not very high.
L.E. on 21st October 2015 @ 9:03pm
The correct link:
L.E. on 21st October 2015 @ 9:10pm
Dorsey Syng Baker was an interesting part of Pacific Northwest and Columbia river history. He was born in Maine in 1823. He was educated as a doctor and moved to Portland in September of 1848. He began conducting businesses between Walla Walla and Portland and in 1862, along with partners Corbett and Ankeny, he formed a line of steam boats on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in competition with the Oregon Steam Navigation company. They built two new wooden portage railroad lines on the Columbia one of them at The Cascades. The U.S. Congress granted OSNC exclusive railroad rights. It was a huge loss for D.S. Baker and partners.
In 1879 The OSNC built the D.S. Baker at Celilo and I gather they named the boat in honor of Dorsey Syng Baker. It worked the upper Columbia and Snake. In June of 1888 it was brought over Celilo and used on the middle river until June 1893 when towing a barge she was sent over the Cascades.
During the 1894 flood, Captain Michell Martineau tried to bring her back up the Cascades but the flood waters were too swift. She was dismantled in 1900.
L.E. on 21st October 2015 @ 9:36pm
Well LE, respectfully, of course,...I just can't see how you could get any of that foreground into a shot of the upper landing, regardless of if the background may "match" sort of at a certain angle. How can we explain the foreground land and the movement of the current? And I believe the upper landing had a train all the way to the boat...and I don't think the upper landing was detached from the shoreline. Any thoughts about these notions?
Scott Cook on 21st October 2015 @ 9:48pm
Two thoughts....It is detached from the shoreline because it is spring flood stage and dropping? I think the train does go all the way out to the boat and it will become more attached to the shoreline as it comes around to where Anne Lang is standing.
Third thought....for me the current is moving downstream. The boat is facing upstream and the current is moving downstream between Anne Lang and the island.
IF... this is the Upper Cascade Landing, this photo would pre-date the 1894 flood. I wonder what it looked like after the event. If this is Upper Cascades, I think the area where Anne Lang is standing was washed away.
L.E. on 22nd October 2015 @ 8:31am
A better link for the Carleton Watkins stereograph of the Upper Cascades
Another view of the trestle and the island.
L.E. on 22nd October 2015 @ 2:03pm
Guys, this photo was taken from the Washington shore, and it was taken of the Washington shore. In the foreground, we see one of the upper Cascades islands. This island was where Lewis and Clark stayed one night on their trip down the Columbia. The steamer is docked at the Oregon Steam Navigation grade and wharfboat, where steamers used to transfer freight and passengers to trains and vice versa, to circumnavigate the Cascades. The location of the steamer and railroad trestle is where Ashe's lake is located today. Just out of site, on the right side of the photo, is the site of where the Stevenson, Washington Co-Ply used to be located, before it burned 10 or so years ago.
Mychal on 12th March 2017 @ 6:21am
Thank you Mychal. A very accurate description of this photo.
L.E. on 12th March 2017 @ 9:22pm