Occasionally postcards serve as a true art form. Charlott has told us about the roar of the falls. This image makes me wonder about the sound, the smell, the feeling of being there. For the philosopher scientists among us, what do drowned waterfalls sound like?
Every time I go up that way I stop there at the rest area and walk down to the boat ramp. I sit down and I can hear, I can see and I can smell what was. The roar of that falls was deafening, but a wonderful memorable sound to those that had the pleasure of hearing it.
I have seen this photo many times before and have always wondered what the man was actually thinking about as he stood there gazing down into that cauldron. His eyes would be cascading tears if he could could come back and see where it was this day. I think that that might be Chief Tommy himself standing there above his beloved falls. The hat he is wearing is exactly like he wore and I think it is probably a posed shot, not just one captured by this photographer. Think it was a company that went around to various venues where they thought they might get a shot that would sell on a post card. I don't know, but they may have paid Chief Tommy to go out there, and we all know they needed every penny they could get, desperately.
The platform areas where they fished was up and around the corner of the upper right portion of the photo. I wish one could see up there better as that is the rigging for one of the fish wheels. I think whatever that building was, was gone before my time, as I don't remember ever seeing one there.
I am guessing this was probably during the spring run off as there is a very large volume of water coming over and during the actual fishing season that sort of cauldron was not that full as I recall.
Charlott on 23rd September 2016 @ 7:10am
Drowned water falls cry out, "Though I may be serene and deadly quiet, the water of the turbulent Columbia now tamed and reined in above me, I am still here, oh yes, I am still here, wishing someone would unleash the fury I once possessed."
charlott on 23rd September 2016 @ 7:15am
I never saw the falls, but I remember my father commenting when the dam floodgates were closed and the falls died. I don't remember what he said. He wasn't an emotional or sentimental man. All I remember, to this day, is that I got the feeling that something important was ended.
db on 23rd September 2016 @ 8:08am
just waiting to return.....I remember well the sound and smell. I wonder what all the photographer did to arrange for this photograph.
Arlen Sheldrake on 23rd September 2016 @ 8:16am
In 1999 Ian McClusky did a documentary "Echo of Water Against Rocks: Remembering Celilo Falls". One woman told him, "I used to hear the roar of the falls when I woke. The roar of the falls when I went to sleep. The roar of the falls when I went to the bathroom. Now all I hear is silence and I can't get the silence out of my head".
The Army Corps of Engineers also eliminated and drowned out Kettle Falls, farther up the Columbia. The silence and loss was just as devastating to those Indians.
As for smell.....I'm not fond of the smell of rotting salmon and flies. I have to think that during certain times of the year, it didn't smell so great around there.
L.E. on 23rd September 2016 @ 8:16am
A drowned waterfall sounds like the death of the planet.
David Michalek on 23rd September 2016 @ 9:21am
A ringing cash register. Depending on your viewpoint--capitalism at its best or worst.
Buzz on 23rd September 2016 @ 10:32am
I still remember my mother telling me we needed to go see the falls before they were gone. I was only 4, and I'm not sure why this stuck so strongly in my memory, but it did. I am so sad that I could have seen the falls before they disappeared, but didn't...
Boggs on 23rd September 2016 @ 11:37am
A little on the bright side, more power for the public and more safety in the Wishram RR yard when the noise level was reduced.
Kenn on 23rd September 2016 @ 12:15pm
Is there any way to tell who the actual photographer was for this photo?
L.E. on 25th September 2016 @ 5:41pm
It was a man by the name of Carlton Sawyer, who owned and operated a studio in Portland from 1911-1917.
charlott on 26th September 2016 @ 7:07am
In the mid-1980s the Core of Engineers briefly considered a proposal by a group in Goldendale (I believe) to temporarily lower the water level behind The Dalles Dam and reveal the falls. The idea was quickly dismissed, of course. The good news is that the Falls has not been buried in sediment under the reservoir – OPB did a nice piece on that a few years ago. So, someday we may see Celilo roar again!
Tom Kloster on 26th September 2016 @ 10:45am
Oh, it would be so wonderful to see those boiling water falls once more. People that never had the thrill and pleasure of it, most certainly do not know what they missed. Such a stock pile of history there and I am so glad that I was afforded the pleasure of witnessing something that I doubt if the government will ever afford anyone in the future to see...................."I was a little girl back then, who loved to watch the fishermen."
charlott on 29th September 2016 @ 10:42pm