Here's another image from a series of large format views of Cascade Locks shot by Carleton Watkins in 1883. This shows the early stages of construction of the locks to allow steamer passage around the Cascades of the Columbia. This view at a particularly low river level shows some of the rocks which would be serious challenges to navigation at higher water. Construction began in 1878, but the locks weren't open to river traffic until 1896.
The full inscription at the base of the print reads:
The large format glass negative to this image was presumably lost along with the rest of Watkins' negatives in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, so prints like this are the only record of his work.
Category: [Cascade Locks]
It appears then that this is Governor Z. F. Moody and his group of political men come to see how the work was progressing.
charlott on 6th June 2013 @ 7:13am
Boy, the river is low. I was going to say it must be late fall, but I didn't expect it to be as late as December.
Depth perception is a little hard to determine, but, I wonder how high the railroad tracks are above the river.
l.e. on 6th June 2013 @ 8:13am
I wonder if the river was this low when Lewis and Clark went through around Oct. 30, 1805. On the return journey they camped in this area on April 12, 1806.
The river would have looked totally different.
l.e. on 6th June 2013 @ 8:24am
The books often refer to the railroad track as a "water level track" during that era. Must've been covered with water anytime the river flooded even a bit...then covered with debris in places. I imagine it was quite high maintenance.
Chase on 6th June 2013 @ 9:56am
How wonderful, simply wonderful. I am a complete Carleton Watkins fan. He did wonderful pictures, traveling all over the West. he took pictures of Yosemite, and Yellowstone. What is little known is that he had a partner, William Henry Lentz, who traveled with him, in the 1870's, when some of his best works were first created. However he was a great photographer, but a lousy businessman, so he didn't pay his bills. While he and William, were off on one of his trips, his creditors took his entire business, along with his pictures of Yosemite, and sold it off to one of his competitors, who promptly made up the pictures and sold them as his own.
Interestingly, William H.Lentz's father, Lewis, was a sea captain, of the barque Oriole, which brought the material, for the first 8 lighthouses, built on the California and Oregon coast. Nearly losing their lives when it sank on the Columbia bar, the entire crew were saved by Captain Flavel, of Astoria. The ship and its contents were a complete loss. This caused a delay of the building of the lighthouse at Cape Disappointment.
William Lentz in his later years, moved to Hawaii, assisted in the building of Volcano House, which remains today, near the edge of Kilaua Volcano, and is presently used as an art gallery. I have been assisting Volcano National Park Service this past year, doing research on William Lentz, for a movie about Volcano House, which will be available to visitors to the Volcano.
On another note, William Lentz went into business for himself, and was a photographer in San Francisco, until 1877, when he moved to Hawaii. If you have the good fortune to get a hold of any of his, they are worth gold, because they are extremely rare.
Lesa on 6th June 2013 @ 11:34am
A ships agent sat around Astoria for a week hoping that Oriole might beach herself, but he left without finding a thing. A few months later half of the Oriole came up on the beach, just west of Tillamook. Chief Kilchis and his band of natives, salvaged wood, sail cloth, and iron parts, from the Oriole. This they sold to a small company of Tillamook pioneers, who were building a boat in order to ship their cheese to Portland. The Morning Star, the first little ship, built by the Tillamook Cheese company, was made from the salvage of the barque Oriole.
Lesa on 6th June 2013 @ 12:12pm
Check this out: Willard Young was working at the locks, and in this diary account notes watching the photographer taking this photograph! Though he said it was December 2, not December 1. On December 1 he mentions the photographer came to the office seeking information.
Arthur on 3rd April 2019 @ 6:50pm