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1860s Sauvie Island
“A people which takes no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride by future descendants”
(a British Historian and Politician 1800-1859)
This is list of some of the books, articles and manuscripts I read while researching the Steamboats and Sternwheelers. Most would be available at the Vancouver Genealogical Society, the Historical Society, the Main Vancouver Library, The Columbian, a Vancouver Newspaper. the Oregon Historical Society and the Maritime Museum in Portland Oregon.
We visited most of the Libraries and Genealogical Societies all the way from Portland to Seattle, the Museum and Library in Astoria, Oregon, the Maritime Museum here in Portland and the Oregon Historical Society. All were a treasure trove of information about the early Steamboat History.
History of Linn County, Oregon; Author: Charles Oluf Olsen; Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Oregon (1941)
Vancouver Area Chronology by Carl Landerholm, staff reporter for the Columbian, a Vancouver, Washington, Newspaper
Highways ended the era of the Riverman; The Columbian, Ted Van Arsdol; staff reporter for the Columbian; (Ted Van Arsdol, is retired from the Columbian newspaper and the author and editor of several books on Northwest history including Northwest Bastion: The U.S. Army Barracks at Vancouver, 1849-1916. He lives in Vancouver, Washington.)
Up Two Rivers by Steamer
They Came to Six Rivers
Steamboat Era on the Columbia River by Darrell H. Bliss
Woodland History Committee, History of the Woodland Community, 1850-1858, unpublished material.
Cayuse to Cadillac, Carl Landerholm, unpublished article
This and That
Along the River
There are no houses on the North end of the island now. During 1860 17 families lived there. Most of these families were related. We don't know what brought them to the island or why they settled at that end. They weren't connected to Hudson Bay like the settlers on the southern end
Many of the early settlers were connected with the river trade. The census lists them as farmers but this doesn't begin to describe what they did. Some were already boatmen when they came and some learned of necessity. They worked on the boats as captains, engineers, firemen, deck hands and some formed companies to build steamboats.
During the early years the only way to get to the island was by boat or ferry. Until the bridge was built in 1954 the ferry landed at Burlington. That was the building that now has all the mannequins on the roof and in the windows. It is on the right when you are driving west through Linton.
Each year the island flooded and cattle had to be ferried across to higher ground. Supplies had to be brought over by boat or bought off the steamboats that docked along the island.
Steamboats were an important and vital part of life on Sauvie Island. They weren't used only for transporting merchandise, food and cattle, but also for entertainment. Many steamboats hired bands and had excursions. Early people tell of trips from Lewis County in Washington to St. Helens, Oregon
More about the Steamboats in another post.