“one of America's most significant archaeological sites”
Upon reaching The Dalles, the emigrants were faced with either taking their chances on the dangerous Columbia River, or, starting in 1846, taking the safer but longer Barlow Road. Sam Barlow's toll road became the preferred route for the emigrants. Finally, if money, animals, wagons, supplies and morale held out, the emigrants reached the Willamette Valley. The site of what is now the city of The Dalles was a major Native American trading center for at least 10,000 years. The general area is one of the continent's most significant archaeological regions.Lewis and Clark camped near Mill Creek on October 25–27, 1805, and recorded the Native American name for the creek as Quenett. The first use of the name Dalles, according to Oregon Geographic Names, appears in fur trader Gabriel Franchère's Narrative, on April 12, 1814, referring to the long series of major rapids in the river. By 1814 several overland groups of the land components of the Astor Expedition of 1810–1812 would have passed by and explored the vicinity of the rapids. In 1811 British fur trader of the Montreal-based North West Company (NWC) began traveling through The Dalles area. In July 1811 David Thompson of the NWC voyaged down the Columbia River, reaching the partially constructed Fort Astoria of the American rival Pacific Fur Company. When Thompson's party returned upriver a small Astorian party accompanied him as far as the rapids at The Dalles. The Astorian party went on to found Fort Okanogan. The War of 1812 led to the 1813 sale of Fort Astoria and the entire Pacific Fur Company to the North West Company. In 1821 the North West Company was absorbed by the giant London-based Hudson's Bay Company. Fort Vancouver, built in 1824, replaced Fort Astoria as the regional fur trade headquarters. The HBC's trading network made extensive use of the Columbia River. The rapids of the Columbia River at The Dalles was the largest and longest of the four "great portages", where fur trading boats had to unload and transship their cargoes. Sometimes, during high water, boats traveling downriver would "shoot the rapids" instead of portaging, although the practice was dangerous and many people died as a result over the years
Very pretty, lots of nice parks and beaches. Be prepared for consistent 20 mph wind at all times.
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