The Oregon statesman. (Salem, Or.) 1916-1980, March 28, 1931, Page 40, Image 40

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80th Anniversary Edition, The Oregon Statesman!
Page Six
'.4nnM:iiL U rvr, MafA ,TVvrserI Jw Cantams I orvl Steamers; hugene
Had RPtiiiWres Tualatin. Clackamas. Puddine. and Yamhill Rivers Utilized
f. t' J -
By Capt.( Frank J. Smith i
Historian Veteran Steamboatmen's Association
THE history of early navigation .on . the Willamette rfver
began in 1846 when the Ben Franklin and Mogul, sail
scows owned by Dr. Newell ran between the falls and Cham
poeg, followed later by the Salem Clipper owned by Captain
Leonard White who operated as far up the stream as New
Orleans, a landing south and east of what is now known as
Corvallis. Steam navigation began with the Hoosier on the
Willamette above the falls in 1851 and from then on river
steamers became numerous; During the intervening years be
tween then and today there have been periods when 16 reg
ular carriers were la service at O '
one time In order to keep the
traffic moving. The cycle of 80
years began with one only on the
rnntu icith Salem aa hnr terminal.
Volumes could be filled with In
teresting data of these early day
packets. Races, traffic wars,
rates and anecdotes of the lives
of the operaters may be recount
ed but the space allotted prohib
its their mention at this-time! so
this article will be confined j to
so this article will be confined to
the shrunken navigable miles I of
this stream as It appears today
compared with the many miles
navigated in the past.
Head of Navigation
Up River at Salem
Salem now has the distinction of
being the present head of naviga
tion on the Willamette, 84 miles
south, by the winding channel,
from its entrance into the Columbia-
This short stretch of navigable
water, for a river that is referred
to as the "Gateway of the Willam
ette Valley," does not reflect much
credit on the thriving municipali
ties that line the banks of this
river south of Salem. The fact that
navigation ends at Salem is a diffi
cult matter to understand, especial--ly
when the residents of this proli
fic valley as far south as Spring
field are clamoring for an open
river that will put them on a rate
parity with more fortunate towns
below that have a connection with
By referring to the marine his
tory of this river it will be found
that there has been a shrinkage in
the navigable waters of the Wil
lamette and its tributaries amount
ing to 216 miles since the advent
of steamboats. Authentic data dis
closes the startling fact that
steamers have been navigated on
these waters for a distance of 300
miles. Segregated, they are appor
tioned as follows:
1 iji:
,4 i'
H i P
1LJ. f -vt "I.J 'l'
U itP, Ur
j Main streams from mouth to
Springfield, 185 miles. Clackamas
river, one mile. Tualatin, 30 miles.
Pudding River, 10 miles. Yamhill,
20 miles. Luckiamute, 18 miles.
Santiam, 22 miles. Booneville
Slough, five miles, and the Long
Tom,1 nine miles. ;
Steamer to Eugene
Regular in 1858
j Beginning' in 1858 the steamer
James Clinton, the irst steamboat
to reach Eugene, ' ran regularly
from seven to eight months in a
season to that city and was soon
followed by other boats that made
Springfield the head of navigation.
In 1874 the Ohio by maintaining a
schedule demonstrated that the
river was navigable at that period
as far as Springfield. The A. A.
McCully and other large carriers
frequently visited Eugene and
brought capacity loads of farm
products to tidewater. In the eigh
ties the Oregon Pacific railroad
established a connection between
Eugene and San Francisco via Ya
quina Bay steamers and the Wil
lamette river steamer "Three Sis
ters." In 1894 the steamer Eugene
ran regular trips to Eugene and in
1899 the enterprising citizens of
that city built and operated the
steamer "City of Eugene," a suc
cessful low water carrier.
The Willamette flows past Eu
gene and numerous other towns to
day as of yore before it meets the
tidewater boats at Salem. Bridges
have spanned the streams, docks
have crumbled and a tangled un
dergrowth covers hundreds of farm
landings of the steamboats that
once proved a barrier against -unjust
Navigation on Tributaries
Went to Small Towns
The Clackamas once enjoyed the
unique distinction of boasting of
one mile of navigable water. This
1 TT -i. '
Best Wishes
By Sumpter Smith
Manager, Med ford Mail
Tribune "rpHE publishers and
X. staff of the Med
ford Mail Tribune ex
tend to The Oregon
Statesman congratula
tions upon reaching the
80th milestone as a
newspaper, with the
wish for continued long
life and prosperity.
"The continued ser
vice of The Statesman
for over, three-quarters
of a century has been of
distinct value to the
state, 1 the Willamette
valley, and the city of
was from its mouth to the Clack
amas Paper Mills, new known as
Parkplace, ' In 1868 the steamer
Alert made frequent calls to that
then' new industry.
The Tualatin has been navigated
from its mouth to Centerville,
above Hillsboro. By the winding
channel the distance is 30 miles.
Prior to 1860 the Hoosier, Yamhill
and Swan operated on this stream
and in 1867 the Onward, com
manded by the Kellogg family, car
ried the commerce of Washington
county to boats on Oswego Lake
and by a portage to the Willamette.
The Pudding Rivet was navi
gated for a distance of 10 miles
to a point known as Irvings Bridge
by the steamer Moose, commanded
by Captain John Kruse on Feb
ruary 18, I860. Although this
steamer was cleared to within three
miles of Gervais, to a point known
as Parkersville, the upper reaches
of this stream were never utilized.
The Yamhill has been successfully
navigated for 20 miles.
I "Hoosier" First'oh Upper River
The first steamer that operated
above the falls at Oregon City, the
Hoosier, used this stream to Day
ton in 1851, followed soon by others
that reached McMinnville after
that town was founded in 1853.
The government put in a dam
and lock at Lafayette to encourage
navigation and has kept an oper-
m r-
mi- r
ator stationed there in Idleness for
many'yearj as no boats call for Its
opening, in pvn
with the llildrefi Hazen succeeded
in reaching a point known as Bried
well. a feyir miles west of Amity.
The LukiamUte, a very crooked
stream, in Pollq county, wis navi
gated by I the SXuckiamutk Chief
commanded by Captain J. L. Smith
in 1878. jjHe ascended as far as
Lewisville 18 niilea by river though
only 10 by lant Aa hia boat was
equipped with a portable boiler and
engine that had-once done duty in
a threshing outfit the power and
speed were not' sufficient to make
it a success. . ;'
The Santiam 'river has been navi
gated for, a distance' of 22 miles.
In the i early days frequent , trips
were mad as far as Jefferson by
the largest carriers and it was. not
an unusual sight to see. steamers
loading at! the Jeff erson mills. ' In
1871 the steamer Calliope, Cap'tain
Copely, succeeded in reaching Leb
anon and I pioneer small steamers
reached th-eforlcs of the Santiam.
Boonevijle Channel, just ' above
Corvallis, -once' added another five
miles of navijjpable water and for
many years this rich farm land
sent out their tproducts by steam
boat. . p ; '
The LoUg Tom with nine miles
of navigable water had steamers
calling atj, Monroe for years. - Over
30 years jjhavej elapsed since the
shippers &avej heard the welcome
blast of the Gyp'sy commanded by
Captain Lee calling for farm hands
U. load girainsjf or tidewater.
The same rjver continues to flow
through this .Valley, its- volume -of
water has? not Appreciably lessened,
boats built on i modern lines have
been perfected, the utilization of
high powifr seam and diesel ma
chinery .has fbeen developed, the
government has " expended " many
thousand of dollars in improving
the channel. jfchd the building of
locks and it ls clearly up 'to- the
shippers ' to use this stream as - it
now exists and thereby compel the
government to come .-to their as
sistance In rescuing this once' ma-!
rine artet-y f j-pm ( being the sewer
of the valley j :
"Salem is.nthe horse capital of
Oregon."r Statesman, Mar. 16,
1890. ??;
. IJ-.r " . j
CoprHfht; flnrty Cronlt Studio.
Vital Factor
By Paul Cowles
Executive Assistant,
v Associated Press
"T learn that the
X Statesman is soon to
celebrate its 80th year
of continuous publica
tion. That must be a rec
ord for the Pacific
northwest and perhaps
for - the entire Pacific
coast. I
"During those eighty
years Thej, Statesman"
has been a vital- factor
in the growth of the
great state of Oregon.
Let US' hope it will con
tinue the good work for
another 80 years and
North Counties
In Washington
Cut up, in 1853
Issue of The Statesman of March
19, 1853, - contained laws of the
territory dividing' Thurston Coun
ty and creating out of it the addi
tional counties of; King, Pierce,
Jefferson and Island in what is
now the State of Washington. The
county seat of Thurston County
was fixed at Olympia. It also' con
tained a law for the locating of a
territorial road from. Salem to Day
ton and from Salem to "to or near
Theodore Prater' former residence ,
in Polk county" via Anderson's
Ferry. , i
Other roads located were from
Winchester to Jacksonville; from
Spores' Ferry in ' Lane County to
the Umpqua valley. Another law
made the emigrant road : from
Oregon City to '1 the DesChutes
river a territorial road.
Free Mail Given
In 1887; Boxes
Placed at Homes
, Free delivery of mail in Salem
began July 1, . 1887. - i
T 1 . I if . ' .
nere we ine '.locations or me
first mail boxes: . Commercial
street, South Salem, at residence
of R. H. Dearborn; corner of Cot
tage and Trade; corner of Sum
mer and Court; on Asylum, avenue
near the end of Chemeketa; corner
State and Tenth; near W. L. Wade's
store, in North Salem; corner Com
mercial and Division; corner Com
mercial and Center; Corner Liberty
and Court; "one yet to;be deter
mined" says the news account. '
Hewn Stone Used
As Foundation
Of Statehouse
"The Capitol. The foundation of
the territorial Capitol at this pla e
is nearly completed. It is con
structed of hewn stone of. which
material the whole structure, we
understand, is to be composed."
"Court House. A first ela
court house Is being erected in this
place. Its cost will be about
000.- Statesmen, June. 28, 1853.
-J. :M. Crane nroDrietop of The
flax spinning machine, is on the
incoming boat and will probably be
in Salem tomorrow" Statesman.
May 23, 1877. I
: i-
. ill
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