4. History

Cascade on the Columbia River.Artist: James W. Alden Year: 1857 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cascade_Columbia_River.jpg


The Columbia River Gorge is a spectacular example of Nature's generosity to the Pacific Northwest.  

Bridal Veil Trails Interpretive Sign, Bridal Veil State Scenic Viewpoint

The Columbia Highway in Oregon will soon be known as one of the world's great thoroughfares.

It is being constructed along the most modern lines, and from Biggs, in Eastern Oregon, to the Pacific Ocean, it will follow the Columbia River down through the Cascade Mountain range, by graceful curves and easy grades, a distance of 215 miles, linking Eastern Oregon with Western Oregon for the first time by wagon road, and ultimately the State with the Lincoln Highway across the continent.

This road traverses a country rich in all that men need to supply their daily wants and make life worth the living. 

I am to write of that part of this great Highway which lies within the boundaries of Multnomah County. It is particularly beautiful and is comparable to the German Rhine between Mayence and Cologne, although, when natural beauty is considered, the Rhine suffers by comparison, for the lofty mountains which look down on the Columbia as it flows through the narrow gorge in the eastern part of Multnomah County are clothed in the rich verdure which Nature gave them and the changing seasons lend a harmony of color which is always pleasing.

(Lancaster, 1st Annual Report 56)

When God made the mountains and parted the range like a curtain, in order to permit this great river to pass through, almost at the level of the sea, He lifted up Larch Mountain to which the Children of Men might climb to look upon the wonders of His mighty work. "Be still and know that I am God; saith the Lord of Hosts."

When little Samuel, the nephew of the author, was about to ascend the slopes of Mount Rainier, he said to his mother: "If we go up in the clouds at Mount Rainier will we see God? *** Why won't we?" We hope he will, for life is not life without seeing Him.

Samuel C. Lancaster. The Columbia: America's Great Highway. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. 1915. Reprinted 2004.

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