Tributaries: A Confluence History Blog

The launching of the Liberty Ship SS William Clark from a Kaiser shipyard in Oregon during World War II. The steel plate aloft is the keel plate for the next ship to be built, the plates being lowered into place as the just launched ship hit the water. Kaiser Permanente photo

Industrialization on the Columbia Inspired Sweeping Cultural Changes

Industrialization arrived in full force on the Columbia River in World War II and with it American cultures changed in surprising ways. Read more about how two shipyards at Vancouver, WA and Vanport, OR played an important role in the region. more >

Chinookan people seine fishing on Sand Island, Baker’s Bay near Cape Disappointment, circa 1905. Photo by John F. Ford in the Oregon Historical Society’s Collection (OrHi 46585). Prior to white settlement, the Chinook used a variety of methods to harvest the Columbia River’s abundant salmon, and among the most important was seining. Seines are long nets that have floats on top and weights on the bottom. One end is attached to the shore and the other end is taken out into the water and circled back around to the shore, trapping the fish that are encircled by the net.

Columbia River Fish Weirs & Wheels – Two Divergent Cultures

Iconic ancient fish weirs and 19th century fish wheels represent entirely different world views on what the fish and the river represent to people of different cultures. White newcomers saw the river as something to be harnessed mechanically. For native people, the river is a sustainable resource, a gift, with rules and taboos in place to protect it. more >

View III Celilo Canal

A View of the Columbia in 1920 Part IV – The Closing Journey

The Columbia River in 1920 was free of the hydroelectric dams that would turn it into a series of lakes in the coming decades. One adventurer/journalist traveled the distance of the mighty river. In Part 4 of this series, historian Mary Rose takes us down the final stretch of this epic journey. more >

View III  Ike's Raft & Roos

A View of the Columbia in 1920 Part III – Historic Glimpses from Kettle Falls to Pasco

Part III in Lewis Freeman’s journey down the Columbia River covers stretches of rapids between Kettle Falls and Pasco, WA, now home to the Confluence Story Circles. more >

Kettle Falls in Early 1900’s

Kettle Falls, Bigger than Celilo, Silenced 75 Years Ago

Taking a brief detour from the journey of Lewis Freeman, this week looks more deeply at Kettle Falls. Like Celilo Falls, Kettle Falls is another example of the mighty Columbia being ‘tamed’ by hydroelectric infrastructure, and a story of dramatic loss. more >