Tributaries: A Confluence History Blog

Maya Lin has said, “I try to give people a different way of looking at their surroundings.” As you visit and explore a Confluence Project site, share your observations or new found discoveries in this open community of ideas.

Monthly Archives: May 2017

Mount Hood, Oregon. Albert Bierstadt. Undated. Believed to be Bierstadt’s first rendering of four paintings of Mount Hood, Oregon. Chinookan people and canoes sail the Columbia River and wait on shore. Measuring 35 x 60 inches, the painting manifests Bierstadt’s ability to transfer his personal sense of wonderment to the viewer through his adept use of perspective, light, color and composition. Auctioned at Christie’s in May 2017.

An Artist’s Price for Manifest Destiny

Artists play an important role in both propaganda and the multitude of ways that history is recorded. Albert Bierstadt was a skilled painter, known to paint stunning detailed panoramas of the west meant to attract east coast Americans to find settlement out here. more >

The Tahltan Bear dogs were likely traded to Native Americans of the Nez Perce and Plateau tribes from Canadian tribes. They are believed to be extinct today.

Dogs Along the Columbia

Dogs have been good companions to people of the Pacific Northwest for a very long time. From the dogs of indigenous legends to the strange attitudes of Merriwether Lewis, this post delves into the exciting lives of our furry friends. more >

A postcard image of Columbia (LV-88). See

“From sheer loneliness and boredom, to all the excitement you could stand”

The Columbia River bar, where the mouth of the river empties into the Pacific Ocean, is known to be a dangerous entry point for ships navigating their way inland by way of the Columbia River. Learn about the lightships that stood watch over this treacherous location and the lives of their crews. more >

Male Sage-grouse

“Really Fantastic and Great to Behold”

Take a closer look at the Great sage-grouse, a native bird species that was endangered by loss of habitat in the Columbia River region. This unusual bird plays an important cultural and environmental role in the desert lands of Oregon and Washington, and efforts are being made by the Yakama Nation to improve habitat and increase the number of sage-grouse living here. more >