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.


Category Archives: Sandy River Delta

Townsend’s Warbler By Francesco Veronesi from Italy (Townsend's Warbler - Washington State_S4E2274)

Birding along the Columbia River 1834-37

John Kirk Townsend’s research and letters give us a glimpse at the types of birds and animals found to be living along the Columbia River in the 1830’s. Because of his detailed and seasonal observations, we can compare the flora and fauna at places like the Sandy River Delta and Vancouver with what exists there today. more >

A close friend of John J. Audubon, Townsend sent specimens of birds collected along the Columbia River – like the “Townsend Warbler” shown here at upper left – to Audubon and the societies who sponsored Townsend’s journey to the Northwest. This is a plate from Audubon’s book.

1834 Letter Describes ‘Awful & Magnificent Grandeur’ At the Mouth of the Columbia River

John Kirk Townsend, naturalist and ornithologist, wrote vividly descriptive records of his experiences and journey in the American West. This week, read a particularly gripping excerpt of his time at Cape Disappointment. more >

9305-B7046.  Nancy Jim (left) and Hannah Sohappy Yallup are cleaning the first salmon caught for the traditional Feast of the First Salmon at Celilo village, April 7, 1940.

Seasonal Gathering Rounds Sustained Columbia River Peoples

Through the centuries, Native American women of the Pacific Northwest have been known as the “gatherers” of their tribes. Their role included a number of activities tied to the “seasonal rounds”–Long journeys that took families to different areas of the Northwest to gather food and other materials. more >

wapato tubers

Important Foods: Wapato

Wapato was a staple of the native diet throughout the Columbia River system. It still grows in the Northwest today, especially in restored lands such as the Sandy River Delta. In some places, wapato is no longer safe to eat because it absorbs metals and other pollutants. In others, it’s fine so make sure to check! more >

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Welcome to Tributaries, a Confluence History Blog

Welcome to Tributaries of Time! This blog is a way for Confluence, through the research of historian Mary Rose, to document the stories that shaped the Columbia River system. Confluence sites are a framework for understanding our region’s origins more deeply. Like streams flowing toward a big river of story, each tale helps us connect in a more meaningful way to where we’ve been and where we’re going. more >