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A town on north bank of the Columbia River opposite The Dalles, Oregon, the city was the first seat of Klickitat County and in Territorial days was known as Rockland. In 1891 this flat was the scene of a projected boom town, promoted by the Reverend Orson D. Taylor, who came as a Baptist missionary in 1880. Elaborate illustrations of the “city” showed fine boulevards, streetcars, and three railroads.

On Taylor’s maps, the Klickitat River emptied into the Columbia at this point, instead of at its actual location nine miles westward. Holding companies were organized; offices were opened in many eastern cities. He spurred a court case in which he disputed the rights of Native Americans to fish on the land. The site marks the down-river end of the locks through The Dalles—the narrow, rocky stretch named French-Canadian voyageurs. The great river pours through the narrow gap and several stone images, including the heads of monkeys carved in basalt, have been found in the vicinity. Along the railroad tracks east of North Dalles, at a point known as Spearfish, are extensive Indian pictographs and petroglyphs.

Points of Interest Points of Interest icon

Columbia River Bridge at the Dalles

Built in 1952, this 3,339-foot long bridge is notable for its engineering. It is a three-span riveted steel Warren through truss unit—one of only two bridges of this type built using a cantilever erection method. Its construction was the culmination of a 100-year-longeffort by residents and public officials. While under construction, the bridge had to be relocated because of a conflict with the building of the Dalles Dam.