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In McGowan, are the remains of a former ferry dock, wrecked by a storm and abandoned many years ago. The old piling and deserted fish traps raise desolate gray forms above the surface of the river. A roadside post office is practically all that is left of McGowan.

The community was named for J. P. McGowan, who settled in 1852 and operated a salmon salting station and cannery on a 320-acre tract which he purchased from Father Leonette. Because it was bought from a missionary, the land was called Old Mission Grant. A post office operated from March 7, 1901 to April 15, 1939.


1939 view of the main highway near McGowan.

Source: Washington State Archives

Ca. 1950 view of the McGowan Church, near Chinook.

Source: Washington State Historical Society