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Cheri Dohnal

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Columbia River Gorge: Natural Treasure on the Old Oregon Trail
by Cheri Dohnal   

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Publisher:  Arcadia ISBN-10:  0738524328 Type:  Non-Fiction


Copyright:  Jan 1 2003 ISBN-13:  9780738524320

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An in-depth look at the Gorge past & present, it's role as the final leg of the Oregon Trail, and some of the more interesting characters it has hosted during the past 200 years. The only book of its kind, this volume not only covers the "standard" historical facts from pre-history to present, it also highlights many little-known events and people of the early years. The author believes history books should be accurate but accuracy is worthless if material is presented in the usual boring fashion. She has consulted multiple sources of information to form a well-balanced snapshot of each time period, using her unique storytelling skills to present the information in an engaging portrayal of the past. Dozens of vintage photos were contributed for this volume by individuals, media outlets and historical organizations. The book includes numerous quotes from actual Oregon Trail journals and reminiscences. A rare treat that will be enjoyed for years to come by anyone with an interest in the Oregon Trail, early Oregon history, or the Columbia River Gorge itself.

Book composition & chapter titles:

Ch. 1 -- Volcanoes and Other Violent Eruptions
Ch. 2 -- Part of the Trail, but No Settlers Allowed
Ch. 3 -- Wagons Ho! In their own Words
Ch. 4 -- More Indian Wars and a Super-sized County
Ch. 5 -- The Development Years
Ch. 6 -- Carving a Niche in World Economics
Ch. 7 -- Tragedy & Triumph: Testing the Pioneer Spirit
Ch. 8 -- Pack Trains & Stagecoaches
Ch. 9 -- War, Prohibition, Automation & Modernization
Ch. 10 -- Making Connections & Entertaining Dignitaries
Ch. 11 -- Columbia Rolls On until Miss Helen Blows Her Top
Ch. 12 -- Modern Pioneers Meet Guarded Guru


From Chapter 7 discussion of the record-breaking flood of 1894: "One family living in Columbus moved their valuables to the attic and evacuated their home, staying with friends downriver in Cascade Locks. One can only imagine their shock when they saw their entire home float by a short time later. A distillery at Grants, which was located at the foot of a cliff between Rufus and Biggs, was set adrift during the flood. The building was spotted by ferry operator Lucias Clark who, with the help of a fellow by the name of McDonald, rowed out and coaxed the building to shore. Several barrels of aged whiskey bobbed their way downstream, tempting many a drinking man past the point of good sense. Two such men were George Rankin and George Purser. According to one newspaper article, they were 'tantalized to the point of desperation' and rowed out to rope one of the kegs, only to be defeated by the swift current."

Reader Reviews for "Columbia River Gorge: Natural Treasure on the Old Oregon Trail"

Reviewed by James Otos 12/8/2006
Bought it! Grew up in The Dalles and I am looking forward to reading it.

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Books by
Cheri Dohnal

Columbia River Gorge: Natural Treasure on the Old Oregon Trail

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