Columbia River Development Drawings

Cascade Station near PDX

Aerial view of a plan for a recreational area on the banks of the Columbia River. The map shows both the land on the side of the river as well as part of the river itself.
Land Use Planning records, Land Use Planning maps, Columbia River development drawings, 1970, Multnomah County Archives, Portland, Oregon.
The Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Mollala and many other tribes inhabited the lower Columbia River valley for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. With its temperate climate and abundant natural resources, the area was a land of plenty. In the early 18th century, Europeans landed on the scene, followed by Americans and the scourge of Manifest Destiny. Legislation in the 1850s allowed White settlers to steal 2.5 million acres of tribal land, including what is now Portland.

The Columbia South Shore area in Multnomah County runs along part of the ‘Great Water’ (imaɬ or iyagaytɬ imaɬ in the original Chinookan language). While urbanization has modified the environment dramatically, the land maintains some of its original natural assets and harbors archeological resources.

A set of development drawings in Multnomah County Archives depicts a proposed recreation area for the South Shore. The plans originated from a project proposal sourced by the Multnomah County Commission in 1970. They depict land along the river near Portland International Airport and Government Island. They may have been developed in response to controversial efforts to expand the airport in the late 1960s and early 70s.

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