Did you know that the Washougal area is a major part of the Lewis and Clark’s Corp of Discovery journey? Indeed, they camped at Cottonwood Beach, just a short walk from the Museum, for six days in 1806. Lewis and Clark first noticed the area on November 3, 1805 as they journeyed west toward the Pacific. Cottonwood Beach was voted on to be a place of winter camp, but lost out to the location of present day Fort Clatsop. In the spring of 1806 the Corp of Discovery spent six days at the location while they gathered provisions for their trip up the Columbia on their way home. Between April 2 and 3, 1806, while Captain Lewis remained at the Cottonwood Beach campsite, Captain Clark led a party of men back down the Columbia to look for and explore the “Mult-no-mah” River, today’s Willamette, which the Indians had told them existed.
Watch this video to get a glimpse of the important mission President Thomas Jefferson charged them with back in 1804.