Open main menu

Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/203

This page needs to be proofread.


Itf THE QUARTERLY of the Oregon Historical Society VOLUME XII SEPTEMBER 1911 NUMBER 3 Copyright, 191 1 . by Oregon Historical Society The Quarterly disavows responsibility for the positions taken by contributors to its pages DAVID THOMPSON, PATHFINDER AND THE COLUMBIA RIVER* y T. C. Elliott This anniversary year on the Columbia River has special significance to those residing along its upper courses as well as to those at its mouth, and it is well worth while for the people of Kettle Falls and vicinity to rehearse the career and honor the name of the first man of the white races who ex- plored and made permanent record of the sources of this magnificent stream, and who was the first to traverse its entire length from source to mouth. Strangely enough the work of this really great and notable man is just coming to public prominence, particularly so any account of his achievements in the basin of the Columbia; even the historians of our river have failed to award him much more than passing notice. Brief mention only is possible within the limits of this address ; and let it first be stated that one of the few geographical points to which the name of this man, David Thompson, was once attached (by himself or by some of his associates) the only locality in fact ever so designated on the main course of the Columbia is the stretch of rapids a few miles below these Falls and now locally known as Rickey Rapids in recognition of your pioneer settler, Mr. John Rickey. On the early maps used by the Hudson's Bay Company these rapids were noted as the Thompson Rapids, doubtless because of some incident as yet unknown to us.

  • An address delivered at Kettle Falls before the Pioneer Association of

Stevens County, Washington, on June 23, 1911.