Open main menu

Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/294

This page needs to be proofread.


286 CHARLES WILKES The country bordering the Columbia above the hills to the north and south, is the poorest in the Territory, and has no doubt lead many to look upon the middle section as perfectly useless to man. Twenty or 30 miles on either side of the river is so, but beyond that a fine grazing country exists, and in very many places there are portions of it that might be advantag- eously farmed. On the banks of the Walla Walla, a small stream running into the Columbia, about 25 miles from the company's post, a missionary is established, who raises very fine wheat on its low bottoms and is enabled to use its waters for the purpose of irrigation. This is also the case at the mission establishment at Lapwai, on the Kooscooske, where fine crops are raised ; grains and vegetables thrive remarkably well, and some fruits are raised. In the northern part of this section, at Chimekaine, there is another missionary station near the Spokane, and at Colville the country is well adapted for agriculture, and it is successful- ly carried on. Colville supplies all the northern posts., and the missionaries are doing well. The northern part of this section will be able to supply the whole with wood. Here also the changes of tem- perature are great during the 24 hours, but are not injurious to the small grain. The cultivation of fruits has not been suc- cessful. T'f'^ FISHERIES. It will be almost impossible to give an idea of the extensive fisheries in the rivers and on the coast; they all abound in salmon of the finest flavor, which run twice a year, from May until October, and appear inexhaustible; the whole population live upon them. The Columbia produces the finest and probably affords the greatest numbers. There are some few of the branches of the Columbia that the spring fish do not enter, but they are plenti- fully supplied in the fall.