I. CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE SITE
A. Name, location, and brief description
Apparently there is no official or established name for the site which is the subject of this report. The area is generally referred to as "Fort Clatsop" or "Site of Old Fort Clatsop." A more convenient designation and one frequently used is "Fort Clatsop Site."
The site is located in Clatsop County, Oregon, near the mouth of the Columbia River. More specifically, it is situated on the west bank of the Lewis and Clark River, 1.8 miles south of its mouth. The site is about 4.5 airline miles southwest of the City of Astoria. The shore of the Pacific Ocean lies 3.5 miles directly west.
The property which has been suggested as a possible national monument consists of three contiguous tracts of publicly or semi-publicly owned land, totaling about 6.7 acres in gross area. The ownerships and areas of these tracts are as follows: 1. Oregon Historical Society, 4.9 acres; 2. Clatsop County, .9 acre; 3. Clatsop County Historical Society, .9 acre. A county road right of way, about .8 acre in extent, traverses the Oregon Historical Society property, thus reducing the area available for historic site purposes to a net of about 5.9 acres.
About three acres of this property form a fairly level plateau about 30 to 35 feet above sea level. The remainder of the area consists largely of rather steeply sloping land which drops away to the swamp adjoining the Lewis and Clark River. Except where the land has been cleared for a parking lot, the area is covered by a fairly dense stand of second-growth forest, composed largely of spruce and alder. The level portion of the property has been kept clear of brush, but the sloping sections are marked by heavy undergrowth.
The property is operated as a historic monument by the Oregon Historical Society, acting in cooperation with the Clatsop County Historical Society. The principal existing improvements consist of an approach road from the county highway which runs through the property, a graveled parking lot, a bronze historical marker, and a full-scale replica of the original log Fort Clatsop. Other facilities include a well, pump, drinking fountain, two pit toilets, and several picnic tables.
Last Updated: 04-May-2004