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Columbia and Cascade: A River and a Range, 1853-1854

Columbia and Cascade: A River and a Range, 1853-1854

  • Dates:
    Oct 24 - Jan 17 2021
  • Ages:
    All ages
  • Where:
    Fifth Floor
  • Tickets:

    Purchase tickets online or at the museum.

  • Accessibility:

    Mobility accessible, wheelchairs available at admissions, elevator access in building.

Note: This exhibition may be closed when the museum reopens, due to construction on the fifth floor of the museum. Check our website for details before your visit.

Curated by Lee Silliman | Artworks by John Mix Stanley, John J. Young, and John H. Richard

This exhibit presents a series of original tinted lithographs illuminating the natural features of the Cascade Range and its transecting Columbia River, as recorded by two exploration survey parties seeking viable transcontinental railroad routes prior to the Civil War. Featured are early landscape views augmented by botanical and zoological images of indigenous trees, birds, fish, and reptiles encountered in these riverine and alpine environments.

Half of the images were recorded by the Isaac Stevens survey of the northernmost route, while the other half were recorded by the R. S. Williamson / Henry Abbot survey traveling from San Francisco to Portland. These artworks were published by the U.S. government in thirteen tomes in the late 1850s, under the direction of Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War, who superintended the surveys.

  • The Falls of the Spokane River located on the Spokane River in present day Spokane, Washington. The Indian name was Stluputqu meaning “swift waters.” Artist: John Mix Stanley.

    Columbia and Cascade: A River and a Range, 1853-1854 4
  • Oregon rattlesnake, Crotalus lucifer; artist unknown.

    Columbia and Cascade: A River and a Range, 1853-1854 3
  • Cape Horn on the Columbia River, 25 miles east of Vancouver, Washington, November 14, 1853

    Columbia and Cascade: A River and a Range, 1853-1854 5
  • A view of the Cascades of the Columbia River framed by an outcropping of rock and tree to the left, 1860.

    Columbia and Cascade: A River and a Range, 1853-1854 6
  • Top fish: Gibbs salmon-trout of the Columbia; Bottom fish: Star-spotted brook trout; Artist: John R. Richard

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