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"The Barlow Road ... Crossing the Clackamas River"
Includes ... Barlow Road ... Clackamas River ...
Image, 2013, Sign, Barlow Road, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road sign, Foster Farm, Eagle Creek, Oregon. Image taken May 4, 2013.


The Barlow Road ...
The Barlow Road was a part of the Oregon Trail. The road was authorized by the Oregon Legislature in 1845, and by September 1846, it made its way around the south side of Mount Hood. This 80-to-110-mile road provided an alternative to the dangerous and expensive route that used rafts to transport wagons down the Columbia River. The Barlow Road began at The Dalles, Oregon, headed south through Dufur and Tygh Valley (which some folks consider the start of the Barlow Road), then turned west at Gate Creek and generally followed the White River before it headed north through Barlow Pass and Government Camp. It then passed through "Tollgate #5" near today's Rhododendron and continued to the community of Sandy, where it turned west and ended up at Oregon City.


Follow the Barlow Road ... (east to west)


 
Crossing the Clackamas River

Overview ...

(to come)


Crossing the Clackamas River ...

The Clackamas River was one of the last major river obstacles facing the Barlow Road travelers. For the most part the wagons used three different crossings of the river: Feldheimer Ford, Carver Crossing, and Barton Crossing. Today Oregon Highway 211, located four miles south of the three Barlow Road crossings, is the major crossing of the Clackamas River and gives great views of the river itself.


Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Estacada, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Clackamas River at Estacada, looking downstream with Highway 211 bridgework, Estacada, Oregon. Image taken April 11, 2013.

The Estacada Bridge is a 371-foot-long reinforced concrete deck arch bridge built in 1936.
Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Estacada, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Clackamas River at Estacada, looking downstream from Highway 211 bridge, Estacada, Oregon. Image taken April 11, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Estacada, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clackamas River at Estacada, looking upstream from Highway 211 bridge, Estacada, Oregon. Image taken April 11, 2013.

1st Crossing ... "Feldheimer Ford and Feldheimer Ferry"

The first and most popular route to cross the Clackamas River was called "Feldheimer Ford". This crossing was located at Clackamas River Mile (RM) 19, two miles upstream of the mouth of Eagle Creek and four miles downstream of Estacada, Oregon.

From the Philip Foster Farm the route generally followed today's Dowty Road down to Eagle Creek, crossing Eagle Creek at today's Bonnie Lure State Park, then heading down the steep eastern bank of the Clackamas River to cross at a gravely shallow spot. This location today is the end of Folsom Road (no views and private property). After crossing the Clackamas the route goes up Feldheimer Road to Springwater Road, and then to Oregon City. Today this western end of the crossing is a gravel-rock popular boat ramp and Feldheimer Road in spots is a narrow one-lane road and must be driven with caution. Around 1850 Ludwig Feldheimer would establish a ferry at this spot.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records Database shows "Ludwig Feldhammer" being granted title on July 20, 1872, to 105.64 acres of parts of T3S, R3E, under the 1862 Homestead Act. The 1860 U.S. Census for Clackamas County lists "John L. Feldhammer", age 34, a farm laborer from Bavaria.

[T3S, R3E, Sec.12]

Feldheimer Ferry:
"... c.1850:   Ludwig Feldheimer's Ferry was located four miles north of Estacada on the Barlow Trail. The site is snown on survey T3S R3E, of 1855 as the crossing at Walthrop's Mill. According to a local historian in Estacada, Mr. J.D. (Jiggs) Pederson (4/22/04), a bell was located on each side of the river to be rung when a crossing was needed . The ferry was generally for people, wagons and stock forded the river. The site is currently known as "Feldheimer (boat) Ramp".
1876-1880:  The ferry recieved licenses to continue to operate in 1876 and again in 1878 for a period of two years."

Source:    Charles Floyd Query, A History of Oregon Ferries since 1826.

Image, 2012, Cadastral Survey detail, Barlow Road crossing Clackamas River, click to enlarge
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Crossing Clackamas River ... Map detail, 1855 Cadastral Survey of T3S R3E, Sec.1 and Sec.12, showing the Barlow Road crossing the Clackamas River. The Barlow Road crosses the Clackamas River near Waldrops Mill. Cadastral Survey map courtesy U.S. Bureau of Land Management's website, 2012.
Image, 2013, Signs, Dowty Road and Folsom Road, near Eagle Creek, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Signs, SE Dowty Road and SE Folsom Road crossing near the Clackamas River, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Feldheimer Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Sign, Feldheimer Park, Clackamas River, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Feldheimer Boat Ramp, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Feldheimer boat ramp, Clackamas River, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Feldheimer Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Clackamas River looking downstream, from Feldheimer boat ramp, Clackamas River, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Feldheimer Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Feldheimer Road, "S. Pioneer Crossing Lane", Clackamas River, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Feldheimer Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Feldheimer Road, old structure (house ???, barn ???), Clackamas River, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Feldheimer Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Feldheimer Road leading away from Feldheimer boat ramp, Clackamas River, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Feldheimer Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Feldheimer Road heading west, Clackamas River, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Road signs to Feldheimer Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Signs, S. Feldheimer Road and S. Springwater Road, Clackamas River, Oregon. After crossing the Clackamas River at Feldheimer Ford, the route goes up Feldheimer Road to Springwater Road, and then to Oregon City. Image taken April 17, 2013.

2nd Crossing ... "Carver Crossing"

The second most used crossing of the Clackamas River by Barlow travelers was in the Carver, Oregon, area. From Foster's Farm, this route followed the Clackamas River north and headed overland before snaking down to what is now known as Carver, crossing the Clackamas at RM 8, about 100 yards downstream of today's Carver Bridge. From the crossing the wagons went south over the hills to Holcomb Road, where they journeyed to Oregon City.

[T2S, R2E, Sec.13]

"The second most used route followed the Clackamas River north to what is now Carver. They could not stay close to the river so had to go over the mountain coming into Carver, where a mill is now located. They had to wind down to a shallow part of the river about 100 yards past the present Carver bridge where there was a gravel island. Baker's Cabin was close by and was a welcome resting place. It was a short way south over the hills to Holcomb Road ..."

Source:    Wasco County and Clackamas County Historical Societies, 1992, "Barlow Road".

Image, 2013, Clackamas River at Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Clackamas River, looking downstream from the temporary Carver Bridge, Carver, Oregon. Part of the new bridge structure is visible in the lower right. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2015, Clackamas River, Carver Bridge, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Clackamas River and the new Carver Bridge, looking downstream from Carver Park, Carver, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas River, Carver Bridge, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Clackamas River, view looking downstream of the Carver Bridge, view from Carver Park, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.

Barlow Road travelers would wind down the hill to a shallow part of the river about 100 yards past the present Carver bridge where there was a gravel island. The area is still shallow today.
Image, 2015, Rock Garden Tavern, Carver Bridge, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Rock Garden Tavern, southern end of Carver Bridge, Clackamas River, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.

2nd Crossing ... Baker's Ferry, Baker Bridge, and the Carver Bridge

In 1846 Horace Baker arrived in the area, being with the first wagon train to travel the newly opened Barlow Road. Baker settled on 160 acres in today's Carver area. In 1872 he built and operated a slack-cable ferry across the Clackamas River. In 1882 the ferry was swept away by high water and in 1883 the county built a covered bridge across the river at (or near ???) the ferry location. This bridge was known as the "Baker Bridge". Then, in 1930, a 513-foot-long 9-panel Parker through truss bridge for South Springwater Road replaced the old wooden bridge. This new bridge, known as the "Carver Bridge", was built slightly upstream of the location of the 1883 covered bridge (according to the Baker Cabin Historical Society, the old bridge foundation can be seen downstream of the Carver Bridge). This bridge was rehabilitated in 1955 and demolished in 2012. New construction is going on in 2013 with a temporary bridge structure in place and a new Carver Bridge being built.

[T2S, R2E, Sec.13]

Baker's Ferry:
"... c.1847-1883:   The ferry is named after Horace Baker, a stonemason, who settled on the property because of its basalt rock formation nearby. The area was then known as "Baker's Quarry" and provided stone for many structures ...   The Clackamas County Court granted Horace Baker a ferry license and defined rates June 6, 1873."

Source:    Charles Floyd Query, A History of Oregon Ferries since 1826.

Image, 2013, Clackamas River at Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Information sign, Carver, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clackamas River at Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Detail of ferry, information sign, Carver, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.

"Horace established a slack-line ferry across the Clackamas River in 1872. The photo of the ferry shows its size. It also shows a carriage traveling on the ferry. The ferry was swept away in the floods of 1882 and a year later a covered bridge, the longest in Oregon, was built by the County. Foundations of the old bridge can still be seen along the banks of the river downstream of the current bridge."
Image, 2013, Clackamas River at Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Carver Bridge and Boat Ramp, Clackamas River, Carver, Oregon. From the boat ramp, looking downstream towards the temporary Carver Bridge and the partially built new Carver Bridge. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2015, Clackamas River, Boat launch, Carver Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Boat launch, Carver Park, with edge of new Carver Bridge in background, Clackamas River, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.

2nd Crossing ... Baker's Cabin Historical Site

In 1846 Horace Baker arrived in the area, being with the first wagon train to travel the newly opened Barlow Road.

According to one of the Baker Cabin Historical Site's information signs (2013):

"... In the early 1850s, during the height of the gold rush, a California company reneged on a special order for had-hewn timbers. Horace purchased the 12-inch square logs, hand-hewn on all four sides, and in 1856 built the 20' by 30' house that is known as Baker Cabin. The walls are stacked nine logs high. With the exception of the top and bottom logs, which are mortised at the corners ...   the logs between are lapped together without mortising, using no pegs or nails to fasten them together. ..."

In 1976 the "Baker, Horace, Log Cabin" was added to the National Register of Historic Places (Person/Structure #76001578). It is one of the oldest (if not THE oldest) log structures in Oregon.

[T2S, R3E, Sec.18]


Image, 2013, Baker Cabin Historical Site, Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Sign, Baker Cabin Historial Site, Carver, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Baker Cabin Historical Site, Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Baker Cabin Historial Site, Carver, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Baker Cabin Historical Site, Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Baker Cabin Historial Site, Carver, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Baker Cabin Historical Site, Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Cabin, Baker Cabin Historial Site, Carver, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Baker Cabin Historical Site, Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Cabin corner, showing overlapping logs and outside stairs, Baker Cabin Historial Site, Carver, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Baker Cabin Historical Site, Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Barn, Baker Cabin Historial Site, Carver, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.

2nd Crossing ... Baker's Quarry

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records Database shows "Horace Baker" and "Jane Baker" being granted title on March 2, 1883, to 642.50 acres of parts of T2S, R2E, and T2S, R3E, under the 1850 Oregon-Donation Act.

"... The Bakers chose the area, now known as Carver, for their 640-acre Donation Land Claim due to a basalt rock formation to the west of the cabin. Horace Baker was a stonemason by trade ...

Soon Horace Baker was very busy quarrying rock from this area. The quarry became a thriving business. At this time the area was known as "Baker's Quarry" and held that name for many years. Horace also ran a slack-line ferry across the Clackamas River where the bridge is now located. This ferry allowed the areas of Springwater, Logan, and Upper Logan to develop.

In the area which is now the Carver Boat Ramp the quarried rock was loaded onto barges and during the spring floods was floated six miles down the Clackamas River to Oregon City and distributed from there. Rock from the quarry prvided the materials to build the Oregon City Locks, the Tillamook Light House, Portland's Pioneer Post Office, the Portland Hotel (since torn down), and numerous rock walls throughout the Oregon City area. ..."

Source:    Baker Cabin Historical Society website, 2013


Image, 2013, Baker Cabin Historical Site, Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Fireplace, Baker Cabin Historial Site, Carver, Oregon. Image taken May 4, 2013.
Image, 2013, Baker Cabin Historical Site, Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Fireplace and stone bench, with rock from Baker's quarry, Baker Cabin Historial Site, Carver, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.

2nd Crossing ... Pioneer Church

In 1967 the Baker Cabin Historical Society acquired the historic German Methodist Church. The church was built in 1895 in the small community of Logan, five miles southeast of Carver, Oregon. It was abandoned in 1920.

"... It is said that all sermons were preached in German. Slated for demolition, the church was salvaged by a group of community members lead by Ernest Heinrich, who moved it to the Baker Cabin Site. ..." [Baker Cabin Historical Society website, 2013]

Image, 2013, Pioneer Church, Baker Cabin Historical Site, Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Pioneer Church, Baker Cabin Historial Site, Carver, Oregon. Image taken May 4, 2013.
Image, 2013, Pioneer Church, Baker Cabin Historical Site, Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Pioneer Church, Baker Cabin Historial Site, Carver, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Pioneer Church, Baker Cabin Historical Site, Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Pioneer Church, Baker Cabin Historial Site, Carver, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.

3rd Crossing ... "Barton Crossing and LaTourette Ferry"

Between 1847 and 1859 Barlow Road pioneers could choose a third crossing of the Clackamas River, located at RM 13.4. The route went from Foster's Farm to today's community of Barton where LaTourette operated a ferry, taking one wagon at a time across the river. From the Barton crossing the road then followed the Harding-Springwater Road, went by County Market Road No.38 through Viola, Redland, and then joined the Abernethy Road.

[T2S, R3E, Sec.23]

LaTourette Ferry:
"... 1847-1849:   This was a crossing used by the travelers on the Barlow Road near the town of Barton. ...   This ferry was operated by rope and only one wagon at a time could be transported. ..."

Source:    Charles Floyd Query, A History of Oregon Ferries since 1826.

Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Barton Bridge, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Latourette Road sign, near the Barton Bridge, Clackamas River at Barton, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.

3rd Crossing ... Barton Bridge and Barton County Park

Since 1914 there has been a bridge crossing the Clackamas River in the vicinity of the old ferry. Today's bridge, built in 1970, is a 880-foot-long steel tied arch bridge for the Bakers Ferry Road. The arch of today's Barton Bridge was once the center span of the three-span steel tied arch bridge crossing Eagle Creek, built in 1936, on the Historic Columbia River Highway. Nice views of the Barton Bridge can be had from Barton County Park.

[T2S, R3E, Sec.23]


Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Barton Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Barton Park, Clackamas River, Barton, Oregon. Image taken April 11, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Barton Bridge, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Barton Bridge, Clackamas River, Barton, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Barton Bridge, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Driving east across the Barton Bridge, Clackamas River, Barton, Oregon. Image taken April 17, 2013.



  • NEXT: Clackamas River to Oregon City
    • On to Oregon City ...
    • Springwater Route Segment (1993) ...
      • Feldheimer Segment ...
      • Gerber Segment ...
      • Clear Creek Segment ...
    • Holcomb Route Segment (1993) ...
      • Moss Hill Segment ...
      • Holcomb Valley Segment ...
    • Oregon City, Oregon ...






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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website.

Lat/Long were obtained from plotting location on National Geographic's TOPO! program, 3.4.3, 2003.

Sources:    [See Barlow Road Sources]

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November 2015