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"The Barlow Road ... Tygh Valley to Wamic"
Includes ... Barlow Road ... Tygh Valley ... Wamic ...
Image, 2013, Sign, Barlow Road, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
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)


 
Tygh Valley to Wamic

Overview ...

In the fall of 1845 after a journey of months, Sam Barlow arrived at The Dalles, Oregon. Here he found he would have to wait weeks for passage down the Columbia River. With time and money short, Barlow, having seen a notch in the south slope of Mount Hood, decided that "God never made a mountain that had no place to go over it or around it". In October, Sam Barlow, Joel Palmer, William Rector, and over 30 wagons headed south to the Tygh Valley to find a route around Mount Hood. While this group got caught by snow and many turned back, some made it to the Willamette Valley. The "Barlow Road" was born. Highlights encountered from The Dalles to Wamic include Threemile, Fivemile, and Eightmile Creek crossings, U.S. Route 197, Dufur and the Fifteenmile Creek crossing, Friend, Kingsley, Oak Creek, and Butler Canyon, Tygh Valley and the Tygh Creek Crossing, Wamic and the Threemile Creek crossing.


Tygh Valley ...

According to the Clackamas County Historical Society and Wasco County Historical Society's plublication "Barlow Road" (1991),

"Valley entry presumably took place at a point near the present gravel stockpile of the Oregon Highway Division a few hundred yards from the Shadybrook Road intersection. From that point the road crossed the valley floor over the former Mays-Dodd farm and turned southwest to reach the opposite hillside at a point on the present road that leads to W.E. Hunt Park, the Wasco County Fairgrounds."

Tygh Valley and Tygh Creek, as well as Tygh Ridge, are all named after the Tygh tribe who occupied the area. John C. Fremont in 1845 called the valley "Taih Prairie" and the Pacific Railroad Survey Report in 1855 used "Tysch Prairie". The cadastral survey (tax survey) maps of the 1860s used "Tye".

(T4S, R13E)

Tygh Valley

'After descending a long, steep, rocky and very tedious hill, we have campt in a valley on the bank of Indian (Tygh) Creek, near some Frenchmen who have a trading post. There are also a good many Indians encamped around us.' -- Amelia Stewart Knight, Emigrant of 1853

"Tygh Valley's name is inherited from this area's original residents, the Tygh Indians who camped and traded with the early emigrants here.

1845 Oregon Trail pioneers followed a wagon road here from the Dalles. Their route crossed Tygh Ridge and tumbled down to the valley floor just across from today's Wasco County Fairgrounds.

By 1850, some Oregon Trail travelers used a shortcut from the John Day River. It came across the Deschutes River and west to Tygh Valley. In doing so, the emigrants bypassed The Dalles and avoided many miles.

When leaving the valley on the new Barlow Road, travelers used many of the draws to the West especially the one near the fairgrounds."


Source:    Information sign, Tygh Valley, visited June 2013.


Image, 2015, Cadastral Survey detail, Barlow Road crossing Tygh Creek, click to enlarge
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Crossing Tygh Creek and Tygh Valley, 1860. Cadastral Survey map courtesy U.S. Bureau of Land Management's website, 2012.

Map detail, 1860 Cadastral Survey of T4S R13E showing the Barlow Road crossing Tygh Valley and Tygh Creek (Section 4) and then crossing the plateau between Tygh Creek and Threemile Creek (Sections 7, 8, and 9). Threemile Creek merges into the White River. The road to the east crossing Tygh Creek at the Chambeau homestead (Section 3) and then crossing the White River (Section 10) continues south.
Image, 2013, Tygh Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tygh Valley and Mount Hood, Oregon. View from "Old" Highway 197, north of the community of Tygh Valley. Image taken June 5, 2013.
Image, 2013, Tygh Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Information sign, Tygh Valley, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2013.
Image, 2013, Tygh Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Information sign, Tygh Valley, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2013.

Tygh Creek Crossing ...

The early Barlow Road route enters Tygh Valley in Butler Canyon, overlapping with Highway 197 for about one mile before the early road turns south, heading towards Tygh Creek and crossing northwest of today's community of Tygh Valley. Highway 197 continues southeast, with "Tygh Valley Road" or "Old U.S. Highway 197" branching south and entering the small community of Tygh Valley. This road crosses Tygh Creek approximately 3/4 miles east of the pioneer Tygh Creek crossing.

Tygh Creek Crossing: (T4S, R13E, Sec.4)


Image, 2013, Tygh Creek, Tygh Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"Old" Highway 197 crossing Tygh Creek. View of "Old" Highway 197 crossing Tygh Creek, looking north. Image taken June 5, 2013.
Image, 2013, Tygh Creek, Tygh Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Tygh Creek looking upstream. View from "Old" Highway 197 crossing Tygh Creek. Image taken June 5, 2013.
Image, 2013, Tygh Creek, Tygh Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Tygh Creek looking downstream. View from "Old" Highway 197 crossing Tygh Creek. Image taken June 5, 2013.

Tygh Valley (the community) ...

The small community of Tygh Valley is located in the valley of Tygh Creek, with the 3,000-foot-high Tygh Ridge on the north.

(T4S, R13E, Section 3)


Image, 2013, Tygh Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Buildings, Tygh Valley, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2013.
Image, 2013, Tygh Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Store, Tygh Valley, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2013.
Image, 2013, Tygh Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Abandoned house, Tygh Valley, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2013.

Tygh Valley to Wamic ...

After crossing Tygh Creek the early Barlow Road immediately climbs the slope out of Tygh Valley to the high plateau between Tygh Creek and Threemile Creek. At this point the route heads south and southwest across the plateau, following along the north bank of Threemile Creek before it crosses Threemile Creek and heads towards the steep north bank of the White River. Today's Wamic Market Road follows a similar path, staying to the north of the original Barlow Road.


Image, 2013, Tygh Valley, Wasco County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Tygh Valley as seen from Wamic Market Road, Wasco County, Oregon. View of Tygh Valley as road leaves the community of Tygh Valley heading towards Wamic. Mount Hood is in the distance. Image taken June 5, 2013.
Image, 2013, Tygh Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Tygh Valley looking northwest, as seen from Wamic Market Road. Image taken June 5, 2013.


The Barlow Road crossed Tygh Valley and climbed the hillside pictured below, crossing today's Wamic Market Road to the left of this image, and headed across the plateau towards the Threemile Creek crossing just east of today's community of Wamic.
Image, 2013, Tygh Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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View from Wamic Market Road of Tygh Ridge, Butler Canyon, and Tygh Valley, Oregon. View looking north. Image taken June 5, 2013.


The Barlow Road emerged from Tygh Valley and climbed the hillside, reaching Wamic Market Road near this point.
Image, 2013, Western Meadowlark, Wasco County, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Western Meadowlark, on the road from Tygh Creek to Wamic, Wasco County, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2013.


The Western Meadowlark, a bird of the prairies, sings a distinctive song identified by many. It occupies wild grassland spaces throughout Oregon and was made Oregon's State Bird in 1927.

Wamic ...

The small community of Wamic lies six miles west of Tygh Valley, with it's main street crossing Threemile Creek approximately 1.5 miles west of the original Barlow Road Threemile Creek crossing. Wamic was named after a local family of early settlers named "Womack". The Wamic Post Office began in 1884 and closed in 1958.

Wamic: (T4S, R12E, Sec.14, elevation 1,676 feet, 45.13.41N, 121.16.09W)


Image, 2013, Wamic, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"Welcome to Wamic", Wamic, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2013.
Image, 2013, Wamic, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road (Wamic Market Road) entering Wamic, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2013.
Image, 2013, Wamic, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Wamic Store, Wamic, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2013.

Wamic ... Threemile Creek Crossing

Today's Wamic Market Road, the main road through the small community of Wamic, crosses Threemile Creek 1.5 miles west of the original Barlow Road crossing.

Threemile Creek Crossing: (T4S, R12E, Sec.13)


Image, 2012, Cadastral Survey detail, Barlow Road crossing Threemile Creek, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Crossing Threemile Creek near Wamic, 1860. Map detail, 1860 Cadastral Survey of T4S R12E, Sec.13, showing the Barlow Road crossing Threemile Creek. The Barlow Road of 1860 is labeled "Immigrant Road" on the cadastral map. Also shown is the location of today's Oregon community of Wamic. Cadastral Survey map courtesy U.S. Bureau of Land Management's website, 2012.
Image, 2013, Wamic, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Wamic Market Road crossing Threemile Creek, Wamic, Oregon. View looking south. Today's Wamic Market Road through Wamic, Oregon, crosses Threemile Creek 1.5 miles west of the original Barlow Road crossing of the creek. Image taken June 5, 2013.
Image, 2013, Threemile Creek, Wamic, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Threemile Creek looking upstream, Wamic, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2013.



  • NEXT: Following the White River
    • Overview ...
    • White River ...
    • Wamic to USFS Road #3530 ...
    • ALTERNATIVE: USFS Road #48 ...
    • Rock Creek ...
    • Rock Creek Crossing ...
    • ALTERNATIVE: USFS Road #48, Rock Creek Reservoir ...
    • Smock Prairie ...
    • Gate Creek ...
    • Gate Creek Crossing ...
    • Gate Creek Crossing ... First Tollgate (1846 to 1852)
    • ALTERNATIVE: USFS Road #48, Gate Creek Crossing ...
    • Gate Creek heading West ...
    • Immigrant Spring ...
    • Boulder Ditch and Boulder Creek Crossing ...
    • Deep Creek Crossing ...
    • White River Crossing ...
    • ALTERNATIVE: USFS Road #48 and #43, White River Crossing ...
    • White River Station Campground ...






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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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December 2015