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Columbia Press


Researcher to talk about roads before Highway 101

Jerry Sutherland
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Historical researcher/writer Jerry Sutherland presents “Crossing Clatsop in the 1800s” during the next In Their Footsteps free speaker series event at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at Fort Clatsop.   Sutherland first researched early Clatsop transportation routes while writing “Calvin Tibbets: Oregon’s First Pioneer,” published in 2016.

In the 1840s, the route that eventually became U.S. Highway 101 bisected Tibbets’ provisional land claim just north of Clatsop Plains Presbyterian Church, which was built on five acres he contributed to the church just before his death in 1849.

Sutherland followed “in their footsteps” to get a sense of the challenges early Americans faced crossing Clatsop Ridge and Clatsop Plains.

After building Fort Clatsop in December 1805, William Clark and his men blazed a trail across Clatsop to the ocean searching for a good place to boil sea water, a trip commemorated by the Fort to Sea Trail in 2005.

In the process of determining the trail’s original route and its relationship to modern Perkins Lane, Sutherland learned of the involvement of Clatsop Indians as well as summer vacationers taking wagons to Seaside after arriving at Clatsop Landing on sternwheelers.

He was fascinated that the Neacoxie River’s 1806 outlet into the sea, filled in soon after that by sand and diverted to the Necanicum, had been pinpointed by geologists in 2004.

Sutherland will share all this using images of maps and original manuscripts and will sign copies of his book and answer questions after the presentation.

Other programs in the speaker series include:

**Oct. 21: Carol Lucas presents “Altho’ No Regular Botanist,” Jefferson’s reference to Meriwether Lewis.

**Nov. 18: Christopher Hodges presents “John Colter, Servant of the Corps.”

**Dec. 16: Barbara Linnett presents “Let’s Talk about Hummingbirds.”

**Jan. 20: Richard Brenne presents “Historic Winter Transportation.”

The talks are free and held in the Netul River Room of Fort Clatsop’s visitor center.

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