Lewis and Clark River Boat Survey Project


At the request of the National Park Service, volunteers from MAS surveyed the remains of a small boat in Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.  It was very slick and muddy, but our intrepid team was able to successfully record the site.

Visitors to Lewis and Clark National Historical Park often ask rangers about a boat stuck in the mud along the Netul River trail. At low tide, the wooden boat frame is highly visible from the bridge crossing the mouth of Colewort Creek, where it meets the Lewis and Clark River (called the Netul by the Clatsop people and the Lewis and Clark Expedition). Unfortunately, the park had no information about the boat to share with park visitors. Through our recent collaboration, the National Park Service has learned about the boat and can improve site interpretation and resource management while MAS volunteers practiced techniques for recording and researching historic vessels.

Scaled drawings were produced and compared with vessels at the Columbia River Maritime Museum to identify the type of boat, its use, and its likely age. The drawing most closely resembled the gillnet fishing boats that were built during the 1920s and 1930s. Based on the position of the engine mountings, the team estimated that the boat had a square stern.