5 Things You Don’t Know Are Lurking Under the Columbia River
Believe it or not, there are strange and surprising things lying underneath the Columbia River. All year long we drive over it, boat on it, and swim in it but you won't believe the things that you can find at the bottom.
The original location of the town of Wallula is actually under water in the Columbia river. The original town was created in 1862 at the location of Fort Walla Walla, according to sources. One mile east in 1882 another town called Wallula Junction was built by the Northern Pacific Railway. Both towns were flooded with water with the building of McNary Dam. The new town of Wallula was built on the shores of the river near the original location in 1952.
Another legend near the town of Wallula known as the Wallula treasure. In the 1850s gold was discovered near Boise and was carried to Wallula to transport to Portland. They used to move the gold with trains and legend says two men robbed a couple pounds of gold bullion from the train and buried it on the shore of the Columbia River near the original town of Wallula. That site is now fully under water.
In 1875 a ship named the Sunshine was carrying lumber, some passengers, and a 40-pound keg of gold worth around $10,000 at the time. It disappeared only to be spotted over a month later upside down and capsized in the mouth of the Columbia River. The keg of gold was never found.
The Columbia River is home to the sturgeon which can get over 1,100 pounds and 100 years old. They stay at the bottom and you might only see a dead one once in your life if you are lucky but they are still there. It makes you nervous that something the size of a large shark is lurking beneath you, right?
The place where Lewis and Clark first make contact with the Columbia River was the home to Yakama and Wanapum Indians. The main village in the area where Sacajawea translated for the Corps of Discovery is now under water. The original site was near Sacajawea State Park in Pasco but was put under water with the building of the McNary Dam in 1953.