Tansy Point

Visitors to the Tansy Point will find spectacular views of the Columbia River and the town of Astoria, located three miles away. A scenic overlook with interpretive panels known as the Lewis and Clark Observation Platform marks the historical location of Lewis and Clark’s stay.

Named for the abundance of  native dune tansy (Tanacetum camphoratum) that grows here, Tansy Point in Warrenton, Oregon, has a long history of human occupation. Before the arrival of Europeans, Chinook villages stretched along the numerous waterways that fed into the Columbia River, including the area at Tansy Point. It was here, on November 24, 1805, that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s Corps of Discovery paused to take a vote on their next campsite. While here, they also met with members of the local Chinook tribes.

Clark recorded the visit in his journal, stating:

“A fair morning Sent out 6 hunters, and we proceeded to make the following observations [7]. a Chief and Several men of the Chin nook nation Came to Smoke with us this evening one of the men brought a Small Sea otter Skin for which we gave Some blue beads— this day proved fair which gave us an oppertunity of drying our wet articles, bedding &c. &c. nothing killed to day except one Brant. the variation of the Compass is 16° East.”

The vote itself was recorded by John Ordway, an expedition member, who wrote:

“clear pleasant morning. a white frost Several men went out a hunting we put out our baggage to air. The Calumbian River at this place is three miles 660 yards wide. Some of two nations of Indians came to our Encampment the Clatsop and Chinuck nations they behave very well as yet. our officers conclude with the oppinion of the party to cross the River and look out a place for winters quarter   Some where as near the ocean as possable on the account of makeing Salt.”

The vote regarding the expedition’s winter quarters is thought to be a rather momentous event in early U.S. history as the first vote in the Pacific Northwest. It’s considered especially noteworthy because Clark’s slave, York, and Sacagawea also voted.

Several years later, in 1851, Tansy Point served as the meeting point between the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Oregon Territory, Anson Dart, and representatives from several Chinook nations. The results of these meetings are collectively known as the Tansy Point Treaties. Sadly, the treaties were never ratified by the U.S. government, and the participating tribes lost their land without receiving any of the promised rights outlined in the treaties. They still struggle for federal recognition to this day.

The observation platform can be found by following the Warrenton Waterfront Trail. The trail runs for 4.7 miles through the city of Warrenton. Parking for the trail can be found at both its northern end at Seafarer’s Park and its southern end at Skipanon River Park, with an additional parking area located near the trail’s middle at Eben H. Carruther’s Memorial Park on Fort Stevens Highway. The trailhead at Eben H. Carruther’s Memorial Park is the closest one to Tansy Point.

For more information on the Warrenton Waterfront Trail, visit Warrenton Waterfront Trail. Information on Tansy Point’s history can be found at The Columbia River – Tansy Point, Oregon.

Contact Information

City of Warrenton
Reservations and Information:
503-861-2233

Address:
Warrenton, Oregon 97146, United States

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  • Hours Open

    Open 24 hours a day
  • Seasons Open

    Open all seasons
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    Access to Tansy Point is free of charge