U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Cathlapotle Plankhouse Fact Sheet
Plankhouse: Modern full-size replica of a typical Chinookan-style cedar plankhouse like those occupied by Native Americans at Cathlapotle and other towns along the lower Columbia River for thousands of years.
Cathlapotle: (pronounced kath-lah-poh-tul) Chinookan town located near the confluence of Lake River, Lewis River and the Columbia River that was observed by explorers Lewis and Clark on November 5, 1805 and visited by them on March 29, 1806. Lewis and Clark reported 14 houses and estimated the population at 900 people.
Location: Carty Unit, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge -one mile north of downtown Ridgefield, Washington, on North Main Avenue.
Purpose: Serve as an outdoor classroom for interpreting the refuge's rich natural and cultural heritage.
Size: 37 feet X 78 feet - 2,886 square feet; Center ridgepole is 21 feet above floor level.
Number of Logs: At least 246 logs from 115 western red-cedar trees, many donated by location residents and the Gifford Pinchot and Mount Hood national forests, were used in construction.
Carvings: Designed by Tony Johnson (Chinook Tribe); Carved by Johnson and Adam MacIssac (La Center, Washington)
Project Timeframe: Began with first grants and donations in 2002; Completion expected in 2006.
Number of Volunteers: 100+
Volunteer Hours: 3,500 to date.
Number of Donors: 50+
Total Value of Donations: Approximately $575,000
Partners: The Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Committee of Vancouver/Clark County has provided fiscal sponsorship. The Chinook Tribe and Portland State University have provided cultural authenticity and technical expertise.
Major Donors: National Park Service, Meyer Memorial Trust, M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, Gladys Hare, U.S.D,A. Forest Service, Washington Department of Transportation. Washington State Historical Society, City of Vancouver, Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Edward and Dollie Lynce, Jerry and Jan Beale, and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.