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South Lewis County has strong historic significance in Western Washington. Where the river bends just south of Toledo (see map) was first called Cowlitz Landing. It was a small river settlement, part of an extention route of the Oregon Trail. Early settlers barged up the Cowlitz River from the Columbia River to Cowlitz Landing. From there they disembarked and walked all the way up to what is today Tenino, the end of the Oregon Trail. Tenino is just south of Olympia, the state capital. This was the trail that brought about the settling of Seattle and the Puget Sount region. Today Cowlitz Landing is nothing more than a bend in the river. Hardly anyone knows of its significance as a jumping off point on the Oregon Trail. Another historical note: South Lewis County is where famed Catholic priest Father Blanchett built the Cowlitz Mission (just north of Toledo) to serve the Indians after having journeyed in 1838 on foot all the way from Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada. This was Washington's first Catholic Church. It is still serving the local population today.

Size: 11x17
Created in: 2001