January 25, 2016

The Dalles Oregon Rich in the Cultural History of Oregon

By: Mary Pellegrini

The Dalles Oregon Rich in the Cultural History of Oregon

The Dalles Oregon has been the center of commerce for more than 10,000 years.  For centuries the Native Americans fished for salmon at Celilo Falls and tribes from far and near would bring their goods to trade for the dried fish.  The falls were flooded by The Dalles Dam in 1957 but spirit lives in the traditions and religions, indeed in the very soul of Columbia River Indian people. Their record of habitation proves Wy-am to be one of the longest occupied sites on the continent.

“Celilo still reverberates in the heart of every Native American who ever fished or lived by it. They can still see all the characteristics of the waterfall. If they listen, they can still hear its roar. If they inhale, the fragrances of mist and fish and water come back again.” - Ted Strong, Yakama

Guests at the Old Parkdale Inn often ask us how The Dalles got its name.  The word dalleis French for flagstone or slab, and referred to the flat and columnar basalt rock cut by the turbulent waters of the Columbia River.  The Dalles welcomed the hearty travelers of the Oregon Trail in the mid 1800’s.  It was here that pioneers loaded their wagons onto barges to continue their journey to Oregon Country in the Willamette Valley.

The Dalles is but 45 minutes from the Old Parkdale Inn and our guests love the day trip itinerary I assist them in creating. Stop in at The Dalles Chamber offices for walking tours and local information.  The Dalles Murals take your on an educational journey through town.  Klindt’s Booksellers is the oldest continuously bookstore in Oregon and the second oldest west of the Mississippi.  Next door is Breezeway Antique Boutique where about 15 vendors display their wares in designated spaces within the mall.  On the west side of town is The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum revealing the cataclysmic floods that helped shape the Columbia River Gorge.  Here also you’ll experience interactive exhibits of the Lewis and Clark expedition, The Oregon Trail and 10,000 years of Native American life in the Gorge.  For a scenic loop one can cross over The Dalles Bridge, drive West back on the Washington side of the Columbia River, cross back into Oregon and The Old Parkdale Inn.

Reserve your Stay Now

Let the Old Parkdale Inn be your home base when exploring the Hood River Valley, Columbia River Gorge or the Mt Hood National Forest. Whether your idea of a good vacation is fresh tracks on Mt Hood or relaxing in our gardens with a good book and your favorite beverage, there's something near by for everyone.

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