Ghostly Fishing Village

Remnants of the Lone Pine Tree Indian Village.  The Dalles, OR.  Photo: KGilb.

Remnants of the Lone Pine Tree Indian Village. The Dalles, OR. Photo: KGilb.

We stumbled across this ghostly little cluster of old abandoned buildings quite by accident. It’s not readily visible from nearby roads or highways. Perched on the rocks overlooking the Columbia River, with the Dalles Dam as backdrop, the half-dozen wooden huts seem wildly out of place. What was once a Native American fishing village is now surrounded by motels, coffee shops, retail outlets, and fast food restaurants.

The Lone Pine Tree Fishing Village was built by Henry Gulick for his wife, Harriet. Gulick was a Scottish immigrant who came to the area in the 1890’s; Harriet, a member of the native Wasco tribe. He built the village near one of the tribe’s traditional fishing sites on the Columbia River. The badly weathered wooden buildings—one or two still carrying a sheet of rusty tin on its roof—date back to 1896.

Though he was not himself a religious man, Henry also built his wife a small wooden church near the village. Harriet was a member of the Indian Shaker movement. (not to be confused with the Shaker Community of New England) The church became a center of Indian Shaker activity in the area and remained so until its bishop retired and moved to Hood River in the 1920’s. Unfortunately, the building itself collapsed under the weight of snow in the winter of 1996.

And the lone pine tree that once stood south of the village? It died long ago.

The Lone Pine Tree Fishing Village is located just north of the Shiloh Inn at the junction of I-84 and US 197 in The Dalles, OR. (on a narrow strip of land between the back of the hotel and the river) Please be advised these buildings are over 100 years old and are not safe to enter. Posted signs also warn of rattlesnakes on the rocks. So step carefully as you draw near and please view from the outside only.

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