NAME: Baker's Bay or Chinookville
COUNTY: Pacific
CLIMATE: Cool winter and summer.
COMMENTS: On the water.
REMAINS: Fort Columbia now resides here.
In the early 1800s, guiding a sailing vessel through the mouth of the Columbia River was not much different than playing Russian roulette. There were no markers, no lighthouses, nothing to tell sea captains where the entrance to the Columbia began. Out of England bound for Fort Vancouver in the fall of 1829, the bark Isabella, trying to navigate the sand pits and shoals to cross the bar into the river’s mouth, was caught in a sudden gale and was washed up on the sands. Abandon ship was ordered and all hands made shore to watch the Isabella be pounded to kindling. Her second mate was a James Scarborourgh. It was he who had such deep compassion for skippers trying to enter the Columbia, he took a homestead on the bluff where the Isabella foundered and immediately planted a grove of fruit and hawthorn trees. As the years passed and when the trees were in full bloom, the white blossoms on Scarborough Head could be seen for many miles on the lower river, a beacon seen even out to sea. At the base of the Head was a Chinook Indian village of 300 to 400 natives which existed many years before the white man came. Scarborough married an Indian woman and acquired a donation land claim of 640 acres. In 1864 the government bought the Scarborough estate as being a strategic location for defense of the Columbia. About 1864 Fort Columbia was built on the site, becoming a state park after the end of World War II. Submitted by Henry Chenoweth.