Concept

Willamette Falls

Summary
The Willamette Falls is a natural waterfall on the Willamette River between Oregon City and West Linn, Oregon, in the United States. It is the largest waterfall in the Northwestern United States by volume, and the seventeenth widest in the world. Horseshoe in shape, it is wide and high with a flow of 30,849 cu ft/s (874 m3/s), located upriver from the Willamette's mouth. Willamette Falls is a culturally significant site for many tribal communities in the region. Opened in 1873 and closed since 2011, the Willamette Falls Locks allowed boat traffic on the Willamette to pass into the main Willamette Valley. Native American oral history taught that the falls were placed there by the ancient hero T'allapus (Coyote) so that their people would have fish to eat all winter.· Willamette Falls was once the home to the Charcowah village of the Clowewalla band of Tumwaters or Willamette Band of Tumwaters, an upper Chinookan speaking people. These lands were ceded to the United States Government under the Willamette Valley Treaty of 1855 (signed on January 22, 1855; ratified on March 3, 1855). Tribal members were then removed from these ancestral lands to the Grand Ronde Reservation and the Siletz Indian Reservation. Willamette Falls is an important location for many tribes. The abundance of salmon brought tribal communities from all over to fish, trade, and interact at the falls - creating an economic and cultural hub for the region. Each year many tribes harvest ceremonial salmon at Willamette Falls and collect lamprey during the summer, including the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. European fur traders became aware of the falls in 1810. John McLoughlin established a land claim at the falls in the name of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1829. Oregon City was established in 1842 near the east end of the falls.
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