The story behind the Dismal Nitch

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Respect Realty LLC 200311024

A couple Saturdays ago I posted a "I don't feel like typing Saturdays"post with a picture of the Dismal Nitch and asked if you career was in one? But, because of that post I was asked by many, where it was and what it was all about. I have to admit when I stopped to get that at that sign, I didn't realize how important that spot was in America's history, but instead of what was supposed to be a 30 second stop for a great picture turned in to a 30 minute stop reading up on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Dismal Nitch

You see the Dismal Nitchwas the last stop before the group was supposed to meet up with supply ships off the Pacific Coast, but what Lewis and Clark didn't expect was one of the worst storms to hit the Pacific Coast. This storm trapped them on the Columbia River at a spot they named the Dismal Nitch.

The storm was so bad that the Lewis said it was only the second time he was worried about the corp since the beginning of the trip. The storm was so bad that the group actually did end being stuck on that group of rocks for 10 days and missed the supply ships. They did survive, but barely and thanks to a non-profit group, the last stop before Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific Ocean and reached their exploration goals, the longest stop on their journey has been preserved for others to view.

There are many historical places located around Astoria, Oregon, the Dismal Nitch is just one of them, though located on theWashington side of the Columbia, there are many, many places to stop and find out about Lewis and Clark many with hiking trails and you could easily spend 2-3days if you want to hit every spot in the area that Lewis and Clark stopped. But, to find out the history of the Pacific Northwest and the journey of Lewis and Clark, I suggest you stop in the the most Northwest point of our state and check out our rich history and what that trip meant to the United States and trade with the east.


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Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Todd - It sounds like Dismal Nitch has a very interesting history!  I just noticed that you posted this in the "Homeschooling in the Rain" group, which I don't think I have joined yet.  Headed over to check that out now!

Nov 16, 2009 04:32 AM #1
Heather Fitzgerald
REALTY WORLD-Harbert Company, Inc. - Greenwood, IN
REALTOR Greenwood Indiana Real Estate

Dismal Nitch,  that has a sense of irony and humor both for this community!

Nov 16, 2009 04:42 AM #2
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hi Todd,

Thank you for sharing an informative and helpful article.

John Pusa

Nov 16, 2009 04:49 AM #3
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Jason - You certainly need to check out the group and hopefully add some of your own accounts of homeschooling.

Heather - It certainly got me to stop! How could I not take a picture of the sign, but then to read the history was even cooler. To know that Lewis and Clark almost didn't make it after such a long journey to be so close and then get stuck there for 10 days.

John - If you are ever in Oregon, make sure you stop off in Astoria and SW Washington and check out all the history we have here.

Nov 16, 2009 05:43 AM #4
William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX


"They did survive, but barely and thanks to a non-profit group" 

Is this a veiled reference to comparatively primitive indigenous aboriginals?


Nov 16, 2009 05:47 AM #5
Sarah Eubanks
Hill Valley Financial Services - Oregon City, OR
Preferred Oregon Loan Consultant & Notary Public

Hi Todd...Being an Oregonian and Pacific Northwesterner all of my life...I love this post!  We do have a very rich (albeit newer) history than many people realize.  Great job! 

Nov 16, 2009 07:50 AM #6
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Todd, I enjoyed the follow-up regarding Nismal Ditch. I did wonder how it got it's name? Our U.S. is packed full of history rich in experiences and culture, by passing it along like this, it is kept alive. Thank you for that!

Nov 16, 2009 07:57 AM #7
Liz Loadholt
Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC - Mount Pleasant, SC
Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC

Todd --- I was one who was curious about Dismal Nitch --- thanks for the follow up on the very interesting spot.


Nov 16, 2009 08:12 AM #8
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Fascinating lesson in history Todd!  The name would also make a great title for a movie or a book!

Nov 16, 2009 09:33 AM #9
Sara Woolford & Steve Golson, ALHS
iTexas Realty Co. - San Antonio, TX

Hi Todd-  Thanks for the history lesson.  I didn't know that about the expedition.  Someday, I'd like to follow the L&C trail all the way...  --Sara

Nov 16, 2009 10:52 AM #10
Dan Edwards 425-276-7008
Keller Williams Realty - Bellevue - Bellevue, WA

Wow crazy metaphor for this market.  Was that non-profit group the federal government with a bail out for L & C. LOL... nice

Nov 16, 2009 11:12 AM #11
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Todd, we are real history buffs.  We have travelled much of the US and visited many national parks and memorials.  I don't know how we missed this one.

Nov 16, 2009 11:24 AM #12
Amy McAllister
Amy McAllister Realty LLC - Hood River, OR
REALTOR Hood River, Oregon

Thank you Todd for this interesting bit of history. I had not heard of Dismal Nitch before, what a name, though sounds like it's fitting.

Nov 16, 2009 02:12 PM #13
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Very interesting Todd, a history lesson here in the rain go figure. Sounds like a neat place to visit if one was near by.

Nov 16, 2009 02:51 PM #14
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Todd...Love history, thanks for the follow up.


Nov 16, 2009 04:40 PM #15
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

Parts of the Lewis and Clark story really were dismal.  That they survived at all is surprising.  That they kept their sense of humor and mental balance is inspiring.

Nov 17, 2009 08:27 PM #16
Gary Swanson
Century 21 Harris & Taylor - Grants Pass, OR

Thanks for the post Todd.  I've lived in Oregon for over 40 years and have spent a lot of time in Astoria and Fort Stevens and somehow the Dismal Nitch escaped me.

Nov 18, 2009 02:12 AM #17
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