Pillar Rock | Table of Contents

This rock is a great natural curiosity. It is a mighty column of basalt standing alone in the midst of the river, and though not more than fifteen or twenty feet in diameter at its base, it rises perpendicular on all sides to the height of more than one hundred feet.”

Rev. Gustavus Hines, 1843

Talapus, or Pillar Rock, stands twenty-two miles inland from the mouth of the Columbia River and 1000 feet from the northern shore. The basalt rock once rose more than 100 feet above the water, depending on the tide and served as a physical landmark to all who navigated the river. Pillar Rock has long held cultural significance to inhabitants of the Lower Columbia River region.


  • Place and Space
    An Introduction to Pillar Rock

  • Warnings, Warriors, and Magicians:
    Pillar Rock Origin Stories and Legends

  • Founding Families, Enduring Legacies
    Os-wal-licks, Arkensee, and Descendants

  • Pillar Rock and the Columbia River Fishery

  • Community and Commerce at Pillar Rock