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Ecola in Cannon Beach, Oregon

On January 8, 1806 William Clark and perhaps fourteen of the famous expedition reached a Tillamook village of five cabins on a creek which Captain Clark named Ecola or Whale Creek. Three days earlier, two men sent out from Fort Clatsop to locate a salt making site had brought back whale blubber given them by Beach Indians. Appreciating the welcome addition to the explorers' diet, Clark set out to find the whale or buy its blubber.

Traveling a perilous trail across Tillamook Head the food hunters, including Sacajawea and a young Indian guide, descended to "a butifull sand shore," crossing a stream later named Elk creek by early settlers. The food hunters found the whale's 105 foot skeleton.

Some oil and 300 pounds of blubber were bought from the Indians at "Ecola" Creek, who were busily rendering the whale meat with hot stones in wood troughs.

(Source: Sign north of Cannon Beach.)


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