Alongside highway 101 and the Columbia River lies Middle Village, the site of a Chinook village where 36 houses once stood. The Chinook people inhabited this village where the river meets the ocean for thousands and thousands of years. During the summer, they had an abundant supply of fish, game, and resources for clothing and shelter. In the winter, however, they moved inland. This is why, when Lewis and Clark came upon the settlement on November 15, 1805, it was empty.
They named this site Station Camp and spent ten days here while Clark drew up a detailed and accurate map of the mouth of the Columbia River and surrounding area.
In 2005, archeologists discovered abundant proof of the importance of the Middle Village site as a Chinook trade village. More than 10,000 artifacts were uncovered, including trade beads, plates, cups, musket balls, arrowheads, Indian fish net weights and ceremonial items. European artifacts were found here even from prior to Lewis and Clark’s arrival. This shows us how thriving the Chinook’s trading systems were.