Knappton Cove Heritage Center The Historic Columbia River Quarantine Station
Knappton Cove Heritage CenterThe Historic Columbia River Quarantine Station 

The Mission

The mission of the Knappton Cove Heritage Center is to preserve, interpret and promote the history of the US Columbia River Quarantine Station - listed on the Register of National Historic Places.

The Vision

The organization will strive to increase public awareness of this National Historic Site and will obtain and maintain artifacts, promote historic preservation and provide public education and interpretation of the layers of history at Knappton Cove.

Exhibits Along the Timeline

Guided by our Vision Statement, we have exhibits that highlight the layers of history leading up to and after the Quarantine Era at Knappton Cove.


Our recorded history begins with the sale of salmon from Native Americans to European explorers in 1792.


From there we move forward in time to watch Lewis & Clark camp nearby.


Around 1814 our location was labeled "Todd's Bay" due to the British Naval ship, 'Isaac Todd', being moored there. There's a STORY behind that one!


Then (1853) came a Donation Land Claim and stately home for the Job Lamley family.


In 1876 the Eureka & Epicure Packing Company (cannery) took the spot, employing 70 Chinese workers.  As immigrants flock to the Pacific NW, there are concerns about communicable diseases.


By the 1890's, there was a glut of canneries, and ours was sold to the U.S. Government to convert the facility to the Columbia River Quarantine Station. Between 1899-1938, thousands of European & Asian immigrants pass through health inspection at this Port of Entry.


By 1938 the Station closes due to medical advances and better health controls. The Bureau of Lighhouses maintained a navigational beacon for a time and the U.S. Army Signal Corps used the Station briefly.


In 1950 the Station is sold at government surplus auction. Clarence & Katharine Bell establish Knappton Cove Camp--a sport fishing moorage and campground.


Site is placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Knappton Cove Heritage Center is established in 1995 in the Lazareto ("Pesthouse"/Hospital).


Come walk in the footsteps of the People of Knappton Cove!


Contact Us Today!

Nancy Anderson, Director

Phone: 1-503-738-5206




** Temporarily Closed** Until It's Safe to Open


Typically Open:

July-September Weekends

Saturday & Sunday, 1-4 pm



521 WA State Rte 401

(See 'How to Find Us' page for detailed information)



*Click links for

short video exhibit

Check out Nancy's interview on Coast Radio's ARTS - Live & Local with Carol Newman. She talks about Women's History in the Public Health Service at Knappton Cove. The interview starts about 5 minutes in to the podcast.
Read more details about the history of Knappton Cove in Nancy's Book, The Columbia River's "Ellis" Island. Available for purchase on Amazon--$5 of every book goes toward the preservation of this historic site.
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