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 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.
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!
Nancy Anderson, Director
Land Line: 1-503-738-5206
Free Admission During
Regular Open Hours--2023
July and August
Please Email for Appointment Availability Outside of
521 WA State Rte 401
(See 'How to Find Us' page for detailed information)
*Click links for
short video exhibit
By Board Member Friedrich E. Schuler, Professor of History at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Read his interview in the PSU News!
A Shield for the Columbia offers the stories behind the founding of the quarantine station of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) at Knappton Cove, Washington and Astoria, Oregon at the mouth of the Columbia River. It is a compelling account of unlikely political and economic alliances featuring the United States Marine Hospital Service (USMHS), transpacific shipping lines, Astoria's business community, and members of the U.S. Congress.