Ilwaco is a city of 900 people (2011) in the Southwest Washington region of Washington State.

Cape Disappointment near Ilwaco

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European settlement of Ilwaco began with Henry Feister in 1851, and was named for Elwahko Jim, the son in law of Chief Comcomly. Ilwaco was incorporated as a city on December 16, 1890. A narrow gauge railway, Ilwaco Railway and Navigation Company, ran for over 30 years.

The railroad ran north up First Street in Ilwaco. A published photo shows the railroad's Ilwaco facilities, including a gallows turntable and elevated watering trough, were located on the southwest corner of the intersection of First and Spruce streets. The depot was built nearby on Spruce Street. A siding was built for the Ilwaco Mill and Lumber Company. A published photo shows the passenger depot on the west side of First Street, at a point 14.8 miles (23.8 km) from the Ilwaco Depot to Nahcotta. The Ilwaco freight depot was in a different building. The freight depot survived to modern times, and has been relocated to became part of the Ilwaco Heritage Museum.

The train ran out on the dock in Ilwaco. Floating logs were stored behind log booms on the west side of the Ilwaco dock. At some point after 1890, First Street had been covered with wooden planks, and remained so until 1916, when it was paved over. By 1915, a published photo shows many more businesses along First Street.

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U.S. Route 101 travels through the city, providing access to Astoria over the Astoria-Megler Bridge, and Long Beach to the north.

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  • 1 Cape Disappointment State Park, 244 Robert Gray Dr., +1 360 642-3078. Daily 6:30 AM-dusk. Cape Disappointment State Park (formerly Fort Canby State Park) is a 1,882-acre camping park on the Long Beach Peninsula, fronted by the Pacific Ocean. The park offers two miles of ocean beach, two lighthouses, an interpretive center and hiking trails. Visitors enjoy beachcombing, ship watching and exploring the area's rich natural and cultural history.    
  • 2 Fort Columbia State Park, +1 360 777-8221. Summer 6:30AM-9:30PM, winter 8AM-5PM.    

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  • Anchorage Island (Bakers Bay), Bakers Bay (Highway 101 to Ilwaco).

    The name "Baker Bay" comes from 1792, when William Broughton, of the Captain George Vancouver expedition, named the bay, "Baker's Bay", after a British merchant, Captain James Baker, whose ship was anchored inside the Columbia's mouth when Broughton crossed the bar to explore the river.

    Baker Bay, Washington, is the first large indentation on the Washington side of the Columbia River after passing Cape Disappointment. The town of Ilwaco is in Baker Bay, and the mouth of the Wallacut River and the mouth of the Chinook River. The upstream end of Baker Bay is at Chinook Point, home of Fort Columbia and Fort Columbia State Park. At the entrance to Baker Bay is located Sand Island.

    Lewis and Clark named Baker Bay "Haley's Bay" on November 15, 1805.

    "This Bay we call Haleys bay from a favourate Trader with the Indians which they Say comes into this Bay and trades with them." (Clark, November 15, 1805)

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  • 1 Heidis Inn Ilwaco (Heidis), 126 Spruce St E (hiway 101 to Ilwaco), +1 360 642-2387, toll-free: 1 800 576 1032, . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Budget motel noted for cleanliness and service at the entrance to the Long Beach Peninsula in SW Washington State. Blocks to the Port of Ilwaco and Columbia River, minutes to multiple lighthouses and beaches along the Pacific Ocean. budget.

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Routes through Ilwaco
AberdeenSeaview  N   S  AstoriaCoos Bay

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