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Think Out Loud

Searching For The Sound Of Celilo Falls

Fisherman at the original Celilo Falls

Fisherman at the original Celilo Falls

Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

Celilo Falls, located on the Columbia River, was one of North America’s largest waterfalls and an important meeting place for indigenous peoples for thousands of years. In 1957, the falls were flooded following the construction of The Dalles Dam.

The submersion of Celilo Falls began before portable recording devices were widely available. As a result, there are no confirmed recordings of what the falls sounded like.

We’ll discuss the history of Celilo Falls with Colin Fogarty, executive director of the Confluence Project. The organization is designing an art installation for Celilo Park that it hopes will restore the legacy of the falls.

Do you or someone you know have recordings of Celilo Falls? If so, please send your recordings to

columbia river waterfall History

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