This ancient, sacred area was completely destroyed in 1957.
Celilo Falls (also known as Horseshoe Falls or Wy-am) was located on the Columbia River about twelve miles east of The Dalles, Oregon. Celilo Falls was once a place of incredible importance to the Umatilla, Walla Walla, Cayuse, and Nez Perce tribes, as well as the Yakama Nation and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
- For over 11,000 years, Celilo Falls was a crucial hub of salmon fishing and commerce for Native American tribes around Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge.
- Ten times more water passed over Celilo Falls than passes over Niagara Falls today. A half-dozen native tribes had permanent villages between the falls and where the city of The Dalles, Oregon now stands. As many as 5,000 people would gather to trade, feast, fish at Celilo, and participate in games and religious ceremonies.
- Celilo was the oldest continuously inhabited community on the North American continent until March 10, 1957, when the falls and nearby settlements were submerged by the construction of The Dalles Dam.
View available Celilo Falls art photographs by Richard Stefani
We are proud to share Richard's unique and sensitive 1956 Celilo Falls photographs taken at one of the last tribal Indian fishing ceremonies. Enjoy this rare opportunity to own a piece of Celilo Falls history.