Consider Clark County's weather in the mid-1800s, when settlers started arriving along the Oregon Trail.
The months of December 1846 to January 1847 were among the coldest ever experienced by the oldest settlers. Curling, a game similar to shuffleboard but played on ice, was the county's only competitive sport besides horse racing. On Jan. 26, 1847, the Columbia River froze at Fort Vancouver, and British officers stationed at Fort Vancouver and Navy officers off a British warship held a curling match. The Navy team won.
According to National Weather Service records, the Columbia River also was frozen during the winters of 1849, 1856, 1868, 1873, 1874, 1879, 1888, 1893 and 1909. In 1862, a snowstorm lasted for 60 days. Twelve years later, a cold snap left snow and ice on the Columbia River and frozen oysters in Willapa Bay. Drifting ice was reported on the lower Columbia River in 1930.