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1890. In The Bridge of the Gods Balch combines imagination, fact and legend to write this fictionalized romance. In the book Balch writes: The chief of the Willamettes gathered on Wappatto Island, from time immemorial the council ground of the tribes. The white man has changed its name to Sauvie Island; but its wonderful beauty is unchangeable. Lying at the mouth of the Willamette River and extending many miles down the Columbia, rich in wide meadows and crystal lakes, its interior dotted with majestic oaks and its shores fringed with cottonwoods, around it the blue and sweeping rivers, the wooded hills, and the far white snow peaks, it is the most picturesque spot in Oregon.