Point of Departure:
Activities for the two days will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the reconstructed Camp River Dubois where re-enactors will be portraying expedition members and War of 1812 and the Spanish will have camp set-ups. The Settler’s cabin will be busy cooking, planting a historic garden, giving the visitor a glimpse of a frontier settler’s life. Visitors may visit period artisans demonstrating candlemaking, cooking, woodworking, carpentry work, basketmaking, coopering, gunsmithing, tatting, taxidermy, beekeeping, maker of wooden boxes and benches, pottery, blacksmithing, weaving, spinning, wool fiber dyeing, broommaking, 18th century doctor, and a display of rocks and minerals. Tours of the white pirogue will be available. Jim Duncan and Ken Porter will display “Lewis and Clark Artifacts” from the Davis collection.
William Clark and his men arrived at what would become Camp River Dubois on December 12, 1803. The location was very close to the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, the route chosen for the expedition. Most importantly, the location was in United States territory on the east side of the Mississippi River, which would honor the Spanish confirmation of the transfer of the Louisiana Territory to the United States. Construction of Camp River Dubois began immediately and by Christmas Eve 1803, the men were able to sleep indoors. While Clark oversaw the day-to-day operation of the camp, Meriwether Lewis was busy with official duties. In the spring the camp became a beehive of activities as final preparations were made. On April 1, 1804 Captain’s Lewis and Clark formally mustered into service the soldiers and other men who would take part in the expedition.
Lewis’ field notes read “The mouth of the River Dubois is to be considered as the point of departure.” The Expedition left on a rainy Monday afternoon, May 14, 1804 from Camp River Dubois at 4 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public.