As part of our Lewis & Clark studies we visited Fort Clatsop. The Corps of Discovery stayed here during the winter months from December 1805 – March 1806. There is a nice exhibit hall full of Lewis & Clark memorabilia, but the highlight of Fort Clatsop is the replica of the Fort that the Corps of Discovery built & lived in during that rainy, stormy winter.
The Lewis & Clark National Historical Park is located in both Washington & Oregon. Fort Clatsop is located in Oregon, about 10 minutes from Fort Stevens and about 30-40 minutes from Cape Disappointment.
Top: A large map showing the Journey of the Corps of Discovery.
Bottom Left: Arrival by Stanley Wanlass
The sculpture depicts Lewis, Clark, a local Clatsop Indian, & Lewis’s dog, Seaman
Middle Right: The Corps of Discovery brought many items with them to trade or give to the local people, including this Jefferson Peace Medal. The Indians along the Pacific were used to traders, though, so their prices were high.
Bottom Right: Diorama of a beached whale.
Clark & a few others went in search of a reported beached whale. By the time they arrived only the skeleton was left. The locals had already gotten to it. Clark was able to trade for some much needed blubber and oil.
Plants of Fort Clatsop
Many of these plants grow wild around our house, so this was interesting to look at. Also, the kids recently pressed their own plants, so it was fun for them to see pressed plants in a museum.
OUTSIDE THE EXHIBIT HALL
Left: Sacagawea & baby, Jean Baptiste.
I love that they are surrounded by the old growth forest. I am not sure if this was a life size model of Sacagawea. If it was, she was not a very tall woman.
Right: Part of Lewis & Clark’s job description was to journal about various plants & animals. Throughout the park were small signs naming plants that were “discovered” by Lewis and Clark. Each sign had a short blurb about the plant from their journals. This one written by Captain Clark on November 22, 1805 said… “we purchased a fiew Wappato roots… those roots are equal to the Irish potato, and is a tolerable substitute for bread.”
Left: There was a man showing how they turned animal skin into clothes. It is quite a process. I tell ya, it’s much easier just to go to the store to buy our clothes.
Top Right: Traditional Native American tools made from animal bones.
Top: Replica of Fort Clatsop
It wasn’t very big. It certainly wouldn’t have helped them if others came with the intent of harming them. But, it was cute & quaint. The only interaction they had with the Clatsop Indian Tribe was when they occasionally got together to trade.
Middle Left: An interpretation of a scene at Fort Clatsop.
Bottom Left: Sacagawea, her husband & baby stayed in this room. My boys were impressed that a bear skin was large enough to fill the entire bed. They weren’t as impressed with the baby carrier when I showed it to them.
Lewis & Clark shared a room. One side seemed to be their living area with a fireplace, table & a couple cabinets. The boys enjoyed touching all the stuff. They asked what the silver, tallish, 2 pillared thing was on the table. I was fairly certain & told them it was a candle mold. I hope I was right.
The enlisted men shared three rooms on the other side of the fort. These rooms had four sets of bunk beds, a fireplace and table and chairs in the middle. The Corps of Discovery had 3 squads, each led by a Sergeant. The squads each had 7 – 9 Privates. I’m guessing each squad had their own room. Sounds like cramped quarters.
This was our first time exploring Fort Clatsop. I was impressed. It wasn’t fancy, but there was plenty of opportunities to learn.