Oregon Chapter LCTHF

  Oregon Chapter of the  
  Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation  

  March 1999 Newsletter : Vol. 1, No. 2  

Oregon Chapter Newsletter
Vol. 1, No. 2                                   March, 1999

President's Corner

Our winter chapter meeting on Jan. 23 in Salem was a huge success by all counts. More than 100 attended. We now have 106 members as the chapter continues to grow. The exciting Columbia River brunch/cruise and joint gathering with the Washington State Chapter on April 25 is shaping up to be a memorable experience. See the meeting information on page 7.

I was not aware, until recently, of a very disturbing trend relating to the Oregon Legislature's biennial appropriations to our State Historical Society (OHS). Over the last decade the OHS funding has been decreased by more than 50%, while public visitation to their superb exhibits, library, archives and requests for technical services to county historical societies continue to increase. Our neighboring Northwest state legislatures all fund their historical societies at levels 3 to 6 times more than the OR Legislature allocates OHS. That is an incredible and unjustified difference. Oregon's rich history and what it means to our citizens educationally and economically deserves better. As you know, the OHS has been the principal force behind the planning for the L & C Bicentennial. The OHS staff, although extremely competent and diligent, simply cannot meet the challenges ahead without adequate funding. If you know someone in the OR Legislature I hope you will write, expressing your concerns. Rep, Leslie Lewis, co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee will help determine OHS funding this session. A note to her would be helpful. Her address is:

Hon.Leslie Lewis
OR State Capitol H-277
Salem, OR 97310

The Boy Scouts of America have recently established a new "Historic Trails Award". Scout troops must plan and participate in locating a historic trail or site, camp there two days and one night, and in cooperation with an adult group, restore, clean-up or mark all or part of the trail or site. Local troops are already interested. If you have suggestions for L & C trail segments or sites let me know. Hope to see you on Sunday, April 25 aboard the good ship Columbia Gorge.

Keith Hay

Lewis & Clark : Question & Answer
By Mike Carrick

Q .   What can you tell us about the branding iron in the possession of the Oregon Historical Society?

A .   The branding iron is one of the very few items that is undisputedly believed to be an authentic artifact of the Corps of Discovery. It was found near The Dalles around 1893. This location fits very well with events of the period. Both Clark and Lewis wrote about the great difficulties that they were having with the Indians around Celilo Falls during the week of April 20, 1806, on the return half of the journey.

The explorers needed horses very badly. The Indians wanted an "extravigant Price" according to Lewis (4-20-1806). Clark offered his "Coat, Sword, and Plume" unsuccessfully. In addition to holding out for highly-desired items, the Indians were stealing tomahawks, spoons, and other metal items during the night. Lewis mentions bartering metal items. So, it seems very likely that the branding iron could have changed hands near The Dalles either in trade or by theft.

This branding iron has an unusual shape. I have to disagree with Moulton's statements that it was used to brand the horses left with the Shoshone Indians. I think it was made (perhaps at Harper's Ferry Armory) for the express purpose of branding trees.

Eight years before the Lewis & Clark expedition, James Mackay and John Evans made an attempt (with the approval of the King of Spain) to discover the Northwest Passage. Mackay wrote that it is important to mark trees with the impression "Charles IV King of Spain... and below... the day, the month, and the year" to serve as unquestionable proof of the journey. Lewis had a copy of Mackay's journal and there is indication that Mackay actually visited Lewis and Clark while they were camped at Wood's River.

The November 25, 1805 journal entry states that Lewis branded trees with his name and date. So, the shape of the branding iron, with the empty area below the name, is perfect for marking trees with Lewis' name and carving in the date. It seems expressly designed for that purpose. It does not seem suitable for marking horses.

We know that Lewis and Clark left their horses with the Shoshone Indians on the westward trip with the intention of recovering them on the return journey. Clark mentions in the journal entry of October 5, 1805, that they branded their horses so that they would have proof of ownership when they returned. Moulton and other editors assume that the branding iron was this one recovered at The Dalles.

We have an eye witness account that this may not be so. On October 5, 1805, Joseph Whitehouse wrote in his journal, "Got up our horses and cropped their fore mane, and branded them with a sturrup iron on the near fore shoulder, so that we may know them again at our return."

U.S. Military stirrups of that era were rather simple, and would have served very well as a mark of identity (the Indians did not have U.S. iron stirrups). The brand would have been much more humane and less damaging to the horse than the large rectangle of the "Capt. M. Lewis" branding iron.

We are very fortunate here in Oregon to have the excellent research services of the Oregon Historical Society and museum available to us.

Q .   In the last issue of this newsletter you told us about all the dogs that the men of the expedition ate. I vaguely recall that Lewis wrote about the quantity of meat that they needed daily. Do you know the quote?

A .   On July 13, 1805, Lewis wrote in the Journals, "we eat an emensity of meat; it requires 4 deer, or and Elk and a deer, or one buffaloe to supply us plentifully for 24 hours."

Send your questions to:
Michael Carrick
671 Lamplighter Circle
Salem, OR 97302
toll-free fax 1-888-394-7798
or e-mail: carrick123@aol.com

Welcome To Our New Members!

In response to our first chapter newsletter and the wonderful turnout we had at our January 23rd meeting in Salem, our membership has swelled to 106!

Richard M. Arenz Mark E. Gosselin Family Dean L. Parry
Thomas P. Bays Glenn Harrison Henry M. Reeves
Barbara Becker John Heffley Doris Helen Rosen
Nancy Brown Loren D. Hicks Bob & Susan Saalfeld
Betty Brummett Lisa M. Jeffries Louis Santiago
David Bussard Jo Ann S. Johnson Charles F. Sawhill
David Callery Mabel Johnson Ray W. Shaw
Gail & Muriel Carbiener Gary G. Jones Donald J. Sterling, Jr.
Bud Clark Family Edward B. Kaye W. B. Swenson
Fred Cooper Ron Kelemen Family William G. Van Vliet
Molly Coyle Smith Paul & Joan Kifer Ted Walling
Ron & Victoria Cummings Glen Kirkpatrick Del Weeks
Diane E. Davis William & Ruth Laughlin Patricia Welch
Russ Emerson Bob Mewhinney Leslie & Margaret Wheeler
Gilbert & Ellen Feibleman Jack Odgaard Brad Yazzolino Family
Deneva Flath Jerry & Ruth Offer  
William H. Gardner Theodore Palmer Family  

Relatively Speaking

Which of our members have Corps relations? We currently have one member who is kin to Drouillard and another who is a relation to John Shields. Are there any other Chapter members with Corps of Discovery relations? If so, please make your connection known by contacting Chapter Secretary Jay Rasmussen with your information. Thank you!

Lewis & Clark in Oregon

Are you looking for a nice day trip and some great scenery coupled with Lewis & Clark history? Plan a day to travel up the Columbia Gorge to The Dalles. One of the few Lewis and Clark campsites in Oregon lies within the city boundaries of The Dalles. Known by the name "Rock Fort Camp", the Corps resided here from October 25 to 28, 1805. On October 25, 1805, Clark wrote "we took possession of a high Point of rocks to defend our Selves in Case the threts of those Indians below Should be put in execution against us." The Corps "Camped on the rock". Whitehouse remarks that they "conclude to delay here for observations and repair the canoes" which they did by shaving the canoe bottoms and repitching their exteriors.
Dalles Map

The Corps also camped here again on the eastbound trip from April 15 to 18, 1806. The view across the river likely remains much the same as in Lewis and Clark's day. You can get to this site (see #1 on the map) by taking Exit #83 off of I-84. Turn left onto 6th Street and travel a few hundred feet to the intersection of 6th Street and Webber Street. Turn left onto Webber Street and travel about 1/2 mile to 1st Street, passing under I-84 and over the railroad tracks. Turn right onto 1st Street. Travel past the Insulfoam Plant and the cherry plant. Just past the cherry plant you will come to a sign that indicates where "Rock Fort" is located. Park your car and walk to the campsite, being careful with your steps, as the ground is very rocky. The campsite is marked with a bronze plaque.

Another interesting site (see #2 on the map) is a stone obelisk, an unfinished memorial to Lewis and Clark. It was apparently started sometime during the Roosevelt Administration but was never completed (Sound like a good project?). Anyone with any information on this obelisk please contact Jay Rasmussen. The obelisk is located on West 2nd Street adjacent to Thompson Park.

To really round out your day, stop and visit the Gorge Discovery Center and Wasco County Historical Museum.

Thanks to Peter Wasser of The Dalles Mural Society for local information.

Moulton Journal Updates
The reprint of the much sought after Volume 1, Atlas of the Lewis and Clark Expedition is due for release in October of 1999 at a tentative price of $150.00.

Expected to be released in July 1999, is Volume 12 of The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Herbarium of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (ISBN:0-8032-2931-3, $65.00). Volume 12 contains the most complete listing of the plant specimens catalogued by the Lewis and Clark expedition. All but one of the plants were collected by Meriwether Lewis, the most skilled botanist among the expeditionís members. The collection, however, was nearly lost over the years due to its scattering among various botanists who intended to catalog the expedition's scientific discoveries. Fortunately, Gary E. Moulton tracked down the various specimens and here brings together 239 photographs of the vast array of flora that Lewis gathered. This invaluable volume will assist researchers and enthusiasts hoping to identify each plantís location, distribution, and use along the expedition's route.

Cosmic Connection? : Did you know that there is a Moulton Falls on the Lewis River in Clark County, WA?

Related Publication

Another just released publication on the subject of the plants discovered by Lewis and Clark is:

The Lewis and Clark Collections of Vascular Plants: Names, Types, and Comments
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 149:1-64, 1999
James L. Reveal, Gary E. Moulton, and Alfred E. Schuyler

The price is $10.00. Payment should be in advance with order. Checks should be made payable to the Academy of Natural Sciences. Orders should be sent to:
Botany Department
Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1195

Scriver Statue, Great Falls

April 25th Oregon / Washington Joint Chapter Meeting, Longview, WA

Prepare yourselves for an action-packed day as we go cruising on the Columbia with our older brother chapter from Washington State. If you haven't made your cruise reservations yet, don't despair because, until the boat is full up, you can still make reservations, though you must do this directly through the sternwheeler company. You can contact them via one of the methods below:
Phone (503) 223-3928 Fax (503) 223-4013
email sales@sternwheeler.com Internet www.sternwheeler.com

Ask for Dené and be sure to mention that you are with the Oregon Chapter. Adults are $29.95 and children (ages 4 to 11) are $19.95. Following the cruise, and as shown below, we have a stellar program planned.

Meeting Agenda
11:15 a.m. What: Board the Sternwheeler Columbia Gorge.
Note: Reservations are required!
Where: Port of Longview Dock.
11:30 a.m. What: Sternwheeler cruise begins.
Champagne brunch served enroute. River features announced as in view.
Where: Columbia River.
1:30 p.m What: Sternwheeler cruise ends, passengers disembark.
Where: Port of Longview Dock.
2:00 p.m. What: Program Meeting starts. Reservations NOT required.
Where: St. Rose Catholic Church, 701 26th Avenue, Longview, WA.
2:00 p.m. What: Meeting Introductions.
Who: Chapter Presidents Ė Murray Hayes (WA)and Keith Hay (OR).
2:15 p.m. Presentation: Greetings from the National Foundation
Who: Ron Laycock, Chapter Liaison LCTHF.
2:20 p.m. Presentation: Plans For A Sacagawea Statue In Longview.
Who: Wendy Koskoski.   Wendy has lived in Longview with her family for nearly 20 years. She is a member of Longview's "Downtowners" and was on the "Longview 75th Celebration" steering committee. She is the coordinator of the "Sacajawea Sculpture Project" which plans to install a statue on the banks of Longview's Lake Sacajawea.
2:25 p.m. Presentation: Lewis & Clark on the Lower Columbia.
Who: A.G. "Doc" Wesselius.   Doc is a member of the Board of Directors of the Washington State Chapter and a longtime Lewis and Clark historian.
3:00 p.m. Presentation: Sacagawea! Beyond The Shining Mountains With Lewis & Clark.
Who: Joyce Badgley Hunsaker.   Joyce is a member of both the Oregon and Washington Chapters. She is an award-winning historical interpreter who has achieved national acclaim for her unforgettable living history portrayals. Her thoughtful and carefully researched programs have won her respect nationwide as both actress and historian. This living history program lets Sacagawea speak for herself about this pivotal period of our American past, using era-accurate costuming and props, a variety of native words, sign language, and anecdotes taken directly from the journals of the Corps of Discovery. Her story strips away Hollywood hype and common misconceptions to reveal ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.
4:00 p.m. What: Meeting adjourned. OR & WA Board Meetings to follow.

Meeting Directions and Map

Longview Map

Directions to Port of Longview
From I-5 North, take Washington Exit 36. Follow the exit up and over the freeway heading west on Tennant Way. Continue on Tennant Way to Oregon Way and go left (SW). Follow Oregon Way to near the Lewis & Clark Bridge approach. Get in the right hand lane and bear right onto W. Port Way. Travel onto E. Port Way and under the Lewis & Clark Bridge. Turn right to Port of Longview Parking.

Directions from Port of Longview to St. Rose Parish Center
Follow E. Port Way to Oregon Way. Turn left onto Nicholas Blvd. Follow Nicholas Blvd. (Lake Sacajawea is on your right) to 26th Avenue. Turn left onto 26th Avenue to St. Rose Parish Center. The meeting room is available starting at 1:00 p.m.

Your Oregon Chapter Officers

Keith Hay
15775 NE Ribbon Ridge Road
Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 538-0924
Dr. Robert Holcomb
365 Mistletoe Circle
Corvallis, OR 97330
Jay Rasmussen
1190 NE Birchaire Lane
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 640-9493
Linda O'Connor
14940 SW Hillsboro Hwy.
Hillsboro, OR 97123

For information on joining the National Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation click here.

For information on joining the Oregon State Chapter click here.

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Updated: July 5, 2000

Send Questions, Comments and Corrections to Jay Rasmussen