Oregon Chapter of the
Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
March 1999 Newsletter : Vol. 1, No. 2
Oregon Chapter Newsletter
Vol. 1, No. 2
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:
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.
Lewis & Clark : Question & Answer
By Mike Carrick
. What can you tell us about the branding iron in the possession of the
Oregon Historical Society?
. 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
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.
. 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?
. 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:
671 Lamplighter Circle
Salem, OR 97302
toll-free fax 1-888-394-7798
or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Richard M. Arenz
Mark E. Gosselin Family
Dean L. Parry
Thomas P. Bays
Henry M. Reeves
Doris Helen Rosen
Loren D. Hicks
Bob & Susan Saalfeld
Lisa M. Jeffries
Jo Ann S. Johnson
Charles F. Sawhill
Ray W. Shaw
Gail & Muriel Carbiener
Gary G. Jones
Donald J. Sterling, Jr.
Bud Clark Family
Edward B. Kaye
W. B. Swenson
Ron Kelemen Family
William G. Van Vliet
Molly Coyle Smith
Paul & Joan Kifer
Ron & Victoria Cummings
Diane E. Davis
William & Ruth Laughlin
Leslie & Margaret Wheeler
Gilbert & Ellen Feibleman
Brad Yazzolino Family
Jerry & Ruth Offer
William H. Gardner
Theodore Palmer Family
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Cosmic Connection? : Did you know that there is a Moulton Falls
on the Lewis River in Clark County, WA?
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
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
Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1195
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:
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.
What: Board the Sternwheeler Columbia Gorge.
Note: Reservations are required!
Where: Port of Longview Dock.
What: Sternwheeler cruise begins.
Champagne brunch served enroute. River features announced as in view.
Where: Columbia River.
What: Sternwheeler cruise ends, passengers disembark.
Where: Port of Longview Dock.
What: Program Meeting starts. Reservations NOT required.
Where: St. Rose Catholic Church, 701 26th Avenue, Longview, WA.
What: Meeting Introductions.
Who: Chapter Presidents Ė Murray Hayes (WA)and Keith Hay (OR).
Presentation: Greetings from the National Foundation
Who: Ron Laycock, Chapter Liaison LCTHF.
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.
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.
Presentation: Sacagawea! Beyond The Shining Mountains With Lewis &
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.
What: Meeting adjourned. OR & WA Board Meetings to follow.
Meeting Directions and 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
15775 NE Ribbon Ridge Road
Newberg, OR 97132
Dr. Robert Holcomb
365 Mistletoe Circle
Corvallis, OR 97330
1190 NE Birchaire Lane
Hillsboro, OR 97124
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
Return to Oregon State Chapter Main Page
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Updated: July 5, 2000
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