Keepers of the Story, Stewards of the Trail  SM

Icon of Lewis and Clark pointing to the west

Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation

Clarkston Trailhead 2021

Meeting: September 11–13, 2021
Lolo Caravan: September 13–16

The Washington and Idaho Chapters will host the LCTHF’s annual gathering, Clarkston Trailhead 2021. The parameters of an in-person meeting will depend on the local Covid-19 protocol guidelines. Online participation will be also be available. The last day of the meeting will feature the Weippe Discovery Center, the meeting place with the Nez Perce, and a short hike on the Lolo Trail. This will also be Day One of a four-day post-meeting camping trip led by Chuck Raddon along the Lolo Trail.

Pittsburgh 2022

Down the Ohio 1803: The Journey Begins

interpretive sign overlooking the city of Pittsburgh
Photo by Janice Wilson

Down the Ohio 1803: The Journey Begins is the theme of the LCTHF’s 54th Annual Meeting from August 7 to 10, 2022, in Pittsburgh, PA, now the start of the newly expanded Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, which traverses 4,900 miles from Pittsburgh to Astoria, OR. In partnering with the Senator John Heinz History Center and the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation, the LCTHF’s meeting will focus on Lewis’ preparations in Pittsburgh through talks, activities, and a cruise down the Ohio to see the river and its shoreline as Lewis may have seen them. The meeting headquarters will be the Drury Plaza Pittsburgh Downtown.

Located atop Pittsburgh’s Mount Washington overlooking the Ohio River is the historic marker, dedicated in August 2019, commemorating the inception of Lewis’ trip “Down the Ohio in 1803.” Upriver from the sign is the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, which come together to form the Ohio River. Downriver is Brunot(s) Island, the first stop for Lewis and his crew on their westward journey.

Brunots Island is the site of the nearly tragic incident with the air gun in which a woman was shot but quickly recovered. Lewis mentioned in his journal that Blais(z)e Cenas was the person on the island who fired the air gun and inadvertently hit the woman. Cenas became a postmaster in New Orleans and is buried in that city’s cemetery. Thomas Rodney, traveling down the Ohio at the same time as Lewis, also described the air gun in his journal. Rodney later became a respected judge in the Mississippi Territory.

Missoula 2023

Travelers’ Rest: Crossroads of Travel, Trade, and Time

2023 Missoula, Montana 55th Annual Meeting

An old rail bridge crosses a scenic river in downtown Missoula
Photo by Philippa Newfield

Travelers’ Rest: Crossroads of Travel, Trade, and Time will be the theme of a program that brings together scholars, tribal elders, history buffs, and trail experts to examine Lewis and Clark’s travels through this region in 1805 to 1806. The Expedition proceeded on along time-worn trails traveled by the Indians through the heart of the Rocky Mountains to reach the bison and salmon. The captains’ observations give us the gift of opportunity to compare what they saw with what is here today and to reflect on what we are passing on to future generations.

Our tours will follow in the footsteps of the Lewis and Clark Expedition across the Bitterroot Mountains and discuss their deliberations at Travelers’ Rest to split up on the return journey in fulfillment of the President’s charge to seek out possible routes for the “purposes of commerce." We will explore and experience the rugged and beautiful landscapes of Montana and Idaho and learn more about the Salish and Nez Perce Indians who helped the Corps of Discovery members succeed in their mission.

Conference headquarters will be at the Holiday Inn Parkside on the banks of Missoula’s Clark Fork River. It’s not too early to put these dates on your planning calendar because we expect the meeting to sell out early! Not only will our long-time members want to return but this will be the first opportunity for our new members from the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail’s Eastern Extension to attend an annual meeting in the West. Early October is usually a beautiful time of year to visit Montana. We hope you will join us then! Submitted by the Travelers’ Rest Chapter.