Monday, September 8, 2003

Lewis and Clark explore again


Group re-enacting journey through Tristate

By Brenna R. Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

To many, Lewis and Clark are faint memories from a grade-school textbook. But later this month, history buffs will nudge those memories to life as they re-enact the famous explorers' journey along the Ohio River.

To celebrate the bicentennial of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's exploration of the west, volunteers are retracing the 8,000 mile journey.

(Story continues below graphic)
graphic

On Aug. 31, members of the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Mo., launched a 55-foot keel boat in Pittsburgh - just as Lewis did 200 years ago.

The re-enactors are making their way down the Ohio River to Louisville, where Lewis met up with Clark. During the next month, they will visit river communities in Northern Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana

The first local stop will be in Maysville Sept. 23. The group will then head to Augusta, Point Pleasant, New Richmond, Covington, Union, Warsaw and Carrollton, following the same route and roughly the same timetable Lewis did in 1803, before arriving in Louisville on Oct. 14.

At each stop, they will establish an 1803-era camp. The keelboat will be on display, and the re-enactors will demonstrate how members of the expedition lived.

A towboat, chase boats and a barge holding a traveling Lewis and Clark exhibit will trail the keel boat.

The keelboat travels at about 8 to 10 mph, said Paige Cruz, Eastern Legacy coordinator for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. That's better than in Lewis' day, when the Ohio River was so shallow that he had to hire teams of oxen to carry the boat and supplies to a deeper spot, she said.

Two of the largest celebrations in the area are in Clermont County and Boone County.

In New Richmond, on Sept. 27 and 28 there will be re-enactors, folk music, Shawnee storytellers, crafts and food.

At Big Bone Lick State Park near Union on Oct. 4, a Meriwether Lewis re-enactor will arrive with the Corps of Discovery II.

And at Big Bone Landing, the St. Charles re-enactors will arrive by boat for a primitive encampment. From Oct. 4-7, there will be an archeological dig, mountain man competitions, music, arts and crafts and food.

President Thomas Jefferson, who commissioned the expedition, also asked Lewis to stop at Big Bone and collect bones of the giant mammals that were preserved in the salt lick.

From Oct. 14-26, the second of 15 "Signature Events" will be held in Louisville commemorating Lewis and Clark's rendezvous.

The group will continue down the Ohio, arriving in Cairo, Ill., at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers on Nov. 15. The re-enactors eventually will travel up the Mississippi River to arrive at their winter encampment, Camp DuBois at Wood River, Ill., on Dec. 12.

On the web

Among Web sites with more details on Lewis and Clark events are www.lewisandclark.net, www.dnr.state.oh.us/lewisandclark/ and www.kytourism.com

---

E-mail bkelly@enquirer.com




ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
West Hi at 75: Still a major player
Amos: Take a tour of two very different elementary schools
Howard: Good things happening

LOCAL HEADLINES
I-75 fix could be pricey
Campaign dollars climb
Holocaust survivors' tales add to exhibit
Athletic director at CPS to be honored
Youths get hooked on volunteer service
Woman dies in Wilmington one-car crash
Alma mater remembers victim of OSU fire
Vet memorial to get upgrade
Regional Report

STATE HEADLINES
Farm Aid actually aids farms
No cows? Sheep come to the rescue
Veterans of spy missions reunite

KENTUCKY HEADLINES
New lung is only potential cure
Ky. cancer cases may be 'cluster'
Energy hot button in Ky. gov. campaign
Lewis and Clark explore again
Strong sales expected at Keeneland

NATIONAL HEADLINES
Bush wants $87B for war on terror
Quotes from Bush's speech
Bush speech a necessary report card

SUNDAY'S LOCAL NEWS REPORT
Complete local news