Opening of the West - 200th Anniversary

President Thomas Jefferson sent the Lewis and Clark expedition to investigate the West half of the United States and, if possible, find a water passage to the Pacific. The official start of the famous mission was at Wood River, Illinois. The men that William Clark hired for the expedition became a team at Camp Wood River during their 5 months of winter camp.

On December 12, 2003 I attended the re-creation of the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Corps of Discovery at Camp Wood River near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. That evening there was a program at the Lewis and Clark Community College featuring speeches, patriotic band music, the unveiling of a commissioned painting and a candle light walk to the statue of Sacagawea on the campus.

The day before I drove down to St. Louis to see the spectacular Arch, the gateway to the West. Naturally, I took the tram inside the Arch to the viewing windows at the top of the Arch. In the base of the Arch is a well equipped museum featuring Presidential peace medals given to the Indians. There was a special exhibit of Lewis and Clark memorabilia which had just opened. While I was touring the exhibit, an AP photographer took my photo. The paparazzi are everywhere! Seriously, it was a rewarding experience to celebrate this important milestone of the development and expansion of the United States. On May 14, 2004, there will be another recreation of the departure of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Arch Front What a perfect and timeless symbol of the gateway to the American West. Side view of Arch The light plays on the monument as the sun moves in the sky.
View of St. Louis Looking west from the Arch, you see the City of St. Louis. Statue of Thomas Jefferson Here is an exact life-sized statue of Thomas Jefferson. We are looking West.

Fort Tent The re-creation of the fort plus the tent that held 1000 people for the program. MusiciansFort A fife and drum corps established the right mood with its colorful uniforms and stirring music.
Soldiers The re-enactors were well outfitted in authentic period uniforms. Keelboat The keelboat was the main boat and there is also a replica in the near by museum.
Flotilla The 3 ship flotilla came up from St. Louis on the Mississippi River. Landing at Dock Several hundred people were at the dock to watch the landing of the fotilla.

Dancing at Statue Shawnee Nation danced and chanted blessings to Sacagawea at Lewis and Clark community college. Candle Light Vigil I participated with more than 100 people in the candle light processional.