Monday, October 31, 2016

Camp River Dubois - Lewis and Clark make a start.

Camp River Dubois is basically where the Lewis and Clark Expedition made it's start.
And since daughters class is discussing Lewis and Clark at the moment and it was not to far away, daughter and I made a pilgrimage there yesterday.

This is an image from the sites web page and shows the 'camp' as it should look.
But with high winds and rot much of the wall is down at the moment and we could not go inside.

And, this is how it looks at the moment.

But the museum is really good and there is lots of other stuff to see.

 This is the entrance to the museum.

 Most of the inside of the museum is dedicated to what it was like to live at Camp Dubois, and what went into putting the expedition together.

They have this replica of the keel boat split right down the middle so people can see how much space was on the boat and how gear was packed.
 Here is a view of the split.

 Another section covered how Camp Dubois was built and how the expedition lived there.

 We then walked around the outside of the reconstructed camp and peeked through the stockade walls.

The builders of the original camp knew that it was just a temporary home and used the easiest materials to work with. Small trees and mud.

All the trees used would have been small enough for one or two men to haul back to the build site.
No horses would have been required.
Built out of mostly cedar the logs would have been very easy to work with.
 Stick and mud fire place.
The inside would have been completely lined with mud.
 A little building outside the wall.
Probably for pigs.
 One of the corner cabins. You can see the walls stretching both directions away from the cabin.
And no door on the outside.

The notching was rough and the ends were not squared off.

The shingles were held down by longer logs and not nails.

The uprights in the stockade wall were held up by wooden pegs.
Looking between the log wall you could see the camps two main cabins.

None of the roofs were gabled.

Minimum doors and windows.
Remember, they just planned on spending one winter here.

 The main headquarters of the camp.
A little nicer windows and a fireplace.
We were disappointed that we could not walk around inside the camp, but still enjoyed what we could see from the outside.

The problem with the reproduction of the camp seems to be in the fact that it was made too authentic.

The original builders would not have been worried about how long it would have lasted, so they built the cabins without any foundations and right on the ground.

And while authentic it does hold up well to conditions in the area. The reason the walls did not hold up is that the wood rotted where they went into the ground, and the wall blew over. Any kind of repair will require a different method if they want it to last.

Also on the grounds was another little cabin representing living conditions in the Wood River area from the late 1700's to the mid 1800's.

 Inside was set up to represent living conditions in an early frontier house.
 While we were disappointed that we couldn't go around the inside of the camp, the museum was very well done and the little cabin was fun to go into.

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