Story courtesy of Barry Cleveland
The members of the modern Corps of Discovery are traveling down the Ohio River, tracing the route that the original explorers took more than two centuries ago. They traveled aboard a 55-foot keelboat and a 41-foot pirogue from Henderson, Ky. to “Old Town. They planned to leave Wednesday morning to continue their journey toward Metropolis, where they will halt for a three-day weekend.
“We will re-enact the arrival of the Corps of Discovery for students on Friday and the public on Saturday and Sunday” said a statement on the organizers’ website, www.lewisandclark.net , referring to an extended stay at historic Fort Massac State Park on the eastern edge of Metropolis.
“We will arrive to meet an 1803 American garrison, the newly established Fort Massac still under construction encamped within the confines of garrison barracks and redoubt.
“During the Corps’ visit we will re-enact the recruitment of men from the ranks stationed at the fort.”
Old Shawneetown (established about 1798 and known simply as “Shawneetown” until the catastrophic 1937 flood prompted removal of most of the community to its present home on higher ground to the west) was an important community in pioneer Illinois. The original explorers stopped there en route from the Pittsburgh, Pa. area to what is now Wood River, Ill., where they camped for the winter before beginning their historic exploratory journey to the Pacific Northwest.