Get on board with Lewis and Clark

May 7, 2014 

To mark the 211th anniversary of a dangerous and historic trek across America, the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site will hold its annual Point of Departure Celebration on Saturday and Sunday near Hartford.

Events include crafts, demonstrations, period music, an appearance by the author of "Roadside History of Illinois" and a used-book sale.

Point of Departure events run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Re-enactors will portray expedition members and display the lifestyle of people who lived on the frontier. Artisans will demonstrate crafts such as basket-making, leather work, gun-making and carpentry.

Visitors can also examine a white pirogue-style boat and special Lewis and Clark artifacts.

Nancy Lippincott, Scott Miller, Lindell Blackford and Wayne Schell will perform period music from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.

Chicago author Stan "Tex" Banash will sign copies of "Roadside History of Illinois" from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. His book covers the state's history from the Ice Age to the present, offering vacationers, tourists and visitors a series of short trips that provide glimpses into historic sites and interesting towns.

The events are free and open to the public.

William Clark and his men arrived at what would become Camp River Dubois on Dec. 12, 1803. In the spring, the camp became a beehive of activities as final preparations were made. The Corps of Discovery left the camp and formally began the expedition on a rainy Monday afternoon, May 14, 1804.

For more about the site and the explorers, visit

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