Great Falls in Cascade County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
In 1803, Captain Meriwether Lewis led an expedition to map a water route west to the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, the Lewis and Clark Expedition uses 26 different boats, but one deserves special mention. Christened "The Experiment," this boat traveled down the Ohio River, up part of the Mississippi River and up most of the Missouri River - in a box! The iron frame before you is a replica of this peculiar boat.
In March of 1803, Lewis came to the U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, to obtains rifles and supplies. He also carried plans for a portable, sturdy boat to replace heavier boats he planned to leave behind at the great falls. Armory craftsmen produced a canoe-shaped iron frame about 36 feet long, 4 feet 6 inches wide and 26 inched deep. The frame weighed less than 200 pounds, but Lewis estimated it would carry 8,000 pounds of cargo. His plan was to cover the hull with animal skins, then make it watertight by sealing the seams with tar from pine trees.
What Happened to the Iron Boat?
Assuming a pine tree forest at Great Falls was a mistake. Finding only scattered
Location. 47° 31.755′ N, 111° 14.121′ W. Marker is in Great Falls, Montana, in Cascade County. Marker can be reached from Giant Springs Road near River Drive North, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4201 Giant Springs Road, Great Falls MT 59405, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Seaman: Companion to the Corps (within shouting distance of A "great" Set of Falls (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mobile Villages (about 400 feet away); The Army's Navy (about 400 feet away); One of Many Firsts (approx. 0.2 miles away); Of Special Concern (approx. ¼ mile away); Giant Fountain (approx. 0.4 miles away); Pure Springs Along the Missouri River (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Great Falls.
More about this marker. The Experiment is located in front of the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center.
Categories. • Exploration • Waterways & Vessels •
More. Search the internet for The Experiment.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 26, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 19, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 44 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on December 19, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. 2. submitted on December 26, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 19, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.