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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Washburn in McLean County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Below the Freezing Point

 
 
Below the Freezing Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 28, 2020
1. Below the Freezing Point Marker
Inscription.  In December of 1804 the temperature dipped and snow began to fall. Despite waking to an unrelenting cold the Corps of Discovery continued to work on the finishing touches of Fort Mandan, went hunting and preformed the never-ending job of gathering firewood.
The Captains continued their diplomatic, scientific and map making efforts. Natural history specimens were collected, documented and packaged for shipment back to President Jefferson. Meriwether Lewis treated many cold-related ailments of the Corps members and their neighbors.
When forced indoors by the weather this band of explorers and their Mandan and Hidatsa neighbors bonded, formed lasting friendships and cultivated trust that would eventually lead the Mandan Chief Shehdke-shote and his family down the Missouri in the spring of 1806 and on to our nation's capital.
During their winter at Fort Mandan, the Corps became a more cohesive unit. Under the competent leadership of Lewis and Clark and anticipation of the mission ahead, the winter at Fort Mandan produced a "perfect harmony".

"About 8 o'clock PM. The thermometer fell to 74 degrees below the freesing
Below the Freezing Point Marker, side-on image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 28, 2020
2. Below the Freezing Point Marker, side-on
pointe"
-- William Clark, December 17, 1804
 
Erected by Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationForts and Castles. In addition, it is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition series list.
 
Location. 47° 17.903′ N, 101° 5.199′ W. Marker is near Washburn, North Dakota, in McLean County. Marker can be reached from 8th Street Southwest (County Road 17) near 28th Avenue Southwest (State Road 23), on the right when traveling west. The marker is located in Fort Mandan State Recreation Area near the entrance to the replica Fort Mandan. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washburn ND 58577, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Mandan (here, next to this marker); Men of Worth (a few steps from this marker); Bicentennial Wagon Train Pilgrimage to Pennsylvania (a few steps from this marker); Seaman (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Fort Mandan (about 500 feet away); Mandan Winter / Harmony Park (approx. 2.1 miles away); Fort Mandan Overlook (approx. 9.3 miles away); Mandans and Arikaras of the Village (approx. 9.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Washburn.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 15, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 34 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 15, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 8, 2021