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

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

Mandan Winter / Harmony Park

 
 
Mandan Winter/Harmony Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 28, 2020
1. Mandan Winter/Harmony Park Marker
Inscription.  
The Mandan Winter

"If we eat you Shall eat, if we Starve, you must Starve also."
Mandan Chief Sheheka-shote, to Captains Lewis and Clark, November 1, 1804

With those words, Chief Sheheke-shote (White Coyote), whom Lewis and Clark called "Big White," gave hope and promise that the Corps of Discovery would sustain itself through a long, cold winter yet to come. "The Mandan Winter." a steel sculpture by Tom Neary of Washburn, ND, captures a chance encounter between Shesheke and the Captains outside the gates of Fort Mandan, months after this promise was made.
Sheheke proved true to his word, as the Expedition members were nourished by buffalo meat and produce including corns, beans and squash. It it were not for the goodwill and hospitality of the Mandan and Hidatsa Indians, the members of the Lewis & Clark Expedition may never have survived that first winter on the Frontier.
Tom Neary combines his skill as a master welder with the artists sensitivity to create an art form that has grown from small decorative pieces to these gigantic figures, each standing
Statue of Lewis, Clark and Mandan Chief Sheheka-shote by Tom Neary image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 28, 2020
2. Statue of Lewis, Clark and Mandan Chief Sheheka-shote by Tom Neary
12 feet high. The material used is core-10 steel, with some stainless used to create contrast as the pieces take on a natural patina from weathering.

Harmony Park

" The party are in excellent health and sperits, zealously attached to the enterprise and anxious to proceed not a whisper of murmer or discontent to be heard among them, but all act in unison, and with the most perfect harmony."
Meriwether Lewis, on the departure from Fort Mandan, April 7, 1805

The winter at Fort Mandan had come to a close in April of 1805. The Captains, while anxious to proceed, were also contemplating their good fortune in residing among their American Indian host.s Harmony Park is a tribute to the profoundly positive experience that these first American explorers had here, along the banks of the Missouri River that winter of 1804-05.
Lining the walking trail of Harmony Park you will find a herd of steel buffalo, designed by sculpture Tom Nearly, stamped with the names of donors who made this Park possible. The three stainless steel buffalo contain the name of those who contributed $10,000 or more to the project; while the remaining 22 buffalos reveal those who donated $300 or more. Many of the names are memorials, as indicated.
Buffalo meat and hides were critical to the American Indians living here for a
The Washburn Discovery Trail in Harmony Park image. Click for full size.
By Americantrails.org
3. The Washburn Discovery Trail in Harmony Park
Note the donations 'buffalo.'
thousand years, and they proved immensely valuable to the Corps of Discovery. The men of the Expedition were known to eat several pounds of buffalo meat a day, and every bunk in Fort Mandan was covered by a buffalo robe.
The Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation chose this Monarch of the Plains to acknowledge and honor the generosity of those who have made possible the creation of Harmony Park, for you to enjoy today, on your own Voyage of Discovery.
 
Erected by Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationNative Americans. In addition, it is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition series list.
 
Location. 47° 18.083′ N, 101° 2.48′ W. Marker is in Washburn, North Dakota, in McLean County. Marker is on 8th Street Southwest near State Highway 200, on the left when traveling north. The statue of Lewis, Clark and Mandan Chief Sheheka-shote is located in front of the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2576 8th Street Southwest, Washburn ND 58577, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Men of Worth (approx. 2.1 miles away); Fort Mandan (approx. 2.1 miles away); Below the Freezing Point
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(approx. 2.1 miles away); Bicentennial Wagon Train Pilgrimage to Pennsylvania (approx. 2.1 miles away); Seaman (approx. 2.2 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Mandan (approx. 2.2 miles away).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 1, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 20, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 31 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 20, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 3, 2021