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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lewiston in Nez Perce County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
 

Exploring on the River

 
 
Exploring on the River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 14, 2016
1. Exploring on the River Marker
Inscription.
Seasonal Migrations
The Nimi’ipuu migrated throughout the region of the Snake River and its tributaries. They traveled seasonally to take advantage of the food sources: camas bulbs, berries, deer, elk, bear, and salmon. Their mobility was greatly enhanced by their herds of horses, allowing them to take explorations over Lolo Pass into the plains of Montana for bison and down the Columbia River for fishing.

”We came to… with a view to make some lunar observations
the night proved Cloudy and we were disappointed.”
~Capt. Clark, October 10, 1805


Whether it was from Indian information or guesswork, Lewis and Clark determined that the Snake River was the same “Lewis’s River” which they had encountered in the Lemhi region near Salmon, Idaho. Clark utilized all available resources to compile navigational data for his maps. He took compass readings at every bend of a river or trail and figured by dead reckoning what the distance traveled might be. His map shows a latitude reading of 46 degrees, 29 minutes for the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers. The actual latitude is respectably close: 46 degrees, 25 minutes.

MacKenzie’s Fort
Fur traders found this area not long after the Lewis and Clark Expedition departed the
Exploring on the River Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 14, 2016
2. Exploring on the River Marker (wide view)
Nez Perce Country. In late 1811, Donald MacKenzie and ten other members of John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company reached this region while on their way to establish a trading post near the mouth of the Columbia River. He reappeared in August 1812 and built a small post on the Clearwater River about five miles above the confluence. However, this fur trading post was abandoned a year later due to the War of 1812 and because the Nimi’ipuu did not want to engage in trapping beaver.

The Lure of Gold
E.D. Pierce, discovered the first gold in Idaho in 1860. By the spring of 1861, several thousand miners crossed the Weippe Prairie to the Pierce gold mining fields despite the fact that these lands belonged to the Nimi’ipuu.

Steamboats on the Snake
The first sternwheelers came to this valley to support the gold rush. They brought men and supplies to feed the frenzy of activity up the Clearwater River. In 1871, the steamboat Shoshone was piloted from Boise through Hells Canyon to Lewiston – the first and last time anyone attempted to run those rapids in a steamboat. Other boats were not as fortunate. The sternwheeler Imnaha sank at High Mountain Sheep rapids in 1903. There were no casualties as all twelve crew members abandoned ship.
 
Erected by Idaho Governor's Lewis
Marker detail: Nimi'ipuu Horses image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 14, 2016
3. Marker detail: Nimi'ipuu Horses
& Clark Trail Committee and Lewiston Parks & Recreation.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
 
Location. 46° 24.713′ N, 117° 1.994′ W. Marker is in Lewiston, Idaho, in Nez Perce County. Marker is on Snake River Avenue 0.4 miles south of U.S. 12, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located along the walking trail in Lewiston's Kiwanis Park. Marker is in this post office area: Lewiston ID 83501, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fishing in the River (a few steps from this marker); Dwellings by the River (a few steps from this marker); Traveling on the River (within shouting distance of this marker); Writings on the River (within shouting distance of this marker); A Confluence of Rivers & Steam (approx. 0.3 miles away); A Man and His Island Dream (approx. 0.3 miles away); Idaho's First Capitol (approx. 0.9 miles away); Lewis and Clark (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lewiston.
 
Also see . . .
1. Ancient Places.
The homelands of the Nimiipuu have seen continual human use for at least the last 11,000 years. Today, archaeologists study remnants of these ancient sites attempting to reconstruct and understand the traditions and livelihoods of the ancestors of the Nimiipuu.
Marker detail: Nimi'ipuu Women image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 14, 2016
4. Marker detail: Nimi'ipuu Women
Archaeological evidence taken in conjunction with the oral histories of the Nimiipuu, allow for a more complete understanding of the Nez Perce past and provide the setting for the drastic changes to come in the 1800s. (Submitted on November 25, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. European Exploration.
Mackenzie had previously been employed by Hudson's Bay and had been a partner in the Pacific Fur Company, financed principally by John Jacob Astor. During these early years, he traveled west with a Pacific Fur Company's party and was involved in the initial exploration of the Salmon River and Clearwater River. The company proceeded down the lower Snake River and Columbia River by canoe, and were the first of the Overland Astorians to reach Fort Astoria, on January 18, 1812. (Submitted on November 25, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Idaho History: The Gold Rush.
Southwestern Idaho became a gold rush hot spot and the settlers brought with them a bit of the "Wild West." In just 5 years nearly $24,000,000 worth of gold would be found in the Boise Basin mining area. All of these new settlers led to a large enough population to get the United States government to outline and name Idaho as a territory. This act of Congress was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. (Submitted on November 25, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Marker detail: Steamboats on the Snake River image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 14, 2016
5. Marker detail: Steamboats on the Snake River
 

4. Shoshone - Snake River Sternwheeler.
The Shoshone was the first steamboat built on the Snake River, Idaho, above Hells Canyon and the first of only two steamboats to be brought down through Hells Canyon to the lower Snake River. This was considered one of the most astounding feats of steamboat navigation ever accomplished (Submitted on November 25, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. ExplorationNative AmericansSettlements & SettlersWar of 1812
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 27, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 24, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 40 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on November 24, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 25, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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