“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Lolo in Missoula County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)

Uncovering the Expedition

Uncovering the Expedition Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 10, 2018
1. Uncovering the Expedition Marker
Inscription. For may years, the campsite known as Travelers’ Rest was thought to be located at the confluence of today’s Lolo Creek and the Bitterroot River (1 1/2 miles east of where you now stand). It wasn’t until 1996 that members of the Travelers’ Rest Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation began to suspect the campsite was more likely in this immediate area.
Focusing his research on the area just south of Lolo Creek, historical archaeologist Dan Hall employed remote sensing equipment like metal detectors and magnetometers to identify several places where the magnetic properties of the soil had been altered. The archaeological team excavated these “anomalies” in the summer of 2002 and found evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s cookfire and latrine.
When the soil from the latrine was analyzed, it revealed mercury vapor, residue from Dr. Rush’s Thunderbolts, a powerful purgative that was commonly prescribed to ailing members of the expedition. The physical evidence discovered here is accepted as proof that this is the location of the Corps of Discovery’s campsite. Based on these findings, the National Park Service moved the boundaries of the Travelers’ Rest National Historic Landmark to this site in 2006.

Excavation at the site revealed charcoal (carbon dated to the time of the
Uncovering the Expedition Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 10, 2018
2. Uncovering the Expedition Marker
Expedition), a military uniform button, one blue glass trading bead and a spilled piece of lead (sourced to a region of Kentucky that was producing led of the military during the time Meriwether Lewis was making preparations for the epic journey).

Erected by Montana State Parks, National Park Service, Travelers' Rest Preservation and Heritage Association.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
Location. 46° 44.982′ N, 114° 5.238′ W. Marker is near Lolo, Montana, in Missoula County. Marker can be reached from Lolo Creek Road (U.S. 12) near U.S. 93, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6717 Lolo Creek Road, Lolo MT 59847, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Following Formation (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Journey Home (about 500 feet away); Travellers Rest (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Crossroads of Culture (approx. ¼ mile away); The Lolo Trail (approx. half a mile away); Lewis and Clark in Salish Territory (approx. 0.6 miles away); Bitterroot Valley, Homeland of the Selíš (approx. 0.6 miles away); Lewis and Clark on Lolo Creek (approx. 4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lolo.
More about this marker. This marker is located on the foot trail in Travelers' Rest State Park.
Categories. ExplorationParks & Recreational Areas
Credits. This page was last revised on September 14, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 14, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 29 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 14, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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