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Old 06-16-2012, 10:18 PM   #1
sfarson OP
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Historical Markers, Interpretive Signs

Do you ever pause for historical markers? Ever pull over for some kind of interpretive sign? Any photos of them, or can you capture some? Ahhh, for the historical mini-lessons, post them here, and get out there and take some pics of them.

On U.S. 159 just after crossing the Missouri River into Nebraska. Guess Lewis & Clark was serious about the night watchman staying awake...
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:16 AM   #2
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:35 AM   #3
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Willard never fell asleep on guard duty again...

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Originally Posted by sfarson View Post
Do you ever pause for historical markers? Ever pull over for some kind of interpretive sign? Any photos of them, or can you capture some? Ahhh, for the historical mini-lessons, post them here, and get out there and take some pics of them.

On U.S. 159 just after crossing the Missouri River into Nebraska. Guess Lewis & Clark was serious about the night watchman staying awake...
After the whipping Private Willard never fell asleep again on guard duty...and served admirably for the rest of the Expedition. The only member of the expedition believed to have had his picture taken. Lived a long life and next to last oldest to die.

Picture of Willard and wife.

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Old 06-17-2012, 10:21 AM   #4
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Site of Meriwether Lewis' birthplace

Extremely difficult place to find: Located in Ivy, Virginia.



Actual site is purposefully hidden since it is on private property. The Lewis plantation/farm was located behind these gates. Lewis farmed this area in 1789-1799+-. His mother Lucy Lewis Marks is buried in a private cemetery 50 yards away, also on private property.

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Old 06-17-2012, 10:48 AM   #5
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:59 AM   #6
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The Bender Inn.




The graves at the Inn.





The hammers.

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Old 06-17-2012, 11:57 AM   #7
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Tavern Cave and Rock - m.Lewis adventure.

Two days into the L & C Expedition Lewis decided to "explore" a historical cave that was used by Indians and French settlers in the early 1700's.



Getting there is a 2 mile hike down a RR track...past No Trespassing signs.



Sight of the rock/cave at the top of the treeline...it is quite high. To get a view of the area Lewis climbed to the top of the rock, slipped and fell down the side of the cliff...(as the rest of the Expedition members watched from their boats) certainly to his death (on the second day of the expedition)... but, though he was carrying a rifle and Bowie knife, he caught himself sliding down the cliff by stabbing his knife into the side of the rocks on the cliff. Clark later chastised Lewis for his reckless attempt, but they both laughed it off as immaturity. Lewis paid with some missing skin and bruises.

Note the red arrow indicating where Lewis fell from (according to his and Clark's journals (diaries). The cave entrance is about 50 feet below the red arrow.



Cave Entrance. After seeing what NOT TO DO, Clark arrived later in the day and wrote that he marked the cave with "his name and the date" on a rock inside the cave. His signature has not been found but no doubt it is there.



Would not recommend climbing to the top without the right gear, plus snakes and black bear are prevalent. Saw bear poop all up and down the RR tracks.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:45 PM   #8
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:14 PM   #9
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Sod Buster, LewisNClark, montybones.... Excellent, excellent, excellent.

SB... Have never heard of the murderous Benders. Daaaaang. Recently visited Old Bent's Fort in La Junta, Colorado, which was located on the Santa Fe Trail. What a time.

LNC... Don't get me started on Lewis and Clark! And how about that, a photo of Private Willard! I finally read "Undaunted Courage" by Stephen Ambrose last winter. You know/have seen much more than I. The book has me wanting to ride to St. Louis then follow their route as close as possible, all the way to the Oregon coast.

I don't know if this historical marker/historical sign theme will have any traction. I will have to hunt for them in Colorado and the Rockies, but do know of some I have passed without taking a pic of them. Modern, colorful, interpretive signs are also fair game here. Thanks for the contributions. I think we're like-minded, seeing how one way we can enjoy our bikes is to have them escort us to reflections of the past.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:47 PM   #10
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Sort of a marker...but valued

Sort of a marker. For 170 yrs since 1806 (end of Expedition) the only two items that are positive artifacts left over from the Lewis and Clark Expedition are their leather bound journals (located today in Philly) and Meriwether Lewis' compass.

Top two most valued and visited items at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington are the Wright Bros's plane and Meriwether Lewis' compass. Getting this picture of the sign and compass was not easy. Bad pic, but it was behind an inch of glass and 3 security guards. Located just a few feet from the Wright Brothers plane in the Aerospace Museum.

My favorite L & C sign...mainly because of the difficulty of getting the picture. The below is the real deal compass.

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Old 06-17-2012, 02:37 PM   #11
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Another favorite found just recently...

Marker of Ohio Confluence into the Mississippi:



Lewis was one of the sharpest tools in the tool box. Well educated for the time. Clark, smart but 3rd or 4th grade education. Clark was a trained "Land Surveyor" and had a skill for "dead reckoning"...ability to look at a distance and accurately guestimate the distance. Lewis was self taught how to calculate latitude and longitude from a chrometer(watch), sun, moon and stars. In a 6 day camp, Lewis taught Clark how to calculate Lat & Longitude with these primitive tools. The United States had no maps of the lands west of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and no citizens either. Clark left the below shaded trees and combined his surveyor's skilled with the training from Lewis and the rest is history.

The two captains camped under the below trees to teach Clark how to calculate the measurements:

Trees they camped under:


They left this site on the 7th day, rowed up river on the Mississippi to the Missouri River and the rest is history. Clark was the first to produce a map of lands west of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. His map was used by all future explorers, pioneers, and trappers who explored the Western US. With Clarks training, primitive tools, and dead reckoning he was within 27 miles of accuracy from St Louis to the Pacific Ocean. Clark (and Lewis sometimes) religiously documented each day's campsite, scenic event, location of friendly and hostile Indians, future sites for trading post/forts, etc on a daily basic. I've converted Clark's rough coordinates to more like present day more accurate GPS coordinates.

Nearby bridge across the Ohio River: The mace of high bridges over and around these two rivers is pretty amazing. Going up this bridge on two wheels was like climbing a ladder.



Map of where the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers converge: Located in Cairo, Illinois (Just west of Paducah, Ky).

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Old 06-17-2012, 03:04 PM   #12
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Oregon Trail Markers

A peculiar piece of history...






A few more miles down the winding road...



And you come to this...


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Old 06-17-2012, 04:38 PM   #13
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Good stuff, I can't pass a historical marker without stoping.

If I do pass one I end up turning around.


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Old 06-17-2012, 04:52 PM   #14
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Fandango Pass

Crossing Fandango Pass - part of the Lassen Trail...



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Old 06-17-2012, 06:01 PM   #15
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more on Oregon Trail and Emigrant Trail

Was there last month...east of Reno, NV ... I think

Registry Rock: This big rock is just off the interstate but sort of hidden. As Oregon and Emigrant pioneer/settlers travels along the Oregon Trail they used this rock to note their names so others coming behind them could see that they made it that far. There are hundreds if not thousands of names on Registry Rock. Pioneers used it as a landmark and knew it was ahead on the trail and were looking for it. Apparently it was right on the Oregon Trail. If I'm not mistaken Donners Pass was west of Registry Rock about 100 miles.




Emigrant Trail marker:



Full Picture of Registry Rock:


A few signatures:



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