HARTFORD– The 218th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s arrival at their Illinois winter encampment will be celebrated during the Arrival at Camp River Dubois event, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11 and 12, at the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site in Hartford.

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Activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the Interpretive Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Reenactors and demonstrators will interpret what life was like for the Lewis and Clark Expedition while wintering at Camp River Dubois from December 1803 to May 1804. Exhibitor Bob Mitchell will display rocks and minerals as encountered by Meriwether Lewis. Mark West will exhibit 18th- and 19th-century antique tools, while Ken Porter will exhibit frontiersmen artifacts such as hand axes, beads, period medical equipment, and navigational tools. Paul Imes will present on medical tools and practices of the early 19th century as a frontier doctor, and Barb Miner will also present on fiber arts of the period and the duties of the Washer Woman of Camp River Dubois.

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Fully equipped soldiers from the past will also be demonstrating. The War of 1812 artillery unit will display and interpret their cannon and equipment. Some of the expedition soldiers went on to serve during this conflict. Other volunteers in military uniform will discuss camp life with visitors.

Another exciting addition this year will be a visit from St. Nicholas. Children are invited to get their pictures taken with St. Nicholas and see how gifts would have been brought to children in the early 1800s. St. Nicholas will be available for pictures and questions from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

All participants and guests will be required to observe current guidance from the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health regarding face coverings and social distancing.

Lewis and Clark State Historic Site is located in Hartford. The Interpretive Center and reconstructed Camp River Dubois reveal the important role that Illinois played in the Corps of Discovery’s preparations as they wintered from December 1803 to May 1804. The site is open during the summer
from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Winter hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lewis and Clark State Historic Site is managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and is supported by the Lewis and Clark Society of America.

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