Fort Clatsop
Lewis and Clark Trail from Fort Clatsop to the Clatsop Plains
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By memorandum dated June 17, 1958, Mr. R. F. Lee, Chief, Division of Interpretation, requested the Regional Director, Region Four, to have a historical study made of the trail opened by members of the Lewis and Clark expedition from Fort Clatsop westward to the Pacific Ocean. The purpose of this study was to be the determination, in so far as possible, of the exact location of the original trail. This determination was necessary before a recommendation could be made as to how much of the trail site it would be desirable to include within the boundaries of the authorized Fort Clatsop National Memorial.

This request was amplified by a memorandum of July 16, 1953, from Mr. Ben H. Thompson, Chief, Division of Recreation Resource Planning. Mr. Thompson requested the Regional Director, Region Four, to make a boundary status report for the authorized Memorial which would include "a firm and adequate boundary recommendation." This report was, further, to include the definition of a small tract of "virgin forest" on or near the trail site, which would be an appropriate subject for discussion between Senator Richard L. Neuberger and the following Crown Zellerbach Corporation with a view to a possible donation of land by the Corporation.

By a decision of the Regional Director, reached at a meeting with interested members of the Regional Office Staff on July 31, 1958, it was determined that the basic recommendations concerning this small section of forest land and concerning what portion of the trail would be desirable for inclusion in the Memorial should be made in the historical report on the trail location. The boundary status report would only summarize the conclusions of the historical report in these regards and would. refer readers to it for details.

Therefore, the present historical report has the purposes:

1. To summarize all known facts concerning the opening and use of the trail by the Lewis and Clark party.

2. To locate the trail upon present-day maps as closely as the evidence permits.

3. To summarize the history of the trail from March 23, 1806, when Lewis and Clark abandoned Fort Clatsop, until the present time.

4. To assess the historical significance of the trail as it relates to the story to be commemorated by the authorized Fort Clatsop National Memorial.

5. To recommend what portion of the trail should. be included within the proposed Memorial boundaries in order that the purposes of the memorial may be achieved.

6. To define and justify the boundaries, with related land ownership data, of such lands as might be recommended for addition to the Memorial in order to preserve the route of the trail.

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Last Updated: 04-May-2004