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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Salt Works, Seaside, Oregon"
Includes ... Salt Works ... Seaside ...
Image, 2012, Salt Works, Seaside, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Salt Works, Seaside, Oregon. Overcast gray day. Image taken February 9, 2012.


"Salt Works", Seaside, Oregon ...
On December 28, 1805, Captain Clark directed five men to journey from Fort Clatsop to the Pacific Ocean to set up a camp to make salt. The men needed salt to preserve their meat for the journey back home. This camp was located at today's Seaside, Oregon. The men returned in mid-February with approximately 20 gallons of salt.

Image, 2012, Salt Works, Seaside, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Plaque, Salt Works, Seaside, Oregon. Overcast gray day. Image taken February 9, 2012.


Lewis and Clark and the "Salt Works" ...
The Corps of Discovery needed salt to preserve their meat for the journey back home. They chose Seaside as the location to make the salt.

"... Derected Drewyer, Shannon, Labeash, Reuben Field, and Collins to hunt; Jos. Fields, Bratten, Gibson to proceed to the Ocean at Some convenient place form a Camp and Commence makeing Salt with 5 of the largest Kittles, and Willard and Wiser to assist them in Carrying the Kittles to the Sea Coast— all the other men to be employed about putting up picketes & makeing the gates of the fort. ..." [Clark, December 28, 1805]

"... they Commenced the makeing of Salt and found that they Could make from 3 quarts to a gallon a day; they brought with them a Specimen of the Salt, of about a gallon, we found it excellent white & fine, but not So Strong as the rock Salt or that made in Kentucky or the Western parts of the U, States— this Salt was a great treat to most of the party, haveing not had any Since the 20th ulto. as to my Self I care but little whether I have any with my meat or not; ..." [Clark, January 5, 1806]

"... Sergt. Ordway returned with the party from the Salt Camp which we have now avacuated.    they brought with them the Salt and utensels.    our Stock of Salt is now about 20 Gallons; 12 Gallons we had Secured in 2 Small iron bound Kegs and laid by for our voyage. ..." [Clark, February 21, 1806]


Image, 2012, Salt Works, Seaside, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Information sign, Salt Works, Seaside, Oregon. Overcast gray day. Image taken February 9, 2012.


How to make Salt ...
"To make salt, the Corps had to find rocks to build a furnace, wood to burn, ocean water to boil, fresh water to drink and game animals. Nearby rivers weren’t salty enough, but a site 15 miles southwest of Fort Clatsop proved perfect. What’s more, there were homes of local Clatsop and Tillamook Indians nearby, local experts who could help the Corps members.

Five men traveled to the beach site, built the camp and set five kettles to boiling, 24 hours a day, to produce salt. According to their records, they set out from Fort Clatsop on Dec. 28, 1805, and left the camp Feb. 20, 1806, with 3 and 1/2 bushels or about 28 gallons of 'Excellent, fine, strong & white' salt."

Source:   Lewis and Clark National Park website, 2010.


Views of the "Salt Works" ...

Image, 2012, Salt Works, Seaside, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sign, Salt Works, Seaside, Oregon. Overcast gray day. Image taken February 9, 2012.
Image, 2012, Salt Works, Seaside, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Salt Works, Seaside, Oregon. Overcast gray day. Image taken February 9, 2012.
Image, 2012, Salt Works, Seaside, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Salt Works, Seaside, Oregon. Overcast gray day. Image taken February 9, 2012.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, December 28, 1805 ...
rained as usial the greater part of the last night and a continuation this morning accompanied with wind from the S East    Derected Drewyer, Shannon, Labeash, Reuben Field, and Collins to hunt; Jos. Fields, Bratten, Gibson to proceed to the Ocean at Some convenient place form a Camp and Commence makeing Salt with 5 of the largest Kittles ["Salt Works" at Seaside, Oregon],   and Willard and Wiser to assist them in Carrying the Kittles to the Sea Coast— all the other men to be employed about putting up picketes & makeing the gates of the fort [at Fort Clatsop] ....





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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources: U.S. National Park Service, Lewis and Clark National Historic Park website.

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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February 2012