Lewis Clark Saltmakers "Commenced Making Salt", Seaside, Oregon
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Commenced Making Salt

Press Release

After much discussion, the board of directors of the Seaside Museum and Historical Society (SMHS) has reached the difficult decision to suspend one of its signature events, Saltmakers Return, during 2016. The predominant reason for the decision is the loss of the National Park Service (NPS) as the major partner for the event. Working towards a decision regarding long term continuation of the event, the SMHS board will be inviting various community organizations and residents to participate in a series of discussions regarding the requirements, processes and possibilities for resuming organization and presentation of the event. It is hoped that these discussions will lead to participation commitments and progress into being planning sessions for Saltmakers Return to be re-established in 2017.

Individuals interested in participating in the process should visit or call the museum to provide contact information for an invitation when the community discussions are scheduled. The Seaside Museum is located at 570 Necanicum, phone number (503) 738-7065, email seasidemuseum@hotmail.com. For more information, contact Tita Montero, Board Vice President, at 503-440-4454.

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 11am-4:00pm

2015 Commenced Making Salt Press Release
from the National Park Service

A special living history program, Commenced Making Salt, focusing on the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s salt-making activities will take place for five hours on Saturday, August 15. Visitors will meet National Park Rangers in period costume making salt from seawater and discussing details of the expedition. This event is from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the beach at the west end of Avenue U in south Seaside, Oregon. (From Highway 101 take Avenue U to the beach. From the Promenade in Seaside, walk south to where Avenue U meets the beach.)

One of the reasons the Corps of Discovery wintered near the Pacific Ocean was that it was running out of salt for preserving and flavoring meat. The expedition’s captains were hoping for “a convenient Situation to the Sea Coast where we Could make Salt,” according to William Clark’s November 24, 1805 journal. In January 1806, after the Corps settled into its Fort Clatsop winter camp, a detachment travelled to the future site of Seaside, Oregon to set up a salt-making camp next to the ocean. This camp operated for seven weeks and produced about four bushels of salt for their winter and return trip to the United States. The actual location of the expedition’s Salt Works can also be visited on Lewis and Clark Way between Beach Drive and the Prom three blocks north of the program.

Commenced Making Salt is a free interactive learning opportunity for the whole family. This event is produced by The Seaside Museum & Historical Society and Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. This year’s event is sponsored by the Seaside Museum & Historical Society member donations, City of Seaside Public Works Department, Clatsop County Work Crew, and Oregon State Parks.

For more information, call Lewis and Clark NHP, Fort Clatsop at (503) 861-2471 or the Seaside Museum & Historical Society at (503) 738-7065.

You are now entering the year 1806

Lewis & Clark Saltmakers Return
Archive photos:

Lewis and Clark Saltmakers returned to Seaside, Oregon 1012 Lewis & Clark Salt making at Seaside, Oregon, USA, 2012
1806 Lewis & Clark Expedition reenactment at Seaside, Oregon, USA Lewis & Clark Saltmakers return to Seaside, Oregon 2012
Lewis & Clark Saltmakers return to Seaside, Oregon 2012 Lewis & Clark Saltmakers return to Seaside, Oregon 2012
Lewis & Clark Saltmakers return to Seaside, Oregon 2012 Lewis & Clark Saltmakers return to Seaside, Oregon 2012
Lewis & Clark Saltmakers return to Seaside, Oregon 2012 Lewis & Clark Saltmakers return to Seaside, Oregon, U.S.A.
Lewis & Clark Saltmakers return to Seaside, Oregon Lewis & Clark Saltmakers return to Seaside, Oregon 2012
Tillamook Head and kite flying in background: Lewis & Clark Saltmakers return to Seaside, Oregon 2012  
Salt makers on the Seaside, Oregon, beach
Salt makers camp
& Orientation tent
Volunteers giving orientation
Now entering 1806
National Park Service historians Saltmakers
Saltmaker's Camp
Seaside beach view
looking North from Ave. U
Cross country bicyclists ended their trip here, too!
These cyclists arrived during the event after a coast to coast bicycle trip!
Beach fun by the Saltmakers Camp
Families enjoy the event and Seaside's beach!
Seaside Oregon Surfers by the Lewis & Clark Saltmakers camp
Seaside Surfers
Pelicans flying overhead
Pelicans flying over the event.
Beach view looking North
Welcome to 1804
This boy bartered a watermellon for a brass button and some beads!
Boiled sea water became usable salt
Sea salt: the finished product.
Located at the end of Avenue U, by the Tides Motel
Camp is near the Tides Motel at the end of Avenue U, Seaside.
Lewis and Clark Salt Makers Tent Saltmakers Returned to Seaside
Lewis & Clark Saltmakers Return to Seaside: Welcome tent
Welcome Tent
(on the beach at
Avenue U & the Prom)
Visitor to this free event go back in time to 1804
Now entering 1804
Visitors interact with the first-person interpretors
Learning about the Salt Works
Carson traded his bag of acorns for some trade beads
Water is carefully skimmed from the Pacific Ocean, to contain as little sand as possible
Water is carefully skimmed from the Pacific Ocean, to contain as little sand as possible.
Can I help you carry water?
"Can I help?"
Water is carried from the Ocean to the Saltworks Guarding the fire, 24/7
Visitors learn the Salt making process On duty, day and night
Tending the fire  
You are now entering the year 1806 The 1806 saltmakers camp on the beach by Tillamook Head, Seaside, Oregon
The 1806 Camp
Group from Malibu, CA
"Malibu School" Group
Bartering for a thimble
Bartering for a Thimble
Water from the Ocean I've got sand in my shoes.
I've got sand in my shoes!
Corps of Discovery Saltmakers
Tending the fire at the  saltworks  

salt makers, salt-makers, making salt by boiling ocean water, Pacific Ocean, Seaside, Oregon, south of Fort Clatsop, Clatsop County, Oregon