by Mark Tolonen
the Past Alive
Lewis & Clark Exhibit
Have you ever wondered why the salt makers of the Lewis and Clark
expedition came so far south to boil water? The answer is that the
salinity of the coastal water is much higher in Seaside than further
north in Clatsop County. As much as one million cubic feet of fresh
water per second floods out the Columbia River during the winter
rainy season, therefore the expedition had to travel many miles south
of the Columbia to set up their salt works.
as Salt is an Objt.” is the new major exhibit at the Seaside
Museum & Historical Society. The exhibit details the story
of the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery’s Salt Makers
at present-day Seaside, Oregon. The title is a quote from Lewis’ journal,
dated Nov. 24, 1805.
new exhibit examines the Salt Maker’s experience from
a scientific perspective (answering questions such as “How
many BTUs were needed to produce 3 ½ bushels of salt?”)
and the human perspective (dealing with weather conditions and daily
life), as well as extensive quotes from the journals of the explorers.
The museum is open to the public daily, excluding major holidays.
exhibit funding was provided by the National Park Service Challenge
Share Program and the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial
in Oregon / Oregon Heritage Commission.
Tolonen, curator at the Seaside Museum, writes the History column
for the Seaside Signal. The Seaside Museum is open daily from 10
a.m. to 4 p.m. and located at 570 Necanicum Drive in Seaside. For
more information, call (503) 738-7065.)