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Fort Clatsop (1805-1806) - This fort was the first military establishment to be built in Oregon. It served Lewis and Clark and the 33-member Corps of Discovery as winter quarters in 1805-06 as seven cabins surrounded by a 50 ft square log stockade. Abandoned in 1806 to local Indians when the Corps of Discovery began their journey back east.
Fort Clatsop History
The Corps built the original fort between 7 Dec 1805 and 30 Dec 1805 according to a plan that Clark had drawn on the back of his elk skin covered journal. They named the fort after a neighboring tribe of friendly Indians.
The site of Fort Canby, on the other side of the Columbia, is said to be the location where, on 15 Nov 1805, members of the Corps of Discovery first stepped into the breaking surf of the Pacific Ocean.
The party left Fort Clatsop on 23 Mar 1806 and began the journey back east, abandoning the fort to the local Indian tribes.
The fort was reconstructed in 1955 on a site what was thought to be close to the original site. It became Fort Clatsop National Memorial Park in 1958. In 1963 a visitor center was added and the park became a part of the Lewis & Clark National Historical Park in 2004.
On 3 Oct 2005 the 1955 replica of the fort was destroyed by fire. The replica was rebuilt during 2006 and was reopened to the public on 9 Dec 2006.
Location: Located three-fourths of a mile south of the Oregon Coast Highway, just west of the Lewis and Clark River in Clatsop County, Oregon.
Maps & Images
Lat: 46.13423 Long: -123.879122
- Hart, Herbert M., Tour Guide to Old Western Forts, Pruett Publishing Co., Boulder CO, 1980, ISBN 0-87108-568-2, page 132-133
- McArthur, Lewis A. & McArthur, Lewis L., Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press; 7 edition (December 2003), 1073 pages, ISBN 0875952771, ISBN 978-0875952772, page 365
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 663-664
- Oregon Military History, Forts-Camps-Roads
- Norh American Forts - Fort Clatsop
- Fort Catsop National Memorial Park
- Imagining Fort Clatsop includes a day by day account of construction on the original fort.
Visited: 28 Jan 2007, 15 Feb 2006, 27 Aug 2005
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