On June 26, 1804 the expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark arrived at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers. Their written observations are among the earliest we have of the area that would grow to be Kansas City. For three days, the members of the expedition camped at a spot above the mouth of the Kansas River.
On the anniversary of their stop in Kansas City, we’ve got a quick tour around town honoring the brave explorers on that expedition to the Pacific.
Kaw Point Park
Kaw Point Park marks the spot where the Missouri River meets the Kansas (Kaw) River today, which is about a quarter-mile from where it was in 1804 when Lewis and Clark landed. Today this area is a 10-acre wooded park along the shore. Get out and stretch your legs with a walk down to the shore where you’ll find a silhouette of the explorers.
Kaw Point Park also holds a memorial to all the Native tribes and a small ampitheater with limestone blocks carved with the names of the members of Corps of Discovery.
Corps of Discovery Statue
At Case Park, also know as Clark’s Point, you’ll find this statue to the more famous members of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Dedicated in April 2000, it was created by Eugene Daub and features depictions of Lewis, Clark, Sacagawea, York (Clark’s African-American personal servant), Jean-Baptiste Toussaint (Sacagawea’s baby) and Seaman (Lewis’ dog).
The bronze sculpture marks the spot where on September 15, 1806 Lewis and Clark reportedly stopped on their journey home. Inscribed on the base is part of a tribute to Lewis written by Thomas Jefferson in 1813 , “Of courage undaunted and a fidelity to truth… I could have no hesitation confiding the enterprise to him.”
Lewis and Clark Memorial
Only a few steps north of the statue is this plaque, a memorial to Lewis and Clark’s expedition. It was placed in 1957 at Clark’s Point. Walk around the park more and you’ll discover more information about the explorers.
Lewis and Clark Expedition 1804 Mural
The last stop is in the River Market area. On the side of an antique store you’ll find this mural. Depicting the more famous members of the expedition, it was commissioned as part of the bicentennial celebration of Lewis and Clark’s famous explorations.
Although it does show Sacagawea, their Shoshone guide, she was actually not on either of their stops in the Kansas City area, she and her husband joined the expedition after their initial stop, and left before they’re stop on their return stop two years later.
If you’d like to learn more about Lewis and Clark’s stops in what would become Kansas City check out The Kansas City Public Library’s page.