Washington’s Sacajawea State Park is located at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers. The park is named for the Shoshone woman, Sacajawea (also spelled Sacagawea), who accompanied the American Corps of Discovery (aka the Lewis and Clark Expedition). The Corps of Discovery camped at the confluence of the rivers in October 1805.
The park was founded in 1927 by the Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington, Pasco Chapter No. 3. They built a monument and planted trees and shrubs. In 1931, they deeded the park to the State of Washington.
The Sacajawea Museum was dedicated in 1941. The building was made possible with Works Progress Administration funds. The Museum has expanded and is known today as the Sacajawea Interpretive Center.
There are two common spellings of the Shoshone woman’s name: (1) Sacajawea, the name used for the Park and the Interpretive Center, is her Agaidika Shoshone name meaning “one who assumes a burden,” and (2) Sacagawea, the name used by most modern historians, which is her Hidatsa name meaning “bird woman.”
According to the display:
“This petroglyph is etched into basalt—a common rock found along the Columbia River. Surprisingly, the journal keepers of the Expedition did not record any observations of this Plateau art form.”
Corps of Discovery
The official name of the exploratory expedition was the Corps of Discovery, but most people today simply call it the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The first part of the museum provides some of the background of the expedition and the equipment that they brought with them.
When Sacagawea was about 12, she was captured by a Hidatsa war party near the Three Forks area of Montana. She was then adopted by a Hidatsa family and later married to Toussaint Charbonneau.
When Toussaint Charbonneau joined the Corps in 1804 as a guide and interpreter, he was a 37-year-old French Canadian trader who was living with at least two wives in one of the Hidatsa villages on the knife river. Sacagawea gave birth to their son, Jean Baptiste, while with the Corps.
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Museums 101: The Franklin County Historical Society and Museum (Photo Diary)
Museums 101: The East Benton County Museum (Photo Diary)
Museums 101: The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (Photo Diary)
Museums 101: The Presby House Museum (Photo Diary)
Museums 101: The Olympic Flight Museum (Photo Diary)
Historical Society Museum of Poulsbo (Photo Diary)
Museums 101: White River Valley Museum
Museums 101: The Renton History Museum
Museums 101: The Museum and Art Center, Sequim, WA (Photo Diary)
Museums 101: The Vintage Motorcyle Museum (Photo Diary)