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How did the Corps of Discovery Survive the North Coast Winter?

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Cannon Beach History Center & Museum

1387 South Spruce Street

Cannon Beach, OR 97110

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Join us for our annual membership meeting on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum welcomes interpreter and historian, Tom Wilson.

Tom Wilson, a retired elementary school teacher (30 years), began working at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park seasonally more than 20 years ago. After a great deal of research on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, he began giving talks, demonstrations, and presenting programs to students and visitors. Tom recently retired from the Park Service. During his time with the park, he participated in the park’s living history programs and has portrayed Corps members at events such as The Salt Makers Return, Clark’s Camp and Wintering Over. Tom portrayed William Clark in documentaries such as OPB’s Searching for York, as well as having been featured on Oregon Field Guide and Grant’s Getaways, and A Clatsop Winter Story produced by the National Park Service. Tom has conducted and/or helped with many tours along the Lewis and Clark Trail. Among these were tours with Dr. Gary Moulton (editor of the Lewis and Clark Journals), Shore Excursions of America, and Road Scholar groups, as well as numerous talks and presentations throughout the Northwest.

Join Lewis and Clark historian Tom Wilson, and discover how the Expedition survived the harsh North Coast winter. Learn how they established winter quarters, found food, made their clothing, how they were able to obtain salt to preserve meat for their homeward trek, and made the treacherous journey to present day Cannon Beach to obtain whale blubber and oil to add to their lean elk diet.

Dangerously low on food, provisions and trade goods, their leather leather clothing rotten from continuous rain, the Lewis and Clark Expedition had a number of critical decisions to make once they arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River. Not finding enough game to feed the 33 members and finding that the trade goods they had left was not sufficient to trade with the local natives for food, the Corps needed to find appropriate quarters as winter was approaching all too quickly.

This event is free and open to the public. Seating for this event is limited, so arrive early. The doors will close at 4:15 p.m.


The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum is a private non-profit museum located in mid-town Cannon Beach. The museum does not receive city, state or federal funding, they rely completely upon the generous donations of visitors, members and sponsors. The museum is home to the cannon that Cannon Beach is named for. The museum is open 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Wednesday through Monday.

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Cannon Beach History Center & Museum

1387 South Spruce Street

Cannon Beach, OR 97110

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