"Lewis & Clark at Fort Osage" Sibley by yooperprof

Sibley Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 27 photos

Keelboating up the Missouri

In Summer 2004, I caught up with the Lewis & Clark re-enactors at Fort Osage, in Sibley MO, which is on the eastern edge of Jackson County, and also on the eastern edge of the Kansas City metropolitan area. They'd set up camp here, right on the banks of the fast-flowing Missouri, and it was an excellent chance to see for myself the travelling party which was retracing the steps of the L & C expedition two centuries later.

There were a number of concurrent "commemorative" events going on at Fort Osage. One of them was a kind of "chatauqua" which presented lecturers, craftspeople, and musicians from the diverse cultures represented in, and affected by, the 1804 Corps of Discovery.

Here a musician performs a series early 19th century reels, in the "Tent of Many Voices."

Ft. Osage: A National Historical Landmark

After the expedition of 1803-1804, William Clark served the American government in a variety of ways. In 1807, he was appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and from 1813 to 1821 he served as governor of the Missouri territory. Fort Osage was originally constructed under Clark's supervision to protect American interests - particularly commercial interests - on the frontier. The nearby community of Sibley was named after the first American "factor" - or agent - at Fort Osage, George Sibley. Eventually, of course, the frontier was pushed further west, and the strategic and commercial value of Ft. Osage disappeared. The fort was abandoned at the end of the 1820s, and soon fell into ruins. What you will see on a visit to Fort Osage is all reconstruction, begun in the 1940s and still ongoing, which has as its aim presenting an accurate view of life on the western frontier circa 1820.

  • Last visit to Sibley: Jun 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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