Council Bluffs is hosting what’s known as the Lewis & Clark White Catfish Camp this weekend. Jeff Morgan, spokesman for the State Historical Society of Iowa, says the events commemorate the Corps of Discovery explorers who made camp near Council Bluffs in 1804 during their historic journey up the Missouri River.
Morgan says there will be all sorts of family-friendly activites, including period re-enactors, speakers and educational opportunities about the exploits of the famed explorers, Lewis & Clark, more than two centuries ago. The events are all free and are underway at the Western Historic Trails Center in Council Bluffs.
Butch Bouvier of Onawa will be offering free rides on his three-quarter scale replica keelboat, the image for which was used on the commemorative Lewis & Clark bicentennial coin. He says it makes for a fun day-trip for history lovers, kids and adults.
So, why is it called White Catfish Camp? In July 1804, when Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery made camp near present-day Council Bluffs. The five-day stop was an opportunity to repair equipment and make astronomical observations. On July 24 of that year, one of the explorers, Silas Goodrich, caught an albino catfish there, giving the camp its name.
Events are underway today and Sunday from 9-to-5 both days at the Western Historic Trails Center. Call (712) 366-4900 for full details.