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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The boats head north on the Mississippi passing Apple Creek and the Big Muddy River. After 9 miles, they reach Tower Rock near the present town of Grand Tower, Illinois. Here, the boatmen observe a ritual associated with this landmark.

From the journals...

Arrived at the Grand Tower a little before sunset, passed above it and came too on the Lard. shore for the night. This seems among the watermen of the mississippi to be what the tropics or Equanoxial line is with regard to the Sailors; those who have never passed it before are always compelled to pay or furnish some sperits to drink or be ducked

Meriwether Lewis

Grand Tower and Devil's Bake Oven

Hills on the Mississippi River

Sketch by Karl Bodmer circa 1833.

there are many fine mines of pitt Coal on this stream, and one not far from its mouth whence boats asscend in common and high tide are loaded with and transport it the Saline on W. of mississippi and to Kaskaskias & elsewhere for the use of the blacksmiths and other artizans—

Meriwether Lewis

Blacksmith forge

Coals burning on an open hearth

Photo taken at Fort Osage.