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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The snow around Fort Clatsop near Astoria, Oregon is now 5 inches deep. Collins prepares to supply the Salt Makers with items they can trade for food, and the Captains describe the Evergreen huckleberry.

Werner and Howard who were sent for salt on the 23rd have not yet returned, we are apprehensive that they have missed their way...
the constant cloudy weather makes it difficult for even a good woodsman to steer for any considerable distance the course he wishes.

Meriwether Lewis

Trail from Fort Clatsop to Pacific Ocean

Young forest above Fort Clatsop on a stormy day

the natives either eat these berrys when ripe immediately from the bushes or dryed in the sun or by means of their sw[e]ating kilns; very frequently they pound them and bake then in large loaves of 10 of fifteen pounds;
this bread keeps very well during one season and retains the most jeucies of the fruit much better than by any other method of preservation.
this bread is broken and stired in could water until it be sufficiently thick and then eaten; in this way the natives most generally use it.—

Meriwether Lewis


Pile of purple and blue berries

Photo ©2008 Julie from Idaho. Permission via the Creative Commons 2.0 License.

the shrub which produces this fruit rises to the hight of 6 or 8 feet sometimes grows on the high lands but moste generally in the swampy or marshey grounds...

Meriwether Lewis

Evergreen huckleberry, Vaccinium ovatum

Evergreen huckleberry with dark purple berries

Photo by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.