I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and have lived here pretty much all my life except for a couple of years in China and a few months in western New York. This is my home. There's no other place that I'd rather live. In Cheryl's Northwest, I'll share some of my favorite places with you.
SacajaweaState Park, near Pasco, Washington,
honors Sacajawea, Lewis & Clark’s guide on their Corps of Discovery journey
from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Pacific
The park is located at five miles south of Pasco at the confluence of the mighty Columbia and Snake rivers.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark left St.
Louis in May 1804, looking for an overland passage to
the Pacific Ocean. On October 10, 1805, they arrived in
what is now WashingtonState, traveling down the
Snake River to where it joins with the Columbia. They arrived at
the confluence six days later on October 16, staying for two days to explore
the area, before continuing down the Columbia
to their final destination, the Pacific Ocean.
They also stayed in the area on their return trip to St. Louis in the spring of 1806.
Sacajawea joined expedition in North Dakota
They spent the winter of 1804-05 at FortMandan,
in what is now North Dakota,
where they added Sacajawea, a 17-year-old Shoshone, to their group. She was to
serve as their translator and sometimes guide for the remainder of the trip.
Also joining the expedition was her French-Canadian husband, Toussaint
Charbonneau and their infant son, Jean-Baptiste.
But it is Sacajawea which this 284-acre park honors. The
park was originally a construction site for the Northern Pacific Railroad, and
was called Ainsworth. When the railroad moved on, the town disappeared,
eventually to be replaced by the park, which got its start in 1927 when some
land was given to the Pasco
chapter of the Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington. The group deeded the
land to WashingtonState in 1931. The
Sacajawea museum was built in 1938 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) to
display Native American artifacts from Columbia Plateau tribes.
Visitors may note two spellings of Sacajawea’s name, even
inside the park. The traditional and historic name, Sacajawea, is used at the
park and the interpretive center.The
Shoshone word means “one who assumes a burden.” The name, Sacagawea, is used in
the exhibits, and means “bird woman.” This was her given name.
Interpretive center explains journey
The museum is operated as an interpretive center today. It
tells the story of the Lewis & Clark expedition, with emphasis on the West.
There’s a marvelous statue of Sacajawea, a lodge made from reeds, and a display
of items that the expeditionary corps would have had with them, among other
The interpretive center is open from to daily April through October.The park itself is open from to dusk year ‘round, though
in the winter months, visitors must park at the gate and walk in. Once inside
the park, a myriad of activities are open to visitors. The list includes
hiking, walking, picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing and bird watching.
A number of activities take place at the park during the
open months. They range bluegrass festivals, old-time fiddlers, heritage days
and haunted forests.
SacajaweaState Park is part of the
Washington State Parks System. It is located southeast of Pasco just off Highway 12 at 2503 Sacajawea Park Road