More than 100 people attended a special dedication ceremony to unveil the installation of a historic Lewis & Clark Trail marker at St. Stanislaus Park on Sat., May 24, in Hazelwood. The St. Stanislaus Historical Museum Society, in conjunction with the National Park Service as part of the Lewis & Clark Historic Trail and the Missouri Department of Conservation, hosted the event.
The City of Hazelwood’s Charbonier Bluff, which is inside St. Stanislaus Park, was one of the points of interest William Clark wrote about in his Journal on May 16.1804. It is one of the highest vantage points in the area, which allows an observer to see long distances in several directions. Historians believe Clark ordered someone to climb the bluff to see how far away they were from the City of St. Charles, which could be seen to the southwest.
Clark also mentioned an exposed coal seam at the base of the bluff in his Journal entry. Early French explorers named the bluff “La Charbonier” which means coal seam. Access to Charbonier Bluff, which overlooks the Missouri River bottoms, is provided by hiking trails which start at the lower parking area.
One of the program speakers, Mr. Darrell Pratt, Missouri State Land Surveyor, Lewis & Clark in Missouri, said, “We’re dedicating this as a commemorative marker, but this will also be a working survey point. You might come out here sometime and enjoy the scenery, and there might be a GPS unit set up over it and somebody’s tying the marker’s specific geological coordinates (latitude & longitude) to a project they’re working on.”
Mayor Robinson and Jim Mallory, vice chairman, Lewis and Clark Trust, Inc., both mentioned that specific information about his historic marker will be posted on the Internet, as part of a new “Auto Tour Route” program being launched for the Lewis & Clark historic trail, that will help people follow the same path on land by vehicle. Hopefully this will attract an influx of visitors to the City of Hazelwood, which will allow them to see everything the community has to offer. Mr. Mallory also mentioned that HBO is in the process of developing a 6-part series on the Lewis & Clark expedition, and has already started recruiting actors to play the key character roles.
FOX 2 News covered the event and aired news stories about it on the 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. newscasts. It’s sister station, KPLR-TV, aired the story on its 7 p.m. program. KMOX Radio news reporter Brad Chout showed up to cover the event as well and interviewed several of the guest speakers. Stories about the event were aired during the hourly local news broadcast most of the morning on Sunday, May 25. Click the link below to view the FOX 2 News story.
PHOTOS TAKEN OF THE EVENT
Boy Scout Troop 950 did the Presentation of Colors, which included a military guard processional, and led the audience in saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Several men with Discovery Expedition of St. Charles wore military uniforms of that historic period and portrayed different soldiers who were assigned to the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
Mayor Matthew Robinson of Hazelwood was one of the key speakers during the program.
St. Louis County Parks and Recreation Department’s preservation historian Esley Hamilton was another featured speaker.
We were honored to have William Clark’s great, great, great, grandson Charlie Clark at the event with his two daughters, Julia and Caroline. They represent the sixth and seventh generation of William Clark’s family.
Ward 1 Councilwoman Carol Stroker, who was instrumental in making St. Stanislaus Park a state park for North County residents as a state representative, poses for a photo with Charlie Clark and his wife, Jennifer, and their two daughters.