||Visitors Guide to
NE corner of intersection of Routes 3 and 143
Wood River, Illinois
In December of 1803, Meriwether Lewis and
William Clark reached the Mississippi River in a keelboat full of supplies and
the nucleus of the Corps of Discovery. Barred by the Spanish Governor in St.
Louis from entering into the Louisiana Territory, they set up Camp DuBois at the
mouth of the Wood River across from the confluence of the Missouri and
Mississippi rivers. After quickly building a small fort with living quarters
they spent the winter recruiting and training men, gathering intelligence, and securing additional
commemoration of the Bicentennial of the departure of the Corps of Discovery,
the Wood River Heritage Council has constructed a replica of the camp near where
the original Camp
DuBois was located. Members of the Discovery
Expedition of St. Charles quartered at Camp Dubois until their scheduled departure from St. Charles on
May 23, 2004. Reenactors such as Eric Huber of Mount Washington, KY, who
has chosen Private Joseph Fields to portray, were on hand to give tours of the encampment and answer questions.
After the Corps leaves, the
Illinois Territorial Rangers are slated to make this site their headquarters
with the intention of making Camp
DuBois a Living History attraction. At the times when there are Rangers present,
visitors will be able to
watch and learn as the Rangers demonstrate black powder shooting, tomahawk throwing, blacksmithing,
carpentry, hunting, military training, and primitive cooking. Possible plans for the
future include the addition of
a Native American village to represent the Kicapoo, Sac and Fox tribes that
inhabited the area at the time of Lewis and Clarkís arrival.
Every May, the
River Rendezvous, a historic reenactment of the 1700-1840 French Fur
Trading era is held at this location. For more on the area's many reenactments
check out our Living History page.
Visit our special
and Clark Section to learn more about the Corps of Discoveryís
experience during their stay in the Middle Mississippi River Valley. greatriverroad.comís
special coverage includes information on all of the regionís sites and
events as well as supplemental articles relating to the expeditionís
experience during the winter of 1803-04.
Visiting Camp DuBois
The Corps of Discovery of St. Charles is an all-volunteer organization and there is no
guarantee that there will be reenactors at the site at all times or that
the site will be open to visit. If you
are planning to make a trip to visit Camp DuBois you may want to schedule
your trip on Wednesdays through Sundays when
River Dubois, the Illinois State Historic Site located 4 miles south
of Camp DuBois on Route 3, is open and both sites can be visited. Camp
River Dubois features another version of 1803-1804 winter encampment and
features a Visitors Center with 4 galleries of exhibits and displays.
Visitors and other groups wishing to visit Camp DuBois should call the Wood River
Museum and Visitors Center at 618-254-1993 to ensure that the site will be
There is no charge to visit Camp DuBois.
Camp DuBois is located near the intersection of Routes 3 and 143. Follow Route
143 into Wood River and take the first road on the right. Follow this road
approximately 1/4 mile until it dead ends at the parking lot.
Learn more about the Wood
The official site of the Wood River Heritage Council which operates Camp
Dubois as well as the Wood River Museum and Visitors Center, the Wood River
Historic Chapel, and is involved with the upkeep of the historic Vaughn Cemetery.