The Lewis & Clark Boat House and Nature Center permanent home of the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles replicas of the keelboat and pirogues used by Lewis and Clark. Situated beside the Missouri River at Bishop’s Landing in charming historic St. Charles, Missouri, the educational facility features exhibits relating to the Lewis and Clark expedition as well as the Missouri River ecosystem.
The Boat House is located on the lower level. It houses the full-scale replicas of the boats used by Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery. Volunteer members of the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles built the boats and used them as they reenacted the entire Lewis & Clark journey during the recently concluded Bicentennial. Included in this display are the keelboat, red pirogue, white pirogue, and two dugout canoes. The larger boats traveled the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri Rivers from Elizabeth, Pennsylvania to Great Falls, Montana.
The Lewis and Clark Museum is located on the upper level of the Boat House and can be accessed by stairs or an elevator. Among the many museum exhibits are dioramas illustrating highlights of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Native American displays, and various Missouri River habitats encountered during the journey. The museum tour is self-guided. Visitors receive an informational brochure that includes activities for all ages. The museum’s artwork, “Missouri River Walk”, is the largest indoor mural in the state. Visitors get a feel for old St. Charles with four half-scale buildings showing architectural styles of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Several habitats are found on the grounds near the Boat House. Plants native to Missouri at the time of Lewis & Clark are found in the Walk of Discovery. Small garden plots contain various herbs, crops, and flowers. The nature trail winds through a woodland area, and a typical wetland marsh is home to a number of plants and animals. Depending on the time of the year and time of day, you might observe ducks, geese, herons, deer and other wildlife as they visit the nearby woods, river and wetlands.Also, depending on weather and river conditions at different times of the year, you can find great photo opportunities.
The museum shop, The Trading Post, has a wide selection of books along with interesting and unusual gift items.
The museum and classroom are also available for some small meetings, receptions or other events either during the business day or after hours. Call 636-947-3199 for event guidelines.