About the State Historical Society > News > 2011

State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release July 18, 2011

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

WHTC hosts Lewis & Clark White Catfish Camp

Event commemorates Corps of Discovery visit to Council Bluffs in 1804

(COUNCIL BLUFFS) – The Western Historic Trails Center will host its annual Lewis & Clark White Catfish Camp Living History Weekend this weekend to commemorate the Corps of Discovery explorers who made camp near Council Bluffs during their historic journey up the Missouri River in 1804.
The event is 9 a.m.-5 p.m. July 23-24, 2011, at the Western Historic Trails Center, 3434 Richard Downing Avenue in Council Bluffs. Admission is free and open to the public. Call 712-366-4900 for more information.

White Catfish Camp has its roots in July 1804 when Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s Corps of Discovery made camp near present-day Council Bluffs. The five-day stop was an opportunity to repair equipment and make astronomical observations. On July 24, 1804, one of the explorers, Silas Goodrich, caught an albino catfish, giving the camp its name.

White Catfish Camp participants will enjoy a variety of activities, including discussions about:

  • The debate over the U.S. flag raised at Catfish Camp on July 23, 1804
  • Lewis & Clark in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area
  • Ioway Chief Hard Heart and Manuel Lisa in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area during the War of 1812

Food will be available from The Dog House, and additional activities include a mountain man camp set up by Bushway, Lizard Wilcox; a program for children about Lewis and Clark; and a book signing by Bill and Jan Hill. Several books written by the Hills will be available for purchase at the Trails West Gift Shop. More information about their books is available at www.hillousew.com/products.htm.

White Catfish Camp speakers are provided by the Mouth of the Platte Chapter of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.


The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.


©2013 The State of Iowa, All Rights Reserved | Policies | Accessibility | Non-discrimination and Accommodation | Website Feedback