Hicklin Lake - Lexington, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 11.736 W 093° 53.037
15S E 423667 N 4338855
Quick Description: "Passed som verry Swift water to day.....Lake is Said to abound in all kinds of fowls..."
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 5/9/2008 10:58:12 AM
Waymark Code: WM3R5P
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member A & W
Views: 49

Long Description:

Marker Erected by: the City of Lexington, MO. and the Lexington Lewis and Clark Committee.
County of Marker: Lafayette County.
Location of Marker: 10th St., Lexington River Front Park.

Marker Text:

"Passed Som verry Swift water to day...The Land appeared very good on each Side of the River...and well timbered...a butifull night but the air exceedingly Damp, & the mosquiters verry troublesom."
William Clark, June 20, 1804

On June 19, 1804, a favorable wind enabled the keelboat and two pirogues that comprised the flotilla of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to move upstream past numerous islands and sandbars against a strong current under sail power. Sgt. John Ordway, in his journal, remarked on the beautiful large prairie on the north side and high rich bottom on the south side as they made their way upriver. The shores were abundant with gooseberries and raspberries. Later that day, the men had to clear their way through a mass of driftwood, or embarras, and at one point the men had to pull the boat through a half-mile of rough current.

They camped that night a few miles below Lexington on the edge of a low bottom covered with rushes and a large lake (which survives as today's Hicklin Lake). The area abounded with birds of every kind and large herds of deer. Clark noted that the fertile bottom on the north side of the river was situated high enough to allow settlements. On the south side, where they camped, the lands rose gradually, and Capt. William Clark noted that the soil was of good quality and the lands well watered. On June 20, they passed a beautiful prairie on the starboard (right) side known as "Saukee Prairie," and equally beautiful timbered highlands on the larboard (left) side. It was these fertile wooded uplands that Lexington would be founded in 1822. Clark mentioned seeing pelicans on a sandbar and also noted that his African-American servant York nearly lost an eye when one of the men playfully threw sand into it.

The river's current was excessively swift and most of the day was spent cordelling the boats (towing them with ropes). The French engagés had a particularly difficult time with the red pirogue and eventually had to jump into the river and push the boat upstream. After making only 6.75 miles, the men camped on the lower point of a willow island about two miles above present-day Lexington.

HICKLIN LAKE

Few people today realize that Hicklin Lake, a few miles below Lexington, once had a more sinister name and reputation among Missouri River boatman. Henry Marie Brackenridge in his Journal of a Voyage Up the Missouri River In 1811, described the island near the lake as the "Island of the Sorcerer" and noted that superstitious boatmen believed a wizard lived there. These boatmen, Brackenridge says, "declare that a man has been frequently seen on the sand beach, at this point, but that he suddenly disappears on the approach of anyone."

Duke Paul Württemberg, in his journey up the Missouri in 1823, noted in his journal that the right bank of the river in the vicinity on the lake was "bounded by low hills and touches upon a swamp, Marais du Socier [Swamp of the Sorcerer], which has the worst reputation among the aborigines and immigrants and gives occasion to all sorts of rumors and stories."

Capt. William Clark was apparently unaware of the forbidding reputation of the lake and nearby island and in fact thought of the lake as a wildlife paradise. He observed that the "Lake is Said to abound in all kinds of fowls" and the "great quantities of Deer frequent this Lake dureing Summer Season, and feed on the hows [haws] &c. &c. they find on the edges."

"Must Sees"at this location":
Lexington, is full of history. Battle of Lexington Historic Site, Saluda Steamboat Memorial, Cannon ball embedded in courthouse column.


Date Waymark Created: 05/09/2008

Do they allow dogs at this location?: Yes

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YoSam. visited Hicklin Lake - Lexington, MO 8/15/2007 YoSam. visited it

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