Sacajawea Park - Three Forks, MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 45° 53.711 W 111° 33.158
12T E 457127 N 5082550
Across Main Street from the iconic Sacajawea Hotel there is today a park, Sacajawea Park, in which rests a bronze sculpture of Sacajawea, dedicated on January 23, 2005.
Waymark Code: WMW6T4
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 07/17/2017
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member DougK
Views: 4

In 1914 the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a plaque on a large boulder dedicated to Sacajawea, thereby creating Three Forks' first park, Sacajawea Park. Little more was done with the park until 2004-05, when the Three Forks Area Historical Society and the city of Three Forks renovated the park and commissioned local artist Mary Michael to create the 250-pound, life-and-a-quarter-size bronze. Completed March 15, it was dedicated July 23, 2005 to commemorate Sacajawea and the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806. The sculpture was mounted atop a square six foot tall plinth of flagstone with a heavy flagstone top, surrounded by large boulders.
The statue, which spent more than a year in development, depicts Sacajawea in a sitting position, holding her infant son, Pomp. The “coming home” theme descends from the legend of Sacajawea, much of which was memorialized in the journals of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in 1804-1806.

During the winter of 1804-05, Lewis and Clark stayed with the Mandan Indians in present-day central North Dakota, where they met Charbonneau, according to accounts of the expedition. They enlisted him as a guide in their quest for a northwest passage. They soon realized Charbonneau was virtually useless as a guide, but his wife, Sacajawea, about 16 at the time, proved invaluable to the explorers.

According to legend, when the Corps of Discovery reached the Missouri River Headwaters at Three Forks in July 1805, Sacajawea recognized the Tobacco Root Mountains to the southwest and knew she was “home.”

Though finding a water passage to the Pacific was their ultimate goal, Lewis and Clark’s first mission was to find the headwaters of the Missouri River. It is that connection to history that makes Three Forks, situated about five miles from the headwaters, a significant stop on the trail of Lewis and Clark, particularly during this, the bicentennial year, Sorensen said.
From the Belgrade News
The $50,000 project to bring Sacajawea “home” began in 2004, and grew to $78,000. To help raise funds, the Three Forks Area Historical Society is selling engraved bricks for $100 each, many of which are now part of large memorial stone walls at the park. Many people have bought bricks as memorials to loved ones who have passed away and, to date, what appears to be 200 to 300 have been sold and mounted on the walls in the park.

The project included renovation of the park, which included new landscaping with flower and shrub beds, stone benches, grassed areas and interlocking brick walkways.

Text from a plaque mounted in the plinth below the sculpture follows.
"Coming Home"

This statue was erected to commemorate Sacajawea and the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806. She was a member of the Corps of Discovery and was invaluable as an interpreter in obtaining horses from her Shoshone people, necessary to cross the western mountains. Her knowledge of food sources and recognition of landmarks near her homeland were also important contributions. Sacajawea and her infant exemplified the peaceful mission of the expedition.

Her story began here when a band of Agaidika (Shoshone) Indians traveled from the west to the Three Forks area to hunt buffalo in the fall of 1800. They were attacked by Hidatsa warriors. Sacajawea, then about 10-12 years old, was kidnapped and taken to their Knife River earth lodge villages in what is now North Dakota. Toussaint Charbonneau, a French-Canadian fur trapper, took her as a wife. February 11, 1805, she gave birth to Jean Baptiste, called "Pomp" by William Clark. They joined the expedition and arrived at the Missouri headwaters on July 27, 1805. The Corps camped on the Jefferson River for several days at the place of her people's encampment when she was captured-- about three miles from this site. Clark with his party, including Sacajawea and Pomp, passed through the headwaters on the return trip, July 13, 1806. Fact and fiction contribute to her rich legacy. She is one of our most admired American women.

Sculpture by Mary Michael
Commissioned by Three Forks Area Historical Society
Dedicated July 23. 2005
Several articles were published in local newspapers concerning the event of the dedication, one of which is reproduced below.
Three Forks
dedicates Sacajawea statue
Jul 14, 2005
The Three Forks Area Historical Society and the City of Three Forks will be dedicating the new Sacajawea “Coming Home” statue and park renovation at this year’s annual Festival of Discovery, on Saturday July 23, at 10 a.m.

Sacajawea was captured about a mile west of where the statue now resides in 1800 and she returned to the area on July 27, 1805, with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. A plaque placed on a large boulder was dedicated to Sacajawea in 1914 by the Daughters of the American Revolution at the site of Three Forks’ first park, Sacajawea Park. The boulder and plaque have been incorporated into the $78,000 park renovation. Sacajawea Park is located on South Main Street, across from the historic Sacajawea Hotel.

The dedication ceremony will be emceed by City of Three Forks Mayor Gene Townsend and will include a diverse number of speakers, including Paul Hetu, renovation committee chairman; Mary Michael, statue sculptor; Clint Blackwood, Montana L&C Bicentennial Commission; Roseanne Abrahamson, a descendant of Sacajawea; and Hal Stearns, who will be portraying Captain Clark.

Lemhi Shoshone Elders Camille George and Lucille Eldridge will end the dedication ceremony with a Native American blessing of the statue followed by a black powder gun salute by the Lewis and Clark Honor Guard, who will be encamped in Three Forks throughout the Festival of Discovery. The Honor Guard will also lead a procession to the Library Green (everyone welcome) immediately after the Park and Statue dedication.
From the Bozeman Daily Chronicle
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Name: Sacajawea Park

Street Location: 4 North Main Street, Three Forks, MT 59752

Local Municipality: City of Three Forks

State/Province, etc.: Montana

Country: United States

Web Site: [Web Link]

Memorial/Commemoration: Sacajawea

Date Established: 1914

Picnic Facilities: None

Recreational Facilities:
None - sit on the benches and enjoy.

Monuments/Statues: Sacajawea statue

Art (murals/sculpture, etc.): Sacajawea statue

Fountains: Not listed

Ponds/Lakes/Streams/Rivers/Beach: Not listed

Special Events: Not listed

Traditional Geocaches: Not listed

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