Talk at Lewis & Clark Trail State Park probes Lewis' fate

The debate over whether the explorer killed himself or was killed by another comes to a local park Saturday.

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WAITSBURG -- Whether Capt. Meriwether Lewis was murdered or died by his own hand is still a mystery 200 years after his death on the Natchez Trace in Tennessee. Or was his death caused by something less sinister?

History buffs will have a chance to hear a short talk that discusses the possibilities and merits of each theory.

The staff and volunteers at Lewis & Clark Trail State Park will offer a program Saturday to mark the 200th anniversary of Lewis' death as he traveled to Washington City.

Those attending the program will be able to participate in a conversation between President Thomas Jefferson, portrayed by local historian Greg Bye and Lewis, portrayed by historical re-enactor Glen Allison.

The program will focus on the personalities of Jefferson and Lewis, according to Gary Lentz, ranger at the park.

"Capt. Lewis had spent nearly a year and a half as President Jefferson's personal secretary prior to departing on his epic journey of discovery. Imagine the conversations and exchange of information and dreams between these two great figures of our American past," Lentz said.

The program will be presented Saturday at 2 p.m. at the day use kitchen shelter area. The shelter is located on the south side of U.S. Highway 12.

The program is free, but donations are appreciated.

Visitors are encouraged to bring their own comfortable seating and questions for President Jefferson and Capt. Lewis. The program is expected to last 45 to 60 minutes.

The park is located 4.5 miles east of Waitsburg or five miles west of Dayton on U.S. Highway 12. For more information contact the park ranger at 509-337-6457.

Carrie Chicken can be reached at cec@innw.net or 522-5289.

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