Near the 'First Village'
360° panoramic photo
Upon the expedition's return to "the quawmash flatts" on Weippe Prairie on June 10, 1806, Sergeant Ordway described his impression: "this level consists of about 2000 ackers of level Smooth prarie on which is not a tree or Shreub, but the lowest parts is covred with commass which is now all in blossom." It was, he added, "not good untill the Stalk is dead, then the natives assemble and collect their winters food in a short time."
We can imagine John digging a fistful of earth, squeezing it, sifting it between his fingers, sniffing his hand, squinting across the scene. Later, he smiles to himself as he writes, with a born farmer's delight, "the Soil is deep black & verry rich & easy for cultervation." (In fact, after the expedition was over he settled in Missouri, became a prosperous landowner, and developed two plantations of peach and apple orchards in famously fertile Tywappity Bottom, opposite the mouth of the Ohio.)
This panorama was photographed from the approximate location of the Indian lodges where Clark and his six hunters were welcomed by the Nez Perce occupants, who fed them buffalo meat, dried salmon, berries and roots, and camas bread.
Funded in part by a grant from the Idaho Governor's Lewis and Clark Trail Committee