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Lewis's Branding Iron


s the Yellowstone began to draw increasing numbers of traders, trappers, soldiers, and emigrants around the middle of the 19th century, the number of irrepressible fools with suitable tools increased proportionately. After 1882, passengers on Northern Pacific Railroad passenger trains routinely stopped nearby away to allow tourists to climb the rock for a look. The superintendent of the Yellowstone Division had an iron grille anchored over Clark's tag, to protect it from vandalism. The grille was removed in 1927 to enable professional stone cutters to deepen the inscription in several places where rain had eroded it, and was replaced in 1956 with a sheet of one-inch shatterproof glass set in a bronze frame.

--Joseph Mussulman

Lewis's Branding Iron

From Discovering Lewis & Clark ®, http://www.lewis-clark.org © 1998-2014
by The Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, Washburn, North Dakota.
Journal excerpts are from The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, edited by Gary E. Moulton
13 vols. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983-2001)