Camp River Dubois

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Camp River Dubois (1803-1804) - Established in 1803 by the Lewis and Clark Expedition on the east bank of the Mississippi River in present day Madison County, Illinois. Named for the nearby Wood River, then known by the French as the River Dubois. Abandoned in 1804 when the expedition departed. Also known as Camp Dubois.

Camp River Dubois Internal Building
Camp River Dubois Settler's Cabin
Camp River Dubois Replica


Camp River Dubois was established 13 Dec 1803 by the initial cadre of the Lewis & Clark Expedition to serve as a base camp for gathering men and supplies for their journey. The camp was a stockade with four buildings making up the corners and a single larger building at the center. The expedition spent the winter of 1803-1804 at the camp preparing for the two year trip. They left Camp River Dubois on 14 May 1804 and headed up the Missouri River toward the west coast. They spent the winter of 1804-1805 at Fort Mandan (1) in present day North Dakota. They reached the Pacific Ocean on 7 Nov 1805 at present day Cape Disappointment in Washington State. Their camp at the mouth of the Columbia River was called Fort Clatsop and was similar in design and construction to Camp River Dubois. After spending the winter of 1805-1806 at Fort Clatsop the expedition returned to Illinois, arriving on 23 Sep 1806.

Current Status

Must See! The camp is recreated in the Lewis & Clark State Historic Site, Madison County, Illinois. The museum in the visitor's center has an exceptional cutaway keel boat display that shows the complete 55' keel boat. One side of the boat is cut away to reveal the inside and illustrate how the supplies and cargo for the two year journey were stowed.

A second replica is located in Wood River, Illinois at the northeast corner of the intersection of routes 3 and 143. This replica was built by the Wood River Heritage Council and located closer to the actual site.

Location: Lewis & Clark State Historic Site, Madison County, Illinois. Map point is the recreated camp. The actual site is some 2 miles north perhaps in the Mississippi River, exact location unknown.

Maps & Images

Lat: 38.801651 Long: -90.10298

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: .....'

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Visited: 27 Aug 2012

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