Of Salt Makers, John Clymer says, “When the Lewis and Clark party reached the mouth of the Columbia River, they decided to winter near the Pacific Ocean. They chose a spot on the south side of the Columbia, on a high point of land above a small river emptying into a small bay. There they build a fort and established their winter quarters, which they called Fort Clatsop. From the fort, they sent a party of men out to the coast for the purpose of setting up a camp and a salt-making operation. The camp was on the coast about fifteen miles southwest of Fort Clatsop, near the lodges of some ‘Killamuck and Clatsop’ Indians. There they found a place near a fresh stream of water running into the ocean and plenty of wood for fires. They build a stone cairn which would accommodate the five large kettles for boiling sea water.
By keeping the kettles filled and the fires going day and night, they were able to obtain from three-quarters to a gallon of salt a day. On February 21, 1806, when they abandoned camp, they had about twenty gallons in all. They thought this would be sufficient to last them until they reached their caches on the Missouri River.
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