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February 27, 2007 > Lewis & Clark visit Hayward

Lewis & Clark visit Hayward

By Diane Curry, Curator/Archivist

Following in the footsteps of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as they searched for the Northwest Passage, contemporary photographer and local Hayward area resident, Greg MacGregor traces the historic 19th century journey west to see the route as it exists today. The Hayward Area Historical Society Museum presents "Lewis & Clark Revisited: A Trail in Modern Day," an exhibition includes 60 stunning black and white images chronicling the 200 years of human inhabitance, will be on display from March 3 - June 2, 2007 at the downtown Hayward museum, 22701 Main Street. A free opening reception for the general public featuring the music of the Fiddler's Jamboree and light refreshments will be held on Thursday, March 8 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson organized an exploration of the western portion of the continent. He gave the job to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. They were to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean, something that Jefferson hoped would open the west to commerce and settlement by Americans and eventually force the British to give up control of the territory to the northwest of the Mississippi River. For two years, the expedition traveled throughout the west, finally reaching the Pacific Ocean via the Columbia River in November 1905. While Lewis and Clark trekked across the future nation, the Spanish missions in California were already well established. Military posts, small settlements of Spanish colonists, rudimentary agriculture and travel marked California as not quite a thriving place but a least a settled one. While Lewis and Clark did not venture to California or find a water passage to the Pacific, they did successfully open the western frontier to the concept of settlement by Americans.

Using the Lewis and Clark journals as his guide, MacGregor follows the original path as much as possible and captures vivid images along the way. From the staring point of the expedition in St. Charles, Missouri to the Oregon coast and back again, the Lewis and Clark Revisited: a Train in Modern Day exhibition pairs MacGregor's photographs with journal entries form the Lewis and Clark diaries, showing the transformation of the land and its people. "It was important for me to get back to the locations mentioned in the journals but once there, I looked for contemporary overlay on that historic site," says Greg MacGregor. Images capture the Missouri River where sections fo the original riverbanks have been completely altered by bridges, hydroelectric dams, and other modern amenities. Yet in other areas, the scenery resembles what the Corps of Discovery must have seen two centuries ago.

"Lewis and Clark Revisited" speaks to the legacy of those early explorers who opened up the west to a young nation's imagination and settlement and, at the same time, provides a rich visual commentary on contemporary American life.

Lewis and Clark Revisited: A Trail in Modern Day
A traveling exhibition from the California Exhibition Resources Alliance (CERA)
Saturday, March 3 - Saturday, June 2
Hayward Area Historical Society Museum
Tuesday - Saturday: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
22701 Main St., Hayward
(510) 581-0223

Opening Reception:
Thursday, March 8th
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.

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