Throughout the ages art has been closely associated with recording history. Many of the great works of art are treasured because of the historical story they tell. That link is very evident with Lewis and Clark history. Many statues and paintings have been rendered by artists to visually record the Expedition's legacy. It has been said that more statues depicting Sacajawea have been done than any other woman in the entire nation.
In the Great Falls area three sculptors have created four larger than life size bronzes that pay tribute to that story and preserve its history. Joe Halco produced "Seaman" while Carol Grende did "Sacajawea: arduous journey". Bob Scriver created "The Explorers at the Marias" and "The Explorers at the Portage".
The Explorers at the Marias
Creating this statue was a nationally recognized project during the American Revolutionary Bicentennial in 1976. It is the official Montana memorial to the Lewis and Clark Expedition as designated by the 1929 state legislature and re-affirmed by the 1975 state legislature.
The project to create and place this statue on the river levee in Fort Benton was done entirely with private funding. About 15,000 people attended the dedication ceremonies in a town with a population of about 2,000.
The Explorers at the Portage
This was a major project done during the Montana statehood centennial in 1989. It is a tribute to the Corps of Discovery and their time and work as they portaged the Great Falls of the Missouri in June of 1805 and re-portaged those same waterfalls in July of 1806.
This statue stands on a hill overlooking the confluence of the Sun (Medicine) River on the Missouri. Just below this statue is where Clark and his portage survey crew stopped for supper on June 18, 1805.
Sacajawea: arduous journey
This statue was done during the Lewis and Clark bicentennial. Three of these 9 1/2 foot tall statues were cast with one being placed in Lewiston, Idaho; one in Dayton, Washington; and one in Great Falls, Montana. The Portage Route Chapter owns the one in Great Falls, pictured here.
This statue of Lewis' faithful companion resides at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center overlooking the Missouri River. The last journal entry that mentions Seaman was penned by Captain Lewis at the Great Falls of the Missouri in July of 1806, giving rise to the question of whether or not Seaman actually made it all the way back to St. Louis with the rest of the Corps of Discovery.