On April 29 the Chapter will be doing a tour to view all the sites in the Helena Canyon that have Lewis and Clark signage. The Chapter installed them a few years ago and it is time to make a check to see how they are holding up, etc. etc. We know one of the signs needs to be replaced because it has some wrong information on it. We will be checking the others to make sure we are telling the right story at the right place. Anyone who wants to come along is welcome; just meet at Tower Rock parking lot at 1:00 pm.
The next tour planned is a trip to Fort Benton on May 26 to take in the dedication ceremonies they are having there for the new additions to the old fort. The bourgeois house has been completed and will be the focus of the ceremonies. While the outside is a faithful reproduction, the inside has been adapted for some other uses. One large room on the ground floor has been made into an art gallery. They have a full collection of the 81 Bodmier prints that will be displayed there. They have also made a long term agreement with the Montana Historical Society and will be displaying Bob Scriver's Blackfeet series of 53 bronzes that tell the story of those folks.
I am currently reading a new book titled "The First Frontier" by Scott Weidensaul. The author tells about the early European settlements in the eastern part of the United States during the 1500's - 1700's. As I was reading along much to my surprise a familiar name jumps up off the page at me --Weiser. Not the Peter Weiser of the Corps of Discovery, but Conrad Weiser who was the son of a German emigrant by the name of John Weiser who arrived in the New World in 1710. Some beginning research shows a direct tie between Conrad and Peter. Although not completely determined it looks like Conrad was Peter's grandfather or great uncle. Conrad was quite a figure in early Pennsylvania history during the mid 1700's. If Peter inherited any of his qualities it is no wonder he did well on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Peter Weiser was born in the Tulpehocken valley in 1781. This is the same place Conrad Weiser moved his family to and farmed about 60 years earlier. I have not yet determined how many, if any, of Conrad's brothers or sisters also lived there.
The other aspect of this part of the story is that the author gives a good description of what kind of people Jefferson was referring to later when he said men accustomed to life on the frontier.