Do you ever wonder if Lewis or Clark ever thought to themselves when they were banking the campfire at Traveler’s Rest, “I am totally making history right now!”? Well, that is exactly what they did when archaeologists discovered in 2002 the ONLY physical evidence of the explorers, including fire hearths in an area of Traveler’s Rest that served as a campsite for the Corps of Discovery.
Even more amazing is that in 1999, the park was put on the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list because the site’s integrity was threatened by nearby Lolo’s community development. That listing helped to spur action by conservation partners, such as the National Trust, to protect the landscape as a state park. Land purchases and donations increased the size of the park several times over the years, and a visitor center opened in 2005 to serve the park’s 37,000 annual visitors.
Traveler’s Rest was named to the list of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” success stories by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Traveler’s Rest State Park joins the ranks of other such historic sites as the Little Rock Central High School and President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldier’s Home as a place of history that is thriving and contributing to the education and future of our community.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has used their annual list to help bring attention to examples of our nation’s cultural heritage that are at risk of being lost forever. If you would like to learn more about what you can do to support the hundreds of sites that remain endangered, please visit www.SavingPlaces.org/11Most
For more information on Traveler’s Rest, please visit www.travelersrest.org