hartfordHartford sits at the southernmost part of the byway and is often a starting point for many byway travelers. More than 200 years ago, Lewis & Clark made the village of Hartford their winter home as they established their first camp, Camp River Dubois. It was here that the men prepared for their westward journey. At the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, it was here that the Corps of Discovery departed on May 14, 1804.
Nearly 100 years after Lewis & Clark's departure, the village of Hartford was settled as a rail, river, road and commercial community, the type of industrial center which remains today. Visitors to Hartford will want to be sure that they take the time to explore the Lewis & Clark State Historic Site. This 14,000 square foot facility is dedicated to telling the story of Lewis and Clark in Illinois and at Camp River Dubois. The museum consists of six exhibit galleries, a theater, a full-scale 55-foot "cutaway keelboat" and a fortified encampment. The museum is the largest heritage site dedicated to Lewis & Clark east of the Rocky Mountains.
In 2010, the village opened its newest attraction - the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower. From platforms at 50, 100 and 150 feet in the air, visitors are able to look down on the confluence of the Missouri & Mississippi rivers, where the journey began.
For more information on Hartford, visit their community website at www.hartfordillinois.net