Rural Missouri Magazine

Lewis and Clark Monument Trailhead Plaza
Jefferson City, Mo.

by Jason Jenkins

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark first passed through what would become the Jefferson City area in June 1804. They led a military expedition, known as the Corps of Discovery, tasked with exploring the Louisiana Purchase territory.

Now, more than 200 years later, the explorers have returned to the capital city in a new monument commemorating their journey in bronze. In June, state and local officials unveiled the new Lewis and Clark Monument Trailhead Plaza, a five-figure memorial depicting Lewis, Clark, George Drouillard, an interpreter and scout, York, a slave, and a Newfoundland dog named Seaman in heroic-sized fashion.

Located near the corner of Jefferson Street and Capitol Avenue, east of the Capitol, the larger-than-life statues overlook the Jefferson Landing Historic Site and the river.

Designed by Columbia artist Sabra Tull Meyer, the monument weighs more than 2,000 pounds. The figures are surrounded by 1,100 tons of native stone reminiscent of the Missouri River’s majestic limestone bluffs. The plaza’s design allows visitors to get up close and personal with the statues. The site also features two waterfalls, a central viewing plaza with benches and a drinking fountain designed for both people and pets.

Eventually, the trailhead will connect the Katy Trail to the Capitol and Jefferson City’s greenway trail network once the Missouri River pedestrian bridge is completed.
The project cost more than $1.3 million, funded through a federal transportation grant, state and city matching funds and in-kind services, and private donations.

For more information about the monument, contact the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau at 573-632-2820, or go online to


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