South Idaho Farm Relic Likely Left Behind By Lewis & Clark Scout
Yellowstone National Park celebrated its 150 anniversary in 2022. It took decades of exploration and fatalities from those who braved horrendous conditions to put the country on notice of what a marvel this region spanning Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming was.
The first time I visited Yellowstone National Park I had a very tough time leaving. The history, abundance of wildlife, the majesty of the thermal pools, and awe-inspiring waterfalls make the park truly one of a kind. It is the oldest-founded park in the world.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition scoured the northern United States in the early nineteenth century. The team was assembled 68 years before Congress officially established Yellowstone National Park in 1872. President Ulysses S. Grant's signing of the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act that year paved the way for preparations to be made to welcome the world to the park.
John Colter was a scout for the Lewis and Clark exploration party, and it's documented that he traveled a different route taken by most members of the party that likely led him through the western portion of Yellowstone Park. Although there's no actual record of the famed mountain man being within the boundaries of what would become Yellowstone, a farmer found something very interesting on his property in 1933.
The stone, which has become known as, "The Colter Stone," had his name carved into it and was discovered near modern-day Tetonia, according to yellowstonepark.com. The artifact has been labeled a hoax by some historians, but the man who found it claimed to not know anything about the famous pioneer, so the relic may very well be a part of early Yellowstone exploration history.
I watched the Yellowstone 150-Year Anniversary documentary produced by actor Kevin Costner over the weekend, and although some claim it's riddled with inaccuracies, it's still worth streaming for the cinematography alone.