Nearly two centuries ago, William Clark and an expedition of 10 men, made its way up the Long Beach Peninsula approximately four miles.
Clark found a pine tree overlooking the beach and the Pacific Ocean, and carved his name and the date, Nov. 19, 1805.
Historians believe the tree remained in the same place for nearly 100 years when it was removed to make room for the growing population of settlers.
At the end of October, a bronze replica of the tree will be put in place on the Discovery Trail, remembering the first white men to explore and marvel at the grandeur of the region.
Long Beach Mayor Dale Jacobson said the tree will be loaded on a barge and transported down the Columbia River, stopping at various points to educate communities about its importance to the history of the area and to celebrate the Lewis and Clark bicentennial.
He said the tree would be placed on the barge in Clarkston Sept. 20 then travel to the port of Kennewick for Sept. 24 and Sept. 25. The tree will travel to Hood River for Sept. 28 and Sept. 29, followed by a stop in Portland on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3. The tree will then travel to Vancouver for display on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4, before traveling to Longview on Oct. 6 and Oct. 7, where the barge will pick up a second sculpture for the trail, a bronze relief of the Cascade Range and the Columbia River.
The barge will travel to Astoria where it will be on display at the Columbia River Maritime Museum Oct. 9 and Oct. 10. Then, on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12 both statues and the barge will arrive at Ilwaco for a ceremony of welcome.
Jacobson and others involved hope the voyage will bring national media attention to the Long Beach area.
Long Beach City Administrator Nabiel Shawa said much work needs to be done, even though the tree will not arrive until October.
"We really can't finish the surrounding detail work until the tree is put in place," said Shawa. "We have to bring heavy equipment out to set it place. Even after that there will be some manipulation because the way the artist has developed the tree and roots to hang out on the east side, the leeward side. We will probably do a dedication on it in November, but really what we are looking for is completion by Memorial Day 2004."
Jacobson said the majority of his effort is raising funds.
"I came up with this idea and told everybody about it, but that put me in a corner because now I had to do it," he said. "We called the barge companies and found out you have to rent the barge and a tug for the whole time. That was going to be very expensive.
So he called Stan Anderson in San Diego, Calif., who has a summer home on the North Coast. "I told him I was looking for someone to take that tree down the river for me. Stan said 'Can I really?'"
The city needs to finds a way to pay for the diesel fuel for barge, but Anderson has agreed to haul it for free.