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A life-size version of this pirogue now showing at the Cass County Museum is coming to Plattsmouth early next year. Museum officials are planning to showcase the pirogue next to the log cabin and caboose on the east end of Main Street.

PLATTSMOUTH – A piece of history is coming back to Cass County – after 214 years.

It’s a full-size replica of the white pirogue (boat) used by Lewis and Clark during their expedition to the West in the early 19th century.

The Cass County Historical Society Museum plans on purchasing the 50-foot-long wood pirogue from its builder, Butch Bouvier of Onawa, Iowa, after he completes his personal voyage in it this fall, said H. Margo Prentiss, museum curator.

Once it arrives, perhaps early next year, the museum plans on putting it next to the log cabin and caboose historical exhibit on East Main Street, she said. In the meantime, a shelter for the pirogue is to be built, she added.

“It will be an attraction for people,” Prentiss said. “Lewis and Clark came through here in 1804.”

The expedition actually camped in what is now Cass County, just downstream from present day Plattsmouth, on July 20, 1804, and reached the mouth of the Platte River the next day, according to information Prentiss provided.

Besides being 50 feet long, the pirogue is 10 feet high and 16 feet wide, she said.

For several weeks now, a small-scale version of the pirogue has been on display in the museum.

“It gives people an idea of what the full-size pirogue will look like,” Prentiss said.

Bouvier, who loaned this version to the museum, plans on picking it up soon, according to Prentiss.

“Butch helped the restoration of our log cabin and so we knew him from that,” she said.

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