No one can dispute the contributions of the Lewis and Clark expedition in exploring and charting the great Northwest, but southern Idahoans actually owe more to the Astorians, the explorers who worked for fur-trapping magnate John Jacob Astor. Two of the most famous Astorians were Wilson Price Hunt and Robert Stuart, the first Euro-Americans to explore and document southern Idaho. In fact, they established the first permanent American settlements in the Pacific Northwest and discovered the route that would eventually be known as the Oregon Trail.
The CSI North Side Center presents “First Encounters: The Astorian Fur Traders,” a presentation by local historian Ron James at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8. James teaches English and advanced placement literature and composition at Canyon Ridge High School and is an adjunct Cultural Anthropology instructor at the College of Southern Idaho.
“First Encounters” is an overview of the Astorian fur traders who came through this area between 1811 and 1814. Their adventures - and misadventures - are some of the most exciting, dramatic, and tragic to take place in the history of the Old West.
Admission to the lecture is free. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the College of Southern Idaho North Side Center, 202 14th Avenue in Gooding. For more information, call 934-8678.