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From June 26 through 29, 1804, The Lewis and Clark Expedition camped at Kaw Point at the river's mouth. They complimented the scenery and noted the area would be a good location for a fort.
Indigenous (Native) Americans, used the river for transportation long before any Europeans knew of its existence. Their canoes, and the pirogues of the French fur traders, had a negligible draft and easily navigated the river at any water level.