Lewis and Clark Trail.com Re-live the Adventure


Lewis and Clark History

Cache Pit

The cache pit played an extremely important role in the survival of the Upper Missouri Tribes.  A families entire winter food supply was stored in these structures.

Custom Search

Quick Links

Follow Lewis and Clark Trail on Twitter  Lewis and Clark Trail - Facebook

Cache Pit Continued ...

Families had various numbers of cache pits.  Some dug inside of the lodge and some dug outside of the families lodge.  These pits were also used for cool storage in the summers. 

Cache pit pictured was constructed according to the description by


     Construction: "Two women worked together in a cache pit, one helping the other out."  "The digging and storing of a cache was women's work."

     Bottom Skin Covering:  "The bottom of small cache pits were covered with a small circular piece of skin.  The skin was cut to fit the bottom and was laid directly on the grass matting that covered the willow floor.  If the cache pit was large, we fitted into the bottom the skin cover of a bull boat, with the willow frame removed."  "A Trench for the puncheon cover of the mouth was the very last part of the cache pit to be dug."


 Strings of Corn:  These were the first to be placed in the cache pit.  They were placed snugly against the wall of the cache pit, on the bottom skin covering, with the tips of the ears pointing inwards.  These strings of corn had been dried on the stage.

Shelled or Loose Corn:  Second was the loose corn.  The corn was poured into the cache pit until it was level with the strings of corn but not covering them.  This corn had been threshed in a booth under the drying stage.  The smaller ears of dried corn were threshed.

Dried Squash:  The squash was coiled and piled up in the center of the cache pit upon the dried corn.  The squash was sliced, skewed on a spit, and dried on the stage.

Beans:  The beans were sometimes placed in cache pits that were outside of the lodges.  The beans were put in a bag or bags.  The bags were made of skin and about as long as one's arm.





Lewis and Clark Trail maps on this web site were provided courtesy of the National Park Service
GPO 1991-557-779

Copyright 2011, LewisAndClarkTrail.com - all rights reserved. LewisAndClarkTrail.com and "Re-live the Adventure" are trademarks.
Reproduction of any part of this web site, for any use, is prohibited without prior approval of LewisAndClarkTrail.com.

Main Page  | Lewis and Clark History  | Travel the Lewis and Clark Trail  | Communities along the Trail  |  Maps  | Lodging | Lewis and Clark Bookstore | National Parks