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The Oregon Trail - Marysville, KS
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 50.520 W 096° 37.375
14S E 703384 N 4412924
Quick Description: History of Mormons and Oregon bound settlers crossing this area.
Location: Kansas, United States
Date Posted: 3/1/2015 6:05:41 AM
Waymark Code: WMNEPF
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cosninocanines
Views: 0

Long Description:

County of mark: Marshall County
Location: US-36, alongside hwy, 1 mile E. of Marysville
Erected by: Kansas Historical Society and State Highway Commission

Marker Text:

A few miles below Marysville was the famous ford on the Oregon Trail known as the Independence, Mormon or California crossing. There thousands of covered wagons with settlers bound for Oregon, Mormons for Utah and gold seekers for California crossed the Big Blue River. In 1849 a ferry and trading post was established at the ford by Frank J. Marshall despite constant danger from Indians. Two years later the military road between Forts Leavenworth and Kearny crossed the river at the site of present Marysville, one mile west. Marshall built another ferry and for years handled an immense traffic. He gave the name of his wife, Mary to the town that developed here and his own name to Marshall County of which it is the county seat. In 1860 Marysville became a station on the Pony Express. For most of the 1860s it was an important stopping place for coaches of the great Overland Stage Line.

All the Oregon Trail spots in Marshall County can be seen here, with photos

"It is estimated that 300,000 people traveled to the West Coast during the 20 years after the first caravan went to Oregon in 1841. Almost all of these people traveled through northeast Kansas along what became known as the Oregon Trail. This road, also called the Oregon-California Trail, was a 2,000-mile route beginning at Independence, Missouri, and continuing west and north to the Columbia River Valley in Oregon or west then south to the gold fields of California.

"Kansas was the gathering point for wagon trains. The main trail entered the state at Kansas City, but other branches crossed the Missouri River at St. Joseph and later at Atchison and Leavenworth. Trail junctions and other landmarks in Kansas became assembly places where caravans were formed for the long trek west.

"Wagon trains journeying from Independence usually spent the first or second night at Lone Elm campground in Johnson County. A few miles to the west there was an important junction: One road turned southwest toward Santa Fe, the other went northwest toward Oregon. Parties bound for the Northwest found that the steep banks of the Wakarusa and Vermillion Rivers made crossing difficult. At Topeka there were two ferries across the Kansas River, one operated by the Pappan brothers near present-day downtown Topeka, the other by Sidney Smith west of the city. At the Red Vermillion crossing in Pottawatomie County, Louis Vieux built a toll bridge. Charging one dollar per wagon he made as much as $300 in a day.

"The Potawatomi Baptist Mission at Topeka, the Catholic mission at St. Marys, and Scott Spring near Westmoreland were popular stopping places, but the most prominent Kansas site was Alcove Spring. An early traveler described it as "a beautiful cascade of water. . .altogether one of the most romantic stops I ever saw." The spring hosted John C. Frémont, Marcus Whitman, Mormons, gold-seekers, and the ill-fated Donner party. One member of that group, Sarah Keyes, was buried nearby.

"Near Alcove Spring is Independence Crossing, where thousands of wagons forded the Big Blue River. North of Marysville, the road from St. Joseph joined the main trail.

"Because Kansas was not open to settlement during the heyday of the Oregon Trail, few who traveled across this area ever lived here. Many, however, wrote of the beauty and fertility of the land. Their descriptions of the Kansas and Blue River valleys helped dispel the myth of the "Great American Desert" and encouraged others later to settle in Kansas." kansapedia - Kansas Historical Society

Road of Trail Name: The Oregon Trail

State: Kansas

County: Marshall County

Historical Significance:
This was tcalled the California or Mormon or Independence Crossing. They had to cross the Big Blue River to continue on westward. New homes for many, religious freedom for Mormons, gold for the adventurers.

Years in use: 841 to approx 1867

How you discovered it:
Looking for Pony Express markers in this area

Book on Wagon Road or Trial:
Historical Topographic Maps - OREGON TRAIL MAP KANSAS (1/7) (KS) BY J. FREMONT/E. WEBER & CO. 1846 - Matte Art Paper

Website Explination:
Wikipedia's view on the subject:

New homes for many, religious freedom for Mormons, gold for the adventurers.

US 36 (The Pony Express Highway) just east of the city limits....can not miss it.

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