THE CALIFORNIA-OREGON TRAIL


From the 1830's to the 1870's, the 2,000-mile road
connecting Missouri river towns with California and
Oregon was America's greatest transcontinental highway.
Several routes led west from the river, converging into
one trail by the time Fort Kearny (Neb.) vicinity
was reached. One of them began near present Kansas
City and passed this point, crossing Rock creek not far
from the highway bridge.

Here a great campground was located because of the
several fine springs in the vicinity. Scott spring, 180
yard north, still offers the "delicious cold water"
mentioned by one traveler in 1846. Local legend says
that at times the whole of what is now the Westmoreland
townsite was covered by the camps of travelers, their
wagons and cattle. Nearby are the graves of several
pioneers who died on the trail. One unidentified grave
is located just north of the spring.

From a point about two miles south of this marker
Kansas highway 99 follows the trail to Westmoreland.
In places, ruts of the old trail may still be seen from
the modern traveler's car window.

Erected by the Kansas Historical Society and State Highway Commission
Historical marker on K-99
South of Westmoreland
Marker text sent by Mike LeMasters, Wichita, KS

More  Historical Markers


February 2, 1999 / Bob Walter / Wichita, Kansas / history@kslib.info

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