Six miles northwest is Alcove Springs, named in 1846 by appreciative travelers on the Oregon trail who carved the name on the surrounding rocks and trees. One described the Springs as "a beautiful cascade of water... altogether one of the most romantic spots I ever saw."

          This country was well-known to early-day traders and "mountain men" as well as to later travelers to the Far West. John C. Fremont and his 1842 exploring expedition bivouacked at the Springs, and Marcus Whitman, with a thousand emigrants to Oregon, stopped there in 1843. Utah-bound Mormons and California-bound goldseekers followed, for only a short distance above was Independence Crossing, the famous ford across the Big Blue river. The Donner party, most of whom later froze or starved in the Sierras, buried its first member, Sarah Keyes, near the Springs in 1846.

          The great Tuttle Creek Reservoir at full pool level extends along the Big Blue from Independence Crossing southward nearly to Manhattan.

Erected by the Kansas Historical Society and State Highway Commission

Marshall County
Historical marker on US-77 & K9
North of Blue Rapids
Marshall County


Marker text sent by Mike LeMasters, Wichita, KS

May 10, 1999 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas /

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