Kearney in Buffalo County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Great Platte River Road
The trail which followed the south side of the Platte River was the main route to Oregon and California. Fur traders going to the Rocky Mountains took the first wagons over the trail in 1830. Oregon-bound missionaries followed in the mid-1830s, and the first group of settlers embarked for Oregon in 1841. The number of emigrants reached 40,000 in 1849 after gold was discovered in California.
Most emigrants traveled in ox-drawn wagons averaging about fifteen miles a day. In the 1850s and 1860s, freight wagons and stagecoaches carrying passengers and mail used the road. From April 1860 until October 1861, the Pony Express carried mail from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California.
Fort Kearny (1848-1871), east of here, provided protection and supplies for travelers. Supplies could also be purchased at nearby Dobytown. One of many road ranches along the Oregon-California trail was located just southeast of this marker.
Wagon travel on this overland route declined following the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869.
Erected by Citizens of the Area and Nebraska State Historical Society. (Marker Number 364.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society, and the The Great Platte River Road marker series.
Location. Click for map. Marker is at a roadside rest area sponsored by local Kiwanis clubs, about one mile south of Intersate 80 Exit 272. Marker is in this post office area: Kearney NE 68845, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dobytown (approx. 2.2 miles away); Boyd House (approx. 2.3 miles away); German Baptist Church of the Brethren (approx. 2.3 miles away); Loup River Freighter Hotel (approx. 2.3 miles away); Shelton Union Pacific Depot (approx. 2.3 miles away); Baldwin Engine 481 (approx. 2.4 miles away); Historic Kearney (approx. 2.4 miles away); Site of Bauer Drug (approx. 2.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Kearney.
Also see . . .
1. The Great Platte River Road. (Submitted on March 7, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
2. The Great Platte River Road at Wikipedia. (Submitted on March 7, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
3. Great Platte River Road Archway Monument. (Submitted on March 7, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
Categories. • Forts, Castles • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 445 times since then and 94 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.