Pawnee Rock in Barton County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
“Along Came the Line of Wagons”
Slowly along came the line of wagons, and the prairie breeze brought us, in sound, faint and far between, the driverís invocations to their mules.
Matthew C. Field, journalist
From 1821 until the late 1860s the Santa Fe Trail ran about two hundred yards south of here. If you were standing here while traveling west on the “road to Santa Fe” in the 1860s, your wagon caravan left Independence, Missouri, about three weeks ago. The Hispanic and Anglo drivers are keeping the oxen and mules moving at a steady pace of one and one-half miles an hour. You are almost at the halfway point of your 780 mile journey.
Yesterday, you camped at Walnut Creek crossing, sixteen miles back up the road. Fort Larned is west-southwest of here some fourteen miles away.
Today the vehicles you see on US 56 Highway could have been in Independence only six hours ago.
Listen to the muffled roar of the trucks, hauling goods both east and west. Do these modern freighters realize they are following a major commercial highway that has been in existence for at least 175 years?
John Binghamís 1848 Table of Distances on the Kansas Section of the Santa Fe Trail
Erected by Kansas State Historical Society.
Marker series. Santa Fe Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 16.327′ N, 98° 58.908′ W. Marker is in Pawnee Rock, Kansas, in Barton County. Click for map. Marker is along the walking path atop Pawnee Rock, at Pawnee Rock State Historical Site, off SW 112th Avenue/Center Street. Marker is in this post office area: Pawnee Rock KS 67567, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "A Point of Red Rocks" (here, next to this marker); "A Rallying Point for the Indians" (a few steps from this marker); Nehemiah Carson (a few steps from this marker); Marking the Rock (within shouting distance of this marker); “One of the Grandest Sights Ever Beheld” (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named “One of the Grandest Sights Ever Beheld” (within shouting distance of this marker); Santa Fe Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); William Becknell (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Pawnee Rock.
Also see . . .
1. Santa Fe National Historic Trail. (Submitted on April 7, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Santa Fe Trail Association. (Submitted on April 7, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Environment • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Roads & Vehicles •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 279 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.