Nebraska City-Fort Kearny Cut-Oﬀ
Massive freighting of supplies by ox and mule trains was a direct result of the establishment of Fort Kearny and other western military posts. The Mormon War and the discovery of gold in the territories of Colorado and Montana increased this trade, and Nebraska City became a major freighting center between 1858 and 1865. Early freighters used the Ox-Bow Trail which looped northward to the Platte Valley and west to Fort Kearny. The competition with other Missouri River Towns forced the freighters to seek a shorter, quicker route. The new route, the Nebraska City-Fort Kearny Cut-off, passed near this point. It was originally marked by a plowed furrow of over 180 miles. In 1862 Joseph Brown brought to Nebraska his famed steam wagon, an invention that would hopefully revolutionize plains freighting. Bridges were constructed and other improvements were made to facilitate this machine. The experiment was a failure and the wagon never got beyond the outskirts of Nebraska City; even so, the cut-off is also known as the "Steam Wagon Road."
Overland freighting reached its peak in 1865 when over 44 million pounds of supplies were shipped from Nebraska City. The construction of the Union Pacific Railroad across Nebraska, however, signaled the end of major freighting on this trail.
Erected by Nebraska
Marker series. This marker is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society, and the Oregon Trail marker series.
Location. 40° 49.366′ N, 97° 33.428′ W. Marker is near York, Nebraska, in York County. Marker is on Interstate 80 at milepost 355.2, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Westbound I-80 Rest Area, York NE 68467, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Moving People and Goods on the Overland Trail (here, next to this marker); Nebraska's I-80 Bicentennial Sculptures (here, next to this marker); The Purple Heart (a few steps from this marker); Nebraska City Cut-Off of the Oregon Trail (approx. 3.2 miles away); York County Veterans Memorial (approx. 3.6 miles away); Fairmont Army Air Field (approx. 12.8 miles away); Fairmont Creamery Company (approx. 13.1 miles away); 1879 Exeter 1979 (approx. 13.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in York.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Also see . . . Nebraska City-Fort Kearney Cut-Off. (Submitted on December 21, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Roads & Vehicles •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 191 times since then and 66 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.