Near Soda Springs in Caribou County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
The route of US 30 traces its origin to the early 1900s. Until that time, the current route was but a well-traveled wagon road parallel with the Oregon Short Line railroad. In the spring of 1903, Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson became the first person to cross the United States in a car, following portions of what is now US 30 in Idaho and Wyoming. Dr. Jackson started his trek in San Francisco in a 20-horsepower Winton touring car he called "Vermont" (honoring the state in which he and his wife Bertha lived), and the final destination was Burlington, Vermont. His traveling companions were Sewall K. Crocker and a bulldog, Bud.
At the time of Horatio Jackson's trek, only 150 miles of paved road existed in the country, and gas stations and road maps were non-existent. This spur-of-the-moment trip, partially based on a bet, unknowingly turned into a race. Both the Packard and Oldsmobile companies sent their respective automobiles from California with hope of passing Jackson and claiming the title for first automobile to travel across the U.S.
It took 63 days to complete the journey, during which the trek merged with present-day Highway
Erected by America's Byways.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Roads & Vehicles. A significant historical date for this entry is July 23, 1903.
Location. 42° 38.862′ N, 111° 42.124′ W. Marker is near Soda Springs, Idaho, in Caribou County. Marker is on Soda Point Power Plant Road near Reservoir Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1599 Soda Point Power Plant Road, Soda Springs ID 83276, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Guiding Landmark... (here, next to this marker); William Henry Harrison (here, next to this marker); The Value Of A Shortcut (a few steps from this marker); John Bidwell (a few steps from this marker); Bear River Lava (a few steps from this marker); Hudspeth Cutoff (a few steps from this marker); Fort Hall (a few steps from this marker); Sheep Rock Geology (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Soda Springs.
Regarding Horatio's Journey. They arrived in New York City on July 26, 1903, 63 days, 12 hours, and 30 minutes after commencing their journey in San Francisco, in the first automobile to successfully cross the North American continent.
If you haven't seen the Ken Burn/PBS
Also see . . .
1. Horatio Nelson Jackson. Wikipedia biography (Submitted on April 28, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
2. Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip. Wikipedia entry on the Ken Burns film (2003) (Submitted on April 28, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 9, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 919 times since then and 187 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week July 21, 2019. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 9, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. 4, 5. submitted on July 21, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.