“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Grace in Caribou County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)

California dreaming in 1841

California dreaming in 1841 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 10, 2019
1. California dreaming in 1841 Marker
Captions: (bottom left) An 1878 poster invited emigrants to consider California as a preferred destination with promises of wealth and unmatched climate.; (bottom right) Re-enactment of pioneers on the Oregon/California Trail, 2008.

(map at center) Legend: red dash Bidwell-Bartleson Trail (1841), orange Oregon Trail - Main Route (1841-1869), blue California Trail - Main Route (1845-1869), green Hudpeth Cut-Off Trail (1849-1869)
Inscription.  The Bidwell-Bartleson Party In 1841, John Bidwell and John Bartleson became the first Americans emigrants to undertake a wagon crossing from Missouri to California.
Although Oregon was the primary destination of early westward-bound pioneers, new and enticing stories of California's warm weather and an absence of blizzards and tornadoes were attracting attention.

A party divided
Near Sheep Rock, Idaho, the party divided. One-half of the group of 69 men, women, and children decided to continue on the more-traveled Oregon Trail route. The remaining intrepid members of the Bidwell-Bartleson Party turned south to Utah and the Great Salt Lake, continued west to Nevada, finally arriving in California.

Bound for California without a map "Our ignorance of the route was complete" admitted John Bidwell years later in his trip memoir.
Fortunately, a group of Jesuit missionaries also traveling west and guided by mountain man Thomas Fitzpatrick (1799-1854) agreed to join with the Bidwell-Bartleson Party. It was a fateful decision.
Bidwell recalled, "At first we were independent and
California dreaming in 1841 Marker, at center image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 10, 2019
2. California dreaming in 1841 Marker, at center
fought we could not afford to wait for a slow missionary party. But when we found that no one knew which way to go, we sobered down and waited for them to come up; and it was well we did, for otherwise probably not one of us would ever have reached California because of our inexperience.
Erected by National Park Service, Caribou Historical Society, Oregon and California National Historic Trails, National Trails System.
Marker series. This marker is included in the California Trail, and the Oregon Trail marker series.
Location. 42° 38.638′ N, 111° 43.824′ W. Marker is near Grace, Idaho, in Caribou County. Marker is on State Highway 34 near U.S. 30, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Grace ID 83241, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lava Flows and Wagon Trains (here, next to this marker); Bear River Lava (approx. 1 miles away); John Bidwell (approx. 1 miles away); Horatio's Journey (approx. 1 miles away); Guiding Landmark... (approx. 1 miles away); William Henry Harrison (approx. 1 miles away); The Value Of A Shortcut (approx. 1 miles away); Hudspeth Cutoff (approx. 1 miles away).
More about this marker. This marker is just south of the US-30 and SH-34 intersection.
Also see . . .  Bidwell/Bartleson Party 1841 -- Scenic Views. They
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were almost completely ignorant of the route west to California, but, fortunately, they were able to travel to the Rocky Mountains with a party of Jesuit missionaries guided by Thomas F. "Broken Hand" Fitzpatrick. From Soda Springs, Idaho, to their destination in California, they were left to their own resources. Having been advised by Fitzpatrick to travel south of the Snake River drainage and north of Great Salt Lake, they entered present-day Utah and became the first emigrants with wagons to travel across northern Utah.
(Submitted on September 29, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 
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More. Search the internet for California dreaming in 1841.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 29, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 29, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 56 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 29, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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