“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Amarillo in Potter County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

The Canadian River

The Canadian River Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen Lowrey, May 8, 2020
1. The Canadian River Marker

A travel route and dwelling site for over 12,000 years, the Canadian River supported stone and adobe Indian villages from the 12th to the 14th centuries.

This waterway was also one of the first interior rivers of the U.S. known to early explorers. Coronado, coming from Mexico, crossed the Canadian in 1541 in his search for the famed city of Quivira. Juan de Onate, also seeking Quivira, saw the river in 1601. The Canadian traders Pierre and Paul Mallet followed it in 1741. Josiah Gregg, famous Missouri trader, took $25,000 worth of goods to Santa Fe along the river trails in 1839. Gold seekers bound for California were escorted along the trails in 1849 by Army Captain R.B. Marcy.

During its history, the river has borne many names. The origin of the word "Canadian" is disputed. A possible source is the Caddo word "Kanohatino", which means "Red River". Some think it was named by the French-Canadians who traveled it in the 1700s, while others believe the river is called "Canadian" because it rises in a "canyon" (from the Spanish word meaning "boxed-in"). Beginning near the Colorado-New Mexico line in the Sangre de Cristo
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Mountains, the Canadian flows 900 miles. Its course runs southeast, then east until it finally joins the Arkansas 36 miles from Fort Smith. (1967)
Erected 1967 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 694.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EnvironmentExplorationNative Americans.
Location. 35° 33.55′ N, 101° 41.563′ W. Marker is near Amarillo, Texas, in Potter County. Marker is at the intersection of Cas Johnson Road and McBride Canyon Road, in the median on Cas Johnson Road. The marker is located on Cas Johnson Road, 3.21 miles west of the intersection of SH136 and Cas Johnson Road. It is located where the road splits to the south as McBride Canyon Road and to the north as Alibates Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fritch TX 79036, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. McBride Ranch House (approx. 2.4 miles away); Exploration Route of Lt. James W. Abert (approx. 9.4 miles away); Antelope Creek Ruins (approx. 9.9 miles away); Great Spanish Road / First Ranch in Potter County / First Store in Potter County (approx. 12.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Canadian River
The Canadian River Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen Lowrey, May 8, 2020
2. The Canadian River Marker
(approx. 12.2 miles away); First Cemetery in Potter County (approx. 12.2 miles away); The _X (LX) First Ranch in Potter County (approx. 12.3 miles away); The United States Topographical Engineers in the High Plains of Texas (approx. 12.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Amarillo.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 1, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 1, 2020, by Allen Lowrey of Amarillo, Texas. This page has been viewed 236 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 1, 2020, by Allen Lowrey of Amarillo, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 29, 2024