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

Pomeroy in Garfield County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
 

Ancient Crossroads

 
 
Ancient Crossroads Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2020
1. Ancient Crossroads Marker
Inscription.  
"the road leaves the creek"

You can see where two timeworn trails once intersected here. The trail descending the hillside (Photo B) crossed the Patáha Creek valley trail, and then continued up the hill to the northeast (across the highway to your left - Photo A), eventually leading to the Snake River. The valley trail continued southeast toward the Blue Mountains. These routes were used for thousands of years by American Indians of this region.
On the advice of local tribes, the Lewis and Clark Expedition followed the valley trail as a shortcut during their spring 1806 return journey. From here they followed the trail fork to the Snake River. This overland route shaved many miles off the explorers eastbound travel. Lewis referred to this location as "the place at which the road leaves the creek and ascends the hills to the plain."
Patáha is a Nimiipuu place name. The name may originate from words meaning "bush creek."

The Three Forks
This place, where the two trails merge became known as "Three Forks," a name still used today.
Ancient Crossroads Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2020
2. Ancient Crossroads Marker
From here, travelers could chose one of three routes to follow. The trails that merge in this valley were once some of the busiest transportation routes in the West! Today, people use the highway to travel throughout the region.
These ancient trials are located on private property, so please respect the privacy of the property owners and enjoy these remnants of history from afar.

May 3, 1806
"We encamped on a small branch or spring (Patáha Creek), as it was too far to go over the hills. The Indians say we can get over to-morrow by noon." ~ Patrick Gass ~

May 3, 1806
"ascended a high hill and procd. on over the high plains. crossed 2 creeks, and followed up the third (Patáha Creek)." ~ John Ordway ~

Following Directions
Lewis and Clark followed the advice of the local tribes and took this route across the plains. Native people often drew maps for the captains to show them the lay of the land. How are you following you route today - road map, GPS, brochure, web map, audio tape, friendly directions? In you journal list things that have helped guide you. Make notes about how you navigated today compared to Lewis and Clark.
 
Erected by Lewis & Clark Expedition - Washington.
 
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Location. 46° 27.94′ N, 117° 28.663′ W. Marker is in Pomeroy, Washington, in Garfield County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 12 and Kirby Mayview Road when traveling east on U.S. 12. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pomeroy WA 99347, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "the Soil is extreamly fertile" (approx. 3.3 miles away); Lewis and Clark Expedition (approx. 3.3 miles away).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 4, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 4, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 34 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 4, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 3, 2021