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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Gering in Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Traces of the Trail

The Oregon Trail passed here in the 1850’s

 
 
Traces of the Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2015
1. Traces of the Trail Marker
Inscription.  
Out on the prairie, wagons following the Oregon Trail spread out to avoid the dust stirred up by wagons in front. But here at Mitchell Pass the emigrants encountered a difficult bottleneck where wagons had to squeeze through narrow ravines in single file.

The clomping, scraping, and grinding of thousands of hooves and wagon wheels over the same places gradually wore deep ruts in the soft sandstone. Today, more than a century later, traces of the ruts remain.

Beginning here, the trail to your right follows the historic route of the Oregon Trail for half a mile (0.8km). A short walk will help you rediscover a bygone era.

Scotts Bluff
August 13, 1860
The sharp, sudden torrents which pour from the heights on both sides, and the draughty winds – Scott’s Bluffs are the permanent headquarters of hurricanes – have cut up the ground into a labyrinth of jagged gulches steeply walled in. We dashed down the drains and pitch-holes with a violence which shook the navebands from our sturdy wheels.”
- Richard F. Burton
British traveler and author

As they passed,
Traces of the Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2015
2. Traces of the Trail Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
a few emigrants carved their names on the base of the bluffs here. Erosion has worn away most of the signatures but this example [seen in photo on the marker] is preserved in the park museum.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1860.
 
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 41° 49.769′ N, 103° 42.651′ W. Marker was in Gering, Nebraska, in Scotts Bluff County. Marker could be reached from Old Oregon Trail, on the right when traveling west. Marker is located in Scotts Bluff National Monument, along the Mitchell Pass Trail. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Gering NE 69341, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. A Transportation Corridor (a few steps from this marker); Choices (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Oregon Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away); Scott's Bluff Pony Express Station (approx. 0.2 miles away); History Lives on in Art (approx. 0.2 miles away); Assistance on the Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Landscape Changed Forever (approx. 0.7 miles away); Before the Wagons (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gering.
 
More about this marker. In addition to the photo of emigrant’s signatures carved in the bluff, a picture of covered wagons passing through Mitchell Pass appears on the marker.
 
Related marker.
Marker on the Oregon Trail image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2015
3. Marker on the Oregon Trail
Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. The marker has been removed and replaced with the linked marker.
 
Traces of the Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2015
4. Traces of the Trail Marker
Along the Oregon Trail image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2015
5. Along the Oregon Trail
William Webber, May 23, 1852 - Michigan image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2015
6. William Webber, May 23, 1852 - Michigan
Although many travelers on the Oregon Trail carved their names in the bluff, most have been lost over time to erosion. This example has survived and can be viewed in the Visitor Center.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 1, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 16, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 298 times since then and 14 times this year. Last updated on May 31, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 16, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 20, 2021