Gering in Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Ox-drawn wagons carried freight here in the 1860’a and 70’s
After the great migrations of settlers and goldseekers passed here in the 1840’s and 50’s, the Oregon Trail remained an important communications and supply route. Wagon trains hauled provisions to Ft. Laramie and other army posts west of here. The heavy wagons were pulled by teams of oxen prodded along by trail-hardened men known as “bullwhackers.”
William Henry Jackson, later a renowned frontier artist and photographer, trudged West as a bullwhacker at the age of 23. Jackson and his bull train camped at this site in 1866 during a six-month journey from Nebraska City to Salt Lake City. From sketches made here, Jackson later produced this painting of Mitchell Pass. Other Jackson paintings of scenes along the Oregon Trail are on display at the Visitor Center.
“Bullwhacking is an art not to be learned in a week or a month . . . Only a cunning hand can make an 18-foot whip crack out like a rifle shot – or cut a notch in a lagging bull’s hind quarter.”
Erected by National Park Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1866.
Location. Marker has been reported permanently removed. It was located near 41° 49.942′ N, 103° 42.735′ 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, at the end of 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. Assistance on the Trail (here, next to this marker); History Lives on in Art (here, next to this marker); Oregon Trail (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Transportation Corridor (approx. 0.2 miles away); Choices (approx. 0.3 miles away); Scott's Bluff Pony Express Station (approx. 0.4 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. A William Henry Jackson painting of Bullwhackers guiding oxen-drawn wagons through Mitchell Pass appears at the center of the marker. The right of the marker contains a Self-portrait of William Henry Jackson with his bull whip.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 16, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 365 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on June 2, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 16, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.