History Lives on in Art
William Henry Jackson slept here.
— Scotts Bluff National Monument —
In 1866 William Henry Jackson traveled the California Trail as a bullwhacker with a freight wagon train. Although he had no prior experience, Jackson quickly learned to yoke and drive the multiple yokes (pairs) of oxen that pulled each wagon. Seventy years later he returned to dedicate the new Park Service museum on the east side of the pass. By this time he was a well-known photographer, artist and supporter of emigrant trail history. Jackson guided the park rangers to this spot where he and his fellow bullwhackers bedded down for the night.
Using memories of his own experiences, sketches he made during his travels and revisiting the sites, Jackson depicted scenes of trail life from the Missouri River to the west coast. His watercolor paintings grace many books about the trails and most of his collection was donated to Scotts Bluff National Monument in 1949.
How do you memorialize your travels?
“Thursday, August 2nd. At noon we corralled…10 miles from Scotts Bluffs, which loom up before us in all their variety of outline. In the P.M. we drove up into the pass that leads through them. We
William Henry Jackson, 1866 diary
A self-portrait of Jackson as a bullwhacker in 1866.
One of the rare views of the trail looking east, this shows how narrow the route was around the bluff was.
Erected by National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1866.
Location. 41° 49.941′ N, 103° 42.731′ W. Marker is near Gering, Nebraska, in Scotts Bluff County. Marker can be reached from Old Oregon Trail (County Highway K) 2.3 miles west of Meadowlark Boulevard, on the right when traveling west. The marker stands along the old Oregon Trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 190276 Old Oregon Trail, Gering NE 69341, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Assistance on the Trail (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
Credits. This page was last revised on June 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 2, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 33 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 2, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.