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

Fort Smith-Santa Fe Trail

 
 
Fort Smith-Santa Fe Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, November 19, 2015
1. Fort Smith-Santa Fe Trail Marker
Inscription.  What came to be known as the Fort Smith - Santa Fe Trail was first blazed in 1840 by Josiah Gregg, a trader seeking a route to Santa Fe along the south side of the Canadian River. In 1849, Gregg's route was closely followed by a military escort led by Capt. Randolph B. Marcy (1812-1857). Marcy's group traveled from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Santa Fe with about 500 pioneers heading for California. The party entered Oldham County on June 13th, and on June 14th ascended to the Llano Estacado near this site. Reaching the top, Marcy found the plains "as boundless...and trackless as the ocean...a desolate waste of uninhabited solitude."

Eighty-five days after leaving Fort Smith, the party reached Santa Fe. After passing the plains, Marcy remarked, "I have never passed a country where wagons could move along with as much ease and facility, without expenditure of any labor in making a road, as upon this route." Marcy advocated the trail as a prospective route for a transcontinental railroad, which was built after the Civil War. Later, as the country entered the automobile age and the interstate highway system was developed, U.S. Highway 66
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(Route 66) and Interstate 40 were laid close to the trail.
 
Erected 1992 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 2016.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationRoads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Santa Fe Trail series list. A significant historical date for this entry is June 13, 1840.
 
Location. 35° 17.414′ N, 102° 23.825′ W. Marker is near Vega, Texas, in Oldham County. Marker is on U.S. 385, 3.8 miles north of Route 66, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Vega TX 79092, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 17 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Doctor Oscar H. Loyd (approx. 3˝ miles away); Senator W. S. Oldham (approx. 3˝ miles away); Site of Old Tascosa (approx. 3˝ miles away); Oldham County Courthouse, Vega, Texas (approx. 3˝ miles away); Quanah Parker Trail (approx. 3˝ miles away); Dot's Mini Museum, Vega, Texas (approx. 3˝ miles away); The Mother Road of Historic Route 66 (approx. 3˝ miles away); Palo Duro Baptist Church (approx. 16.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vega.
 
Fort Smith-Santa Fe Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, November 19, 2015
2. Fort Smith-Santa Fe Trail Marker
View south on highway US-385.
Fort Smith-Santa Fe Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, November 19, 2015
3. Fort Smith-Santa Fe Trail Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 21, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,018 times since then and 104 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 21, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.

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May. 27, 2024