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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Central in Washington County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The Old Spanish Trail and The California Road

 
 
The Old Spanish Trail and The California Road Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, August 29, 2011
1. The Old Spanish Trail and The California Road Marker
Inscription. An arduous 1,200-mile route between Santa Fe and Los Angeles, the "Old Spanish Trail" passed through Mountain Meadows during its heyday, between 1830 and 1848. The trail served traders who loaded their pack mules with woolen goods from Santa Fe each fall and returned from Californian each spring with Chinese goods and mules and horses for markets in Missouri. The trail followed along the west side of the Mountain Meadows to a campsite at the south end of the valley, then down Magotsu Creek.

Attempts to blaze this trade route began as early as 1765, when Juan Maria de Rivera explored from Santa Fe to the Gunnison River, in Colorado. Fathers Athanasio Dominguez and Velez de Escalante were turned back by heavy snows in 1776 in an attempt to reach California. Traveling as far north as the Provo area, they gave up the venture while camped between modern Milford and Cedar City. Later, Spanish traders made frequent visits from New Mexico to barter with the Utes for pelts and slaves. Jedediah Smith explored the western stretch of the trail from Utah to California in 1826-27.

The first to complete the circuit from Santa Fe to Los Angels was Mexican trader Antonio Armijo in the winter of 1829-30. Ewing Young's trapping party from Taos may have followed the trail about the same time. In 1830-31 William Wolfskill proved its
The Old Spanish Trail and The California Road Marker <i>on left</i> image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, August 29, 2011
2. The Old Spanish Trail and The California Road Marker on left
Route Map is on the right.
utility for pack trains, and a brisk trade flourished for a dozen years. After 1848, the trail fell rapidly into disuse.

Discharged members of the Mormon Battalion en route to Salt Lake City from San Diego drove the first wheeled vehicles over the trail in 1848. This opened a new emigrant wagon route know as the "California Road." It was used by gold seekers and other California emigrants and by Mormon travelers. The wagon road shifted to the east side of the meadows to avoid Magotsu Creek. It was this route to California that brought the Baker-Fancher party to Mountain Meadows in September 1857.
 
Location. 37° 28.631′ N, 113° 37.932′ W. Marker is near Central, Utah, in Washington County. Marker can be reached from Utah Route 18 at milepost 30.5. Touch for map. There is a parking area just off the highway and then a 200 yard path that leads to the marker. Marker is in this post office area: Central UT 84722, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 1990 Mountain Meadows Monument (a few steps from this marker); The Burial Sites (within shouting distance of this marker); The Mountain Meadows Massacre (within shouting distance of this marker); Mountain Meadows Massacre Grave Site Memorial
The Old Spanish Trail and The California Road route map image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, August 29, 2011
3. The Old Spanish Trail and The California Road route map
(approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named Mountain Meadows Massacre (approx. mile away); American Legion Hiatt-Hunt Post 80 (approx. 7.7 miles away); Hannah Louise Leavitt Terry (approx. 7.8 miles away); Eliza Jane Pulsipher Terry (approx. 7.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Central.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Additional keywords. Mountain Meadows Massacre
Dan Sill Hill

 
Categories. Exploration
 
Mountain Meadows Camp Site image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, August 29, 2011
4. Mountain Meadows Camp Site
View to the southwest from the marker.
Old Spanish Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, August 29, 2012
5. Old Spanish Trail Marker
This marker is in Enoch, UT approximately 38 miles northeast along the Old Spanish Trail.
Old Spanish Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, August 29, 2012
6. Old Spanish Trail Marker
This moonument is in Enoch, UT roughly 38 miles northeast, was placed by the Cedar Breaks Distrist B.S.A., Troop No. 336.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 3, 2011, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 653 times since then and 59 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 3, 2011, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.   5, 6. submitted on October 2, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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