Near Big Springs in Deuel County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Great Platte River Road
Since 1841, Nebraska's Platte River Valley has been the historic highway of westward migration. In this area, the Overland Trail divided into two branches, one which followed the north and the other the south forks of the river. Emigrants bound for Oregon or California crossed the South Platte near here and proceeded up the North Platte Valley past such milestones as Chimney Rock and Scott's Bluffs. After gold was discovered in the Rocky Mountains in 1859, an increasing number of travelers followed the South Fork of the Platte to Denver and the mining camps.
Although the South Platte could be forded at several points, most frequently used was the "Old California Crossing," several miles east of present Big Springs. No matter which crossing was chosen, the wide, sandy river proved a formidable obstacle for the emigrants and their heavily laden wagons.
Today, the Platte Valley remains an important thoroughfare across Nebraska and the nation. A few miles east of here I-80 divides into two major routes, recalling the role of the South Platte Region as a junction for overland travel in the 19th century.
Erected by Nebraska Department of Roads and Nebraska State Historical Society. (Marker Number 113.)
Marker series. Great Platte River Road, and the Nebraska State Historical Society marker series.
Location. 41° 2.051′ N, 102° 12.673′ W. Marker is near Big Springs, Nebraska, in Deuel County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 80 at milepost 100, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located at scenic vista overlook from the I-80 eastbound lanes near mile marker 100 between Exits 95 (State Route 27) and 101 (US 138). Marker can only be accessed from the eastbound lanes of the freeway. Marker is in this post office area: Big Springs NE 69122, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Big Springs (here, next to this marker); South Platte Station (approx. 3.4 miles away); Colorado (approx. 4.1 miles away in Colorado); Oregon Trail (approx. 4.3 miles away in Colorado); Julesburg, Colorado (approx. 4.3 miles away in Colorado); The Town that Wouldn't Die (approx. 4.4 miles away in Colorado); Fourth Julesburg (approx. 4.4 miles away in Colorado); Nearby Things to See and Do (approx. 4.4 miles away in Colorado). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Big Springs.
Categories. • Roads & Vehicles •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 24, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 411 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 24, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.