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Raton in Colfax County, New Mexico — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The Mountain Route

 
 
The Mountain Route Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, September 21, 2014
1. The Mountain Route Marker
Inscription. To the north is Raton Pass, a treacherous connection through the rough mountain terrain between Colorado and New Mexico. Wagon trains traveling on the Santa Fe Trail camped here, at a trail stop called Willow Springs, to either prepare for or recover from the trek through the pass. Called the Mountain Route, this route was longer than the Cimarron Route which crossed the flatland between Kansas and New Mexico, but it furnished more water and proved safer from Indian raids.

“Uncle Dick” Wootton
Raton Pass was a tough slog. Axles and wheels broke and the wagons had to be literally dragged uphill in some spots. Seeing an opportunity, entrepreneur Rickens Lacy “Uncle Dick” Wootton, built a 27-mile toll road in 1865, with bridges and improved grades over the pass. Tolls varied but during the years 1869 and 1870, the rate for wheeled vehicles ranged from $1.00 to $1.50 and 5c per head for livestock.

One of Colorado's most colorful mountain men, “Uncle Dick” was a trail trader, trapper, cattle rancher, hotel operator, and scout for the military He died at 77, having outlived all his five wives.
 
Location. 36° 53.118′ N, 104° 26.361′ W. Marker is in Raton, New Mexico, in Colfax County. Marker
The Mountain Route Marker - Illustration image. Click for full size.
2. The Mountain Route Marker - Illustration
As they crossed the open plains, wagons usually rolled side by side in columns. But going over Raton Pass the wagons formed a single column for the rugged climb through the narrow pass.
can be reached from the intersection of Clayton Road and Whittier Street. Touch for map. Marker is on the northwest corner. Marker is in this post office area: Raton NM 87740, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First Automobile in New Mexico (a few steps from this marker); Raton (approx. 1.1 miles away); Road to Santa Fe - Over the Pass / Santa Fe Trail Country - "Uncle Dick" Wootton (approx. 7.8 miles away in Colorado); Raton Pass (approx. 7.9 miles away in Colorado).
 
Categories. Roads & Vehicles
 
The Mountain Route Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, September 21, 2014
3. The Mountain Route Marker
“Uncle Dick” Wootton image. Click for full size.
4. “Uncle Dick” Wootton
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 10, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 360 times since then and 76 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 10, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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