The Donner party, most of whom later froze or starved in the Sierras, buried its first member, Sarah Keyes, near the Springs in 1846. Edwin Bryant describes his troubles passing the muddy road eight days before the Donners: The Santa Fe Trail traveled up the Blue River from Independence, following the a portion of present Blue Ridge Road in Kansas City, Missouri. Aktivitäten in der Nähe von Alcove Springs. On July 2, 1846, after trading their wagons and teams for mules, Bryant, Russell, and seven other men set out by themselves to become the first emigrants to take Hastings Cutoff. The Donner Party camped at … Recently, bike … George McKinstry in his diary entry of May 26 says: In his diary entry for May 27, Bryant describes exploring a stream that flowed into the river: One of the remaining marks of the passage of the Donner Party is a rock where James Reed carved his initials, and dated 26 May 1846. Bryant describes the crossing: We reached the Vermillion about noon. A member of the Donner-Reed party, Edwin Bryant, coined the name Alcove Spring. One described the Springs as "a beautiful cascade of water . Miller probably meant Bull Creek. marker memorializing Sarah Keyes, a member of the Donner Party who died in 1846. The band will play at Alcove Spring Historic Park, a 246-acre largely undeveloped park. The Venue: Alcove Spring Historic Park. Occasionally they would relax and picnic near a calming waterfall at a nearby spring. One of the remaining marks of the passage of the Donner Party is a rock where James Reed carved his initials, and dated 26 May 1846. During my research I’d seen old photos of this carving, but I didn’t expect to find it myself because I’d read the rock had deteriorated since those photos had been taken. Alcove Spring Historic Park was also the site of the first recorded death in the Donner Party - 70 year old Sarah H. Keyes, who died from consumption. Alcove Spring Historic Park is on the National Register of Historic Places and considered one of the most significant historic sites on the Oregon Trail in Kansas. Bryant described the crossing of the Kansas River: Virginia Reed remembered the crossing in her 1891 memoirs: Grandma Keyes had told Virginia Reed stories about an aunt who had been kidnapped by Indians from the early settlement of Virginia and Kentucky and held captive five years. John C. Fremont and his 1842 exploring expedition camped at Alcove Spring and Marcus Whitman led a thousand emigrants to Oregon who stopped at the Spring in 1843. The discovery and publication of this letter was a tremendous accomplishment by Ms. Johnson, and an example of the potential for future original research on the Donner Party. Aug 6, 2012 - Alcove Springs was a stop along the Oregon Trail / California Trail near - Blue Rapids, Kansas. (Am I lucky or what?) On the way to the Wakarusa, the party turned off the Santa Fe Trail onto the California and Oregon Trail. The entrance to the Park is on East River Road, a well maintained gravel road that runs approximately parallel with U. S. Highway 77 … Diary entries of many later travelers remarked on the grave. . The name of the Park comes from the Alcove Spring and Naomi Pike falls both located on the premises and accessible by walking trails. RENO, Nev. (AP) — A pair of backcountry endurance athletes who became obsessed with the Donner Party spent the last seven years researching and exploring the Sierra on … ], 19 and from their wee Crossed the Cau river and went about five miles and Camped. Dec 21, 2014 - jf reed of the donner party carved his name in a rock at alcove springs kansas marker memorializing Sarah Keyes, a member of the Donner Party who died in 1846. The early writers on the Donner party often referred to this grave as being near Manhattan, and in the Kansas City (Mo.) The Bryant-Russell Party arrived at Sutter's Fort on September 1, well ahead of the other emigrants. Donner party, group of American pioneers stranded en route to California in 1846. Travelers along the trail gave the springs its name. Santa Fe Trail Ruts and Monument in Minor Park, Kansas City, photographed 1998, 16 and from thir we Camped on the head of Rull Creek twenty miles from Big Blue. John C. Fremont and his 1842 exploring expedition bivouacked at the Springs, and Marcus Whitman, with a thousand emigrants to Oregon, stopped there in 1843. At Alcove Springs there is a monument to Sarah Keyes, a member of the Donner party who expired from tuberculosis here in Kansas, long before the party was stranded in the Sierra Nevada. The Santa Fe Trail crossed the Blue River and ascended a steep hill. Missing and Exploited Women; OER RATIONALE! 13 next day travelled about 16 miles in the rain, bad roads and rainy night. Onlyinyourstate.com Welcome to the beautiful and tranquil Alcove Springs Trail out in Alcove Spring, Kansas. Across the road from the Alcove Springs park is another park commemorating the Oregon Trail and features history, wagon swales and a D.A.R. Sarah Keyes was a member of the Donner Party, emigrating to California in 1846. Alcove Springs was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The dated entries below are from the diary of Hiram Miller and James F. Reed. 18 and from thire wee Camped near the Creek 20 miles from plain Spring. The wapulusa is the present Wakarusa, near Lawrence, Kansas. The 70 year-old Keyes, … Across the road from the Alcove Springs park is another park commemorating the Oregon Trail and features history, wagon swales and a D.A.R. Located on the old Oregon-California Trail, this historic site was the stopping place for many wagon trains, including the famed Donner Party. The ill-fated Donner Party camped at Alcove Spring from May 26 to May 31 1846, waiting for the Blue River to go down so that they could safely cross at nearby Independence Crossing. Although he makes no note of the camp site, it tremendously impressed John Breen, who wrote of it in his memoirs of 1877: 17 the ’5 night wee Camp on the wapulusa 18 miles from the head of Bull Creek and we Camped on the plains near the a Spring 18 miles from Wapulusa. The trail to the spring itself is less than 1/4 mile and an easy walk. Originally there were 87 members of the Donner party. This county was well known to early-day traders and "mountain men" as well as to later travelers to the Far West. 1). James Reed’s Initials Carved in Rock at Alcove Spring. Most of the emigrants who later became members of the Donner Party also traveled with this group. The Russell Company camped on the shores of the Big Blue River which, like the Kansas River, was swollen from the recent rainstorms. The spring was named by a member of the Donner Party in 1846. The pioneers named this area Alcove Spring, and many carved their initials in the surrounding rocks. We named this the Alcove Spring; and future travelers will find the name graven on the rocks, and on the trunks of the trees surrounding it. 22 and from their wee traveled a Bowt 15 miles and Campe on the warpalore [This camp was on the creek now called the Vermillion, also known as the Little Vermillion, east of Louisville.]. Alcove Spring in Marshall County is a prime example of the important role springs played in the settlement and early transportation patterns of the United States. The Trail generally follows the present Highway 24 along the north bank of the Kansas River to Walmego, then north on Highway 99 to Frankfort. Once on the other side of the Kansas River, the Donner and Reed families joined up with the much larger Russell Company, which was made up of at least 72 wagons and more than 300 travelers. Across the road from the Alcove Springs park is another park commemorating the Oregon Trail and features history, wagon swales and a D.A.R. The group was named for the expedition’s captain, George Donner. A member of the party, Edwin Bryant, wrote Virginia Reed’s father James was said to have carved his initials at Alcove Spring. Dated May 26, exactly 163 years ago to the day! The Donner-Reed Party was the first to use Emigration Canyon (to later become the primary route of Mormon pioneers). It is located about four miles north of Blue Rapids. Star of Wednesday, June 11, 1930, in an article, "Death Takes the Last Survivor of the Donner Party," the following appears: "On May 29, Grandmother Keyes died and she was buried under a big oak tree where was later the city cemetery of Manhattan." I was eventually joined at Alcove Spring by a retired historian from nearby Marysville, Kansas. The Donner Party carved the words Alcove Springs in eight inch letters on a nearby rock that could be read for over a century (recent travelers report that part of the inscription has broken away from the rock face, apparently through natural weathering). And then she took a photo of me standing next to Alcove Spring. It's a free attraction and one worth seeing! marker memorializing Sarah Keyes, a member of the Donner Party who died in 1846. I followed the company’s general direction up Kansas-99, across Kansas-9 and up US Route 77 to the Big Blue River Crossing (now known as Independence Crossing). The ruts are preserved today and marked by a monument in Minor Park. We were lucky to see Alcove Springs after a period of rain. According to Hill, the rock has been defaced since this photo was taken. Some of the entries appear to have been written after the events, which led both Stewart and King to question it. Independence is the site of the National Frontier Trails Center, just north of the Santa Fe Trail Park. On May 19 the party joined a larger wagon train captained by William Russell about 100 miles west of Independence, Missouri. Tamsen Donner, wife of George Donner, wrote from Independence to her sister Eliza Poor: Contemporary accounts place the actual number of wagons as about 250, with about 1,500 people, headed for both California and Oregon. Across the road from the Alcove Springs park is another park commemorating the Oregon Trail and features history, wagon swales and a D.A.R. Alcove Spring and Waterfall are located near Independence Crossing, a famous ford where pioneer wagons following the Oregon Trail forded the Big Blue River. The several creeks were all flowing well and the cascading waterfall at the spring was absolutely beautiful and rather loud. Meanwhile, back at the Missouri River, the Graves family set out with the last party on the Trail, the Smith Party, as described by William Graves in his 1877 article in the Russian River Flag: 26 and from their traveled a Bowt 10 miles and Camped on the Big Blue and Remained their the 27 and the twenty Eighth and twenty-ninth and thirtyeth [This camp was north of present Blue Rapids, Kansas, south of Marysville which later was a Pony Express stop.]. Blue Ridge Road in Kansas City, photographed 1998, 14 15 Camped at Heart Grove Jackson County near the Indian line twenty two miles from Independence on the Big blue. This installment is #9 in a series tracing the experiences of the Donner Party as it worked its way into American history. On this day Bryant commented on the progress of the wagons with surprising prescience: 25 and from their wee traveled a Bout 10 miles and came to the Big Vermilion and Crossed and traveled a Bout 5 miles and Camped on the plaines [This crossing is near present Frankfort on the Black Vermillion as it is now called.]. The river has changed course and the site is now in a field. A 223-acre park offers a self-guided walking tour and interpretive exhibits. Alcove Springs was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Eerie, but thrilling too. . The first mention of the springs was made by travelers of the “Great Migration” in 1843. She informed me that the rock bearing James Reed’s initials had been recently restored and cast. The Center is operated by the Oregon California Trails Association, and has extensive exhibits about the Santa Fe, California and Oregon Trails and the early emigrants. It runs over a high undulating country, exhibiting a great variety of rich scenery. Alcove Spring, near Marysville, Kansas. 8, No. 20 and from their we Camp on prairie Creek 8 miles from the Same Creek. The Donner party, most of whom later froze or starved in the Sierras, buried its first member, Sarah Keyes, near the Springs in 1846. The name of the Park comes from the Alcove Spring and Naomi Pike falls both located on the premises and accessible by walking trails. The Kaw was the name for the Kansas River, as in Kaw Drive which runs along the north bank of the Kansas River in Kansas City, Kansas. 23 and from their wee traveled 12 miles and Camped on prairie creek, 24 and from their wee traveled a Bout 14 miles and Camped near a Creek on the plains. The Alcove Springs Trail And Waterfall In Kansas. The name was given to the springs by a member of the Donner-Reed Party in 1846, although it was a known place along the trail which fur trappers traversed in the late 1820s and 1830s. It was at Alcove Springs that the Donner party suffered their first loss. I strongly recommend going before the drier part of the year, if possible. This letter is in the collection of the James Keyes papers of the Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, Illinois, and is excerpted here with their permission. His description is as follows: His description is as follows: "About three-fourths of a mile from our camp we found a large spring of water, as cold and pure as if it had just been melted from ice. May Left Independence on the 12th went about 4 miles and camped [This is the first entry from Miller’s diary. it was discovered in 1846 when the Donner party were delayed by high waters on the Blue River. The Spring was closed to the public due to such vandalism, but was recently re-opened, as reported by Raoul Delmare. Others strengthened axles and repaired wagon wheels. Bryant describes the day’s travel: The trail along which we have traveled to-day, has been dry, compact and easy for our teams. The newspaper reported that: Two deaths had taken place among the California emigrants - one a small child, the child of Judge Morin, and the other a Mrs. Keys, from Springfield, Ill., quite an aged lady and, had been laboring under consumption. The weary pioneers tried to recover from their disastrous trek westward across the Great Salt Lake Desert. They named the campsite "Alcove Spring" and the men set about building a raft to ferry the wagons across. [This was near present Big Spring, Kansas. The Donner… | California trail, Oregon trail pioneers, Oregon trail. On April 15, 1846 the families of James Fraser Reed and George and Jacob Donner, comprising 31 people in 9 wagons, left Springfield, Illinois for California. While waiting for its waters to recede to a safe level, some pioneers built a raft by carving out canoes to use as pontoons, and then building a platform on top of them. Virginia was also right about the grave not being disturbed. The Party followed the well worn Santa Fe Trail.]. The great Tuttle Creek Reservoir at full pool level extends along the Big Blue from Independence Crossing southward nearly to Manhattan. Just the same, I looked around for a rock with his initials–and there it was. Virginia apparently did not use it as a source for her Century Magazine article in 1891. In fact, it was one of their party, Edwin Bryant, who named the spring Alcove Spring. One hundred and sixty-plus years ago this week, members of the Donner Party rested at Pilot Springs at the foot of Pilot Peak in Nevada near the Utah border. The exact location of her burial is unknown. 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