The great Tuttle Creek Reservoir at full pool level extends along the Big Blue from Independence Crossing southward nearly to Manhattan. James Reed’s Initials Carved in Rock at Alcove Spring. Just the same, I looked around for a rock with his initials–and there it was. 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 group was named for the expedition’s captain, George Donner. Utah-bound Mormons and California-bound goldseekers followed, for only a short distance above was Independence Crossing, the famous ford across the Big Blue river. The bank of this stream on the eastern side was so steep, and the ford in other respects so difficult, that we were detained several hours in crossing it. Situated in around 300 acres there are still around 5 miles of trails not documented but can be found on the maps at the entrance. The fact that so many people had taken the time to carve dates and names into the stones was amazing. As noted by Miller the Russell party was delayed at the Big Blue. 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. The spring was named by a member of the Donner Party in 1846. In fact, it was one of their party, Edwin Bryant, who named the spring Alcove Spring. The wapulusa is the present Wakarusa, near Lawrence, Kansas. Alcove Springs was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The weary pioneers tried to recover from their disastrous trek westward across the Great Salt Lake Desert. The first member of the Donner Party to die was Sarah Keyes, and she did so while they were camped at Alcove Springs. It is located about four miles north of Blue Rapids. Located on the old Oregon-California Trail, this historic site was the stopping place for many wagon trains, including the famed Donner Party. They named the campsite "Alcove Spring" and the men set about building a raft to ferry the wagons across. 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. Aug 6, 2012 - Alcove Springs was a stop along the Oregon Trail / California Trail near - Blue Rapids, Kansas. [This was near present Big Spring, Kansas. 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. Most of the emigrants who later became members of the Donner Party also traveled with this group. 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 existence of the diary was not known until the estate of Martha (Patty) Reed donated it to Sutter’s Fort Historical Museum in 1945. The rocks that surround the springs create a unique natural element that pools the water below. The rock is in Alcove Spring, outside Marysville, 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. 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. Travelers along the trail gave the springs its name. And then she took a photo of me standing next to Alcove Spring. It was at Alcove Springs that the Donner party suffered their first loss. The following document was found in the Reed papers donated to Sutter’s Fort Museum in 1945: Stanton would, in fact, become a significant protector to the 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. It's a free attraction and one worth seeing! Independence is the site of the National Frontier Trails Center, just north of the Santa Fe Trail Park. Pioneers began dumping their belongings to lighten the wagons, and wagon ruts can still be seen crossing the lonely expanse of muddy desolation. Following the Donner Party Alcove Spring: May 1846 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. ], 19 and from their wee Crossed the Cau river and went about five miles and Camped. 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 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). She was the mother-in-law of one of the group's leaders, James Reed. 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. 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. One described the Springs as "a beautiful cascade of water . It was widely circulated that members of the party resorted to cannibalism after their food ran out, giving the party its lasting notoriety. 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 Donner party, most of whom later froze or starved in the Sierras, buried its first member, Sarah Keyes, near the Springs in 1846. The early writers on the Donner party often referred to this grave as being near Manhattan, and in the Kansas City (Mo.) 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. 1). 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. 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). Bryant describes the difficulties of travel: This technique would be essential for the Party’s later crossing of the Wasatch and the Sierra. 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. The exact location of her burial is unknown. For me, the falls were not worth the visit but the history of the place was definitely interesting. The Donner Party camped at … The Bryant-Russell Party arrived at Sutter's Fort on September 1, well ahead of the other emigrants. King went so far as to suggest that some entries may have been written after Reed arrived in California, which seems unlikely. Sarah Keyes was a member of the Donner Party, emigrating to California in 1846. On the way to the Wakarusa, the party turned off the Santa Fe Trail onto the California and Oregon Trail. 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. 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. Virginia apparently did not use it as a source for her Century Magazine article in 1891. We were lucky to see Alcove Springs after a period of rain. At the camp on Soldier Creek the Donner-Reed party caught up to and joined the Bryant Party, as recounted by Bryant: On May 20, 1846, James Reed wrote a letter to his brother-in-law James Keyes. The river has changed course and the site is now in a field. The trail to the spring itself is less than 1/4 mile and an easy walk. Flickr photos, groups, and tags related to the "alcovesprings" Flickr tag. Miller probably meant Bull Creek. Dec 21, 2014 - jf reed of the donner party carved his name in a rock at alcove springs kansas 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. Apparently neither Virginia nor Patty revealed the diary to McGlashan. Alcove Spring. The Donner… | California trail, Oregon trail pioneers, Oregon trail. The Venue: Alcove Spring Historic Park. William H. Russell, captain of the company, wrote to the Independence Western Expositor: Our numbers can not even yet be accurately ascertained, in consequence of the irregular manner in which they come in, but they are numerous, and cannot fall short of one hundred wagons. 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 Santa Fe Trail crossed the Blue River and ascended a steep hill. The band will play at Alcove Spring Historic Park, a 246-acre largely undeveloped park. She informed me that the rock bearing James Reed’s initials had been recently restored and cast. Discovered in 1846 when the Donner party were delayed by high waters on the Blue River. Alcove Springs was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. A member of the Donner-Reed party, Edwin Bryant, coined the name Alcove Spring. 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.]. The first mention of the springs was made by travelers of the “Great Migration” in 1843. On June 2, ex-Governor Boggs wrote a letter to the St. Louis Weekly American, which was carried back by a Shawnee Indian. Missing and Exploited Women; OER RATIONALE! Pony Express Barn & Museum; Marshall County Historical; Blue River Rail Trail; Marysville Sod House; Black Squirrels on Parade; Marysville Public library; 7r's bar and grill; Natur & Parks in Blue Rapids. Donner Party - Stone at Alcove Springs, Ks" c1929 photo D1/2/ Donner Party Members -photocopies photo D1/2/ Donner Party -Scenes along Route c 1949, photocopies photo D1/2/ Donner, George photo G3/3 Donner, George Jr. photo G7/4/2075 Donner, George Jr. … 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. May Left Independence on the 12th went about 4 miles and camped [This is the first entry from Miller’s diary. The Donner Party (sometimes called the Donner–Reed Party) was a group of American pioneers who migrated to California in a wagon train from the Midwest.Delayed by a series of mishaps, they spent the winter of 1846–1847 snowbound in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The party waited for the Big Blue to fall, and took the time to conduct some democracy. Some wrote home about the beautiful area, and it became a regular stopping place along the trail for later pioneers. Kit Carson and John C. Fremont, rested at Alcove Springs before continuing their travels west. The Donner-Reed Party was the first to use Emigration Canyon (to later become the primary route of Mormon pioneers). 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. The Donner party named Alcove Springs. In the tall grass prairie the Alcove Spring trails preserve the California and Oregon trail stop in much the same condition as it was in 1842 when members of the Donner party named the spring. 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. 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. The Donners arrive at Independence, Missouri, as recorded by Tamsen Donner, wife of George Donner, in a letter dated May 11 to her sister Eliza Poor: I came here last evening & start tomorrow morning on the long journey. Located on the old Oregon-California Trail, this historic site was the stopping place for many wagon trains, including the famed Donner Party. Six miles northwest is Alcove Springs, named in 1846 by appreciative travelers on the Oregon Trail who carved the name on the surrounding rocks and trees. They also permitted Kristin Johnson to transcribe it and publish it in Reed Joins Russell Train, Newsletter of the Utah Crossroads Chapter of the Oregon-California Trails Association, Winter 1997 (Vol. Miller’s terse notations resume: thirty first day wee Crossed over the Big Blue and Camped. 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. Some of the entries appear to have been written after the events, which led both Stewart and King to question it. It runs over a high undulating country, exhibiting a great variety of rich scenery. 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." Gewässer in Blue Rapids; Häufig gesucht in Blue Rapids. The exact location of her burial is unknown. Donner party, group of American pioneers stranded en route to California in 1846. 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. 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 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. Onlyinyourstate.com Welcome to the beautiful and tranquil Alcove Springs Trail out in Alcove Spring, Kansas. The Donners arrive at Independence, Missouri, as recorded by Tamsen Donner, wife of George Donner, in a letter dated May 11 to her sister Eliza Poor: I came here last evening & start tomorrow morning on the long journey. The name of the Park comes from the Alcove Spring and Naomi Pike falls both located on the premises and accessible by walking trails. And it was the deceptive, searing Salt Flats that sealed the party's doom. 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. 18 and from thire wee Camped near the Creek 20 miles from plain Spring. 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. Eerie, but thrilling too. This lovely oasis, consisting of a cold-water spring surrounded by a ledge of rocks, was named by Edwin Bryant on May 27, 1846, who was traveling with the ill-fated Donner Party who passed by in the spring of that year. altogether one of the most romantic spots I ever saw." marker memorializing Sarah Keyes, a member of the Donner Party who died in 1846. Dated May 26, exactly 163 years ago to the day! Bryant describes the day’s journey and camp: 21 and from their we traveled a Bout 5 miles and Camped on prairie Creek. 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. Alcove Springs was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. This installment is #9 in a series tracing the experiences of the Donner Party as it worked its way into American history. Others strengthened axles and repaired wagon wheels. marker memorializing Sarah Keyes, a member of the Donner Party who died in 1846. Utah bound Mormons and California bound gold seekers followed, including the Donner Party, most of whom later froze or starved in the Sierras. . 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. Alcove Spring, near Marysville, Kansas. On May 19 the party joined a larger wagon train captained by William Russell about 100 miles west of Independence, Missouri. Alcove Spring and Waterfall are located near Independence Crossing, a famous ford where pioneer wagons following the Oregon Trail forded the Big Blue River. 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. 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