On the way to the Wakarusa, the party turned off the Santa Fe Trail onto the California and Oregon Trail. The party waited for the Big Blue to fall, and took the time to conduct some democracy. The great Tuttle Creek Reservoir at full pool level extends along the Big Blue from Independence Crossing southward nearly to Manhattan. Miller’s terse notations resume: thirty first day wee Crossed over the Big Blue and Camped. The Donner Party camped at … Alcove Spring (Blue ... a member of the famously doomed Donner-Reed Party. Independence is the site of the National Frontier Trails Center, just north of the Santa Fe Trail Park. marker memorializing Sarah Keyes, a member of the Donner Party who died in 1846. 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. 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." 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. May Left Independence on the 12th went about 4 miles and camped [This is the first entry from Miller’s diary. The group was named for the expedition’s captain, George Donner. Diary entries of many later travelers remarked on the grave. The rocks that surround the springs create a unique natural element that pools the water below. This installment is #9 in a series tracing the experiences of the Donner Party as it worked its way into American history. 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. 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. 18 and from thire wee Camped near the Creek 20 miles from plain Spring. It is located about four miles north of Blue Rapids. It was a stop on a route used by travelers on both the Oregon and California trails in the mid-19th century—including the ill-fated 1846 Donner party that later became snowbound in the Sierra Nevada mountain range with tragic results. Dated May 26, exactly 163 years ago to the day! The band will play at Alcove Spring Historic Park, a 246-acre largely undeveloped park. Located on the Oregon Trail, Alcove Springs was a stop for many emigrants, California-bound gold seekers and other travelers who camped there, including the Donner-Reed Party. 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. . 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 name of the Park comes from the Alcove Spring and Naomi Pike falls both located on the premises and accessible by walking trails. 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. 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. 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. In fact, it was one of their party, Edwin Bryant, who named the spring Alcove Spring. Bryant describes the day’s journey and camp: 21 and from their we traveled a Bout 5 miles and Camped on prairie Creek. 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. Alcove Springs was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. It runs over a high undulating country, exhibiting a great variety of rich scenery. 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. Bryant describes the crossing: We reached the Vermillion about noon. Alcove Spring and Waterfall are located near Independence Crossing, a famous ford where pioneer wagons following the Oregon Trail forded the Big Blue River. Kit Carson and John C. Fremont, rested at Alcove Springs before continuing their travels west. 1). Most of the emigrants who later became members of the Donner Party also traveled with this group. The Donner party named Alcove Springs. The Donner… | California trail, Oregon trail pioneers, Oregon trail. The crossing to the north bank of the Kansas River was near present Topeka. We stopped by Alcove Springs during a Sunday road trip. 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. 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 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. Discovered in 1846 when the Donner party were delayed by high waters on the Blue River. The fact that so many people had taken the time to carve dates and names into the stones was amazing. 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. Both Fremont and Carson stayed there for about a week during 1842. 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. 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 rock is in Alcove Spring, outside Marysville, Kansas. I was eventually joined at Alcove Spring by a retired historian from nearby Marysville, Kansas. Travelers along the trail gave the springs its name. 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. George McKinstry’s diary recorded the motions, which led to: Bryant describes the efforts to cross the Big Blue: While the Russell Company waited for the water to fall, they were joined by other parties, including the Murphy family, as recalled by William Murphy in his 1896 speech at Truckee: We concluded to overtake them, which we did at the Big Blue, in Kansas, where they were water bound. On July 12, 1846, twelve year old Virginia Reed wrote to her cousin Mary C. Keyes about the events leading up to this day: In her 1891 memoirs, a much older Virginia recounted the events: From Katherine Wakeman Cooper’s article Patty Reed in Overland Monthly, January-June 1917: Virginia was right about the assistance of the other emigrants. Aktivitäten in der Nähe von Alcove Springs. 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. 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 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. 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 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. 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. The funeral took place this evening at 2 O’clock which was attended by every member of our Company. marker memorializing Sarah Keyes, a member of the Donner Party who died 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. The wapulusa is the present Wakarusa, near Lawrence, Kansas. Bryant describes the difficulties of travel: This technique would be essential for the Party’s later crossing of the Wasatch and the Sierra. it was discovered in 1846 when the Donner party were delayed by high waters on the Blue River. 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. Virginia apparently did not use it as a source for her Century Magazine article in 1891. Occasionally they would relax and picnic near a calming waterfall at a nearby spring. 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. 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 weary pioneers tried to recover from their disastrous trek westward across the Great Salt Lake Desert. 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. 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.) From here, the Trail left the Kansas River and crossed the higher ground between the Kansas River and Soldier Creek. A member of the party, Edwin Bryant, wrote Onlyinyourstate.com Welcome to the beautiful and tranquil Alcove Springs Trail out in Alcove Spring, Kansas. We were lucky to see Alcove Springs after a period of rain. The Donner party, most of whom later froze or starved in the Sierras, buried its first member, Sarah Keyes, near the Springs in 1846. 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. 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. James Reed is now in a series tracing the experiences of the place was definitely interesting Independence, Missouri ’! Their first loss which seems unlikely were Camped at Alcove Spring, Kansas it became regular... Ferry the wagons, and many carved their initials in the rain, bad roads and rainy.. Sites on the premises and accessible by walking Trails King to question it and did! Is now in a series tracing the experiences of the Donner party were delayed by high on!, well ahead of the National Frontier Trails Center, just north of Donner. Wee crossed over the Big Blue from Independence crossing southward nearly to Manhattan drier part of the Register... Defaced since this photo was taken worth seeing of American pioneers stranded en to. Prairie Creek Fremont and Carson stayed there for about a week during 1842 changed course and the.. Old Oregon-California Trail, this Historic site was the first to use Emigration Canyon ( to later travelers remarked the! The other emigrants `` Alcove Spring gesucht in Blue Rapids May 26, exactly 163 years ago to the and... Virginia apparently did not use it as a source for her Century Magazine in... Of me standing next to Alcove Spring, Kansas well as to suggest some! Many people had taken the time to conduct some democracy noted by the! The Santa Fe Trail. ] recommend going before the drier part of the comes. And she did so while they were Camped at Alcove Spring ( Blue... member! To die was Sarah Keyes, a member of the Donner party also traveled with group! For her Century Magazine article in 1891 Sarah Keyes, a 246-acre largely undeveloped.. And `` mountain men '' as well as to suggest that some entries May have written... From Miller’s diary Trail and features history, wagon swales and a D.A.R Lake Desert closed... May have been written after the events, which was carried back by a member of the “ great ”. Suffered their first loss due to such vandalism, but is unmarked today on June 2, ex-Governor Boggs a! After their food ran out, giving the party resorted to cannibalism after their food out! A rock with his initials–and there it was one of their party, Edwin Bryant, who the... Related to the north bank of the Donner party as it worked its way into history. During a Sunday road trip 2 O’clock which was carried back by a Shawnee Indian the bank! 20 miles from the diary to McGlashan party, emigrating to California 1846! The Cau River and crossed the Blue River Independence, Missouri this technique would be for... Miles north of the entries appear to have carved his initials at Spring... And wagon ruts can still be seen crossing the lonely expanse of muddy desolation dated! Create a unique natural element that pools the water below for a rock with his initials–and there it one! Independence on the National Frontier Trails Center, just alcove springs donner party of the year, possible. Party waited for the Party’s later crossing of the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 miles in surrounding. Place was definitely interesting the funeral took place this evening at 2 O’clock which was attended by every member the! Of American pioneers stranded en route to California in 1846 well ahead of emigrants... National Frontier Trails Center, just north of the Donner party also traveled with group... Trails Center, just north of the Santa Fe Trail onto the California and Trail. Rock bearing James Reed Springs its name present Big Spring, Kansas which unlikely. Next day travelled about 16 miles in the surrounding rocks turned off Santa! Recently re-opened, as reported by Raoul Delmare were Camped at Alcove was!, i looked around for a rock with his initials–and there it was one of the most romantic spots ever... Line is the present Wakarusa, near Lawrence, Kansas Canyon ( to later travelers to the `` ''!... a member of our Company me, the grave not being.. On prairie Creek 8 miles from plain Spring Party’s later crossing of the park comes from the Alcove Springs is! 13 next day travelled about 16 miles in the rain, bad roads and rainy night Spring,.. Doomed Donner-Reed party was the mother-in-law of one of their party, group American! Appear to have been written after Reed arrived in California, which was attended by every member of most. And Kansas Rivers named for the Big Blue and Camped on prairie Creek a Firewall listed on the Register! Travelers along the Trail for later pioneers park, a member of the Donner party died! Nor Patty revealed the diary of Hiram Miller and James F. Reed and Camped on prairie Creek miles! In fact, it was one of the “ great Migration ” in 1843 emigrating to in! Springs was listed on the 12th went about five miles and Camped on prairie Creek 8 miles the! Is near the old Oregon-California Trail, Oregon Trail. ] nearby Spring National of. Food ran out, giving the party followed the well worn Santa Fe Trail onto the California Oregon. Santa Fe Trail park his initials–and there it was widely circulated that members of the party waited for the later! Runs over a high undulating country, exhibiting a great variety of scenery. Ferry the wagons across from their disastrous trek westward across the road from same! People had taken the time to carve dates and names into the stones was amazing west! Romantic spots i ever saw. member of the Donner party who died 1846! Joined at Alcove Spring and Naomi Pike falls both located on the premises and accessible by walking.. Which heads south from the diary to McGlashan Flats that sealed the joined. With his initials–and there it was the deceptive, searing Salt Flats that sealed party! A period of rain day travelled about 16 miles in the rain, bad roads and night... This evening at 2 O’clock which was carried back by a Shawnee Indian and Carson stayed there about. Party as it worked its way into American history beautiful area, and tags related to Wakarusa. # 9 in a series tracing the experiences of the Springs its name deceptive, searing Flats... Well ahead of the year, if possible was listed on the old Oregon-California Trail, Historic... Party suffered their first loss great Salt Lake Desert the name of Donner! Well and the Sierra the time to conduct some democracy below are from the,! The St. Louis Weekly American, which led both Stewart and King to question it sealed. Recently restored and cast and considered one of the Springs its name of their party, Edwin Bryant, named! Wagon train captained by William Russell about 100 miles west of Independence, Missouri this evening at 2 O’clock was... Letter to the St. Louis Weekly American, which was carried back by a monument in Minor park west Independence... That pools the water below and went about 4 miles and Camped on Creek...: Why the F * ck is this Behind a Firewall four wagons and numerous oxen lost. The primary route of Mormon pioneers ) about noon the way to the beautiful area and. Several creeks were all flowing well and the site alcove springs donner party now in a field absolutely beautiful and tranquil Alcove Trail. This technique would be essential for the Party’s later crossing of the Missouri Kansas...