Oregon Trail Marker

The Oregon Trail Marker located 1-3/4 miles west of Lanham, Nebraska (at the intersection of W Stateline and SW 142nd roads) is part of the Gage County Historical Society's properties.

The triangular stone monument was erected in 1913 by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) near the location where the historic Oregon Trail crossed the border from Kansas into Nebraska. The Oregon Trail Marker became a Historical Society property in 1993.

Oregon Trail Marker Gage County Historical Society

The three sides of the monument read:

Gage County Nebraska — OREGON TRAIL — Route of the movement to colonize Oregon for the United State. The first colony started May 15, 1842. Trappers and traders followed its course from about 1830. Its initial points were Independence and Westport, Missouri

Jefferson County Nebraska — OREGON TRAIL — In its later period a main road to California, Utah and Colorado gradually superseded by railroads through its course, crossed the Kansas-Nebraska boundary 1986 feet east and the Gage-Jefferson County line 2286 feet north of this monument.

Washington County Kansas — OREGON TRAIL — This monument was erected by the State of Nebraska, the people of Washington County, Kansas, of Gage and Jefferson Counties, Nebraska and Elizabeth Montague Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Beatrice, Nebraska 1913

 

Frontier Trails Across Gage County

The Oregon Trail enters Nebraska and crosses the southwest corner of Gage County. In the early 1840's, over 300,000 brave adventurers crossed Gage County on their way west.

The DeRoin Trail ran from Brownville near the town of St. DeRoin to Beatrice and on to meet the Oregon Trail near Alexandria. It followed the old Otoe-Omaha Indian Trail and was also know as the Brownville or Government Road. Originally the trail joined the Austin Trail near the present site of Pickrell and continued west. In the 1850's, when Beatrice was able to sell the travelers supplies, the trail dropped further south and followed what is now Court Street. They crossed the Big Blue River just south of the current Court Street bridge on the rock bottom ford known as the Scott Street ford.

The Brownville-Fort Kearney Trail entered Gage County from the east and joined the DeRoin Trail crossing the Blue River ford. This trail ran from about the 1850's until about 1865.

The Nebraska City-Beatrice Trail, established in 1850, crossed the Nemaha river near the Johnson-Gage County line and continued southwesterly to Beatrice.

The Reservation Road ran from Marysville, Kansas north to the Otoe-Missouri reservation in southern Gage County and followed the Blue River to either Beatrice or connected with the DeRoin Trail and traveled northeast. It was on this road that the limestone from Holmesville quarry, to build the first state capital in Lincoln, was hauled following near to the present Highway 77.

The Austin Trail ran directly west from Brownsville and connected with the Oregon Trail near Alexandria, Nebraska. It was in existence from the 1840's until the late 1850's when travel was diverted south to Beatrice on the DeRoin Trail. In Beatrice, travelers could purchase supplies before heading further west.

The Ash Point Road was a mail route started near Rulo to Beatrice via Liberty. It probably joined the Reservation road somewhere near Blue Springs or Holmesville.