34 Facts About Oregon Trail


Oregon Trail was a 2, 170-mile east–west, large-wheeled wagon route and emigrant trail in the United States that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon.

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The eastern part of the Oregon Trail spanned part of what is the state of Kansas and nearly all of what are now the states of Nebraska and Wyoming.

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Oregon Trail was laid by fur traders and trappers from about 1811 to 1840 and was only passable on foot or on horseback.

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Wagon trails were cleared increasingly farther west and eventually reached all the way to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, at which point what came to be called the Oregon Trail was complete, even as almost annual improvements were made in the form of bridges, cutoffs, ferries, and roads, which made the trip faster and safer.

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Oregon Trail had just completed a journey through much of western Canada and most of the Columbia River drainage system.

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Oregon Trail was mapping the country for possible fur trading posts.

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These new emigrants often arrived in Oregon Trail tired, worn out, nearly penniless, with insufficient food or supplies, just as winter was coming on.

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York Factory Express, establishing another route to the Oregon Trail territory, evolved from an earlier express brigade used by the North West Company between Fort Astoria and Fort William, Ontario on Lake Superior.

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In 1846, the Oregon Trail Treaty ending the Oregon Trail boundary dispute was signed with Britain.

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The next available land for general settlement, Oregon Trail, appeared to be free for the taking and had fertile lands, disease-free climate, extensive uncut, unclaimed forests, big rivers, potential seaports, and only a few nominally British settlers.

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Oregon Trail had a crew that dug out the gullies and river crossings and cleared the brush where needed.

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Oregon Trail's explorations were written up by him and his wife Jessie Benton Fremont and were widely published.

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The first detailed map of California and Oregon Trail were drawn by Fremont and his topographers and cartographers in about 1848.

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Oregon Trail joined the wagon train at the Platte River for the return trip.

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Oregon Trail believed the wagon trains were large enough that they could build whatever road improvements they needed to make the trip with their wagons.

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Consensus interpretations, as found in John Faragher's book, Women and Men on the Overland Oregon Trail, held that men and women's power within marriage was uneven.

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Oregon Trail was still in use during the Civil War, but traffic declined after 1855 when the Panama Railroad across the Isthmus of Panama was completed.

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Remnants of the trail in Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the entire trail is a designated National Historic Trail.

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Today much of the Oregon Trail follows roughly along Interstate 80 from Wyoming to Grand Island, Nebraska.

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Branch of the Oregon trail crossed the very northeast corner of Colorado if they followed the South Platte River to one of its last crossings.

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From Fort Bridger the Mormon Oregon Trail continued southwest following the upgraded Hastings Cutoff through the Wasatch Mountains.

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The overall distance to California or Oregon Trail was very close to the same whether one "detoured" to Salt Lake City or not.

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The California Oregon Trail proceeded west down the Humboldt before reaching and crossing the Sierra Nevada.

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In Central Oregon Trail, there was the Santiam Wagon Road, which roughly parallels Oregon Trail Highway 20 to the Willamette Valley.

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The Applegate Oregon Trail, cutting off the California Oregon Trail from the Humboldt River in Nevada, crossed part of California before cutting north to the south end of the Willamette Valley.

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Oregon Trail advised emigrants to drive cattle instead as a source of fresh beef.

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Gold and silver strikes in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon caused a considerable increase in people using the trails, often in directions different from the original trail users.

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Much of the increase in California and Oregon Trail is from emigration by ship, as there was fast and reasonably low cost transportation via east and west coast steamships and the Panama Railroad after 1855.

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The Goodall cutoff, developed in Idaho in 1862, kept Oregon Trail bound travelers away from much of the native trouble nearer the Snake River.

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Gila Oregon Trail going along the Gila River in Arizona, across the Colorado River and then across the Sonora Desert in California was scouted by Stephen Kearny's troops and later by Captain Philip St George Cooke's Mormon Battalion in 1846 who were the first to take a wagon the whole way.

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One of the enduring legacies of the Oregon Trail is the expansion of the United States territory to the West Coast.

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Oregon Trail has featured in various songs, especially in western music genres.

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Story of the Oregon Trail inspired the educational video game series The Oregon Trail, which became widely popular in the 1980s and early 1990s.

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Oregon Trail was a television series that ran from September 22 through October 26, 1977, on NBC.

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