The Santa Fe, Oregon, and California trails proved to be both challenging and exhilarating for the travelers in the caravans passing through this junction along one of the Westport routes. Letters and diaries are filled with adventures and excitement, as well as stories of hardship or loss. These are their words.
At Indian Creek my wife gave birth to a daughter between 12 and 1 a.m. and at 8 o'clock we rolled out again.
Mormon John Davies came through this trail junction with a wagon train of Oregon and California emigrants on July 1, 1854
[We] marched over the broad Santa Fe road, beaten out by the caravans...
Dr. F. A. Wislizenus headed west on the Santa Fe Trail, leaving Sapling Grove in 1839
The train again in motion, we made Westport, a little trafficking village in the twilight of better times, thrown on, by the farthest wave of semi-civilization, upon western plains. This left, we are at once adrift beyond the pale of society, 'a law unto ourselves'. After a days ride through plains fragrant with the freshest imprint of the opening year...
Richard L. Wilson traveled the northern route from Westport in 1842
On the old Santa Fe Trail we jumped from water hole to water hole across the state [of Kansas].
of an "old time trader"
The work cattle and wagons were collected and a camp established, about the first of May, on the high rolling prairie near the Santa Fe Trail, three miles southwest of Westport...awaiting the arrival of our freight at Kansas City.
There were twenty-six wagons, five yokes of oxen to each, carrying about seven thousand pounds of freight each. At the outset everybody about the train...was filled with good humor. The weather was perfect, the view of the apparently boundless prairie exhilarating.
William B. Napton traveled the southern route from Westport in 1857