Mullan Road - July 4th Pass - Idaho
Posted by: BruceS
N 47° 37.173 W 116° 31.036
11T E 536274 N 5274128
Quick Description: This road, surveyed between 1853 and 1854 and constructed between 1858 and 1862, was the first major engineered highway in the Pacific Northwest. Its 624 miles connected the Missouri River Basin to the Columbia River Basin, thereby greatly accelerating the development of the Northwest as an integral part of the United States.
Location: Idaho, United States
Date Posted: 10/9/2007 6:58:33 PM
Waymark Code: WM2C29
"The Mullan Road was designed to facilitate the movement of troops and supplies across the Rocky Mountains between the Missouri River basin in the Great Plains and the Columbia River Basin at the Columbia Plateau during times of Indian hostilities. But because peace was reached with the Northwest Indians early on, the road was used only once (in 1860) for military means. Instead, it became a popular thoroughfare for emigrants and fortune-seekers during the Montana and Idaho gold rushes of the 1860s.
Unlike the Oregon Trail and other famous trails of the same period, Mullan Road's route was selected based upon engineering reconnaissance surveys, and a road was actually constructed. Light grading and occasional bridging sufficed on the prairies, but substantial grading and bridging were required in the mountainous sections.
Although fords were used wherever feasible, over a hundred wooden bridges were built, varying in length from a few feet to well over a hundred feet in length. Because there was virtually no money for maintenance, however, most bridges were washed out after a few spring runoffs.
During the engineering reconnaissance survey, a sextant was used for determining astronomical positions, an odometer for measuring distances, a barometer for estimating altitudes, and spirit levels for determining precise altitudes and profiles along various alternative routes." ~ ASCE website
The location of this waymark is near July 4th Pass in Idaho where in celebration of July 4th 1861, Mullan's crew carved the year in a large white pine.
Road of Trail Name: Mullan Road
Location of an historic event during the construction of the road.
Years in use: 23
How you discovered it:
Historical marker along road.
Book on Wagon Road or Trial:
• Mullan, John (1865) (DJVU). Miners and travelers' guide to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado : via the Missouri and Columbia rivers : accompanied by a general map of the mineral region of the northern sections of the Rocky Mountains. Washington State Library's Classics in Washington History collection. Wm. M. Franklin for the author. OCLC 56760403. http://www.secstate.wa.gov/history/publications%5Fdetail.aspx?p=41.
Jackson, W. Turrentine (1938). Wagon Roads West. Berkley, California: University of California Press. pp. 257–278. ISBN 0803294026.
Originally constructed as a military road. Mainly used by settlers and miners moving west.
End of road. Marker in parking lot.
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