#799 - The Overland Emigrant Trail
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Touchstone
N 39° 03.713 W 121° 05.313
10S E 665377 N 4325382
Quick Description: A nice wide turnout on Hwy 49 between Auburn and Grass Valley is the home of this marker commemorating the old emigrant trail that used to run by here.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 10/26/2006 5:06:45 AM
Waymark Code: WMWF7
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member Marky
Views: 69

Long Description:

The official plaque reads:

Over a hundred years ago, this trail resounded to creaking wheels of pioneer wagons and the cries of hardy travelers on their way to the gold fields. It is estimated that over thirty thousand people used this trail in 1849. Here the old trail approaches the present highway.

Although I believe the following quote would probably be more appropriate:

O do not leave my bones here.  If possible let them lay at home, if not here, let it be California.  The idea of the plains is horrible!  I now see my journey in its true light & if I am permitted to record, the pages of my journal will tell a fearful tale.

Nowadays, as we zoom by in our air conditioned car, over 150 years after one of the great emigrations of all time, it's hard to imagine the hardships that the settlers and gold seekers went through to reach this spot.  Over 2,000 miles from the Missouri River, over plains and mountains, through streams and rivers, encountering wild animals and savages (although there is more myth than fact to that assertion), some 300,000 people struggled to the promised land.  Many died along the route, buried in unmarked and lonely graves, but for those that successfully made the trek, California must have truly seemed the land of milk and honey.

By the Civil War, most emigrant trails had been either converted into or replaced by toll roads, freighting roads, or stage lines.  New mining communities that had sprung up in the surrounding territories to the east and northeast of California accelerated this road building activity.  The construction of the first transcontinental railway-by linking together the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads in 1869-completed the transformation of emigrant trails.  Now emigrants could travel west or east not only on a well developed network of wagon roads but on railroads (or even on roads alongside railway tracks).  Emigrants in their wagons, however, would continue crisscrossing the west for much of the remaining century.  By this time railroads and road building had relegated the original emigrant trails to the pages of history.

Reference: Trails West: Markers of the California Trail


Marker Number: 799.00


County: Nevada

Has Official CA Plaque: yes

Marker Dedication Date: 10/23/1976

SE side of Wolf Creek Bridge, State Hwy 49 (P.M. 3.61), 10 mi S of Grass Valley

Website: [Web Link]

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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oldwood visited #799 - The Overland Emigrant Trail 7/3/2011 oldwood visited it
thebraytons3 visited #799 - The Overland Emigrant Trail 8/7/2008 thebraytons3 visited it

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