His description is as follows: His description is as follows: "About three-fourths of a mile from our camp we found a large spring of water, as cold and pure as if it had just been melted from ice. She even showed me where the rock had originally been a part of an overhang before breaking off and falling to the bottom of the spring decades ago. The newspaper reported that: Two deaths had taken place among the California emigrants - one a small child, the child of Judge Morin, and the other a Mrs. Keys, from Springfield, Ill., quite an aged lady and, had been laboring under consumption. The Donner-Reed Party was the first to use Emigration Canyon (to later become the primary route of Mormon pioneers). Tamsen Donner, wife of George Donner, wrote from Independence to her sister Eliza Poor: Contemporary accounts place the actual number of wagons as about 250, with about 1,500 people, headed for both California and Oregon. Alcove Spring Historic Park was also the site of the first recorded death in the Donner Party - 70 year old Sarah H. Keyes, who died from consumption. marker memorializing Sarah Keyes, a member of the Donner Party who died in 1846. Bryant describes the day’s travel: The trail along which we have traveled to-day, has been dry, compact and easy for our teams. Alcove Springs was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The Donners arrive at Independence, Missouri, as recorded by Tamsen Donner, wife of George Donner, in a letter dated May 11 to her sister Eliza Poor: I came here last evening & start tomorrow morning on the long journey. The name was given to the springs by a member of the Donner-Reed Party in 1846, although it was a known place along the trail which fur trappers traversed in the late 1820s and 1830s. The exact location of her burial is unknown. As noted by Miller the Russell party was delayed at the Big Blue. The Donner Party carved the words Alcove Springs in eight inch letters on a nearby rock that could be read for over a century (recent travelers report that part of the inscription has broken away from the rock face, apparently through natural weathering). Here we first met the Donners. At the camp on Soldier Creek the Donner-Reed party caught up to and joined the Bryant Party, as recounted by Bryant: On May 20, 1846, James Reed wrote a letter to his brother-in-law James Keyes. The Donner party, most of whom later froze or starved in the Sierras, buried its first member, Sarah Keyes, near the Springs in 1846. On July 2, 1846, after trading their wagons and teams for mules, Bryant, Russell, and seven other men set out by themselves to become the first emigrants to take Hastings Cutoff. George McKinstry’s diary recorded the motions, which led to: Bryant describes the efforts to cross the Big Blue: While the Russell Company waited for the water to fall, they were joined by other parties, including the Murphy family, as recalled by William Murphy in his 1896 speech at Truckee: We concluded to overtake them, which we did at the Big Blue, in Kansas, where they were water bound. Dec 21, 2014 - jf reed of the donner party carved his name in a rock at alcove springs kansas RENO, Nev. (AP) — A pair of backcountry endurance athletes who became obsessed with the Donner Party spent the last seven years researching and exploring the Sierra on … According to Hill, the rock has been defaced since this photo was taken. The wapulusa is the present Wakarusa, near Lawrence, Kansas. altogether one of the most romantic spots I ever saw." I strongly recommend going before the drier part of the year, if possible. Donner Party - Stone at Alcove Springs, Ks" c1929 photo D1/2/ Donner Party Members -photocopies photo D1/2/ Donner Party -Scenes along Route c 1949, photocopies photo D1/2/ Donner, George photo G3/3 Donner, George Jr. photo G7/4/2075 Donner, George Jr. … Missing and Exploited Women; OER RATIONALE! Santa Fe Trail Ruts and Monument in Minor Park, Kansas City, photographed 1998, 16 and from thir we Camped on the head of Rull Creek twenty miles from Big Blue. Kit Carson and John C. Fremont, rested at Alcove Springs before continuing their travels west. This letter is in the collection of the James Keyes papers of the Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, Illinois, and is excerpted here with their permission. 8, No. The group which made the springs more significant than any other was the Donner party which camped along the Big Blue at that point in May, 1846. Independence is the site of the National Frontier Trails Center, just north of the Santa Fe Trail Park. Alcove Spring. One hundred and sixty-plus years ago this week, members of the Donner Party rested at Pilot Springs at the foot of Pilot Peak in Nevada near the Utah border. The spring was named by a member of the Donner Party in 1846. Bryant describes the day’s journey and camp: 21 and from their we traveled a Bout 5 miles and Camped on prairie Creek. George McKinstry in his diary entry of May 26 says: In his diary entry for May 27, Bryant describes exploring a stream that flowed into the river: One of the remaining marks of the passage of the Donner Party is a rock where James Reed carved his initials, and dated 26 May 1846. Alcove Spring and Waterfall are located near Independence Crossing, a famous ford where pioneer wagons following the Oregon Trail forded the Big Blue River. Across the road from the Alcove Springs park is another park commemorating the Oregon Trail and features history, wagon swales and a D.A.R. Alcove Springs was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. On May 19 the party joined a larger wagon train captained by William Russell about 100 miles west of Independence, Missouri. At Alcove Springs there is a monument to Sarah Keyes, a member of the Donner party who expired from tuberculosis here in Kansas, long before the party was stranded in the Sierra Nevada. It was a stop on a route used by travelers on both the Oregon and California trails in the mid-19th century—including the ill-fated 1846 Donner party that later became snowbound in the Sierra Nevada mountain range with tragic results. Some of the entries appear to have been written after the events, which led both Stewart and King to question it. Most of the emigrants who later became members of the Donner Party also traveled with this group. The ill-fated Donner Party camped at Alcove Spring from May 26 to May 31 1846, waiting for the Blue River to go down so that they could safely cross at nearby Independence Crossing. 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