Historical Markers, Interpretive Signs

Discussion in 'Photos' started by sfarson, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. Sod Buster

    Sod Buster prairie rider

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    LC, the Post Office Oak is just a little west of the Council Oak, and is another covered tree trunk like the Council Oak, it stood in front of the old brewery. Why they built the Brewery right on top of it is strange, when alive it stood on the left side of the staircase by the porch.

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    The Kaw and the Cheyenne had long been enemies, and in an altercation with the Kaw, in which the Cheyenne took offence had occured near Fort Zarah (now Great Bend) to the west along the trail. On June 1, 1868, about one hundred Cheyenne warriors descended on the Kaw reservation, about three miles to the southeast of town. Terrified white settlers took refuge in Council Grove. By some acounts the Cheyenne rode through Council Grove on their way out to the Kaw Reservation.


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    The Kaw men painted their faces, donned their finery, and sallied forth on horseback to meet the Cheyenne. The two Indian armies put on a military pageant featuring horsemanship, fearsome howls and curses, and volleys of bullets and arrows. After four hours, the Cheyenne retired with a few stolen horses and a peace offering of coffee and sugar by the Council Grove merchants. Nobody was hurt on either side. They say many folks from Council Grove rode out and watched the battle from the hills above.


    The Brewery marker.


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    During the battle, the mixed-blood Kaw interpreter, Joseph James Jr (more commonly known as Jojim or Joe Jim) galloped 60 miles to Topeka to request assistance from the Governor. Riding along with Jojim was an eight-year old, part- Kaw Indian boy named Charles Curtis or “Indian Charley.” Curtis would later become a jockey, a lawyer, a politician, and Vice President of the United States under Herbert Hoover. The highest office ever held by a person of Native American Heritage.
    Charles Curtis was born January 25, 1860, in Topeka, Kansas, to Oren Arms and Ellen (Pappan) Curtis. He spent his earliest years partly in the white and partly in the Native American community, he spoke Kaw and French before he learned to speak English. The son of Orren Curtis, a white man, and Ellen Pappan, who was one-quarter Kaw Indian, Charles Curtis on his mother's side was the great-great grandson of White Plume, a Kansa-Kaw chief who had offered assistance to the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804. White Plume's daughter married Louis Gonville, a French-Canadian fur trader, and their daughter, Julie Gonville, married Louis Pappan. Curtis’ mother died when he was three and his early life was spent with his maternal grandmother and other relatives on the Kaw Indian Reservation near Council Grove. Life was unsettled on the reservation. Due to conflicts among the Kaws, Cheyennes, and Arapahos, young Curtis was sent to Topeka in 1868 to live with his paternal grandmother.

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    Believed to have been 270 years old when it died in 1990, this bur oak is said to have served as an unofficial post office for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail from 1825-1847. Passing caravans could leave messages for future travelers in a cache in the base of the tree.


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  2. Dorzok

    Dorzok Long timer

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  3. Hanzo

    Hanzo KLUANE

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  4. MrBob

    MrBob Knee-jerk liberal

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  5. sfarson

    sfarson On a Ride

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    Love the tree images, and historical details!
  6. Sod Buster

    Sod Buster prairie rider

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    Really great historical pics of trees MrBob and Dorzok, and a really good one of the Santa Fe Trail ruts Hanzo.

    When I read the redwood marker I thought Wow it took 60 man hours to cut it down. Then I read it again, 60 man hours to cut it down, 1753 years to grow it!


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    The Oak tree to the left of the bikes.


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    G.A. Custer died in 1876, Libby Custer and Amos Kimball sold the 120 acres in 1881. I think Amos Kimball would have to be Brigadier General. U.S Army, Amos Kimball. He was not that rank at the time but he served along with Custer in the 1868 69 Winter Campaign against the Plains Indians.

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    When the army moved west it always came through Council Grove as the trail west connects to the Smoky Hill and all the Kansas Frontier Forts, it was the entrance to the Central Great Plains, into the very heart of Native America..

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    The property buts up to the Neosho River just into the treeline behind.


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    The tree died of Dutch Elm Disease, in the 1970s, I don't know about elsewhere but Kansas lost a ton of old trees to Dutch Elm in the 70s.

    Custer Elm while still alive.

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  7. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer

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    Lewis and Clark Expedition was conducted by the book, Army SOP procedure handbook. Most days they would select a campsite and someone was assigned to locate a level spot for their kitchen (cooking area) next to a clean running stream. Since the blacksmith and bullet maker and the cooks both needed a campfire they shared space and campfires.

    For obvious sanitary and privacy reasons someone else would walk off 100 paces from the kitchen campsite and clean running creek to define the location for their latrine.

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    In 2001 an archaeologist/historian came up with a cleaver idea.

    In 1803 a Dr. Rush had supplied M. Lewis with a concoction of a medicine as a cure-all for constipation, headaches, and even childbirth. This "medicine's" primary component was mercury. Not good for human consumption but worked well as a laxative. And yes, M Lewis gave Sacajawea a dose of "Dr. Rush's Revenge" medicine when she was having a difficult time giving birth to Jean Baptiste.

    With mercury lasting hundreds of years without decomposing, the archaeologist decided to search for the L & C latrine at a campsite the Expedition stayed at for 7 days. After only a few days of searching the scientist discovered heavy concentrations of mercury in a small area of soil at their "Travelers Rest" camp. They walked off 100 paces towards the nearby creek and soon discovered lead (that was used to make their bullets. Private Shields was the bullet maker and as he melted the lead around the campfire he would always drop some of the melted lead on the ground. (see picture)

    Site of the latrine and mercury beside this tree. The tree was drilled for age rings in 2001 and would have been standing when L & C camped at Travelers Rest. Making it around 211 years old. If only trees could talk.

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    Site of Latrine:

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    Site of kitchen and blacksmith campfire along Lolo Creek, 100 paces from the latrine.

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  8. MrBob

    MrBob Knee-jerk liberal

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    Not far from my house is this Cottonwood tree:

    "The national champion Plains Cottonwood tree is more than 300 years old, 36 feet around and 105 feet tall. It is located about a mile from Hygiene, Colorado on a closed property maintained by Boulder County Parks and Open Space."

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    I'll bet other places claim to have the largest Cottonwood, too. Whatever, this thing is huge. There is a fast-running irrigation ditch between myself and the tree so I couldn't get to the rise in front of the tree. The bulk of the trunk is down in a depression. The tree also appears to be stone-dead.

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  9. melville

    melville Long timer

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    Not too far from home:

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    I'm not happy about the paint. This tree was vandalized recently.
  10. sfarson

    sfarson On a Ride

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    Terrific tree stuff. They do indeed tell tales and participate in tales.
  11. jay547

    jay547 Long timer

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    The Council Oak Tree, Tulsa, OK.

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    The Creek Council Tree, a mature burr oak, marks the traditional "busk ground" chosen in 1836 by the Lochapoka clan of Creek Indians. In late 1834, they had begun their involuntary migration from Alabama under the control of the U.S. Government. It was a slow and painful trek; of the original group of 630, 161 died in route. Their 1836 arrival was marked with a solemn and traditional ceremony. A "busk" site was chosen on a low hill overlooking the Arkansas River. Here, according to their traditions, they deposited ashes brought over the trail from their last fires in Alabama. The Tulsa-Lochapoka, a political division of the Creek Nation, established their "town." As late as 1896, the Lochapoka gathered here for ceremonies, feasts, and games. The site was probably not used by the Indians after the turn of the century. Gradually it became a solid residential area for the growing city of Tulsa. The Creek Council Tree itself, however, survived. The oak, standing in its small, well-landscaped city park, serves as a meaningful memorial to the proud Indian tribe that brought law and order to a new homeland nearly 156 years ago. The Creek Council Tree was placed under Historic Preservation Zoning in January of 1992.
  12. Sod Buster

    Sod Buster prairie rider

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  13. Sod Buster

    Sod Buster prairie rider

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  14. sfarson

    sfarson On a Ride

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    The historic train roundhouse at Como, in South Park, Colorado.

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  15. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer

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    Standing on the Continental Divide in 1805 Meriwether Lewis wrote in his journal that the Columbia River and all the other rivers they were facing would have much stronger currents (Rapids) than any rivers they had encountered on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.

    How he figured it out. A British sea captain (Capt Gray) had documented the latitude and longitude of the mouth of the Columbia River in Washington state in 1792, 13 years earlier.

    Knowing their current latit/longit. standing on the Cont. Divide Lewis in his head calculated the distance from where he stood to the mouth of the Columbia River (about 600 miles) and sea level and had a mental picture of the difficulties the Expedition faced.

    He documented these thoughts on August 10, 1805. Months before they reached the Pacific Ocean. Lewis' conclusion was that the current elevation and distance to the Pacific and it's elevation meant that the rapid water fall would not be navigable by boat and man.

    Lewis' comment to Clark was basically "we need more horses".

    Amazing foresight!

    Approaching the Cont Divide via Lemhi Pass Road:

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    Standing on top of Lemhi Pass looking east from the Continental Divide.

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    Standing on the Cont Divide on Lemhi Pass, looking towards today's mouth of the Columbia River (Astoria, Oregon/Cape Disappointment) - (605 miles over that horizon).

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    Marker at the Cont Divide about Meriwether Lewis' conclusions. Note to far right that the actual distance was 600 miles.

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    Meriwether Lewis was a really smart dude. :deal

    With a compass, sun, moon, stars, and a quill pen his conclusions were exactly correct.
    Most of us would have never figured this out even with our Garmins.:wink:

    Got lost going to the grocery store today.
    RevyRider likes this.
  16. Sod Buster

    Sod Buster prairie rider

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    Good stuff sf and LC.


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  17. Sod Buster

    Sod Buster prairie rider

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  18. Brakelate

    Brakelate Supermoto Adventurer

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    Very Powerful stuff. I usually just lurk and don't post, not wanting to break the integrity of the threads.

    But, I LOVE your posts here, in The Plains and Before and After, along with those of others who contribute.

    Please keep up the fine work!

    I am amazed that the soldier documentation was as good as it was, in regards to cause / date of death and location.

    So, I am completely baffled as to how the (very appropriate) Indian Defender grave markers were located on the spot where they fell, the name and tribe info retained, etc.

    Any insight to the abilty to do that?
  19. Sod Buster

    Sod Buster prairie rider

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    After the battle some of these sites had rock cairns placed on them by the familys of the fallen, before the village split up.

    link to how they know.

    http://www.littlebighorn.info/Articles/IndianCasualties.pdf
  20. MrBob

    MrBob Knee-jerk liberal

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    It's a wonderful development to see that in my lifetime both sides of these conflicts are beginning to receive attention.