August 16, 2016
2686 UNITED STATES - The route of the Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail is a 2,170-mile (3,490 km) historic east-west, large-wheeled wagon route and emigrant trail that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon. The eastern part of the Oregon Trail spanned part of the future state of Kansas, and nearly all of what are now the states of Nebraska and Wyoming. The western half of the trail spanned most of the future states of Idaho and Oregon. As the trail developed it became marked by many cutoffs and shortcuts from Missouri to Oregon. The basic route follows river valleys as grass and water were absolutely necessary.
The Oregon Trail was laid by fur trappers and traders from about 1811 to 1840, and was only passable on foot or by horseback. By 1836, when the first migrant wagon train was organized in Independence, Missouri, a wagon trail had been cleared to Fort Hall, Idaho. Wagon trails were cleared increasingly further west, and eventually reached all the way to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, at which point what came to be called the Oregon Trail was complete, even as almost annual improvements were made.
From various starting points in Iowa, Missouri, or Nebraska Territory, the routes converged along the lower Platte River Valley near Fort Kearny, Nebraska Territory and led to rich farmlands west of the Rocky Mountains. From the early to mid-1830s (and particularly through the epoch years, 1846-1869) the Oregon Trail and its many offshoots were used by about 400,000 settlers, farmers, miners, ranchers, and business owners and their families.
The eastern half of the trail was also used by travelers on the California Trail (from 1843), Mormon Trail (from 1847), and Bozeman Trail (from 1863), before turning off to their separate destinations. Use of the trail declined as the first transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, making the trip west substantially faster, cheaper, and safer. Today, modern highways follow parts of the same course westward and pass through towns originally established to serve those using the Oregon Trail.
About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the series Apples, about which I wrote here. About the last stamp, depicting the iconic figure of "Wisdom" which is installed over the entrance to the GE Building at Rockefeller Center, I wrote here.
Oregon Trail - Wikipedia
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 14.01.2015