The Applegate Trail

The Applegate Trail (HM16WW)

Location: Wolf Creek, OR 97497 Josephine County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 38.16', W 123° 22.656'

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Southern Route to Oregon

In 1846, Jesse Applegate and fourteen others from near Dallas, Oregon, established a trail south from the Williamette Valley and east to Fort Hall. This route offered emigrants an alternative to the perilous "last leg" of the Oregon Trail down the treacherous Columbia River.

The first emigrants to trek the new "Southern Road" left with the trailblazers from Fort Hall in early August 1846. With Levi Scott acting as a guide, while Jesse Applegate traveled ahead to mark the route, the hardy emigrants blazed a wagon trail through nearly 500 miles of wilderness arriving in the upper Williamette Valley in November. Emigrant travel continued along the Applegate Trail in later years and contributed greatly to the settlement of southern Oregon and the Williamette Valley.
No Time to Mourn
Hardship was common fare for the Applegate Trail emigrants — privation, illness and death were constant companions. Travelers eager to reach the settlements before winter had little time to mourn - funerals were short with graves often shallow and unmarked. Martha Leland Crowley's grave near the north bank of this creek is no exception.

There were 15 in the family I was with — The Crowleys. Eight of them died before reaching Oregon? The last of the family to die on the trip was Martha Leland Crowley, who died near what used to be called Grave Creek? I was a carpenter and made coffins for the members of our party who died. We had no boards left when Martha died, but I knocked some boxes to pieces and made her a coffin. We buried her by the stream and then corralled the cattle over the grave as the Indians would not find her body and dig it up.
- 1846
HM NumberHM16WW
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 7:19pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10T E 469041 N 4720463
Decimal Degrees42.63600000, -123.37760000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 38.16', W 123° 22.656'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 38' 9.60" N, 123° 22' 39.36" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)541
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 544 Sunny Valley Loop, Wolf Creek OR 97497, US
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