From Steamboat Landing to City

From Steamboat Landing to City (HM1N3R)

Location: Kansas City, MO 64106 Jackson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 6.748', W 94° 35.051'

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The town was only a spark in 1834 when entrepreneur and tradesman John Calvin McCoy cut a primitive path from this store to a prominent rock ledge on the river - a perfect landing for riverboats. The steamboat John Hancock, laden with goods for McCoy, was the first to dock at Westport Landing. In the same year, McCoy laid out lots around his store four miles south of the river and named it Westport.
Commerce prospered during the Mexican War (1846 to 1848) with increased Santa Fe, Oregon, and California trade. The California gold rush of 1848 brought thousands of emigrants rushing west to Pacific coast via Westport Landing and the town of Kansas. By 1849 the town included "some eight or ten stores, several blacksmith's shops, a gunsmith's shop, wagon maker's shop, three hotels, &c.&c."
On February 23, 1853, the town of Kansas officially became the City of Kansas based on the charter received by the Missouri Legislature. Two years later, workers began to cut back the towering bluffs along the river and widen the levee. By 1855 the town was thriving with a bright and promising future. The town changed its name to Kansas City in 1889.
[Picture caption]
In 1838, McCoy and 13 other Jackson County residents formed the self-styled Town Company. For $4,220, they purchased a 257-acre tract of prime riverfront property that included the up and coming Westport Landing. McCoy platted 15 acres for the town and the company agreed to call it Kansas. Legal Squabbles stalled development for eight years, but they cleared up in 1846 and a new survey made investment and development possible.
Photograph courtesy of Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri.
HM NumberHM1N3R
Placed ByNational Park Service and Kansas City Area Historic Trails Association
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, August 21st, 2015 at 1:03pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 363036 N 4330451
Decimal Degrees39.11246667, -94.58418333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 6.748', W 94° 35.051'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 6' 44.88" N, 94° 35' 3.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)816, 913
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Riverfront Heritage Trail, Kansas City MO 64106, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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