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Kenneth Mays
This historical marker identifies the trail that followed the Platte River for over half a century and some of the names by which it was known.

From the 1830s to the 1860s, the Platte River served as an important overland route to what is now the Western United States. Different names have been ascribed to the trail depending on which time period is being referenced. For the period from 1847 to 1864, it was known as the Mormon Trail.

An interpretive panel in Dodge County notes that the Mormon Trail in Nebraska basically followed the Platte River, approximating present-day U.S. 30 from the area of Omaha/Winter Quarters to Fort Kearney, Nebraska. In that connection, the route was known as the Omaha-Fort Kearney Military Road. | Kenneth Mays

Presently, several historical markers along the way identify the route and interpret the story of this trail. An interpretive panel in Dodge County notes that this route basically followed the Platte River, approximating present-day U.S. 30 from the area of Omaha/Winter Quarters to Fort Kearney, Nebraska. In that connection, the route was known as the Omaha-Fort Kearney Military Road.

Led by Brigham Young, the initial pioneer camp of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints first began its trek from Winter Quarters to the Salt Lake Valley by following this route beginning in April 1847. Journal accounts from pioneer camp participants noted the cold nights and beautiful scenery.

Moreover, the view was such that one pioneer caught his first sight of the Platte River when he was about 30 miles west of Winter Quarters. He recorded that the Great Platte looked “like a line of silver glistening in the setting sun through the scattered timber upon its banks” (see Norton Jacob in "The Mormon Vanguard Brigade of 1847," edited by Ronald O. Barney).