Independence Courthouse Square Complex - Independence, Missouri
The location of frenzied outfitting activity throughout the 1840s and early 1850s, Independence was the jumping-off point for the Santa Fe and Oregon trails. The town includes several historic buildings, monuments and Independence Spring.
As the place of convergence of early routes from the Mississippi Valley, this square was the last significant point of supply until the mid-1840s, when Westport also became an outfitting town.
When J. Quinn Thornton visited Independence in 1846, he found, "a great Babel of African slaves, indolent dark-skinned Spaniards, profane and dust-laden bullwhackers going to and from Santa Fe with their immense wagons, and emigrant families bound for the Pacific, all cheerful and intent on their embarkation upon the great prairie wilderness."
To visit the Courthouse Square Complex:National Frontier Trails Center
318 West Pacific
Independence, MO 64050
Did You Know?
Many emigrants chose to take the Barlow Road around Mt. Hood as an alternative to dissembling their wagons and running the cold rapids of the Columbia River to reach their destination in the Oregon Territory in the 1840s-1860s. More...