Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Other Butterfield Overland Trail

Gove County, Kansas
October 7, 2010

This limestone post is one of 138 markers placed from Fort Ellsworth, Kansas to the Colorado state line to mark the route of the Butterfield Overland Despatch. Howard Raynesford mapped the route of this stagecoach line on the Smoky Hill Trail and between 1936 and 1965 placed these markers along the route. The marker consists of a limestone post mounted in a concrete base with BOD 1865 inscribed near the top of the post.

This post marks the trail near Monument Station, a waystation for the stagecoach. One of the reasons why the trail and station are found here is Monument Rocks (also known as Chalk Pyramids), the nearby natural landmark that is visible for miles and miles on these plains. Shortly after the station was established, the U.S. Army soon found it necessary to place troops here, and the military post became known as Fort Monument or Fort Pyramid.

On the concrete base is written:

Smoky Hill Trail
Butterfield Overland
Atchison to Denver
Traversed by Gen. Fremont 1844
First Denver Stagecoach 1859
Most Dangerous Overland Route
Retraced and Mapped by
Howard C. Raynesford, Ellis Kansas
Marker Placed 1963

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