3-Trails Corridor

Gardner Junction Park

Here, the Westport and Independence Routes converged. Then, depending on their destination, emigrants would continue southwest to Santa Fe, as they had since 1821; or, they would turn northwesterly towards Oregon or California. Dedicated in 2008, this is the junction where the Oregon and California trails split from the Santa Fe trail.
Thanks to: David W. Jackson

Gardner Junction Park

click address to open in map

History

While the Santa Fe trail was a two-way route of commerce between the United States and Mexico, the Oregon and California trails carried emigrants relocating from their homelands to new, western territories. As wagons funneled to and converged upon communities in Jackson County at Missouri’s western border, the multitudes of people did their best to form wagon companies and organized rules for a safe passage west. Each spring, all travelers would rush southwest towards this junction before taking the appropriate ‘exit’ to their preferred route. By this time, their wagon trains were formed…although not all stayed together as they progressed west. The last decision before ‘jumping off’ was to choose the appropriate route. Those heading northwest would never return this way (unless they had to turn back for some unfortunate circumstance). Those heading southwest to Santa Fe would be back, again, with wagons loaded with Mexican silver and goods destined for all points east.
Thanks to: David W. Jackson