"After leaving Pawnee Rock, the fear of the Indians was with us day and night...
and when we reached Fort Mackey on the Arkansas River, we breathed a sigh of relief."
— Marian Russell, near what would become Fort Dodge, 1852
Points of Interest:
The Caches, The Black pool, Fort Mann, Fort Mackey, Fort Atkinson, Fort Dodge, Point of Rocks, Cimarron Crossing locations, the rut site at Howell, the Burr Parkway ruts, Leander Herron's Medal of Honor battle site on Coon Creek, the division of the trail at Cimarron into the Cimarron Cut Off or the Mountain Route, and the Treaty with the Southern Plains Indian Tribes in 1853 at Fort Atkinson are significant points of interest.
Dodge City Ruts Boothill Musuem Coronado Crossing Park
Fort Dodge Cimarron, Ks Cimarron Hotel
Fort Mackey Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau
Point of Rocks
Dodge City rut site view of the plains
Cimarron Crossing Park located in Cimarron, KS
August 3, 2023, a small crowd gathered to unveil and dedicate a new monument at a site near the historic Santa Fe Trail landmark known as “The Caches.” This landmark got its name after the Baird-Chambers trading party were caught in a blizzard in late 1822 and lost all of their pack animals. In the early spring of 1823, after spending three months taking shelter on a large island in the Arkansas River, the group dug pits on a slope on the north side of the river to “cache” their trade goods, covering them discreetly so the trade goods would be well hidden. The group then walked approximately 360 miles to the west to Taos, NM where they purchased replacement pack animals, returned to the site of the caches, dug up the trade items and then continued their trading trip to Santa Fe.
This monument is a replacement to mark the general location for the Santa Fe Trail landmark known as “The Caches”. The site had been marked previously by two other monuments, dating from the 1920s and the 1930s, both of which had to be replaced due to highway expansion of U. S. Highway 50.
The Dodge City/Ft. Dodge/Cimarron Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association spearheaded the efforts for the replacement, as well as the unveiling and dedication of the new monument. The Kansas Department of Transportation funded the replacement and worked closely with the chapter on the location. Koss Construction of Topeka, KS donated equipment/labor to prepare the site for placements.
In addition, the chapter has added a storyboard detailing the history of The Caches and the sites of Fort Mann and Fort Atkinson, as well as the history of the various monuments that were also located in this vicinity. Luminous Neon of Dodge City moved and installed the storyboard in time for the dedication. One feature of the new monument is that the marble plaques that had been mounted on the previous monuments were very carefully and painstakingly removed and stored by Brak-Hard Concrete of Dodge City. These plaques were then installed on the new monument by Osborne Memorials of Dodge City.
Three monuments have marked the location of the famous landmark on the historic Santa Fe Trail known as “The Caches.” The most recent monument was dedicated on August 3, 2023. This monument and the location at a new site were made necessary by the expansion of U. S. Highway 50. The new monument, created by Osborne Memorials of Dodge City, KS, includes the original marble plaques that have been embedded on all three monuments. The previous monuments had been located at the intersection of 107 Road and Highway 50 since the 1930s when highway construction at that time required the replacement of the original monument that had been placed by the Old Timers Association in 1926. As one local, well-known historian, David Clapsaddle, stated, “It’s not the monument that is important – it is what the monument marks that is of importance.” The Dodge City/Ft. Dodge/Cimarron Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association worked closely with the Kansas Department of Transportation to install the latest version of The Caches monument.