Subsequent to the 1859 establishment of the Hall Porter Mail Station and nearby Camp on Pawnee Fork (predecessor to Fort Larned) 6 miles west of present Larned, Kansas, the eastern terminus of The Dry Route was located 1 mile southwest of Ash Creek Crossing. From this point, The Pre-Wet Route ran south through present Larned, Kansas to Pawnee Fork Crossing. From the same point, The Post-1859 Dry Route ran southwest to cross Pawnee Fork and continue up the south bank of the river to Fort Larned. From Fort Larned, The Post-1859 Dry Route took a southwesterly orientation to Big Coon Creek; thence 31 miles futher to merge with The Wet Route at a point 1 mile east of the location later chosen for the establishment of Fort Dodge, 10 miles east of The Caches. The advent date of this variant remains moot; but it was in use at the time of Col. Stephen Watts Kearney's march to the Mexican War in 1846. It appears that the earlier dry route to The Caches and the later dry route to the point one mile east of Fort Dodge, were in simultaneous use for a period of time. However, by the early 1850's, the branch striking The Wet Route at the point 10 miles east of The Caches had won the contest; and the earlier route to The Caches fell into disuse. In this instance, "post" has reference to time, not location.
A portion of the 1870 Map of Kansas prepared by 1st Lt. Henry Jackson showing The Post-1859 Dry Route merging with The Wet Route near Fort Dodge. Notice also, The Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road merging with The Wet Route at Fort Dodge.
Site F-1 - Interpretive Marker Text
BRANCH: The Post-1859 Dry Route
DESIGNATION: Eastern Terminus of The Post-1859 Dry Route.
LOCATION: From 14th Street and Toles Ave. in Larned, Kansas, proceed north 2 miles, right 1 mile, and left .6 mile to the marker on the left.
GPS AT MARKER: N38 13.573 -- W99 04.646
GPS AT THE SINGLE FARMYARD RUT: N38 13.616 -- W99 04.553
TOPOGRAPHICAL EVIDENCE: None
PHYSICAL EVIDENCE: A slight rut appears in the farmyard 1/4 mile south of the marker.
USGS AERIAL PHOTO: Eastern Terminus of The Post-1859 Dry Route
MODERN DAY MAP: Santa Fe Trail Map Pawnee County, Kansas
TOPOGRAPHIC MAP: Topographic Map
HISTORIC DESCRIPTION: At this point, The Wet and Dry Routes split, The Pre-Wet Route running south through present Larned to Pawnee Fork crossing (Site C-2), and The Post-1859 Dry Route running southwest to cross Pawnee Fork 3 miles east of Fort Larned (Site F-5).
COMMENTS: This location is also (Site H-1).
LEGAL DESCRIPTION: NE 1/4, Section 16, T-21-S, R-16-W, Pawnee County, Kansas.
Township 21 South of Range 16 West, Pawnee County, Kansas
"Marker Project Index"
Santa Fe Trail Research Site
"E-Mail & Home Page"
Larry & Carolyn
St. John, Ks.