Site I-5

Smoky Hill River Crossing Marker

BRANCH: The Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road
DESIGNATION: Smoky Hill River Crossing
LOCATION: From the Site I-4 Marker, continue south .4 mile, right 1 mile, and left 4.6 mile to the marker on the left.
GPS AT MARKER: N38 43.118 -- W99 23.649
GPS AT THE RUTS: N38 43.174 -- W99 23.214
PHYSICAL EVIDENCE: East of the marker 528 yards and 45 yards north, multiple ruts are located.
Smoky Hill River Crossing
MODERN DAY MAP: Santa Fe Trail Map Ellis County, Kansas
TOPOGRAPHIC MAP: Topographic Map
HISTORIC DESCRIPTION: Crossing of the Smoky Hill River on The Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road.
DISTANCE: From Fort Hays (Site I-1), 10 miles.

Davidson's Itinerary of the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road
To Miles Comments
Fort Hays to Smoky 10m Good water, grass, some wood & good crossing
Smoky to Big Timbers 8m Wood, grass & water in pools, never failing
Big Timbers to Walnut Creek 7m Good water, grass & wood in abundance
bad crossing, requires a one span bridge
Walnut Creek To N. Pawnee 12m Wood, water, grass abundant. Very bad
crossing requires bridge, probably two spans
N. Branch to Middle 13m Wood, water & grass abundant, bridge required
Middle to S. Branch 13m Abundant water, grass & wood, fair crossing
S. Branch to Ft. Dodge 12m  

Lt. Col. John W. Davidson to Gen. Philip Sheridan, December, 1867, "Letters Received," Department of the Missouri, 1867 Military Records, National Archives Services. Hereafter cited as Davidson.

COMMENTS: A trading ranch was operated near the crossing in the Santa Fe Trail era of the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road by Billy Dixon.
LEGAL DESCRIPTION: NW 1/4, Section 25, T-15-S, R-19-W, Ellis County, Kansas.

Smoky Hill River Crossing Plaque

Township 15 South of Range 19 West, Ellis County, Kansas Township 15 South of Range 19 West, Ellis County, Kansas

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