Independence-Westport Road Crossing and Other Oregon/Santa Fe Trail Alternatives National Register Assessment

Independence & Oregon Trail

Publication: McCoy History Associates

Author: Sandra Van Meter McCoy

Date of Publication: 1994

PDF File: ADA311012.pdf



The investigation described in this report documents the local history for alternate routes of the Oregon and Santa Fe Trail crossings within the Blue River Flood Protection Project Area. The major focus is on the history and National Register of Historic Places assessment of the Independence-Westport Road Crossing, near 27th and Topping, in Blue Valley Park, Kansas City, Missouri. The Independence-Westport Road which leads down to the crossing on the west side dates back, in Jackson County documents, to 1827. The crossing at that site was already in use as a wagon ford. The bridge, built in 1836, is gone; nothing remains of the ferry operation, nor of the wagon ford. There is, however, abundant primary documentation about the existence of the crossing on the Blue River between the two segments of the Independence-Westport Road. The road was sometimes used by individuals or small groups of travelers destined for Santa Fe or Oregon. The site is also significant for its role in the Mormon settlement in Missouri and for being part of a Civil War battlefield. Other crossings of the Blue River are mentioned and located on maps within the Project Area, but none had the county support nor the use that the Independence-Westport Road and Crossing did during its historic period, 1827 to 1856. It is recommended that the Independence-Westport Road Crossing (Road and Crossing) site be considered for designation as a state and local historic site, and possibly as a National Register of Historic Places site.