People & Places on the Oregon and California Trails
Pioneers wrote of their travels to Oregon, California, Utah and other western locations in diaries, letters, remembrances, and newspaper articles.
These stories speak to who we are and where our dreams can take us. Those stories live on all around us: in the ruts in the ground, in the traditions of our western states, in our pageants and festivals, in the descendants of the original emigrants, in the values that we cherish, in the landscape through which the emigrants passed, and in the signatures they left behind. In fact, it’s hard to imagine what the United States would be like without having had the experience of the westward emigrants.
Emigrant Trail Certificate
Did YOUR ancestors travel the emigrant trails?
Do you have an ancestor who traveled the emigrant trails? Would you like to be recognized formally as their descendant? Provide us with documentation of their travels on the form provided, and submit it to OCTA to obtain a certificate similar to the one above, suitable for framing.
Most of the trail stories which appear on our website are the work of Dr. Robert Munkres, our resident historical expert. Many of these articles first appeared in the “Tombstone Epitaph”.
There are many trail-related sites to visit along the Oregon and California emigrant trails. OCTA works to place interpretive signs at significant sites and remaining graves along the emigrant trails.
The accounts of emigrants offered in this section are stories about individual people who traveled the western trails.
OCTA established the Emigrant Trails Hall of Fame to honor preservationists, authors, public officials, philanthropists and pioneers of the trails.
These articles were generously shared by Dr. Jim Tompkins, who worked closely with the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Oregon City, Oregon.
A number of emigrant graves can still be found along the Oregon and California trails. OCTA has identified and marked many of them.