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Historic Forty-Niner Trail


category : Historic Trails
During the 19th century the United States underwent a dramatic westward expansion, but perhaps no single event stimulated this mass migration more than the 1848 discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in California. Hundreds of thousands of Americans were struck with "the fever" responsible for perhaps the single greatest mass migrations in American history. The majority of gold seekers followed the established Oregon Trail, which then took on the name of the "Forty-Niner" or "California" trail.


Coming from the eastern states tothe starting points of Independence, or St. Joseph, Missouri, or Council Bluffs, Iowa, fortune hunters entered Thayer County near presentday Alexandria and followed the Big Sandy Valley, where water, wood, and grass were available. After crossing the Big Sandy near Belvidere, the trail proceeded in a south-westerly direction to the banks of the Little Blue River. After the establishment of Thompson's Station, a few miles south of Belvidere, the trail followed the Eighteen-Mile Ridge across Thayer County. The Pony Express, freighters, overland stage companies and the railroads later used the route.



The call to adventure, possible riches, or a new home in a new land, encouraged people of all backgrounds to attempt the arduous trek to California. These hardy pioneers struggled against disease, heat, lack of water and Indian threats to find their own personal pot of gold at the end of the Forty-Niner Trail.



- Nebraska State Historical Society Marker


Hours: Located on the Museum grounds in Belvidere
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Come visit us in Deshler, Nebraska

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Historical Walking Tour

While strolling along the sidewalks on Main Street stop and read the historical plaques placed on the fronts of the buildings that chronical the merchants that have occupied these structures from the 1900s to the present.

From a saloon in 1909, to a mortuary, to the Ritz Theater in 1936

Deshler, NE Tours

Trinity Lutheran Church of Friedensau

Located three miles north of this corner, near the Little Blue River, the village of Friedensau, "Peaceful Meadows," was established in 1874 by Lutheran missionary paster, John J. Kern. The town was first settled by his former parishners from Indiana and Ilinois.

In 1885

Deshler, NE Historic Churches

Deshler Flour Mill

A point interest is the Deshler Roller Mills. Started in 1893, the mill supplied flour to nearly all the towns in the surrounding area. During the 1940

Deshler, NE Historic Mills

Deshler City Park

The Desher City Park covers 10

Deshler, NE Recreation

Outdoor Mural

A scene of early century Deshler is painted on the side of one of Deshler's downtown buildings.

- Gretchen Wiseman, 1997

Deshler, NE Arts

Things to do Historic Trails near Deshler, NE

Historic Forty-Niner Trail

During the 19th century the United States underwent a dramatic westward expansion, but perhaps no single event stimulated thi...

Frontier Trails Across Gage County

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Historic Seven Trails

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Ox-Bow Trail

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