People & Stories

Life, Locations & Lineage on the Oregon Trail

People & Places on the Oregon Trail

People & Places on the Oregon Trail

Pioneers wrote of their travels to Oregon, California, Utah, Montana, 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.

      Trail Sites

      OCTA works to place interpretive signs at significant sites and remaining graves along the emigrant trails.


      It has been estimated that one in ten emigrants died during the crossing. Most of these graves were hastily-dug because few emigrants had the time to mark the graves of the deceased.

      ^ Back to Top

      Learn People & Stories

      Save the Trail: Preservation
      Paper Trail: Pioneer Documents

      OCTA News

      Join us for our Council Bluffs Convention, August 8-12, 2017

      The Oregon-California Trails Association presents OCTA's 35th annual con ...

      Proposed Transmission line transects Oregon Trail

      The final Environmental Impact Statement on the Boardman-Hemingway power ...

      Emigrant Trails Hall of Fame now available online

      OCTA Activities

      National Trails Day Event, Olathe, KS - June 3, 2017

      May 11, 2017

      Speakers Bureau

      Jan 30, 2017

      2016 Annual Convention Highlights

      Aug 01, 2016

      Join Us

      FacebookLike us on Facebook OCTA MembershipBecome a member (from $50)