People & Stories
Life, Locations & Lineage on the Oregon Trail
People & Places on the Oregon Trail
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
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".
- Indians & Emigrants
- Sangamo Journal
- Accidents & Illness
- Children on the Trail
- Sarah Keyes, Donner Party
- Dr. William Todd's Advice
- Fueling the Journey
- Grattan Massacre
- Gunning for the West
- Laughing on the Trails
- Let's Make a Deal
- Mormon Trail Stories
- Trail Food
- Trail Medicine
- Trail Pets
- What's in a Name?
- Where the Buffalo Roam
- Wild Trail, Wild Life
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 individual stories about individual emigrants.
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.
These articles were generously shared by Dr. Jim Tompkins (1947-1917), who worked closely with the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Oregon City, Oregon.
- Applegate Trail
- The Oregon Trail Generation
- Origins of the Oregon Trail
- Where did the Oregon Trail Go?
- Oregon Trail Mileposts
- Trading Post Forts
- First Emigrants on the Oregon Trail
- Outfitting for the Trail
- Independence, Missouri
- Freighters, Stagecoaches and Lone Riders
- Life and Death on the Oregon Trail
- Disrupting the Natives
- The Dalles, OR
- Final Leg of the Oregon Trail
- Religious Freedom on the Trail
- Gold! Gold from the American River!
- Iron Horses Over the Ruts
- Oregon Trail Diaries
- Oregon City