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National and State Registers of Historic Places

Point of Rocks - Middle Spring Santa Fe Trail Historic District

Picture of property 2.5 mi. S of K-51 HWY and 2 mi. W of K-27 HWY
Elkhart vicinity (Morton County)
Listed in National Register Apr 10, 2013

Architect: N/A
Category: transportation
Thematic Nomination: Historic Resources of the Santa Fe Trail (Amended 2013)

The Point of Rocks - Middle Spring Historic District in Morton County includes multiple remnants of the Cimarron Route. Travel over this this segment of the trail began in 1822 and ended with the arrival of the railroad at the Kansas-Colorado state line in 1872. Middle Spring was the next reliable water source west of the Lower Cimarron (or Wagon Bed) Spring. Almost all travelers looking for the water promised at Middle Spring would have used neighboring Point of Rocks as a navigational aid. This large light-colored rock formation with a high flat surface, referred to as Mesa Blanco (white table) by Mexican freighters, could be seen for several miles. In evidence of the role this natural landmark played, visible trail segments curve around Middle Spring and directly to the south of Point of Rocks. The nominated property includes four trail segments, a spring, a natural navigational aid, and a later commemorative marker erected in 1914 by the Daughters of the American Revolution. It was nominated for its significance in the areas of transportation, commerce, and social history, and it has the potential to yield additional important information about the trail.

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