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The Ozark Trail Association
ozark
trail.
com
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4
HE OZARKS
vember 21, 1818
“Prairie of Little Lakes”,
which is a reference to
the high ground situated
near what is now Salem.
He then entered the
Current River watershed
and eventually set up
camp for several days
at Ashley Cave on the
banks of North Ashley
Creek. His journey took
him across another ridge
and into the White River
watershed, where he
eventually found him-
self in the North Fork
River valley.
On November 21
st
,
while following the North Fork River
valley, Schoolcraft likely crossed
the far western end of the present-
day North Fork section of the Ozark
Trail. The Hammonds Mill Trail is
also in this area which is known for
its calcareous bluffs of chalky lim-
stone and numerous springs.School-
craft carefully noted in these features
in his journal. A map of his route in
this area is shown in Figure 2.
From
View of Lead Mines:
illustration
of Potosi, also called Mine á Breton,
based on local lead mining.
Schoolcraft then spent the next two
months exploring the White River
and James River valleys. From the
North Fork River, he spent the month
of December exploring to the north-
west, eventually reaching the James
River near what is now Springfield
MO. He reversed course on Janu-
ary 1
st
, and explored to the southeast
eventually heading down the White
River valley in Arkansas before
changing course to the northeast
at what is now Batesville AR on Jan-
uary 19
th
. He crossed the Strawberry
River, Spring River, Eleven Point
River and Fourche Creek before re-
entering Missouri on January
25
th
. He continued northeast, cross-
ing the Current River downstream
of what is now Doniphan, and the
Little Black River near present-day
Fairdealing MO.
On January 27
th
, Schoolcraft entered
the Black River watershed north of
present-day Poplar Bluff and this is
where he encounters the present-day
Ozark Trail for a third time. This
time, his expedition likely crossed
the far eastern end of the Victory sec-
tion perhaps just three or four miles
west of US Route 67. Just north of
there, he would have crossed the
Black River. Then for the next four
days until February 1
st
, his expedi-
tion roughly paralleled the
pres
ent-
day Wappapello section, where he
followed the
general course
of the St. Fran-
cis River north-
ward to a point
somewhere
near present-
day Coldwater
MO. Figure 3
shows a map
of his route in
the Black River
and St. Francis
River water-
sheds.
Schoocraft
completed his 90-day journey two
days later on February 4, 1819 with
his return to Potosi.
Figure 3 – Schoolcraft’s Route (Approximate)
January 28-February 2, 1819
KEY FORALL FIGURES
OzarkTrail –Red
Schoolcraft’sRoute–Yellow
Other Trails–Purple