Buffalo Trace

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Buffalo Trace History[edit | edit source]

The Buffalo Trace trail was created by American bison when thousands of the huge beasts migrated along the route. The trace began on the east at the falls of the Ohio River where the buffalo converged to cross the river at its shallowest point. It stretched northwest up to Vincennes and the Wabash were the buffalo dispersed to graze on the open prairies of Illinois.

Buffalo Trace Indiana map.jpg

The Trace is rich in history:

  • In 1786, General George Rogers Clark (then Colonel Clark) marched 1,000 men to Fort Sackville at Vincennes over the "Buffalo Trace."
  • It was the first "western" mail route, carried weekly, by two men traveling the 130 mile route on foot.
  • In 1804 an Indian treaty line was defined along it's length.
  • In 1807 a British spy, believed to be conferring with the Indians for the Battle of Tippecanoe, was captured on the trail.
  • In 1812, the trail was considered of such political importance that mounted troops of "rangers" began patrolling the trace to protect travelers from Indian attacks and wild animals.
  • In 1819, one of several taverns which sprang up along the route documented more than 5,000 travelers coming through enroute to Missouri.
  • By 1820, the first stage coach line was set up to run the length of the trace from New Albany to Vincennes. [1]

A Trail becomes a Road[edit | edit source]

The Trace was used by Native Americans both in annual migrations and as a hunting ground.

European settlers of North America used the trail as they pushed westward from Louisville to Vincennes. Traffic included settlers, troops and commercial transport.

The Trace remained the primary road shortly after Indiana statehood in 1816. The legislature approved its paving from new Albany to Vincennes as part of an internal improvement program.

The first stagecoach service along the length of the trace from New Albany to Vincennes stared in 1820, providing the first stagecoach service to Indiana.

Other names for the Trace throughout its history have been Clarksville Trace, Harrison's Road, Kentucky Road, Vincennes Trace and Lan-an-zo-ki-mi-wi. [2]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. USDA Forest Service - Hoosier National Forest[1]
  2. Wikipedia- Buffalo Trace[2]