Alkali Springs

Alkali Springs

This site is on Tub Mountain between Vale and Farewell Bend. I’ve never tried to get there because of dirt roads and fences, but Jim Tompkins has been there and supplied this picture. Up here is at least one trail grave .

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“We traveled about twenty miles; ten miles brought us to a sulphur spring and ten more miles to Birch Creek, where we encamped. The country is considerably rolling, and much of it is barren: No timber found. (Joel Palmer, 1845)

Alkali Springs Picture
Another view, this one provided by Stafford Hazelett. In 1852 Elizabeth Julia Goltra wrote:
“Started early this morning and reached Sulphur Springs about noon, no place to camp; thence to Birch Creek, reached this about sundown, today we have used a cart having cut our wagon in two pieces to make it lighter…”

Jim Tompkins adds that Mrs. Goltra was the ggggrandmother of Alice Norris, friend and executive director of the Oregon Trail Pageant in Oregon City. The Goltra diary was included in the houseful of stolen items from universities aroundthe country that was discovered in a house in Iowa about 8-10 years ago.

Alkali Springs Locator Map Alkali Springs
OAG = DeLorme’s Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer
MOT = Franzwa’s Maps of the Oregon Trail
OTR = Franzwa’s Oregon Trail Revisited

The town of Vale has wonderful murals on its buildings, depicting a burial near the Alkali Springs, washing in the Malheur river, and other area historical scenes.

Next stop, Farewell Bend. Click on red dots.

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contents copyright © 1998 NWOCTA, Tom Laidlaw, and respective photographers
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