Mile 437: Cottonwood Station

“Eighty miles west of Fort Kearney the emigrants found a spring surrounded by cottonwoods. Near it the ravines were filled with scrub cedar. It was always a favorite camp and later became an important stage stop with the unimaginative name Cottonwood Spring. The cedar wood was freighted by ox train for a hundred miles in each direction to supply the stations, and the cottonwood logs were cut and hauled for building purposes. When the Indians became troublesome Fort McPherson was established close by; and we saw its flag, high and tiny but unmistakable, long before we arrived in sight of the buildings. The stage station disappeared long ago, but the fort remains, surrounded by the beautifully kept grounds of a national cemetery.”

[N.B. The Fort McPherson marker is just before Mile 435 on the Pony Express Bikepacking Route.]