Gage County Historical Society and Museum

Frontier Trails

The Oregon Trail enters Nebraska and crosses the southwest corner of Gage County. In the early 1840's, over 300,000 brave adventurers crossed Gage County on their way west.


The DeRoin Trail ran from Brownville near the town of St. DeRoin to Beatrice and on to meet the Oregon Trail near Alexandria. It followed the old Otoe-Omaha Indian Trail and was also know as the Brownville or Government Road. Originally the trail joined the Austin Trail near the present site of Pickrell and continued west. In the 1850's, when Beatrice was able to sell the travelers supplies, the trail dropped further south and followed what is now Court Street. They crossed the Big Blue River just south of the current Court Street bridge on the rock bottom ford known as the Scott Street ford.


The Brownville-Fort Kearney Trail entered Gage County from the east and joined the DeRoin Trail crossing the Blue River ford. This trail ran from about the 1850's until about 1865.


The Nebraska City-Beatrice Trail, established in 1850, crossed the Nemaha river near the Johnson-Gage County line and continued southwesterly to Beatrice.


The Reservation Road ran from Marysville, Kansas north to the Otoe-Missouri reservation in southern Gage County and followed the Blue River to either Beatrice or connected with the DeRoin Trail and traveled northeast. It was on this road that the limestone from Holmesville quarry, to build the first state capital in Lincoln, was hauled following near to the present Highway 77.


The Austin Trail ran directly west from Brownsville and connected with the Oregon Trail near Alexandria, Nebraska. It was in existence from the 1840's until the late 1850's when travel was diverted south to Beatrice on the DeRoin Trail. In Beatrice, travelers could purchase supplies before heading further west.


The Ash Point Road was a mail route started near Rulo to Beatrice via Liberty. It probably joined the Reservation road somewhere near Blue Springs or Holmesville.

Gage County Historical Society and Museum
101 North Second Street
Beatrice, NE, 68310
Phone: 402-228-1679 | Map
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