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ASH HOLLOW

Ash Hollow was famous on the Oregon Trail. A branch of the trail ran northwestward from the Lower California Crossing of the South Platte River a few miles west of Brule, and descended here into the North Platte Valley. The hollow, named for a growth of ash trees, was entered by Windless Hill to the south. Wagons had to be eased down its steep slope by ropes.

Ash Hollow with its water, wood and grass was a welcome relief after the arduous trip from the South Platte and the travelers usually stopped for a period of rest and refitting. An abandoned trappers cabin served as an unofficial postoffice where letters were deposited to be carried to the "States" by Eastbound travelers. The graves of Rachel Pattison and other emigrants are in the nearby cemetery.

In 1855 a significant fight, commonly called the Battle of Ash Hollow, occurred at Blue Water Creek northwest of here. General Harney's forces sent out to chastise the Indians after the Grattan Massacre of 1854 here attacked Little Thunder's band of Brule Sioux while the Indians were attempting to parley, killed a large number and captured the rest of the band.

Historical Land Mark Council
U.S. I-80 Westbound rest area, east of Ogallala
Keith County
Marker 98

 


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Last updated 4 June 2004

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