Anthropology, Department of



Nolan Johnson

Date of this Version



Published in Nebraska Anthropologist Vol. 21 (2006). Copyright © Nolan Johnson; published by The University of Nebraska-Lincoln AnthroGroup.


The Beaver Creek Trail Crossing Site was a fording location along the Nebraska City Cut-Off of the Oregon and California Trail, occupied from 1862 through 1871. The site was situated on both creek banks and contained a road ranch. saloon, store, and post office. Geophysical data showed anomalies corresponding to irregularities in the ground surface. While excavation units placed at these locations revealed few remnants of in situ foundations, generalized scatters of mortar, nails, and chinking or filler stones were recorded. Given the lack of timber or stone near the site, this pattern suggests most of building materials were salvaged. This has created unique challenges for site excavation and interpretation. Suggestions for work on salvaged sites will be offered to aid in the study of heavily salvaged sites in frontier and trail settings.

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