Did any famous explorers ever stop in Kansas City?

Jim Bridger

Yes. Perhaps the most famous explorers to ever spend time in the area were Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and their Corps of Discovery expedition in June 1804. After following the Missouri River west for a few weeks, the group camped at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers - known as Kaw Point - for three days, making notes about the area and replinishing supplies before continuing their journey. For addtional information on the expedition, MVSC maintains a list of available resources, as well as an essay on the food the group encountered.

Other notable explorers, fur traders, mountain men, and entreprenuers to pass through the Kansas City and Missouri Valley region include John Charles Frémont, James "Jim" Bridger, the Chouteau Family, Jedediah Smith, and Zebulon Pike. In fact, after years of western exploration and guiding wagon trains, legendary mountain man Jim Bridger returned to area to retire to a farm just south of Kansas City at the old community of Dallas at 103rd and State Line. He died and was buried there on the farm in 1881. Later in 1904, Granville Dodge had Bridger’s body moved to Mount Washington Cemetery in Independence, Missouri, and had a monument built commemorating Bridger.

Bridger was also memorialized in the sculpture in Pioneer Park in the Westport area of Kansas City along with city founder John C. McCoy and freighter Alexander Majors.

For more information search the Local History Index.

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Kate Hill

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