LOCAL HERITAGE

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Black Dog Trail

The Black Dog Trail was a 200-mile, road-like passage that was cleared by the Black Dog Band of the Osage Indians under the direction of the "older"  Black Dog.  (there were two). Although the route was traveled in the 1600s,  the road-like artery was built in the early 1800s along the ancient, often used 1600s Osage Indian hunting and mourning route.  Passing through Dexter, it measured at least 30 running horses wideóeven through the waterways.  The entire Trail was cleared of rocks, obstacles and grasses.  It ran from Baxter Springs, Kansas  to near Oxford, Kansas.  The five routes of the Other Osage Bands joined the route of the Black Dog Band at various points along the Trail in route to the hunting and vegetable-gathering camps in South Central Kansas and North Central Oklahoma.  Those who could not hunt or work were generally left behind at their Bandís base camp.  Thousands passed this way at least twice yearly bringing with them many horses and dogs. They would often return with necessities and trade goods. Through time and wise decisions, the Osage tribe evolved to be the richest tribe in the United States. 

     The Black Dog Trail was not only significant to the Osage Indians, but it was important in the change it brought about. It brought together the ancient nomadic people and the European-like system of today's culture with the settlement of one of the last frontiers of America. The Black Dog Trail was an exciting focus as the early United States evolved through the Civil War into the society of today.

     We who live near this trail are in the part of the Wild, Wild West that has been the object of movies, national literature, tales and legends. Fragments of these stories have been sought after by people all over the world. We are honored to live in one of the most historic, colorful places in the world!