Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mullan Road Conference, 2012

The Mullan Road is one of the under-studied  topics in Pacific Northwest History. Built by Lieutenant John Mullan of the U.S. Army in 1859 and 1860, the Mullan Road was the first wagon road over the northern Rockies. Linking together the height of steam navigation on the Missouri and Columbia Rivers, it completed the route of commerce across the continent that Thomas Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark to discover almost half-a-century before.

The portion of the road over the Rockies did not last long. Parts of it was destroyed by floods the year it was completed, and despite repair attempts the road was closed by 1861. Yet other sections of the road remained in use for decades, and the modern Interstate 90 follows the same route through the mountains today.

In recent years interest in the Mullan Road has grown, including an annual conference. The 2012 Mullan Road Conference, will take place April 13-15, at Walla Walla, Washington. This year's conference is organized by the Mullan Road Project Staff at Eastern Washington University(which I can tell you is mostly Bill Youngs and his students!)and the Walla Walla Mullan Road Sesquicentennial Committee.

I will be giving a presentation "Creating Historical Tours for Smartphones" on Saturday at 10 am. According to the schedule "Cebula ... will present his experiences in developing "Spokane Historical" a multi-media smartphone app for Spokane History, and he will suggest ways that this technology could be applied to touring sites along the Mullan Road." I guess I had better write that presentation! I hope to see some of you there.


exlibriscat said...

Some of my family traveled the Mullan road from Minnesota to Walla Walla. They were part of the Davy Train described in Henry Lueg's journal. It's nice to see some interest devoted to the road.

Larry Cebula said...

Thanks, Exlibriscat. Your comment inspired me to look up the Leug journal. It was translated and edited by Ceylon Kingston, a history professor at Eastern Washington University! Funny how the world revolves. I will look it up next week.