1967 "Second printing May, 1967" stated on copyright page; autographed by Keith Clark and "Lowell" on inside cover/map page - see pic; The Caxton Printers publishers, Caldwell, Idaho; hardbound; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket good with minor edge wear and previous owner's signature inside front flap - see pic.
"Library Thing" Review -
Fascinating story. If you've been to central Oregon, you can imagine how difficult it must have been to create new trail and roll wagons over the land.Also, probably the best chapter on the lost Blue Bucket Mine that I've encountered.
Steven Meek was a mountain man, fur trader, and the older brother of the famous Oregon pioneer Joseph Meek. He knew the eastern Oregon country well. He had explored and trapped the area twice with Bonneville, had worked for Hudson's Bay Company, and had safely piloted a wagon train of 17 families to Oregon in 1842, following what became the standard route.
In 1845 Meek appeared in Missouri country and joined a large contingent of Oregon Trail emigrants that included the groups led by Joel Palmer, Samuel Barlow, and a Captain Stephens. When the companies reorganized at Big Soldier Creek, Meek was hired as a pilot to guide these three companies to Oregon Country. Along the way, he married Elizabeth Schoonover, a Canadian who was traveling from Kansas to Oregon.
When the wagon trains reorganized again at Fort Hall, Meek was no longer employed as a guide. He rode ahead to Fort Boise, approaching the leaders of some of the advance parties with a proposal to guide them on a shorter but untried route. The route through the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon was famously treacherous, and the Whitman Massacre at Walla Walla had occurred only two years earlier. Meek suggested that leaving the established route at Vale, and following the Malheur River on a more southerly route, would make for a shorter trip and would reduce the probability of encountering hostile Indians. Some 200 wagons and over 1000 people decided to follow Meek. Some of the later arrivals at Fort Boise, upon hearing of this new route, also decided to follow it. In the end, as many as 1500 people may have taken the Meek Cutoff.