NPS Wayside Exhibit

“May 15, 1848 …during the day we struck the emigrant route from St. Joseph. Fresh tracks as if 200 wagons had passed a few days before.” —Edward Smith

Interpretive Sign Design for the Park Service

Blank Space worked with the KANZA chapter of the Oregon-California Trails Association to design an interpretive NPS wayside sign to mark the Trails Junction site. The California National Historic Trail, the Oregon National Historic Trail, and the Pony Express National Historic Trail all meet at this site in Kansas. In the 1840s this is where all of the covered wagons merged on the trail, often causing one of the first traffic jams of the West! The wagons would share the same route from here until they reached western Wyoming, where again the routes would split.

We worked closely with volunteers from OCTA and staff from NPS’s National Trails Intermountain Region to create this wayside. Illustrator Matthew Laznicka brought our vision to life with this beautiful illustration of wagons merging on the prairie.