National Historic Trail
National Trails Intermountain
PO Box 728
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-0728
to Go in Oklahoma
is an historic site on the Santa Fe National
Historic Trail in Oklahoma for you to visit:
Autograph Rock, outside Boise
approximately 7 miles west and 7 miles north of
(580) 544-3479 (Cimarron Heritage Center)
The Sharp family owns the ranch on which Autograph
Rock, and nearby Cold Springs, are located. The
owners are committed to historic preservation, and
they allow visitors onto their property to view
Autograph Rock and the immediate area at certain
times between May and September (though Cold Springs
is not accessible). For permission and arrangements
to visit the site, contact the Cimarron Heritage
Center in Boise City.
Cold Springs Creek, a tributary of the Cimarron
River, is an area of live, year-round water located
in the panhandle of Oklahoma. This made it an
important stopping place for anyone passing through
the area, including travelers on the Cimarron Route
of the Santa Fe Trail, which ran just south of Cold
The main wagon traffic going
to and from Santa Fe followed this route after
William Becknell and others discovered it was
suitable for wagons in 1822 and after. The area
around Cold Springs was a well known campsite where
travelers could rest, care for lame animals, mend
broken wagons, and prepare for further travel. Over
the years it became a novelty to some of those who
could write to chisel their names in the nearby
Autograph Rock contains the
names of many trail travelers from the 1850s and
beyond. These inscriptions came from a variety of
people, including soldiers, teamsters, merchants,
gold seekers, and adventures trying to regain their
health in an arid land. The oldest dated name found
so far is "T. Potts 1806". The most
popular name is F. B. Delgado.
He was one of the principal
owners of a mule and ox train that freighted on the
Trail, and he left his signature many times.
The Oklahoma Historical Society and the Oklahoma
Science and Arts Foundation, in 1960, conducted a
study of the autographs on the area rocks and
compiled 323 names.
The existing condition of the
trail ruts varies from well defined to nonexistent.
There are grassed over depressions, four across, and
a short walking trail.
Wayside exhibits are located at the site.
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