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     “We learned that the South Platte was entirely too high to be forded near St. Vrain’s Fort, or anywhere else, and that there was no ferryboats for two hundred miles below Denver; hence we had no choice but to take the upper or mountain route. So we crossed the Platte directly at Denver.”      Horace Greeley, June 1859

California-bound goldseekers, including Cherokee, in 1850 crossed the South Platte River just below the mouth of Cherry Creek, present-day Denver, and followed along the Rocky Mountain foothills north.

John Lowery Brown, a Cherokee, noted in his diary of June 22, 1850, that gold was found on Ralston Creek. The diary page is on an interpretive sign at the site, in Gold Rush Park in Arvada.

Pilings of an early bridge over the Big Thompson River at Namaqua. Near here the 1850 Cherokee Trail crossed the river.

Namaqua, on the west side of Loveland, was the home of Mariano Medina, early pioneer in the Big Thompson Valley.