Book Describes the Trial os One Woman's Trek West

Jun 9, 2014

 Martha Maupin had walked some 2,000 miles of the Oregon Trail when her family finally reached the last mountain.  When she saw the sheer, half-mile drop of Laurel Hill, she felt like turning around and walking right back to Missouri. 

 “Let’s get the ropes,” her husband, Garrett, said. “We’ll snub the wagon to the trees and work it down.”   Was he crazy, Martha wondered?  Garrett scowled and said, “Stay out of the way.”  He locked the wheels, looped ropes around trees, and Martha’s brothers chained the wagon to a log. The two oxen drew the vessel over the brink, scrambling while shouting men dug in their heels, holding the taut ropes.  The air reeked of gouged soil and bruised branches as the cloth-topped wagon scraped, rattled and screeched down the slope. Martha held her little girls, one in each hand, as she watched the wagon grow tiny in the depths of the precipitous drop. A cold thread shivered down her back. She was six months pregnant. In a new book titled A Place of Her Own, Martha’s great-great-granddaughter describes Maupin’s determination as she faces many more trials on Oregon’s raw frontier. 

Fisher, Janet. A Place of Her Own: The Legacy of Oregon Pioneer Martha Poindexter Maupin