Details for Canadian River (Atlas Number 5375000694)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5375000694


Marker Number 694
Atlas Number 5375000694
Marker Title Canadian River
Index Entry Canadian River
City Amarillo
County Potter
UTM Zone 14
UTM Easting 255898
UTM Northing 3938332
Subject Codes exploration and expeditions; water topics; Native Americans
Marker Year 1967
Designations Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Marker Location From Amarillo, take SH 136 about 40 miles northeast to Alibates Road into National Park - marker is inside park property where main road forks.
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text A travel route and dwelling site for over 12,000 years, the Canadian River supported stone and adobe Indian villages from the 12th to the 14th Centuries. This waterway was also one of the first interior rivers of the U.S. known to early explorers. Coronado, coming from Mexico, crossed the Canadian in 1541 in his search for the famed city of Quivira. Juan de Onate, also seeking Quivira, saw the river in 1601. The Canadian traders Pierre and Paul Mallet followed it in 1741. Josiah Gregg, famous Missouri trader, took $25,000 worth of goods to Santa Fe along the river trails in 1839. Gold seekers bound for California were escorted along the trails in 1849 by Army Captain R.B. Marcy. During its history, the river has borne many names. The origin of the word "Canadian" is disputed. A possible source is the Caddo word "Kanohatino", which means "Red River". Some think it was named by the French-Canadians who traveled it in the 1700s, while others believe the river is called "Canadian" because it rises in a "canyon" (from the Spanish word meaning "boxed-in"). Beginning near the Colorado-New Mexico line in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Canadian flows 900 miles. Its course runs southeast, then east until it finally joins the Arkansas 36 miles from Fort Smith. (1967)