​Tabo Creek Crossing, Missouri

Tabo Creek, Missouri today.

Tabo Creek, Missouri, today courtesy of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The Tabo Creek Crossing on the Santa Fe Trail in Missouri once presented an obstacle to travelers in the area. As a major tributary on the south bank of the Missouri River, the creek was difficult to cross until Adam Lightner began to operate a ferry across the creek in 1821.

That very year, the ferry may have carried William Becknell’s first trade expedition to Santa Fe, New Mexico. In September 1821, Becknell, of nearby Franklin, probably followed the Osage Trace west from Arrow Rock through Grand Pass to Mount Vernon on Tabo Creek. Mount Vernon, which no longer exists, was the county seat of Lillard (later Lafayette) County, which included all of western Missouri at that time. After crossing the creek, he probably took the Osage Trace to Fort Osage, skirting Lexington by a few miles to the south before heading for Santa Fe.

A Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) marker once stood on the creek bank here but has since been moved to Lexington. The Missouri River Outfitters Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association has since erected another marker.

The marker is located south of the Missouri River, eight miles east of Lexington and 2.5 miles west of Dover, at old US 24 & US 24, east of Tabo Creek.

Compiled and edited by Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, May 2023.

Also See:

Missouri Santa Fe Trail

Missouri – The Show Me State

Santa Fe Trail – Pathway to the Southwest

Santa Fe Trail Photo Gallery

Sources: See Santa Fe Trail Site Map & Writing Credits