The Mullan Road
Historical Descriptions of Travel on the Road
- Philip Ritz, "Routes to Montana," Walla Walla Statesman, Septermber 11, 1866 -- Ritz traveled the "Mullan Road" from Walla Walla to Fort Benton by horseback, reporting on the beauty of the country and the poor condition of the road. He returned by an even rougher route to the north end of Lake Pend Oreille, where boat travel had been established on the lake and on the Pend Oreille River. -- Fine descriptions of the countryside.
- Philip Ritz, "Letter from a Traveler – The Coeur d'Alene Route ," Walla Walla Statesman, November 23, 1866 -- Philip Ritz has travelled from Walla Walla to the Bitteroots. The Mullan Road, while rough, is quite passable. He has learned that "two indians" know of another route that may save 40 miles of travel. He anticipates the value of a railroad through the region.
- Legislative Assembly, Washington Territory, "Memorial Relative to the Mullan Road," December 14, 1866 -- The "Memorialists"(members of the state legislature) argue that only a few years ago the interior Northwest was "comparatively speaking, an uninhabited region, infested throughout by bands of hostile Indians." Thanks in part to the Mullan Road the region is now growing rapidly in terms of inhabitants, mining, and farming. But the disrepair of the road inhibits transportation from the Walla Walla Valley to the east, undermining the general prosperity. The "Memorialists" seek government funds to improve and maintain the road for wagon travel.