This marker has taken quite a bit of time to uncover a possible location. First and foremost the Oklahoma Historical Society had it miss labeled as "Albert" instead of "Abert". This error came across when we seeded the BlogOklahoma.us Historic Places Database (I've corrected the database). Secondly the only directions we have come from literature published in the 60s & 70s. These make it a bit of a research challenge. Luckily roads don't change that much, but sometimes they do. Take for example any directions on Route 66. If you're lucky you'll be on original road, but often times you'll find yourself on a redirect route because of interstate construction.
The directions to the Abert Expedition marker are:
My copy of Mark of Heritage was published in 1976. Sometimes to verify where a marker is you'll have to go back even further in time.One and one-half miles northwest, then one mile north and seven miles west of the Canadian River bridge on former U.S. Highway 66.Mark of Heritage, Page 184
The best resource for finding markers are the Chronicles of Oklahoma archives. Many of the back issues have been scanned in, and are searchable. Many notices of marker placements are placed in the "Notes and Documents" sections.
If you pull up a County Section Line Map, you'll find Township and Range markers. See example in above description, Sec. 26, T. 12 N., R. 12 W.. This combined with the road directions, will help you find a general area to search, even if the roads described just aren't there anymore.ABERT EXPEDITION: 1845. The military expedition to the Rockies under Lt. J. W. Abert followed the north side of Canadian upon its return. Here on Oct. 1st the party halted to sketch buttes to south, thus leaving first picture of this later most important landmark.Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol 38, page 213
Location of marker: In Blaine County, across the Canadian River northwest of Bridgeport, in Northwest corner of Sec. 26, T. 12 N., R. 12 W., on south side of country road. This location is found from east end of Canadian River bridge on U.S. Highway 66, thence northwest 1 1/2 miles; thence north 1 mile, turn left sharp across the tracks, and on west 7 miles to top of high ground on country road.
For "Abert" I think we are in luck. Judging from Google & Section Line Maps the roads we need are still there.
Oh, in other research in the Chronicles of Oklahoma I found this tidbit of trivia about the marker:
The fascinating thing is the markers only cost $54.50 in 1960. Later on in the above article they state "...official roadside markers cost $125.00 each." Those are those green metal markers you often see along Oklahoma's highways, and my personal favorite style of marker. I bet you can move the decimal point one to the right to get that in today's dollars.Eleven on-site markers have been placed at various locations within the state, the sites determined, permission granted by the present landowners for erection on the premises and the final setting up of the markers being completed this year. One of these was in Payne County at the site of Registration Booth No. 1 for the run into the Cherokee Strip September 16, 1893. Two such markers were set in the Rock Mary vicinity of Caddo County, one of which is at the top of this historical landmark. In Leflore County an on-site marker has been placed on the old military trail, and in McCurtain County one has been set at the Chitto Harjo grave. A similar marker was set at old Doakesville in Choctaw County. The others of the eleven on-site markers erected in 1960 are site of Yellton Store and camp ground, Western Cattle Trail, Harper County ; Whirlwind Mission, Blaine County; Cowboy Hill, Kay County; George C. Sibley Expedition, Alfalfa County; Cherokee Strip Opening, Registration Booth No. 1, Payne County; Choctaw Chiefs' House, near Swink, Choctaw County; Abert Expedition, Blaine County. It costs $54.50 to manufacture each of these markers. The one at the top of Rock Mary cost $115.50.Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol 38, page 441
That all aside, there was a magic word in the above text that is also repeated in Mark of Heritage listing: "On-Site Marker." That can mean anything from a simple metal plaque, a stone marker, or even something wooden. It's going to make the marker even harder to spot. Just ask my Mom when she went after the Fred marker, it's an on-site marker. She drove past the thing several times before she noticed it.
Finding this marker should make for a fun Saturday afternoon. I'll be tweeting and uttering our journey, so stay tuned.
Approximate Possible Map Location:
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