As early as 1834, Santa Fe traders were finding winter accommodations around Westport, platted in 1834 by John Calvin McCoy, and its Missouri River landing, known as Westport Landing. The river port or landing for Westport, like Independence, was three miles north of the town site south of the Missouri River. By the late 1840s to early 1850s, Westport and its landing began to supersede Independence in outfitting for travel to Santa Fe.
Walk along bridge to overlook of the Missouri River landing Stairs or elevator will take you to ground level. As you turn and face the city, the wooded embankment was where the Town of Kansas (i.e., Kansas City) was born.
At the foot of present-day Main Street, below a walking bridge, are the archaeological foundations of Kansas City’s earliest storefront village from 1834 and had several names and roles through time: Westport Landing beginning in 1834, Town of Kansas in 1850, City of Kansas in 1853, Kansas City until 1889, and Westport became part of Kansas City in 1897). This area represents the birthplace of Kansas City, and remains the City’s access to the Missouri River. Frequent Missouri River floods in the 1820s and early 1830s stalled progress at Westport Landing. Within a few years, Westport Landing overtook Wayne City (Independence Landing), launching site for all those heading west. Foundations and footings of the early, original buildings of the Town of Kansas are preserved and may become part an archaeological park in the future.
The 1854 Mormon Emigration at the Missouri-Kansas Border (20 page PDF)