Get Directions →
Narcissa Prentiss Highway
By the Kiandaga Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution — 1931
What was there
State Highway 53 (Naples end).
What is there now
Junction of State Highway 54 and 21.
The road leading from Prattsburg, NY to Naples was designated as the Narcissa Prentiss Highway in 1928 to commemorate Narcissa Prentiss Whitman’s journey west along what is known as the Oregon Trail.
Narcissa Prentiss was born and raised in neighboring Prattsburg, and married Dr. Marcus Whitman of Rushville. Prentiss, a physics and chemistry teacher, and Whitman, a physician, were both interested in missionary work and set out west in 1836. Narcissa was one of the first white women to cross the Rockies. Their mission was established in what is present day Walla Walla Washington. The Whitman mission helped natives and pioneer passers-by with social and medical care, and religious guidance until 1847 when they were killed in what is referred to as the Whitman Massacre. Local Native Americans, plagued by infectious diseases brought by settlers, such as measles, and angered by their high mortality rate compared to whites treated by the Whitmans, took out their rage by attacking and killing
Narcissa Prentiss Highway (Prattsburg to Naples), as well as the Marcus Whitman Highway (Penn Yan to Rushville) and Whitman-Spalding Highway (Kanona to Prattsburg) were dedicated in honor of the approaching centennial of their journey.
We would like to thank the following for helping us with this entry: