|Wyoming (Albany County), Buford — Ames Monument|
|Commissioned by the Union Pacific Railroad, the Ames Monument is a memorial to the Ames brothers, Oakes and Oliver, for their contributions to the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Their strong support, drive and influence were instrumental in completing the Union Pacific section of the railroad. Finished in 1882, the Monument is located near the highest elevation (8,247 feet) of the Transcontinental Railroad route.
President Abraham Lincoln considered his . . . — Map (db m89647) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Buford — Lonetree on the Laramie Range|
|This area of southeast Wyoming is rich in history, geology and recreational activities. Within a short distance from this point, sites abound of early day events that have shaped the western heritage of this area, including the Arapaho and Cheyenne Indian tribes who hunted and camped within the shelter of the Vedauwoo Rocks. The transcontinental railroad tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad are a short distance to the west as is the Ames Monument, erected to commemorate the highest point of the . . . — Map (db m68052) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Buford — Old Sherman Cemetery|
| 1867 to about 1880
most bodies have
been removed — Map (db m89648) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Buford — Pyramid on the Plains|
|At first glance, the Ames Monument may seem out of place on this high, wind-swept setting. If you step back and view the Monument from a distance, you will notice its design and shape mimic the surrounding features of the mountain landscape. The Union Pacific spared no expense in constructing the Ames Monument, contracting the most renowned architect, builder, and sculptor of the time.
An Architectural Achievement
Henry Hobson Richardson, one of the most prominent architects of the . . . — Map (db m89645) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Buford — Sherman Mountains|
|The Sherman Mountains are erosional remnants rising above the general level of the surface of the Laramie Range. The flat topped characteristic of the range resulted from beveling during an ancient erosion cycle. Bedrock here is granite, a crystalline rock made up of pink feldspar, glassy quartz, black mica and hornblende, which originated deep in the earth's crust over a billion years ago.
The peculiar rock forms of the Sherman Mountains are controlled by three sets of joints, or planes . . . — Map (db m68051)|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Buford — The Gangplank|
|The granite rocks to the west are more than a billion years old (Pre-Cambrian in age). The sedimentary rocks to the east are some 10 million years old (Late Miocene in age). After the mountains were elevated, some 20,000 feet of rocks were eroded from their crest. Later the younger sedimentary rocks were deposited against the flank of the range.
The time between the formation of the granite to the west and the deposition of the onlapping sediments to the east is measured in terms of more . . . — Map (db m92157) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Buford — The Transcontinental Railroad|
|Construction of the Transcontinental Railroad across the United States was one of the most significant historic events of the 1800s. Built almost exclusively with manual labor and hand tools, the cross-country railroad took only four years to construct. Large numbers of workers were needed to survey and grade the bed, and lay down the ties and rails. Union Pacific chief engineer, General Grenville Dodge, made use of a geological feature called the Gangplank, located 15 miles to the east, as an . . . — Map (db m89646) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Buford — Tree Rock|
|This small pine tree that seems to be growing out of solid rock has fascinated travelers since the first train rolled past on the Union Pacific Railroad. It is said that the builders of the original railroad diverted the tracks slightly to pass by the tree as they laid rails across Sherman Mountain in 1867-69. It is also said that trains stopped here while locomotive fireman "gave the tree a drink" from their water buckets. The railroad moved several miles to the south in 1901 and the abandoned . . . — Map (db m62159) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — 150 N. 2nd Street|
|Built in 1869 for the Methodist Episcopal Church, this edifice is likely the oldest church building in Wyoming.
It originally was located across the street where the Elks Lodge now stands. — Map (db m76783) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — Abraham Lincoln — "We must think anew and act anew"|
|1809 - 1865 This monument commemorates the sesquicentennial of Lincoln's birth by the State of Wyoming in 1959 Charles W. Jeffrey, M.D., Rawlins - Wyo. Donor Robert I. Russin, Sculptor — Map (db m47144) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — 221 — Bath Ranch|
|National Register of Historic Places
Wyoming Place No. 221 — Map (db m89649) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — Big Laramie Stage Station|
|From 1849 through the end of the 19th century, thousands followed the Overland Trail into Wyoming, across the Laramie Plains, to a toll bridge near tree on the Laramie River. The historic crossing of the marshy plains consisted of a corduroy road which today is located southwest of the modern bridge. The surviving corduroy road remnant is all that remains of the trail in this area.
In 1862, Ben Holladay, consolidated several stage and freight operations to form the Overland Stage Company, . . . — Map (db m89621) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — First Ladies|
| Four plaques are located around a monument locate on the Ivinson Mansion grounds in Laramie, Wyoming.
Laramie Woman's Club, organized in 1898, honors Laramie's "First Ladies" who pioneered civic and political responsibility by women in this country and the world.
Louisa Gardner Swain made world history as the first woman to vote in a general election. She cast her ballot early in the morning of September 6th, 1870 in Laramie, Wyoming.
World wide attention focused on . . . — Map (db m89657) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — First Woman Jury|
|This tablet marks the site where the first woman jury served during March 1870
Placed in 1922
The Jacques LaRamie
Chapter Daughters of The American Revolution — Map (db m76786) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — Ft. Sanders — 1866-1882|
The emigrant trails across Wyoming were a vital link in the transcontinental migration of an estimated 250,000 Americans in the 19th century, and opened the area to settlers. The Indians resented this intrusion and threatened these transportation corridors. Ft. Sanders, one of several army posts built along the trails, was established to protect emigrant, military and stage line traffic on the Laramie Plains portion of the Overland/Cherokee and Lodgepole Creek Trails.
. . . — Map (db m67994) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — Gateway to the Rockies|
|Tall trees, short trees, shrubs, grasses and flowering plants -- mountains, canyons, river bottoms, and prairies -- all intermingle to form the landscape. The greater the variety of landforms and vegetation, the more homes or habitats there are for wildlife.|
the large expanses of native wildland habitats make Wyoming unique and the home to over 600 species of native wildlife.
Here at the Gateway to the Rockies you will see animals of the conifer forest. The golden-crowned kinglet is found . . . — Map (db m47149) HM
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — Henry B. Joy Monument|
"That there should be a Lincoln Highway across this country is the most important thing"
In memory of Henry B. Joy
The first president of the Lincoln Highway Association
Who saw realized the dream of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific — Map (db m84887) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — Henry Bourne Joy and the Lincoln Highway|
|This monument commemorates the Lincoln Highway, America's first transcontinental automobile road, and Henry Bourne Joy, the first president of the Lincoln Highway Association (1913). Joy, also president of the Packard Motor Car Company, is sometimes called the father of the nation's modern highway system. he said that his effort to create the Lincoln Highway was "the greatest thing I ever did."|
The old Lincoln Highway passed over the crest of the hill seen beyond the monument. This was the . . . — Map (db m47145) HM
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — Laramie|
|Founded in 1868 upon the arrival of the Union Pacific Railroad, Laramie was named after the fur trader Jacques LaRamie. The first female jurors served here in 1870 after Wyoming Territory in 1869, for the first time in history, gave women full rights of suffrage. Humorist Bill Nye founded his Boomerang newspaper in 1881, and the University of Wyoming opened its doors in 1887. At the south edge of the city lie the ruins of Fort Sanders, 1866-1882. West of the city can be seen the first . . . — Map (db m67993) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — Laramie|
|Founded in 1868 upon the arrival of the Union Pacific Railroad, Laramie was named after the fur trader Jacques LaRamie. The first female jurors served here in 1870 after Wyoming Territory, in 1869, for the first time in history, gave women full rights of suffrage. Humorist Bill Nye founded his Boomerang newspaper in 1881, and the University of Wyoming opened its doors in 1887. At the south edge of the city lie the ruins of Fort Sanders, 1866-1882. West of the city can be seen the first . . . — Map (db m76789) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — Laramie Timeline|
|This marker is made up of a dozen plaques embedded in a cement patio and a map of historic Laramie also embedded in patio. As each plaque has the same format, only a few of them have been illustrated.
French Canadian Jacques LaRamie trapped beaver throughout the bountiful rivers and steams of southeast Wyoming. Today a city, county river, mountain range, peak and fort bear his name. Only mountain man Jim Bridger has Wyoming landmarks named for him.
May 1868 . . . — Map (db m76849) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — Old Overland Trail|
| The first stone
erected in Albany Co.
to mark the
Old Overland Trail
1862 - 1868 — Map (db m89622) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — Ranching from the High Point|
|This area of Albany and Laramie Counties is noted for its rich agricultural history. The forests and rolling hills were home to large sheep and cattle herds from the mid 1800s into the 1900s. After the Civil War, trees harvested from what is now the Medicine Bow National Forest helped build the Union Pacific Railroad -- essential to moving livestock to markets. Cheyenne was known in the 1880s as "the wealthiest little city in the world". Much of this wealth was held by area cattle barons.|
Tom . . . — Map (db m47150) HM
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — Site of Fort Sanders|
Marks the Site of
Established September 5, 1866
Abandoned May 18, 1882
Named in Honor of
William P. Sanders
Erected by the
State of Wyoming
Jacques Laramie Chapter
Daughters of the
From July 10, to
September 5, 1866
Fort John Buford — Map (db m67995) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — Telephone Canyon|
|The first in the west through which a telephone line was run. The first conversation over this line was held in 1882 between Bill Nye at Laramie and Hon. E. E. Warren at Cheyenne. — Map (db m47148) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — The Franchise|
John D. Baker
The title “The Franchise” refers to the recognition and bestowal of the right of women to vote under full civil equality with men. In 1869, Wyoming became the first state or territory to grant this right.
This act was inspirational to both the women’s suffrage movement and the cause of civil rights throughout the nation. The nineteenth amendment to the United States Constitution would not be ratified until 1920 - fifty years later. . . . — Map (db m76744) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — The Overland Trail|
|The route that later became the Overland Trail was followed in 1825 by William Ashley and members of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, who entered the Laramie Valley from the south, forded the Medicine Bow River near Elk Mountain, and crossed the divide at Bridger's Pass. In 1843, an exploration party led by Captain John C. Fremont followed Ashley's path and determined it could be used for westward emigration. The portion of the route known as the Cherokee Trail was defined in 1849 when a group . . . — Map (db m89623) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Laramie — The Purple Heart Trail|
|The Purple Heart Medal was originated by General George Washington on August 7, 1782 for distinguished valor and is now awarded only to members of the armed forces of the United States, who have been wounded in combat against an armed enemy.|
Recipients of this unique award have been specifically honored by the U.S. Congress as a chartered fraternal organization known as the Military Order of the Purple Heart and have active members in Chapters throughout Wyoming, the United States and the . . . — Map (db m47143) HM
|Wyoming (Albany County), Medicine Bow — Albany County Train Robberies|
|In remote areas of Albany County, Wyoming, passenger trains carrying mail, payroll monies, and express deliveries were tempting targets for bandits. On June 2, 1899, the Union Pacific Overland Flyer No. 1 was flagged down near Wilcox Station, east of Medicine Bow, Wyoming. Two masked men boarded the train and ordered the engineer to uncouple the passenger cars. The engine, pulling the express and mail cars, was then moved two miles further down the line, where other members of the gang were . . . — Map (db m89659) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Medicine Bow — Dinosaur Graveyard|
|To the north lies Como Bluff - "The Dinosaur Graveyard" - one of the greatest and well known fossil beds of dinosaur remains in the world. There paleontologist of the 19th century discovered and unearthed many excellent fossil specimens of the world's larges land creatures.
Crew working for paleontologists at Yale University and the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences found a multitude of dinosaur and other prehistoric animal remains in the late 1970s and 1880s, making Como Bluff the . . . — Map (db m89665) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Rock River — Rock Creek|
| In memory of those who
passed this way to win
and hold the West
on the Fort Halleck-
Fort Laramie Road
Frontier town of
Rock Creek 10 miles
north east — Map (db m89658) HM|
|Wyoming (Albany County), Tie Siding — The Overland Stage Line|
| This stone marks the
The Overland Stage Line
on its way to the West,
June 1862 - 1868
crossed the Colorado-Wyoming boundary line. — Map (db m89620) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Burlington — McCullough Peaks Wild Horses — Wyoming|
| No larger than a dog, the eohippus, or dawn horse, first appeared approximately 55 million years ago. It had four toes on its front legs and three on its hind legs. Eohippus remains have been found in Wyoming’s Wind River Basin. Over time, the eohippus evolved into Equus - - the horse as we know it. The horse became extinct in America about 8,000 years ago. In the fifteenth century, Spanish explorers and missionaries reintroduced it to the Americas. Legend has it today’s wild horses are . . . — Map (db m86912) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Burlington — Shortcut to the Goldfields — Bridger Trail - 1864|
| This region is totally unfit for either rail or wagon roads and can only be traversed with the greatest of difficulty. - U.S. Army Lieutenant Henry Mayandier, while attempting to map a wagon route across the Big Horn Basin in 1860 You are standing near the Bridger Trail which is visible as you look towards Bridger Butte to the north. The Devil’s Backbone, the roughest descent on the trail, is situated at the northern edge of the plain as the trail drops down into the . . . — Map (db m86910) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Byron — Byron Sessions|
|This statue by artist/sculptor, Steve Wirth, depicts Byron Sessions, survey map case in hand, as he prepares to oversee the construction of the Sidon Canal.
It was the policy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, often referred to as the "Mormon Church", to colonize areas where people could establish homes in towns, rather than to settle on ranches so widely separated that it was difficult for them to engage in church and social activities. With that thought in mind, of . . . — Map (db m91254) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Byron — Sidon Canal|
|Following Mormon settlement of the Salt Lake Valley beginning in 1847, church leaders envisioned colonization of the entire inter-mountain region. In following decades, Mormons emigrated from Utah into Idaho, Arizona and Wyoming. Seeking to improve their economic status and following Mormon pioneering tradition, several hundred people in 1900 emigrated from Utah and Idaho to Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin where they built a canal and a community.
Under the Carey Act of 1894 states were . . . — Map (db m91252) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Greybull — Agents of Change|
|Douglas Fir Bark BeetleThe Douglas fir bark beetle enters the bark where it introduces a fungi and creates galleries in the phloem – the layer under the bark that transports nutrients from the leaves throughout the tree. The galleries serve as habitat for the beetle larvae which feeds on the phloem. When mature the beetles exit the trees to find a new “host” tree. When a region is not in a drought a healthy tree can “pitch-out” an attacking bark beetle with . . . — Map (db m88169) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Lovell — Big Horn Basin|
|Big Horn Basin in northwest Wyoming is bound on the west by the Beartooth and Absaroka Mountains, on the south are the Wind River and Owl Creek ranges, on the north the Pryor Mountains and on the east are the Big Horns. The Basin is nearly elliptical in shape, about 140 miles long and 100 miles wide.
The Wind River, fed by many tributaries in the Wind River Mountains, becomes the Big Horn River at "Wedding of the Water" in Wind River Canyon. It is the principle drainage of the Basin. The . . . — Map (db m91289) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Lovell — Bighorn Basin — It's Creation — It's History|
| These two plaques offer brief history of the Bighorn Basin.
Bighorn Basin -- It's Creation
Before you lies the Bighorn Basin, which has its southern end in Wyoming and extends into Montana. Six hundred million years of geologic history have shaped the area.
Although the basin now receives less than 10 inches of precipitation a year, it was once covered by vast inland seas. When the seas receded, it became a swampy home to dinosaurs. Volcanoes erupted to the west . . . — Map (db m91305) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Lovell — Five Springs — Crossroads of Culture|
|Several of the prehistoric trails that led through the Big Horn Mountains intersect here. The first people using these trails may have entered the area on the very same path you are now using, as long as 10,000 years ago! Over time, possibly due to rising temperatures and a decrease in moisture, the buffalo-centered plains people interacted with the hunters and gatherers of the mountains, sharing this trail system. The trail you are now following was the main access to the Medicine Wheel for . . . — Map (db m91307) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Lovell — Gold Fever|
|The large rocks next to you are granite. These were formed within the earth's crust 1 billion years ago. Their exposure is the result of the eroding forces of wind, water, and ice. This granite contains quartz and resembles the rock containing gold found in many parts of the west.
Discoveries of fine-grained gold north of Bald Mountain were made in 1890. "Gold fever" brought many prospectors to the area over the next 10 years. In 1892, the Fortunatas Mining and Milling Company purchased a . . . — Map (db m91320) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Lovell — Henry Gilbert, Jr. Memorial — September 23, 1919 - December 23, 1941|
|The Flying Tigers were American boys from 41 of our states, fighter pilots trained in our own Army and Navy, who became members of the new A.V.G. (American Volunteer Group) employed by the government of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek to protect the lifeline of China, the Burma Road. The Flying Tigers began under the leadership of Claire Lee Chennault with 100 Curtiss-Wright P-40B Tomahawks and the volunteer pilots to fly them.
They went on from there. They went on in smoke and flame and . . . — Map (db m91260) HM WM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Lovell — Mason-Lovell Ranch|
One of the largest cattle operations in the Wyoming Territory, the Mason-Lovell Ranch moved its headquarters here in 1883. At its peak the ranch grazed cattle from Thermopolis, Wyoming to the Crow Reservation in Montana.
❶ The South (or Orchard) Cabin made a comfortable residence for married couples employed by the ranch. Surrounded by apple trees, the cozy single-room cabin was made of hewn logs with whitewashed interior walls.
❷ Site of Horse Barn . . . — Map (db m91280) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Lovell — Medicine Wheel — Stone Circles|
|Thousands of stone circles lie scattered over the Northern Plains and Rocky Mountains. What were they used for?
Over 100 of these stone circles are known as Medicine Wheels. The Bighorn Medicine Wheel is probably the most well known and sacred to most American Indian people. The Bighorn Medicine Wheel was formed by laying rocks in a circle approximately eighty feet in diameter with twenty-eight lines or spokes radiating from the center to the outer rim. The arrangement of the stones is in . . . — Map (db m91310) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Lovell — Medicine Wheel — The Sacred Circle|
|The white man called it the Medicine Wheel, but to many Native Americans Indians it is, "The Place Where the Eagle Lands." To many people it is a sacred place, and there are few that leave without experiencing something outside the ordinary.
It is perhaps the location of the Medicine Wheel that contributes so powerfully to a feeling of sacredness and agedness. Lying atop Medicine Mountain at nearly 10,00 feet, the weather here is as wild as the towering crags and sheer cliffs that define . . . — Map (db m91312) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Lovell — Medicine Wheel|
|Medicine Mountain to your left, was named for the Medicine Wheel, a stone circle that lies atop a ridge below its summit. Designated a National Historic landmark, this symbol remains a mystery as the builders and purpose of the Medicine Wheel remain unknown. There is a theory that the wheel is a replica of the Sun Dance Lodge of Crow legend and was oriented to point to the summer solstice sunrise. In the Indians' religious life, peaks of the Big Horn Mountains were objects or respect. Indians . . . — Map (db m91319) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Lovell — Mystery Shrouds the Medicine Wheel|
|"Eventually one gets to the Medicine Wheel to fulfill one's life." -- Old Mouse, Arikara
High in the Big Horn Mountains at nearly 10,000 feet above sea level, lies the Medicine Wheel - a place of worship, a National Historic Site, and an archeological mystery.
It is believed that between A.D. 1200 and A.D. 1700, hundreds of limestone rocks were placed in the shape of a wheel roughly 80 feet in diameter. Twenty-eight spokes radiate from a central cairn to six smaller cairns around . . . — Map (db m91308) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Lovell — Raptors: Winged Hunters of Bighorn Canyon — Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior|
|Raptors are graceful hunters of Bighorn Canyon. The location is ideal home for these birds of prey because of the abundance of food and excellent nesting spots. Watch for these magnificent birds in action. — Map (db m62158) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Lovell — Reconstruction - Finally!|
|Reconstruction of 52 miles of US 14A between Big Horn Lake and Burgess Junction, began with a bridge and causeway at the lake in the mid-60s. The mountain project was described as "one of the most difficult" in the Department's history.
Then, construction costs were more than $2.4 million, which was very expensive compared with $33,000 spent in the 1920s and '30s, but by today's standards was a real bargain. There were 11 prime contractors and 18 contracts involved in the process. . . . — Map (db m91285) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Lovell — The Jeep|
|was developed for the U.S. Army during WWII by the Willys Motor Company. Its tough four-wheel drive made it the first all-terrain vehicle. By 1945 over 500,000 had been delivered to the Army and other branches of the armed forces. The Jeep was also used by the allied armies. Even the Germans appreciated the rugged little work-horse and enjoyed capturing them whenever possible. Four companies submitted bids: Willys, Ford, Bantum and Checker Cab Company. Bantum's bid was too high. Checker Cab . . . — Map (db m91259) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Lovell — 58 — The Mormon Colonists|
| In honor of
The Mormon Colonists
of the Big Horn Basin
who, under the leadership of
Abraham O. Woodruff, first camped near this site in May 1900. These pioneers, under many difficulties, established towns, notably Byron, Cowley and Lovell, organized the Big Horn Stake of Zion, constructed the Sidon Canal, built railroads and pioneered education through founding the Big Horn Academy. — Map (db m91255) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Lovell — The Original Dayton-Kane Highway — US 14A — (A National Scenic Byway)|
|For many years, the northern most road over Wyoming's Big Horn mountains was commonly referred to as the Dayton-Kane Road. It connected those two towns on opposite sides of the mountain, the latter now just a memory beneath the waters of Big Horn Lake.
First access up the east side of the Big Horns were trails used to haul mining equipment from the railhead at Gillette to the Fortunatus gold mine, near Bald Mountain in the 1890s. The route was eventually abandoned because of its steep grades . . . — Map (db m91284) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Shell — A 4,000 Mile Journey|
|The earthbound journey begins . . . . . . when a raindrop or snowflake hits the upper slopes of the Big Horn Mountains. It joins other drops and gains momentum seeking the path of least resistance. Say “goodbye” to the drop as it rolls over Shell Falls. Heading west, it joins the Bighorn River, then flows north into the Yellowstone River in Montana. The drop meets up with the Missouri River somewhere near the North Dakota border, then heads south and east touring the farmlands . . . — Map (db m88182) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Shell — Beef Trail|
| The hillside below the cliffs is managed as a wildlife winter range. Elk and deer in the Big Horn Mountains live at high elevations during the summer, but move down to the lower areas during the winter. The Forest Service helps maintain this winter range by supervising use of domestic sheep and cattle, and by conducting periodic prescribed fires to encourage the growth of essential forage plants. Look on the hillside for the thin line of the “Beef Trail”, a livestock drive trail. . . . — Map (db m88173) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Shell — Bighorn Basin – Its History|
| The presence of humans in the Big Horn Basin goes back more than 10,000 years. Evidence suggests that the prehistoric people were nomadic hunters and gatherers. Indians inhabited this area until 1878. In the late 1870s settlers, ranchers, and miners moved into the basin. By 1883, Henry Clay Lovell was grazing 25,000 head of cattle on the unfenced range. Mormons came in 1900 and developed open canal irrigation systems to carry water to the arid lands. Farming and ranching have endured and . . . — Map (db m88172) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Shell — Carving a Course|
| The large, granite building blocks of Shell Canyon are an extraordinary 2.5 billion years old. Called basement or bedrock, they form the bottom layer covering the molten material in the earth’s core. At some point, the huge plate of bedrock fractured – one side shifted up and the other dropped down in opposite directions, forming the first stage of the canyon. Stream water calls dramatic attention to the fault line – dropping sharply over the 75 foot ledge of Shell Falls. The . . . — Map (db m88189) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Shell — Copman's Tomb|
|The red cliff face to your left flanks Sunlight Mesa. At the top is Elephant Head Rock, so named because of its shape. The triangle-shaped mountain to the right is named Pyramid Peak. To your far right is a prominent rock-topped mountain called Copman's Tomb. Copman's Tomb is named after Wolfgang R. Copman, a pioneer who was fascinated by the Canyon's splendor, and asked that his ashes be scattered over the mountain when he died.
At the bottom of Shell Canyon, Shell Creek flows as it has . . . — Map (db m68892) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Shell — Forming Waterfalls|
| If you are a seeker of waterfalls . . . . . . . mark Shell Falls as unique in terms of waterfall origin. Waterfalls form in three basic ways: 1. Where Hard Meets Soft Falls commonly form where a hard, resistant streambed meets a softer one. Water erodes soft layers faster, resulting in an abrupt, nearly vertical drop. Victoria and Niagra Falls are famous examples. 2. Hanging Valleys When a river cuts the main channel at a faster rate than smaller side channels, a ledge forms where . . . — Map (db m88179) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Shell — Hummingbirds — Nature’s Helicopters|
| Shell Creek nourishes a rich diversity of flowering plants, which in turn attracts tiny winged visitors. Hummingbirds are noted for their uncanny ability to hover in the air like helicopters. By turning their wings upside-down on the backstroke, hummingbirds create a figure-eight motion that holds them stationary in the air. They can also fly forward, backward, up, down, side-to-side, and even upside-down. Each day these little dynamos eat one and a half times their weight in sugar extracted . . . — Map (db m89166) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Shell — Lifeblood of the West|
| Water is a scarce commodity in the arid west. Wherever streams and rivers flow, you will find the pathways of early exploration and travel, the magnets of human settlement. Shell Creek is no exception. Archaeologists discovered evidence that prehistoric cultures hunted and camped in this region 10,000 years ago. Peoples of the Shoshone, Sioux, Crow and Cheyenne tribes all lived here at one time, drawn by the rich bounty of plants and wildlife in Shell Canyon. Water Makes a . . . — Map (db m88186) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Shell — Moving Mountains|
| Can water really move mountains? Bit by bit, grind of water rippling over rock wears the mountain away. In a more dramatic fashion, run-off from melting snow during May and June creates a massive force capable of muscling huge boulders downstream. Fish Find RestLarge granite rocks and boulders form the building blocks for deep pools in Shell Creek. Pools provide critical resting and hiding cover for rainbow and brook trout. Plants Thrive in 24-hour ShowerSpray and splash zones on the . . . — Map (db m88168) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Shell — Nature's Destruction|
|In June 1959, a tornado roared over the south rim of the canyon directly before you. Its path was along Granite Creek to your left and through what used to be Granite Creek Campground. One person was killed. The twister ripped up timber and laid it out in the pattern you see now.
While tornadoes usually occur on the plains, several have visited the Big Horn Mountains. Blowing down mountain timber at 10,000 feet above sea level, these tornadoes are among the highest on record. The Forest . . . — Map (db m71500) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Shell — Oasis in the Desert|
| So, what is an “Oasis” anyway? The dictionary defines it as “a green area in a dry, arid region.” What makes it so green? If you guessed WATER, then you were right. Most of this area gets less than ten inches of rain and snow yearly, qualifying it as a desert. In this arid climate, Shell Creek stands out as a “green ribbon of life.” Plants and animals thrive in these streamside zones, also called riparian areas. These green zones provide . . . — Map (db m88192) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Shell — Shaping a Canyon|
| 2.5 billion years of geologic history lie exposed in the canyon walls of Shell Creek. Gradual cutting action by Shell Creek eventually exposed the basement granite layer that lies above the earth’s molten core. However, Shell Canyon itself formed during the past million years and is but a babe by geologic standards. Younger canyons are known by their V-shaped profile and narrow canyon walls. The canyon first began when a fault split the granite bedrock. Water, following the path of least . . . — Map (db m88178) HM|
|Wyoming (Big Horn County), Shell — Wildfire!|
| Fire has a number of beneficial effects. It eliminates diseased and dying trees, recycles nutrients back into the soil, and starts the cycle of growth again by allowing sunlight to reach the ground, stimulating the growth of grass. The Forest Service uses prescribed fires to enhance wildlife habitat, increase forage for grazing, improve the health and vigor of the forest, and reduce the chance of wildfires. The burned area on the hillside behind you is the result of a wildfire caused by the . . . — Map (db m88171) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Elk Mountain — Wagonhound Rest Area|
|The area near the Wagonhound Rest Area has played an important role in western transportation since the earliest days of human activity in the Rock Mountain west. The area has provided Wyoming's earliest inhabitants, explorers, westbound settlers, and modern travelers with a viable rout around the formidable Elk Mountain and the Medicine Bow range. numerous teepee rings in the immediate vicinity attest to the fact Native Americans utilized the area for thousands of years as they lived and . . . — Map (db m47142) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Elk Mountain — Wagonhound Tipi Rings|
|The stone circles of "Tipi Rings" as this site mark the location of a prehistoric Native American campsite. The stones were probably used to anchor the skins of conical tents known by the Sioux word "Tipi". the stones were placed around the base of the tipi to hold down the skins as well as to provide additional support to the tipi in high winds. After the introduction of the metal ax, wooden pegs gradually replaced the tones for holding down the skins.|
The tipi was used for shelter and . . . — Map (db m47141) HM
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Elk Mountain — Wyoming Winds|
|This site lies at the northern-most extent of the Snowy Range Mountains, a spot where the high mountain peaks end and the winds begin. Winds here may exceed 70 miles per hour at times, blowing winter snows, leaving ridges and slopes bare, and exposing grasses and shrubs to provide food for elk, mule deer and pronghorn antelope.|
Elk and mule deer migrate from the high mountain summer ranges to these foothills and basins to winter. The Wyoming game and Fish Department has acquired 12,870 acres . . . — Map (db m47140) HM
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Medicine Bow — George A. Wyman|
George A. Wyman
1st Across America
San Francisco to
New York City, 1903 — Map (db m89674) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Medicine Bow — Owen Wister|
| "When you say that, smile"
Whose writings acquainted the nation with pioneer Wyoming ranch life, made Medicine Bow the beginning of his most popular novel, "The Virginian," — Map (db m89702) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Rawlins — Rawlins|
|In the summer of 1867, a survey partly led by General Grenville M. Dodge seeking a route for the Union Pacific Railroad, stopped one half mile south west of here.
General John A. Rawlins, a member of the party, spoke of the spring there as the most gracious and acceptable of anything he had had on the march and said that if anything was ever named after him he wanted it to be a spring of water.
General Dodge replied: "We will name this Rawlins Springs."
1867 - 1957 — Map (db m89705) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Rawlins — Rawlins Springs|
|In the summer of 1867, a survey party led by General Grenville M. Dodge seeking a route for the Union Pacific Railroad stopped here.
General John A. Rawlins, a member of the party, spoke of the spring as "the most gracious and acceptable of anything he had had on the march" and said that if anything was ever named after him he wanted it to be a spring of water.
General Dodge replied "We will name this Rawlins Springs." — Map (db m67982) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Rawlins — William Daley Flagpole|
|The pioneer William Daley (1844-1922) built both the original 1866 Fort Phil Kearney flagstaff for the Bozeman Trail fort and this replica which is placed here in memory of the Daley Family in 1865. — Map (db m89703) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Rawlins — Wyoming State Penitentiary|
|The Wyoming State Penitentiary was constructed in different stages. The first construction occurred three years after statehood in 1893 following authorization by the Wyoming Territorial Legislature and the laying of a cornerstone in 1888. The original cellblock contained 104 cells for individuals, a concept based on the Auburn Plan, which emphasized rehabilitating prisoners. While this state penitentiary was to replace the territorial penitentiary in Laramie, construction was not completed . . . — Map (db m89706) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Saratoga — This Marker on the Overland Trail|
This marker on the
Platte River crossing
nine miles west
1861 to 1868 — Map (db m62160) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — A Tourist's Railroad — Fred Steele to Saratoga to Fort Collins, Denver, Then Bust|
|The old road bed & cut below are believed to be part of the rail road that was constructed in 1887 by the Union Pacific Railroad to connect Fort Steele to Denver, CO. It was to follow the North Platte to North Park, Colorado and down the Cache la Poudre River to Fort Collins through the great valley to Denver. Killpatrick Brothers and Collins Contractors made Fort Steele it's headquarters and some fifteen miles of roadbed was constructed when the project was abandoned because the federal . . . — Map (db m89987) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — A Well Traveled Sawmill — The Fort Phil Kearny Sawmill|
|The Fort Fred Steele sawmill had traveled thousands of miles by rail and wagon prior to its arrival and installation here, along the North Platte River. The Lane and Bodley 15 horsepower steam-driven sawmill began its journey through the military forts of Wyoming at Fort Stephen Kearny, located in Nebraska. In the summer of 1866, Colonel Henry B. Carrington requisitioned and hauled the sawmill by wagon to northeast Wyoming where it was used to cut 1.5 million log feet of lumber used in the . . . — Map (db m89818) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Bridge Tender's House|
|The bridge tender's house was constructed by the Union Pacific Railroad to serve as an employee surveillance point. The bridge tender could respond quickly to locomotive-caused fires and could remove flood debris which might damage the bridge and cause interruptions to railroad traffic. The photograph shows the present bridge under construction in 1910.
Restored by the Wyoming Recreation Commission in 1983, the one and one-half story, clapboard-sided structure was probably built before 1887. . . . — Map (db m89754) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Brownsville and Benton|
|During construction of the Union Pacific Railroad land speculators and a large contingent of undesirables kept pace with or move ahead of the construction crews and their military escorts. Townsite speculators tried to anticipate depot locations, purchasing land, selling lots and constructing tent towns.
Before the railroad reached the North Platte crossing at Fort Fred Steele, speculators set up the town of Brownsville on the river's east bank. Commanding Officer, Major Richard I. Dodge, . . . — Map (db m89755) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Carbon Timber Company|
|Construction of the Union Pacific Railroad stimulated the growth of the timber industry in southern Wyoming. Two companies began supplying ties to the railroad in 1868, but the firm of Coe and Carter was the leading supplier to the Fort Fred Steele collection yards until 1896.
Cut and shaped in the Medicine Bow Mountains to the south, ties were floated downriver during the spring run-off and were gathered behind a boom here. Coe and Carter also supplied timbers for coal mines at Carbon, . . . — Map (db m89817) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Cemetery|
|The post cemetery served as a graveyard for soldiers, their dependents, and civilians during the army occupation of Fort Steele (1868-1886). Although some soldiers died during the Indian Wars of the 1860s and 1879s, most of the military deaths at the fort were the result of accidents and disease. Civilians and travelers who expired in the vicinity of Fort Steele were also interred in the cemetery.
Although the Fort Steele hospital provided medical services to military personnel and there . . . — Map (db m89988) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Civil War Cannons|
|Two cannons located at opposite ends of a meridian island each bear the same inscription.
This cannon of Civil War vintage was for many years an essential part of oil field tank farm equipment. It was used in making holes in a tank of oil when it caught fire to let the oil flow into the surrounding dyke before it boiled over from the heat or before it exploded and caused more serious damage to the immediate area. — Map (db m89707) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Early Construction|
|The Post Trader's House was "T" shaped in three sections. The stem of the "T" was built first and over time other rooms were added to the house. The small fireplace was actually designed to burn coal. Many houses of this time period included coal chutes that allowed for easy transfer of coal from wagons into a storage bin located within the home.
During the construction processes, lime-grout was poured around wooden 'nailers' - seen just above the floor height - to . . . — Map (db m90004) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Enlisted Men's Barracks|
|Two stone foundations and chimneys remain of the five enlisted men's barracks once at Fort Fred Steele. The walls were constructed of logs and boards and battens while a shingled roof protected pine floor boards. Tar paper covered interior walls. Kitchens doubled as mess and washrooms, and iron bedsteads took up most of the floor space.
Enlisted life in the frontier army could only be characterized as boring, with inadequate salaries and a monotonous diet. Most soldiers spent their days . . . — Map (db m89949) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Fenimore Chatterton — From Bookkeeper to Political Power|
|At age 18, Fenimore Chatterton arrived in Wyoming on September 12, 1878 to begin a lifelong career of service to Wyoming.
The young Fenimore came west on the Union Pacific to Fort Steele for a bookkeeping job at the J.W, Hugus Trading Post. His first job was to unload a railroad car loaded with coal into wagons with a shovel. He continued on making sales to the local cowboys, prospectors, and patrons who would travel hundreds of miles with furs, hides, and ranch products to barter for . . . — Map (db m89995) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Fort Fred Steele — Historical Overview|
|The south central portion of Wyoming has long been a travel corridor for prehistoric and historic people. Native American tribes from the Great Basin region to the west crossed this area to hunt buffalo on the eastern plains.
From 1810 until the decline of the Rocky Mountain fur trade in the late 1830's, fur traders and trappers traversed this region on their way west in quest of beaver pelts, then retraced their route east laden with furs. These men left little evidence of their . . . — Map (db m67988) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Fort Fred Steele|
Fort Fred Steele
U.S. Military Post
June 30, 1868
August 7, 1886
Marked by the
State of Wyoming
1914 — Map (db m67989) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Fort Fred Steele after 1886|
|Officially abandoned in 1886, the fort came under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior in 1887. In 1892 and 1893 most of the buildings were sold a public auction. In 1897 the land, opened to homesteading, was patented by the Union Pacific Railroad.
Primary industries in the town of Fort Steele after the turn of the century were sheep ranching and tie processing. The Lincoln Highway, the nation's first transcontinental highway, passed through the town and boosted the economy . . . — Map (db m89913) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Fort Fred Steele State Historic Site|
|Fort Fred Steele was established in 1868 to protect the North Platte River railroad crossing and the crews builting the Transcontinental Railroad. Named after Civil War hero Major Frederick Steele, the Fort and its soldiers provided vital services to local frontier settlements. These duties included law enforcement, pursuit of rustlers, control of labor unrest, and protective escorts of stagecoaches, mail carriers, and survey teams.
When the Fort was abandoned in 1886, a sparse population of . . . — Map (db m89997) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Fort Steele Schoolhouse|
|After the fort was decommissioned and the military buildings were sold at auction, the residents of the Fort Steele community converted some of the old structures into homes and businesses or built anew on top of bare foundations. The schoolhouse was built in 1919 over the foundation remains of the fort hospital. The one-story, gable-roofed structure with clapboard siding served as a library, church, and community meeting house as well as an education center for the town.
Work and leisure . . . — Map (db m89948) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Image of Fort Fred Steele|
| This Tranquil Image of Fort Fred Steele... (ca. June 1872), by its artistic commander Colonel Philippe Regis de Trobriand, 13th Infantry, belies the post's relatively brief, but dynamic history (1868-1886). This encampment on the south bank of the North Platte River was the subject of at least six artistic renderings by Colonel de Trobriand, who skillfully depicted military forts to which he was assigned. He also painted portraits of Native Americans and sketched their artifacts. His oil . . . — Map (db m89844) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Major General Frederick Steele — 1818 - 1868|
|General Steele commanded a division of the Union Army at Vicksburg. Later he commanded all Union forces on the line of the Arkansas, exercising President Lincoln's policy of conciliation and reconstruction. At the end of the war he served in Texas, on the Mexican border. He then was sent to Oregon and Washington as commander of the Department of the Columbia.
Shortly following his death, Fort Fred Steele was named in his honor. — Map (db m89846) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Major General Philippe Regis de Trobriand — (1816 - 1897)|
|commander of Fort Fred Steele from October, 1871 until September, 1873; was born an aristocrat in Tours, France, but came to America as a soldier of fortune to fight in the Civil War. Commissioned as Colonel in 31st Infantry, he commanded Fort Stevenson on the Upper Missouri until taking charge of Fort Fred Steele. A Renaissance man, this officer vividly illustrated and wrote of his adventures.
"On the 26th of December, while riding along a line of recruites (sic) arrived the day . . . — Map (db m89845) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Major Thomas Tipton Thornburgh|
| Major Thomas Tipton Thornburgh, 4th Infantry... left Fort Fred Steele on September 21, 1879 with his regiment's Company E, plus Company E, 3rd Cavalry and Companies D and F, 5th Cavalry, in response to a complaint by U.S. Indian Agent N.C. Meeker that he and his family were being threatened by unfriendly Ute Indians. One week later, as the troops approached the White River Agency from the north through Bad Canyon, they were attacked by the warriors. Thornburgh and 12 of his men were . . . — Map (db m89828) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Officer's Quarters|
|The collapsed sand stone building west of the sign is all that remains of the once imposing eight room, one and one-half story Commanding Officers quarters. Residences for staff officers were four, wood-framed double quarters with a captain in one-half and two lieutenants in the other half. Compared to enlisted men's barracks, the officer's quarters were luxurious. Amenities included lath and plaster walls, kitchens with cellars, and large enclosed yards.
Officer's salaries greatly . . . — Map (db m89946) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Officers Who Commanded Fort Fred Steele|
| U.S. Army Officers Who Commanded Fort Fred Steele from it's Inception (1868) until its Abandonment (1886)
Baker, Eugene M. (Maj, 2 Cav) • Bartlett, Charles G. (Capt, 4 Inf) 1869 • Bascom, Gustavus, M. (1/Lt, 13 In) 1872 • Bisbee, William H. (Capt, 4 Inf) 1878-1880) • Brackett, A.G. ( Lt Col, 9 Inf) 1870-1874) • Bradley, Luther P. (Lt Col, 9 Inf) 1970-1874) • Brisbane, James S. (Maj, 2 Cav)1870 • Chipman, Henry L. (Lt Col, 7 inf) 1883-1886 • Coats, Edwin M. (Capt, 4 Inf) 1880-1882 . . . — Map (db m89947) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Powder Magazine|
|The powder magazine housed the fort's munitions and therefore was located away from the main military complex. Ironically, it is one of the few fort structures remaining. It replaced the original magazine, a dugout constructed when the post was established in 1868.
The structure was built in 1881 from locally quarried stone and from materials fabricated at the Department of the Platte Headquarters in Omaha and shipped by rail to Fort Fred Steele. With sturdy walls of random-coursed ashlar . . . — Map (db m89994) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Railroad and River — Fort Fred Steele's Lifelines|
|The Union Pacific Railroad and the North Platte River are important parts of the story of Fort Fred Steele. Located where these two great resources met, the fort and the local industries surrounding it would depend upon the rails and water for supplies and commerce.
The steam engines of the railroad depended from the beginning on often-scarce water sources in the American West. Fred Steele's location was a major water-loading stop. Eventually, the traditional wooden trackside water . . . — Map (db m89759) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Ranching — Local Cattle Industry|
|The cattle industry was also large in the area with some very large cattle companies that owned land in and around the area. One of the largest, the Swan Land & Cattle Co. owned by the Swan Brothers stretched from near present day Scottsbluff, NE to Ft. Steele, WY. Bennett & Hunter was another large outfit to whom L.E. Vivion first went to work for and he then later worked for I.C. Miller Sheep Co. before starting his own cattle company. The great "Cattle Boom" lasted from 1878 to 1886 when . . . — Map (db m89970) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Ranching Central|
|You are in Carbon County, an area central to Wyoming's past and present ranching industry. In the 1930s the county was populated by over one million sheep and annually shipped more pounds of wool than any other county in the United States.
Today cattle dominate the ranching scene with nearly 100,000 head in the county. The rough forage common to this dry desert area with normal annual precipitation of less than 11 inches is well-suited to harvesting disease-free, all-natural beef . . . — Map (db m67987) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Rock Springs Massacre|
|Anglo-European Coal Miners Near Rock Springs, Wyoming... killed 26 Chinese on Thursday afternoon, September 3, 1885, and torched their nearby settlement. More than 550 other Orientals fled into the hills. Two days later, Fort Fred Steele's Commander Lieutenant Colonel Henry L. Chipman, plus two officers and 49 enlisted men of the 7th Infantry's Companies B and E, were ordered west via train to quell the chaos and protect government property. They also helped establish Camp Pilot Butte near . . . — Map (db m89829) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Sheep Industry|
|Sheep ranching came in to the Rawlins & Ft. Steele area in the 1880's with I.C. Miller being one of the earliest. He owned the first flock in 1875. In 1882, about 16 large sheep outfits were listed in the Rawlins area and numbers rapidly grew.
The Cosgriff Brothers of Ft. Steele & Rawlins, WY were one of the largest sheep firms in Wyoming, who at the peak of their career ran 125,000 head of sheep in addition to their mercantile & banking interests. Their flocks ranged across most of southern . . . — Map (db m89968) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Sheep Ranching — The Sheep Wagon|
|The first authentic sheep wagon was built by James Candlish in Rawlins in 1884 from an idea given him by George Ferris. Caddish, a Canadian blacksmith, followed the Union Pacific construction to Fort Fred Steele and lived there until the troops moved out when he moved to Rawlins and opened his own blacksmith shop.
Modern day sheep herders still use newer versions of his sheep wagons throughout this region of Wyoming.
The sheep herders were often referred to as the "Nomads of the Plains" . . . — Map (db m89967) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Sheepherder's Community|
|Sheep were introduced to Wyoming in the 1850's near Fort Bridger, about 180 miles west of Fort Steele. By 1880 the number had grown to over 350,000 head ranging primarily along the route of the Union Pacific Railroad. The Cosgriff Brothers owned one of the largest sheep ranching operations in Wyoming at that time, and they established herds in the Fort Steele area in 1881. After the fort was decommissioned they acquired many of the buildings and in 1903 constructed one of the largest sheep . . . — Map (db m89950) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — The Great Lincoln Highway...|
|plus other lines of transportation and communication - train, telegraph and telephone - bisected America while linking its east and west coasts during one of our nation's most remarkable eras of development. Those lifelines also sustained the community of Fort Steele. When the transcontinental road was launched in 1913, the Lincoln Highway Association was formed to fund its development through the dues of its members plus corporation contributions, especially from automobile and automotive . . . — Map (db m89924) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — The Parco Inn|
|The Parco Inn was built as the architectural highlight of Wyoming's most elegant company town. Frank Kistler, founder of the Producers and Refiners Oil Company (PARCO), hired the Denver-based architectural firm of Fisher and Fisher to design a innovative company town that was not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing as well. The town was completed in 1925.
The motif for Parco's architecture is Spanish Colonial, featuring tile roofs, stucco exteriors and iron balconies. The sixty-room . . . — Map (db m89715) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — The Passenger's Railroad — The Union Pacific Line|
|Passenger travel on the Union Pacific Railroad began in July of 1868, with the first trans-continental service beginning just 10 days after the golden spike was driven on May 10, 1869 at Promontory Point in Utah. The first passenger trains were undeniably crude, they seldom traveled more than 20 miles per hour and meals were eaten quickly in station dining halls. Wooden benches were the standard seating accommodations and wood stoves furnished heat, while air conditioning was unheard of until . . . — Map (db m89915) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — This January 1880 plan of Fort Fred Steele...|
|depicts a bustling military community astride the continental Union Pacific Railroad and flanked on the north and east by the Platte River.
Although the variety flora is limited, bitter cottonwood trees grown profusely with a smattering of pine and fir along the river bottom. Gramma and needle grass, artemisia (sagebrush) and salt-week sparsely cover the surrounding alkaline plains.
"A garden has been made but the result seems to warrant the statement that the season is too short, . . . — Map (db m89926) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Thornburgh's Command|
|Thornburgh's Command Defended Themselves Behind a Breastwork....
of barrels, sacks of flour, wagons and dead horses as Ute Indians rained bullets down bluffs along Milk Creek. The battle that raged from about noon on Monday, September 29, 1879, until 8:30 that night took the lives of Thornburgh and 12 of his men and inflicted numerous casualties upon the Utes before peace was restored.
"If you can accompany me on the White River expedition... come on." - Telegram sent September 16th, . . . — Map (db m89824) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Town of Ft. Steele — Boom and Bust — 1889 to 1940's|
|In 1901, the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company included a plat of Ft. Steel in its insurance rating of the town. The town had not grown as planned, probably due to the closeness of Rawlins and that the timber industry had started building its own town on the opposite side of the river so that its workers did not have to cross the river in order to get to work, shop, etc. In the mid 1900's the Vivion Sheep Companies moved most of their sheep operations east to the Wolcott area. The U.P.R.R. then . . . — Map (db m89820) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Viewing the Fort Grounds|
|Fort Fred Steele was established in 1868 as one of a group of military posts placed along the route of the Trans-Continental Railroad to protect and support the railroad construction. Today, except for the Powder Magazine (south of the Railroad tracks), only foundations remain. The buildings are marked with metal signs indicating the original use of the building and the dotted lines on the above map closely follows the original Parade Ground Path. This post did have some unique structures. . . . — Map (db m71623) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Wild Times In Benton! — For the Railroad and Town|
|In 1868 the Union Pacific Railroad was rapidly moving west with the short lived railhead towns leading the way. In early July, General Dodge ordered the citizens of Brownsville to move three miles from the river to the edge of the Dry Desert. This was to become the town of Benton. With the move came all the amenities of a railroad town including the "Big Tent" which has seen service in Julesburg, Cheyenne, and Laramie. It was 100 feet long and forty feet wide, housing a bar with every variety . . . — Map (db m89916) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Sinclair — Wyoming - A Fortress for Wildlife|
|It is not happenstance that Wyoming hosts a wealth of our nation's wildlife resource. Early explorers wrote descriptions of the buffalo, "... blackening the plains as far as the eye could see. The pronghorn antelope were as numerous as the buffalo."
The rush to the West increased in tempo in the late 1800's. The game herds seemed limitless and settlers took their wildlife for granted. Buffalo, antelope, elk and mountain sheep became nearly extinct by 1900. Market hunters, taking . . . — Map (db m67986)|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Wamsutter — Overland Trail|
| "From the Platte west to Fort Bridger... is one almost uninterrupted panorama of barren hills, sandy plains, ugly tortuous ravines, and blank desolation... All life and all living things, seem to be gone." (Overland Trail traveler Demas Barnes, 1866)
A fading set of trail ruts across the high desert east and west of this point are all that remains of the Overland Trail, a busy highway of the 1860s for emigrants, freight and mail, and stagecoaches between the Missouri River and the . . . — Map (db m89716) HM|
|Wyoming (Carbon County), Wamsutter — The Overland Stage Station Route|
| Operated 1862 to 1868
Washakee Station four miles east.
Barrel Springs Station fourteen
miles west. — Map (db m89717) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Ayres Natural Bridge Park|
|Ages ago Wyoming was covered by seas. Through a period of millions of years the land gradually rose, leaving the present landscape of plains, mountains and rolling hills. As the land emerged, erosion began and through eons of time, formed Ayres Natural Bridge as it exists today.
The bridge is 20 feet high and has a 90 foot span at the base. A trout stream flows beneath. The setting is in the center of a high red sandstone walled amphitheater, which provides a fine shady picnic ground. . . . — Map (db m92098) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Bill Hooker|
| (Oregon Trail Memorial medallion)
Who built and lived in a cabin
on La Bonte Creek
ten miles from this point
on the Bozeman Trail in
1874 — Map (db m92108) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Bozeman Trail|
|From this point, the Bozeman Trail wound a long, twisting northwesterly route to the Montana goldfields. This view points out a portion of that difficult and dangerous road. The map shows the locations of forts, rivers and mountains along the trail.
Also leaving the fort at this point was the telegraph line to Fort Reno, about 75 miles northwest. Later, with the abandonment of that fort in 1868, the line ended here until it was extended to Fort McKinney, established in 1878, near the present town of Buffalo. — Map (db m80089) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Chicago & Northwestern Railway (C&NW) Steel Sheathed Wooden Day Coach|
|Car #1886 was built at St. Louis Car Company in 1884 as a part of an order for ten short sixty foot coaches for service on the so called "Cowboy Line" of the C&NW being built at the time through Douglas to Lander, Wyoming.
The car was rebuilt in 1915 by American Car and Foundry Company at Jeffersonville, Indiana at which time the car had steel sheathing installed over the wooden siding and electric lights installed inside the gas lights. These fixtures were removed in 1948 and the car was . . . — Map (db m92181) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) Wooden Caboose|
|The oldest piece in the display, the car was built by the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad in the company shops at Plattsmouth, Nebraska in 1884 at a cost of $1023 as a mainline freight caboose. It was rebuilt and modernized with new brake equipment in 1912 as a branch line caboose for use on branch lines in Nebraska and Kansas. Car was numbered #14140 during its service life. In its current branch line configuration, the car was used as sleeping quarters at the end of branch lines by the . . . — Map (db m92182) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) 4-8-4 Steam Locomotive #5633|
|This massive steam locomotive was donated to the people of the State of Wyoming by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company. It was moved dead-in-train from Galesburg, Ill to Orin then via C&NW Railroad to Douglas in April of 1962. Title was transferred to the City of Douglas in 1993.
Built in the CB&Q shops at West Burlington, IA in September 1940 as one of the last class of steam locomotives on the Burlington. Part of an order for twenty-eight 317 ton units that were identical . . . — Map (db m92162) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) Dining Car|
|This car was built by the Budd Company at Philadelphia, PA as a 48 seat Diner in March 1947. It was part of an order for new stainless steel passenger cars for system-wide service. It was named "Silver Salver" and was numbered #196, later Burlington Northern #1160 and was used briefly in business train service.
The most common assignment was on the Morning and Afternoon Zephyr trains between Chicago and Minneapolis. Car may have passed through Douglas on CB&Q train #29 and #30, the Omaha to . . . — Map (db m92166) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Douglas|
|Douglas was founded as a result of the Fremont, Elkhart and Missouri Valley Railroad extension through central Wyoming in 1886. The railroad's objective was to access the mining and cattle-rich areas of Wyoming.
On August 22, 1886, the railroad reached what was to be known as the new town of Douglas. Incorporated on October 33, 1887, Douglas was named after Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois.
During its first year of existence, Douglas was known as "The Gateway City," because it was . . . — Map (db m92106) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Douglas Railroad Interpretive Center|
|The Douglas Railroad Interpretive Center is located on the site of the historic Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Depot. The Interpretive Center was developed by the City of Douglas and dedicated in August 1995 as a legacy to the major industries which molded and shaped the Douglas community with the railroad industry at the center.
Following the end of Indian hostilities in the late 1870's, the grasslands of what is now Converse County became home to hundreds of thousands of Texas . . . — Map (db m92163) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Fairmont Motor Car|
|Built as Fairmont Model M-19 series AA, Group 4, serial #217980. Originally sold to the Union Pacific Railroad and later sold to and used by the Colorado & Southern as a track inspection car, probably by track foremen based in Casper.
Little history is available on this unit. It was transferred to the City of Douglas by the State of Wyoming in 1993. — Map (db m92164) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Formation of Ayres Natural Bridge|
|Meandering La Prele Creek drainage cuts into alternating layers of sandstone and sandy limestone of the Permian / Pennsylvanian Casper formation.
La Prele Creek erodes both the upstream and downstream sides of the outcrop.
Undercutting by creek collapses the lower level of stone forming the bridge. The creek then follows the shortcut, flowing undern the bridge.
In memory of Lou B. Reed — Map (db m71496)|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Fort Fetterman — (1867-1882)|
|This plateau above LaPrele Creek and the North Platte River was chosen as an Army post by Major Dye who described it as “…being neither so low as to be seriously affected by the rains or snow; nor so high and unprotected as to suffer from the winter winds.” This optimistic view did not stand up during the winter months.
The museum’s exhibits, restored buildings, and trails leading to the remains of the Fort, provide a glimpse into Army operations at this remote outpost and into . . . — Map (db m80092) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Good Roads Club|
|The "Good Roads Club" was incorporated in Douglas in 1910 with 119 members and capitalization of $50,000. It was a popular social club with a primary goal to establish a way to improve the road system to enjoy the new automobile.
In 1918, the "Good Roads Club" voted to become the Douglas Chamber of Commerce. One of the first projects was enlisting moral and financial support for the development of Yellowstone Highway, our west entrance into Douglas.
Yellowstone Highway for years was lined . . . — Map (db m92180) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Great Northern Railway (GN) Sleeping Car|
|Car was built by Pullman Standard at Pullman, Ill in December of 1950 as a part of an order for eight sleeping cars with 16 duplex roomettes and four bedrooms. Car was assigned to the Western Star, their secondary Chicago to Seattle train. With a capacity of 24 passengers plus the porter, the car saw service system wide.
The car was named "Augassiz Glacier" and was numbered #1182 during its entire career. Car was in regular daily service until the formation of Amtrak in April of 1971. Car . . . — Map (db m92178) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Hog Ranch|
|Above is an artist’s conception of the interior of the Fort Fetterman version of a “Hog Ranch,” a common frontier term used to describe certain off-post facilities which catered to the lonely soldier’s desire for wine, women and song. A cluster of cabins, the “ranch” was typical of similar establishments located outside the bounds of many western military reservations. This one was among the most notorious in the history of the west. The device on the right shows its . . . — Map (db m80093) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — James Bridger’s Ferry|
| James Bridger’s Ferry,
established in 1864, was
located 1500 feet up the
river from this monument. — Map (db m80088) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — John Hunton|
| Erected to the memory of
First President of the
Bullwhacker of the 60s
1839 ---- 1928
(Oregon Trail Memorial medallion) — Map (db m92107) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Junction of the Oregon Trail|
| This Monument
marks the junction
of the Oregon Trail
and road to Old Ft.
miles north of this
July 10, 1867. Abandoned
May 25, 1882. — Map (db m92111) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Natural Bridge and the Oregon Trail|
|The Oregon Trail crosses LaPrele Creek about one mile downstream from Natural Bridge. Before the modern road was built into the gorge, Natural Bridge was difficult to access, and it was only rarely visited by emigrants of the covered wagon era. From time to time, however, a few ambitious travelers made their way through the heavy brush and down the steep walls of the canyon to see this remarkable work of nature.
While Native Americans were probably well aware of Natural Bridge, the . . . — Map (db m71495) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Oregon Trail|
| Marked by the
1913 — Map (db m92099) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Oregon Trail|
| Marked by the
1913 — Map (db m92112) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — The One Mile Hog Ranch|
|Also known as the Hog Ranch at Fetterman, the One Mile Hog Ranch was perhaps the rowdiest, roughest and most dangerous red light establishment in Wyoming. Built by Harrison Kane in 1880, the saloon sat just across the Platte River, about one mile north of Fort Fetterman, a government-controlled military reservation on the Bozeman Trail. With the addition of a dance hall and bawdy house, the place soon acquired a tough reputation. Not only did Kane’s whiskey business flourish but he had poker . . . — Map (db m80124) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — The Oregon Trail|
| The Oregon Trail
four miles south
Ft. Fetterman 1867
seven miles north
Highway crosses Fetterman
Trail route here. — Map (db m92110) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Union Pacific Railroad (UP) Double Deck Stock Car|
|This car was built by Western American Car & Foundry Company in Seattle, WA in July 1914 for the Union Pacific Railroad subsidiary Oregon Short Line as a box car and was numbered as their #120579. Car was converted to a double deck stock car in February 1936 as OSL #48330 and was renumbered by the Union Pacific as their #47926.
Car was used to haul sheep and/or pigs and was used system wide. Car could gave passed through Douglas in CB&Q (C&S) general freight trains.
Retired in July of . . . — Map (db m92179) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Union Pacific Railroad Baggage Car|
|This car was built by the Pullman Car Company at their Michigan City, Indiana plant in February of 1911 for the Union Pacific subsidiary Oregon Short Line Railroad as their #331. The car was renumbered to #2114 in 1914 and again renumbered to #1897 (is current number) in 1924. Car is configured as a working mail car with provision for a baggage man and handled mail, passenger baggage and fresh produce. Car saw service system wide and may have passed through Douglas in a consist of mail trains . . . — Map (db m92165) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Douglas — Water Supply|
|From this location, where the water reservoir once stood, one can see several interesting points. The sighting device points out the location of the pump used during the later years to supply the fort with water. Prior to installation of the pump the water detail was usually a punishment duty, water having been dipped from the river and hauled in a wooden tank wagon to the fort. There were never any wells on the grounds of the post. — Map (db m80091) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Glenrock — Ada Magill|
|Caleb and Nancy Magill with their six children were part of a wagon train traveling fro Brown County, Kansas, to Dallas, Oregon, in 1864. After leaving Fort Laramie their three-year-old daughter Ada was taken sick with dysentery. At Deer Creek Station she worsened. An hour before dawn on July 3, 1864, Ada died. In "Sunday best tiny calico dress" she was buried on a small rise of ground just south of here.
In 1912 a new highway under construction was to have passed directly over Ada's grave. . . . — Map (db m92079) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Glenrock — Alah H. Unthank|
|Nineteen-year-old Alvah Unthank was one of a group of young men who left Newport, Wayne County, Indiana, for the goldfields of California in 1850. On June 23 the wagon train passed Register Cliff, south of Guernsey. There Alvah inscribed his name: A.H. UNTHANK 1850.
In the early evening hours on June 28 the party made camp here by the North Platte River on account of the sudden sickness of Alvah. On June 29 a family friend, Pusey Graves, wrote: "Lay by today to doctor and nurse Alvah. June . . . — Map (db m92083) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Glenrock — Big Muddy Oil Field|
|Big Muddy oil field is a typical Wyoming oil producing structure. The field, discovered in 1916, has produced over 30 million barrels of high quality oil. Strata here were arched upward at the time the Rocky Mountains originated about 60 million years ago, to form an anticline, or dome. Because oil is lighter than water, it rose to the crest of the dome where it was trapped in pore spaces between sand grains. The Wall Creek sand lies at a depth of near 3,000 feet and the Dakota sand at about . . . — Map (db m92097) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Glenrock — Deer Creek Station|
|Deer Creek Station, which once stood on the site of present- day Glenrock near the confluence of Deer Creek and the North Platte River, became a familiar landmark along the Oregon-California-Mormon Trail between 1857 and 1866.
The station began with Joseph Bissonette’s Trading Post, also known as Dakota City. The mountain man’s store, post office, blacksmith shop, corrals, and hotel-saloon, served the needs of a variety of visitors. They included photographer William Henry Jackson during . . . — Map (db m92081) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Glenrock — Ferdinand V. Hayden|
| To All Pioneers
Who passed this way
in memory of
Ferdinand V. Hayden
Chief U.S. Geological Survey
of the Territories
Born at Westfield, Mass, 1829 — Map (db m92082) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Glenrock — Rock in the Glen|
|On July 26, 1842 John C. Fremont's first expedition to the far west guided by Kit Carson with Joseph Bissonette as interpreter, also L. Maxwell as hunter, camped in this rocky glen.
Names and dates of many of the 300,000 travelers of the Oregon Trail are here. — Map (db m92080) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Glenrock — Sharp, Franklin and Taylor,|
|Three men named Sharp,
Franklin, and Taylor, and
one unknown man were
killed by Indians July 12,
1864 where the Oregon
Trail crosses Little Box
Elder Creek 2 1/2 miles S.W.
of here. They were buried
4 miles S.W. by the grave
of Mary Kelly who also
was killed July 13, 1864. — Map (db m92087) HM|
|Wyoming (Converse County), Orin — Cottonwoods: Homes Along the Prairie River — Wyoming’s Wildlife|
| Take a good look at those big old trees down along the river. You know, the ones with the big limbs and huge trunks. Those old cottonwoods are special trees. They have grown tall with their roots spreading as grand as their limbs. Their roots reach down to the water level and help hold the river bank soil, keeping it from washing away during heavy spring flows. Grass grows tall and lush where the cottonwoods hold the soil. Along these grassy river banks, wildlife flourishes. A variety of . . . — Map (db m89008) HM|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Aladdin — Aladdin Tipple History|
|The Aladdin Tipple in Crook County, Wyoming, was constructed as part of the Aladdin coal mining operations. In 1898, an 18-mile-long short line known as the Wyoming and Missouri River Railroad was built to connect coal mines near Aladdin with the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad main line at Belle Fourche, South Dakota. The railroad linked the coal mines at Aladdin with the gold smelters at Lead and Deadwood. The Black Hills Coal Company, which built both the mine and the Wyoming and Missouri . . . — Map (db m34833) HM|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Aladdin — Custer's 1874 Expedition|
|During the summer of 1874, General George Armstrong Custer led the first official government expedition to the Black Hills, which the Sioux Indians claimed as their territory. Although the United States Government officially sent this expedition of more than 1,000 men to scout for a new fort location, the presence of engineers, geologists, and miners indicated that recording the topography, geography, and location of gold deposits were other important goals.
The expedition's discovery of . . . — Map (db m34586) HM|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Aladdin — Vore Buffalo Jump|
|Plains Indians depended upon buffalo for many of their material needs - food, shelter, clothing, tools, fuel, ceremonial objects, even toys. Prior to acquiring horses in the 18th century, hunting individual animals on foot with bows and arrows was difficult and dangerous. As winter approached, tribes often joined in communal hunts to provide meat and hides for harsh winters by driving herds of buffalo over a cliff or into a trap where the animals were killed, butchered and processed in . . . — Map (db m45545) HM|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Devils Tower — Devils Tower|
|Devils Tower, an important landmark for Plains Indian tribes long before the white man reached Wyoming, was called Mateo Tepee, or Grizzly Bear Lodge, by the Sioux. A number of Indian legends describe the origin of Devils Tower. One legend tells about seven little girls chased onto a low rock to escape attacking bears. Their prayers for help were heeded. The rock carried them upward to safety as the claws of the leaping bears left furrowed columns in the sides of the ascending tower. . . . — Map (db m34465) HM|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Hulett — Buried Tower — Devils Tower National Monument|
|Ancient rivers took millions of years to excavate Devils Tower. The waters carried away softer sedimentary rocks leaving behind the hard igneous rock called phonolite. This rock type is found here in northeastern Wyoming, and central Montana, but mostly in east Africa.
The Tower is still emerging. The Belle Fourche River (below) continues to wash away the softer sedimentary rocks. Plateaus across the valley—some higher than the Tower’s summit—are eroded layers of the same . . . — Map (db m72588)|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Hulett — Camp Devin|
|The Ft. Laramie treaties of 1851 & 1868 set aside the Black Hills for the Sioux, for as long as the grass shall grow and the river shall flow. Nevertheless, in 1874 Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer was sent to investigate rumors of gold in the area giving rise to a flood of goldseekers and camp followers who poured into the hills violating the treaties. Sioux representatives were called to Washington to negotiate, but in November 1875, before a new agreement could be reached, President Grant . . . — Map (db m42556) HM|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Hulett — Devils Tower|
|Devils Tower, known as Bear's Lodge to Northern Plains Tribes, rises high above the Belle Fourche River, grasslands, and ponderosa pine forests. This major landmark of the Northern Great Plains has attracted people for thousands of years. Today, it still holds many meanings for people including American Indians, local ranchers, rock climbers and thousands of visitors from near and far.
The Tower and the Missouri Buttes to the northwest formed about 50 million years ago. They are the result . . . — Map (db m34463) HM|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Hulett — How Did the Tower Form? — Devils Tower National Monument|
|The process began about 50 million years ago. Magma (molten rock) was injected into layers of sedimentary rock, forming the Tower one and one-half miles below the earth’s surface. It has since taken millions of years to erode away the surrounding sedimentary rock to expose the Tower we see today.
Geologists agree the Tower is an igneous (hardened magma) intrusion, but have three different interpretations of the Tower’s original size and shape. Because of erosion, we may never know which . . . — Map (db m72589)|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Hulett — Life Above and Below Ground — Devils Tower National Monument|
|Above ground, prairie dogs are usually looking for plants to eat, eating, or scanning for predators. At a warning bark, prairie dogs dive into a dark city of tunnels, where they spend more than half their lives. They play an important role in the prairie ecosystem. Their habits change the environment, resulting in increased plant and animal diversity.
Eradication programs have reduced the black-tailed prairie dog’s range from thousands of square miles to a few scattered preserves like this . . . — Map (db m71946)|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Hulett — People of the Land — Devils Tower National Monument|
|The Tower and Black Hills area have been a gathering place and home to many people. Archeological discoveries show that native people lived here 10,000 years ago. As time passed, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa, Lakota, and Shoshone all developed cultural and spiritual connections with the Tower. They continue to hand down their beliefs from one generation to the next.
The Great Race
Once the buffalo believed they were the most powerful creature. Humans thought this unfair. So the . . . — Map (db m72587) HM|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Sundance — Paha Sapa, Black Hills — Geologic History of the Lakotas' Sacred Hills|
|Also known as "Temple of the Sioux," Sundance Mountain rises majestically in the southwest. It belongs to the Bear Lodge Mountain Range, which defines the northwestern edge of the Black Hills. It was named for the Plains Indians' religious ceremony—and in turn it provided the name for the town at its base, which dubbed one of its earliest and most notorious prisoners, the "Sundance Kid." In the Lakota language, the mountain is called Wi Wacipi Paha, which literally means Sun Dance . . . — Map (db m45541) HM|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Sundance — Bird of the Black Hills — The Black Hills are Home to more than 200 Species of Glorious Birds|
|The Red Valley surrounding you belongs to the transition zone between the flat, treeless Great Plains and the pine-forested Black Hills. Artesian springs and creeks draining from the hills and mountains create draws that provide water, shade, and food for wildlife. The mixture of habitats here attract abundant birds and mammals, making this an excellent area for wildlife viewing, particularly birding. Here are some of the many species you might see in these red lands stretching between . . . — Map (db m45536) HM|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Sundance — Petrified Trees — Fossils Give Clues to Wyoming's Paleo-Past|
|Giant cypress trees growing today in swamps (or forested wetlands), such as these found in Louisiana's Pointe Lake, used to grow in Wyoming back when it was a warm, subtropical swamp - about 55 million years ago during the Late Paleocene epoch. Some of these ancient trees were buried under sediment and turned to stone. the three petrified trees located here were found during coal mining operations at the Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette. They were generously donated by Alpha Coal West, Inc., and . . . — Map (db m45539) HM|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Sundance — Rich Colors, Rich Lands — Gold Metal, Green Grass, Black Coal & Crude|
|The first Caucasian residents of this area came as prospectors following the Black Hills Gold Rush. In 1876 the glitter of gold led them from the large mining camps of Lead and Deadwood westward to Sand Creek, located near this site. Instead of moving on when they reached the end of the precious vein, many of these adventurers settled here, shifting their energies to other forms of mining as well as farming and ranching.|
Aladdin Coal Mines The Black Hills Gold Rush brought with it the . . . — Map (db m45535) HM
|Wyoming (Crook County), Sundance — The Custer Trail — Site of Sacred Lands and Historic Battles|
|Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer's Black Hills Expedition crossed northeastern Wyoming from July 17-25, 1874, camping within three miles of this location. forged by 1000 men (cavalry, infantry, teamsters, scientists, miners, newspaper reporters, Santee Sioux guides, and Arikara guides), four artillery pieces, 110 supply wagons, and about 1600 animals (horses, mules, and cattle), traces of the trail can still be seen today. This tour, which trespassed on Lakota land, led to war, seizure of . . . — Map (db m45381) HM|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Sundance — The Vore Buffalo Jump — Hunting Large Bison Took Teamwork and Ingenuity|
|Located a short distance to the east and camouflaged by the red eroded landscape is the Vore Buffalo Jump. This sinkhole served early residents as a slaughterhouse. using the natural pit as a trap, hunters would capture bison in late fall by running a herd over the edge. Once killed, the animals were butchered to provide food and supplies for winter.|
The Coordinated Bison Hunt The hunters camped and made ceremonial preparations downwind and out of sight of the jump. Days before the hunt, . . . — Map (db m45537) HM
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Atlantic City — Atlantic City: Surviving the Bust|
|Centrally located on the gold-bearing vein in the area, mines literally surrounded Atlantic City by the fall of 1868. The townspeople soon fostered a thriving business community. In addition to sawmills and blacksmith shops, Atlantic City boasted of beer breweries and one of Wyoming Territory’s first public schools.
Boom rapidly led to bust and the town faltered for a time. A French capitalist, Emile Granier, revived mining interests in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s with a short-lived . . . — Map (db m80134) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Atlantic City — Fort Stambaugh, 1870-1878|
| was established to protect from Indians the gold mining camps of South Pass City, Atlantic City, Miners’ Delight, and others. It was named for 1st Lt. Charles B. Stambaugh, 2nd Cavalry, U.S.A. who was shot from his horse by Indians when defending a freighting party, May 4, 1870. Site about 6 miles East. — Map (db m80145) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Atlantic City — Miners Delight: The Boom’s Broken Promises — The Boom’s Broken Promises|
|As the news of gold spread, the Sweetwater Mining District filled with miners who established Hamilton City about two miles east of here in 1867. The following year, the name of the town changed to Miners Delight, after a highly productive nearby mine. The Miners Delight mine produced the greatest wealth of any in the mining district while the town remained the smallest and most isolated. According to a 1916 government report, the Miners Delight mine and surrounding placers has produced over . . . — Map (db m80133) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Hudson — Bonneville Cabins|
|Five hundred yards northwest of this marker stood the Bonneville Cabins, built by Captain B.L.E. Bonneville in 1835 to store his trade goods. Three cabins were constructed and later two more. They were long known as “The Five Cabins, : the first mercantile establishment in central Wyoming. In 1866 Major Noyes Baldwin moved a stock of goods into the cabins to trade with Shoshoni Indians, but vacated the following year because of Indian hostilities. In 1868 he located a trading post on . . . — Map (db m80128) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Jeffrey City — Gold Flakes to Yellowcake Historic Mine Trail|
|The Historic Mine Trail and Byway Program designated the Gold Flakes to Yellowstone Historic Mine Trail in 2005. This trail links significant finds of gold, iron ore, and uranium, each of which played important roles in Wyoming's history.
The Gold Flakes Region
Gold found at the Carissa lode in 1867 set off a rush, Wyoming's largest, to the South Pass region. The towns of Miners Delight and Atlantic City sprouted to support the miners. The gold quickly played out, and most people . . . — Map (db m67009) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Jeffrey City — Ice Slough|
|Ice Slough is a small stream that flows into the Sweetwater River five miles east of here. In front of this point is a slough (i.e. a marsh or shallow un-drained depression). This slough gave the name to the stream east of here. In the "Ice Slough" the marshes soils and plants insulated the previous winter's ice and it melted slowly throughout the summer. Under the marshes a thick mat of ice could be found late into June or early July. Westward bound immigrants would stop their wagons here for . . . — Map (db m62076) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Jeffrey City — Jeffrey City — Biggest Bust of Them All|
|Home on the range, a tiny community consisting of a post office, gas station, and a few souls, sat quiet and undisturbed along this lonesome stretch of highway until the 1950's. That all changed when the nation's uranium industry boomed after World War II.
In the early 1950s, prospectors started combing Wyoming's hills for surefire riches. Then, in 1954 prospector Robert (Bob) Adams discovered uranium. He founded the Lost Creek Oil and Uranium Company, purchased property next . . . — Map (db m67008) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Jeffrey City — Pony Express|
The need was there
Competing with time, harsh climates, long distances, tough terrain and the hostility of numerous Indian bands, the Pony Express carried the mail 1600 miles across the West. From April 4, 1860 to October 24, 1861, the California Overland Mail and Pikes Peak Express, better known as the Pony Express, was this Nation's western communications link. It kept the West informed and helped keep California in the Union at the outbreak of the Civil War.
Buffalo . . . — Map (db m69604) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Jeffrey City — Split Rock|
|Originally called the Emigrant Road, the Oregon Trail was the main route of westward expansion from 1812 to 1869. An estimated 500,000 people journeyed past here in search of new lands and new lives in the West.
Because of its unique shape, Split Rock was a well known trail landmark and navigation aid. Emigrants were guided by the rock for an entire day's travel from the east. It remained in view behind them for another two days. From Split Rock, it was about six days to South Pass, the . . . — Map (db m62092) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Jeffrey City — Split Rock|
|A famous natural landmark used by Indians, trappers, and emigrants on the Oregon Trail. Site of Split Rock Pony Express 1860-1861, stage and telegraph station is on the south side of the Sweetwater. Split Rock can be seen as a cleft on the Rattlesnake Range. — Map (db m67007) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Jeffrey City — Split Rock|
|Split Rock was a relay station during the turbulent 18 month life of the Pony Express. The Express operated at a gallop, speeding mail across the West in only 10 days. However, because of the "talking wire," its days were numbered. The telegraph reached California by October 1861, ending a unique American experiment.
How it was done
Mail relay stations were set up 10 to 15 miles apart, each with two to four men and extra horses. About 500 of the hardiest western ponies were . . . — Map (db m69603) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Jeffrey City — Split Rock Meadows|
|Shoshone, Arapaho, Crow and Sioux Indians occupied this pleasant valley long before the Oregon Trail, which changed their cultures and life styles forever. This led to tragic warfare and the eventual loss of country they had called their own.
Split Rock Relay Station, a crude log structure with a pole corral, was built at the base of the mass of rocks directly in front of you. It was used by both the Pony Express and the Overland Stage and until the early 1940s, was a U.S. Post Office.
. . . — Map (db m69602) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — Beaver Rim and the Wind River Range|
|Viewed from Beaver Rim, the Wind River Mountains, part of the Rocky Mountain chain, boast 53 granite peaks over 13,000 feet high. The Continental Divide runs the length of the Wind River Range. Water on the east side of the Continental Divide flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Water from the west side of the Divide ends up in the Pacific Ocean.
During the geologic event known as the Laramide Orogeny, the Wind River Mountains were pushed upward 60,000 feet. After 10 million years of erosion, . . . — Map (db m67012) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — Gold Flakes to Yellowcake Historic Mine Trail|
|The Historic Mine Trail and Byway Program designated the Gold Flakes to Yellowstone Historic Mine Trail in 2005. This trail links significant finds of gold, iron ore, and uranium, each of which played important roles in Wyoming's history.
The Gold Flakes Region
Gold found at the Carissa lode in 1867 set off a rush, Wyoming's largest, to the South Pass region. The towns of Miners Delight and Atlantic City sprouted to support the miners. The gold quickly played out, and most people . . . — Map (db m67011) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — Gold Flakes to Yellowcake Historic Mine Trail|
|The Historic Mine Trail and Byway Program designated the Gold Flakes to Yellowstone Historic Mine Trail in 2005. This trail links significant finds of gold, iron ore, and uranium, each of which played important roles in Wyoming's history.
The Gold Flakes Region
Gold found at the Carissa lode in 1867 set off a rush, Wyoming's largest, to the South Pass region. The towns of Miners Delight and Atlantic City sprouted to support the miners. The gold quickly played out, and most people . . . — Map (db m67015) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — Narcissa Prentiss Whitman — Eliza. Hart Spalding|
July 4, 1836 — Map (db m80500) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — Old Oregon Trail|
1843-57 — Map (db m80503) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — Oregon Buttes|
|To the south stand the Oregon Buttes, a major trail landmark. The name is significant because the Buttes were roughly the beginning of the Oregon Territory and also helped keep emigrants encouraged, even though there were still hundreds of miles of rough going ahead. Today, the Oregon Buttes are an Area of Critical Environmental Concern because of their cultural significance and important wildlife values.
About twelve-miles to the southwest of Oregon Buttes is the Tri-Territory site. This . . . — Map (db m80499) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — Red Canyon|
|Red Canyon is cooperatively managed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the State of Wyoming, the Bureau of Land Management and private landowners.
The spectacular orange and red sandstone formations you see here have been exposed through millions of years of erosion. The brilliant red color comes from concentrations of ferrous oxide, or iron, in the soil and stone.
These slopes are crucial winter range for elk. Over seven hundred elk use this area every winter. Sometimes it is . . . — Map (db m80132) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — Site of Fort McGraw|
Site of Fort McGraw (sic)
Scouts & Trappers
1812 - 1835
Another marker, next to the Site of Fort McGraw marker, is currently missing, but its text is provided below:
Site of Fort Thompson or Camp MaGaw
In 1856 the United States Congress appropriated money to build the central division of the Fort Kearney-South Pass-Honey Lake Wagon Road from Nebraska to California. W.M.F. Magaw was appointed superintendent by the Secretary of the . . . — Map (db m80129) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — South Pass|
|The South Pass, in which you are now located, is perhaps the most significant transportation-gateway through the Rocky Mountains. Indians, mountain men, Oregon Trail emigrants, Pony Express riders, and miners all recognized the value of this passageway straddling the Continental Divide. Bounded by the Wind River Range on the north and the Antelope Hills on the south, the pass offered overland travelers a broad, relatively level corridor between the Atlantic and Pacific watersheds. . . . — Map (db m67016) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — South Pass — On Top of the World|
|From where you're standing South Pass doesn't look all that remarkable. But compared to the rugged Wind River Mountains, it can easily be recognized as a type of gateway.
Nevertheless, crossing the Continental Divide into "Oregon Country" was a task for all westward-bound travelers, and many described their feelings about the event. In 1852 Lucy Rutledge Cooke, a young woman with "California Fever" wrote:
"... This morn we arrived at the South Pass after which all water we see will . . . — Map (db m67020) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — South Pass|
|Even after the discovery of South Pass in 1824, it was years before the route was used extensively. Fur trapper/trader William Sublette brought a small caravan of wagons to South Pass in 1828. While his party did not take wagons over the pass, they demonstrated the feasibility of using them.
Captain Benjamin Bonneville took the first wagons over South Pass in 1832. But it was U.S. Government explorer, Lt. John Charles Fremont, who was responsible for publicizing the South Pass route. . . . — Map (db m67021) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — South Pass|
|South Pass was discovered in 1812 by a small band of Astorians led by Robert Stuart as they traveled east with dispatches for John Jacob Astor. It was “rediscovered” in 1824 by a party led by Jedediah Smith as they searched for a winter crossing through the Wind River Mountain Range. William Sublette led a small caravan of wagons to South Pass in 1828. While the party did not take the wagons over the pass, they proved that wagon travel was possible.
Captain Benjamin Bonneville . . . — Map (db m80501) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — The Atlantic City Project — The Iron Ore Boom and Bust|
|The hills of the Sweetwater Mining District hold various minerals, and beginning in the 1960s, iron ore mining provided an economic boom for the area. In 1960 the U.S. Steel Corporation broke ground on the nation's highest open pit iron ore mine at 8,300 feet above sea level. By the spring of 1963 the complex was in full swing. Employees operated an open pit mine, an ore crushing and screening facility, a concentrating plant and water storage and handling system, and storage, loading, and . . . — Map (db m67014) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — The Corridor West|
|The trail over South Pass is a transportation corridor which served many purposes. In addition to being the route to Oregon and California, it was used by Mormon pioneers and by the Pony Express.
A great exodus to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 was only the beginning of Mormon emigrant travel along the Oregon Trail. About 68,000 took the the Utah branch of the trail from 1847 until 1869 when the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad ushered in a new phase of overland travel. The community . . . — Map (db m67019) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — The Fur Trade|
|The demand for beaver pelts in the early 1800s led to the exploration and eventual settlement of the American West. South Pass was part of a major thoroughfare through the Rockies and its discovery is significant to the era known as the fur trade.
South Pass was first crossed by white men in 1812. The Astorians, a small party of American Fur Company trappers led by Robert Stuart, used it as they traveled east with dispatches for company owner, John Jacob Astor. Even though Stuart noted . . . — Map (db m67022) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — The Oregon Trail|
| The Oregon Trail
In memory of those who passed this way to win and hold the West
Plaque placed by the Historical Landmark Commission of Wyoming
1950 — Map (db m80504) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Lander — The Way West|
|With South Pass behind them, Oregon and California-bound travelers faced the second half of their journey. The roughest travel was yet to come. From Missouri to South Pass, emigrants were able to follow rivers. But from South Pass to Oregon and California, they faced dry stretches such as the high-altitude desert of the Green River Basin. The dry climate played havoc with wagon wheels that kept shrinking wood away from iron rims.
Approximately 20 miles on the trail west of this place, . . . — Map (db m67018) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Riverton — Trappers, Traders and Explorers|
of the Trappers, Traders
and Explorers, who
established the Rendezvous
at the Junction of the
Little and Big Wind Rivers — Map (db m80127) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Shoshoni — “Wild Sheep and Wild Fire”|
| Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep once roamed much of the western United States. Now, these magnificent animals are found in only a fraction of their historic range. Human expansion, disease, market hunting and fire suppression all contributed to the decline of bighorn sheep populations and their habitat. Fortunately, management actions taken by state and federal agencies, tribal governments, and wildlife conservation groups have restored wild sheep to many of their former ranges. The Absaroka . . . — Map (db m88979) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Shoshoni — Boysen Dam and Reservoir Today|
| In 1952, dignitaries dedicated a new dam built by the Bureau of Reclamation, one and half miles upstream from Asmus Boysen’s historic dam. Construction began with blasting of a tunnel to divert the river and included relocation of both the highway and the railroad. The new earth-filled structure is 1,100 feet long and 230 feet high. The powerplant, located near the spillway, provides power to northwest Wyoming and ties in with other federal power lines. Boysen dam also serves as a flood . . . — Map (db m88138) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Shoshoni — Geology of the Wind River Canyon|
| The Wind River Canyon provides a unique slice through geologic time. While driving through the canyon, you can see rocks that were deposited when life was beginning and when Wyoming was covered by a sea with a tropical climate similar to the Gulf of Mexico today. Over the last 100 million years, the Owl Creek Mountains were uplifted, folded, faulted and then eroded by the Wind River to form this spectacular canyon. Because the rocks were folded and tilted from a horizontal to a . . . — Map (db m88141) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Shoshoni — Site of Original Boysen Dam — Wyoming|
| Mule teams hauled the materials for the original Boysen Dam, built here in the early 1900s by Asmus Boysen to provide power for his gold and copper mining interests in this area. A few years later when the Burlington Railroad built through the Wind River Canyon, rising water behind the dam was declared to be a menace to the operation of the railroad. The railroad sued Boysen, who argued unsuccessfully that the tracks could be raised. He lost the suit and was ordered to remove the . . . — Map (db m88147) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), Shoshoni — Wind River Canyon|
|Boysen Dam, completed in 1951, marks the southern margin of the east-west trending Owl Creek Mountains and the Wind River Canyon. Drained by the north flowing Wind River, the canyon is 14 miles long, 1.3-2 miles wide and 2,400 feet deep where it crosses the axis of the mountain range, north of here. Steep canyon walls display rocks of the Precambrian and Paleozoic eras ranging in age from several billion to 235 million years. The Wind River originally flowed across flat terrain beneath which . . . — Map (db m70611) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), South Pass City — Esther Hobart Morris|
|Two related, side-by-side markers pay tribute to Esther Hobart Morris.
Home & office site of
Esther Hobart Morris
First woman Justice
of the Peace
in the World
Feb. 14, 1870
Author with W.H. Bright
of the first
equal suffrage law
Dec. 10, 1869
Controversy exists concerning Esther Morris and women suffrage. In 1869, the legislature passed and Governor . . . — Map (db m80149) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), South Pass City — First Masonic Lodge in Wyoming|
| 1869 - 1925
First Masonic Lodge in Wyoming
under jurisdiction of Nebraska
Wyoming Lodge No. Two
Lander, Wyoming — Map (db m80150) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), South Pass City — Lander Cut-Off on the Oregon Trail|
|In 1858, this ancient path, which had been used by Indians, explorers and mountain men as a short cut to the Snake River country was developed by Frederick Lander in to an alternate route on the Oregon Trail. What is commonly called the Lander Trail or Lander Cut-Off starts 9 miles to the southeast at Burnt Ranch (directly behind this sign), crosses the Sweetwater River 6 miles to the northwest, and continued along Lander Creek for 13 miles to the Continental Divide at Little Sandy Creek, the . . . — Map (db m80161) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), South Pass City — South Pass and South Pass City|
|A region rich in history. A city rich in gold. From 1812 to 1868 this open country at the end of the Wind River Mountains provided a passage - the only passage - through the Rocky Mountain barrier of the Continental Divide for some 500,000 westering Americans. Through this Great South Pass came the Mountain Men, fur trappers and traders, explorers, missionaries, pioneers in covered wagons traversing the Oregon, California and Mormon trails, overland stage coaches, military expeditions, and Pony . . . — Map (db m80160) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), South Pass City — South Pass City — Wyoming|
| Founded 1868
A Great Gold Camp
Part of Wyoming’s historical heritage. Acquired for preservation May 18, 1966, with funds raised by Wyoming;s 75th Anniversary Commission Inc., its advisers, county committees and people of Wyoming.
Clifford P. Hansen - Governor
Alice Mesick - Chairman
Stephen Accola - Secretary
Kerm Kath - Treasurer
Edness Kimball Wilkins • Lewis Bath
James K. Harrower • Earl A. Madsen — Map (db m80162) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), South Pass City — South Pass City: Wyoming’s Biggest Gold Boom and Bust|
|Emigrant travelers on their way west likely discovered small amounts of gold in the 1840’s, but it took until 1868 for the first mining claims to be staked. Word of the new gold rush spread and the summer of 1868 brought an influx of people from every corner of the globe to partake in the bonanza. A torrent of mining activity followed for the next several years. In 1869 South Pass City, with perhaps 3,000 people, was Wyoming Territory’s second largest town.
Every boom ends, and by the early . . . — Map (db m80148) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), South Pass City — The Carissa Mine: Cycle of Boom and Bust|
|Thousands rushed to the South Pass area following the find of substantial gold deposits at the Carissa Mine in 1867. As the boom gained steam, the Carissa sat at the center of mining development, serving as the primary economic force for South Pass City. Eventually, the gold played out and the Carissa’s mining technology reached its limit. As a result, the Carissa closed, contributing to the gold bust and the decline of South Pass City in the 1870s.
Modern advances in mining technology and . . . — Map (db m80146) HM|
|Wyoming (Fremont County), South Pass City — 27 — Willie’s Handcart Company|
|Captain James G. Willie’s Handcart Company of Mormon emigrants on the way to Utah, greatly exhausted by the deep snow of an early winter and suffering form lack of food and clothing, had assembled here for reorganization by relief parties from Utah, about the end of October, 1856. Thirteen persons were frozen to death during a single night and were buried here in one grave, Two others died the next day and were buried nearby. Of the company of 404 persons 77 perished before help arrived. The survivors reached Salt Lake City November 9, 1856. — Map (db m80154) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — “Officers Row”|
| This 1889 winter scene shows buildings along the west side of the Parade Ground which housed Fort Laramie’s officer complement – hence, “Officers Row”. RIGHT TO LEFT, the “Burt” House, the “Surgeon’s” quarters, two adobe quarters and “Old Bedlam”. The surgeon’s eminent position in the social life of Fort Laramie is reflected in this 1888 view (left). — Map (db m87031) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — ‘Where’s the Wall?’ — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
| It is one of the most commonly asked questions here – and with good reason. Those who grew up watching western movies expect to see a fort with a large wooden stockade. Like many other aspects of Hollywood westerns, the walled military fort makes for better entertainment than good history. One reason Fort Laramie lacked a wall was that timber was not abundant. The other reason had to do with the combat style of the Plains Indian Warrior, who relied on mobility and preferred fighting on . . . — Map (db m87076) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — A Father’s Grief . . . A Soldier’s Honor — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
| Some days since I received a messenger from [Sinte Gleska], head chief of the Brule Sioux, saying that his daughter had died on the way here and had begged her Father to have her grave made with the whites . . . Wishing to do him honor . . . I rode out with several officers, and met him half way between the fort and he Platte . . I conducted him to the Fort and my headquarters. So begins Colonel Henry Maynadier’s account of one of the most extraordinary and poignant events . . . — Map (db m87041) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Administration Building|
| The large structure built on this site in 1885 – pictured shortly after completion – was put to many uses. The section on the far right was used as a schoolroom for officers’ children. The central portion housed the Headquarters offices. The left part contained a large auditorium. Often used for theater productions. BELOW: Guard Mount in front of Administration Building around 1889. — Map (db m87005) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Between Two Worlds . . . the American Métis — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
| “French, Spanish and Indian and mixed are very common here and all languages are being jabbered in promiscuous interchange.”Charles B. Darwin, Fort Laramie, June 28, 1849 Métis (ma-tes’) – of mixed race, particularly, mixed Native American and French ancestry. All but forgotten, the mixed-blood peoples of the plains trace their origins to the heyday of the fur trade. Fur traders, predominately of French and French-Canadian ancestry, entered into “trade . . . — Map (db m87012) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — C.O.’s Chicken Coop — (Built in 1881)|
| High ranking officers commonly kept chickens for their own use. The consumption of chickens and eggs provided a welcome change from meals of wild game and tough army beef. Individual soldiers and cooks utilizing company funds could purchase chickens and eggs from civilians. However, such items were a luxury which seldom appeared on the enlisted man’s table. — Map (db m87024) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Captain’s Quarters|
| Originally intended as housing for the commanding officer, this building was divided into a duplex when the C.O. chose to remain in another new dwelling. As such, the quarters was completed in 1870 at which time high-ranking officers and their families took up residency. Lumber for the quarters was hauled from Laramie Peak and Denver. Adobe brick was made on site on sunny days. Often during twenty years of military use, the structure required whitewashing and substantial . . . — Map (db m87009) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Cavalry Barracks — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
|The building before you is the only surviving enlisted men's barracks at Fort Laramie. The building proper was completed in late 1874 and was designed to provide quarters and other needed support facilities for two companies of soldiers, The veranda, although originally planned, was not added until 1883. As constructed the entire second floor was made up of only two equal, large rooms. These were the company dormitory bays or squad rooms where the enlisted soldiers lived. Each could house about . . . — Map (db m71018) HM WM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Commissary Storehouse — Fort Laramie National Historic Site — Visitor Center|
|This building was completed in 1884. It was built as a commissary storage facility. As such it would have been primarily divided into two large storerooms: one for meat and one for flour, rice, and beans. Three or four smaller rooms would have been used as offices, an "issue room" and a storage room for canned goods. This building also had a partial cellar with a trap door for use with a hand-operated elevator, rations and other official army food items were issued from this building. A commissary officer and sergeant ran the operation. — Map (db m71017) WM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Crossroads of a Nation Moving West — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
| Crossed the Laramie ford this morning and passed through the fort registering our names and found that . . . 16,913 men, Women 235, Children 242, Wagons 4,672, Horses 14,974, Mules, 4,641, Oxen 7,427, Cows 465, passed, besides nearly as many more had probably gone without registering.Alfred Davis, June 12, 1850 Between 1841 and 1866 at least 350,000 people crossed the Missouri westbound for new homes in Oregon, California, and Utah. Fort Laramie provided a welcome respite from the . . . — Map (db m86975) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Embassy on the Northern Plains — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
| As the main outpost of the U.S. Government on the Northern Plains, Fort Laramie served as an official meeting ground between the United States of America and the sovereign tribes of the Northern Plains. The first great treaty negotiation, the Treaty of 1851, proved to be too big for Fort Laramie and quickly moved to Horse Creek in western Nebraska. With over 10,000 participants, it was the largest gathering of Plains Indians in the 19th century. For the next 17 years Fort Laramie served as an . . . — Map (db m86984) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Fort John – The ‘Second Fort Laramie’ — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
| . . . the articles of trade consist, on the one side, almost entirely of buffalo robes; and, on the other, of blankets, calicoes, guns, powder, and lead, [and] . . . cheap ornaments such as glass beads, looking-glasses, rings, vermillion for painting, tobacco, and . . . spirits, brought into the country in the form of alcohol, and diluted with water before sold . . .John C. Frémont, July 1842 Pierre Chouteau and Company, then owners of Fort William, constructed a new fort on this . . . — Map (db m86968) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Fort Laramie National Historic Site — Crossroads of a Nation Moving West|
|Fort Laramie was perhaps the single most important location in America’s expansion into the west. Founded in 1834 as a trading post, it became a military fort in 1849. Until it closed in 1890, Fort Laramie influenced major events in the history of the Trans-Mississippi West. From the eras of the fur trade, the Oregon Trail and the Indian Wars, the fort served as an American foothold in a rapidly changing west.
We recommend that you begin at the Visitor Center. Follow the paved path to your . . . — Map (db m71016) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
|The epic story of America’s western expansion played out on a grand scale at Fort Laramie, where the North Platte and Laramie Rivers meet.
Fort Laramie was first established in 1834 as a private fur trading post. By the 1840’s, it served as an important way station for thousands of emigrants traveling the Oregon, California and Mormon Pioneer trails. After purchase by the government in 1849, it rapidly became the primary military post on the Northern Plains. Stage lines, the Pony Express, . . . — Map (db m79778) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Fort Platte|
| A trading post built by
Lancaster P. Lupton
Stood fifty yards to the
north. — Map (db m79745) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Fort William and the Fur Trade — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
| In 1834, Robert Campbell and William Sublette established the first fort at the confluence of the North Platte and Laramie Rivers. Christened Fort William, the post was rectangular, measuring only 100 by 80 feet. Hewn cottonwood logs 15 feet high formed the palisade. At diagonal corners were log blockhouses. A third blockhouse with a cannon mounted in it was located over the front gate. Against the inside of the stockade were a series of cabins, workshops, and storehouses whose flat roofs . . . — Map (db m86958) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — General Sink (Latrine)|
| In the 1880’s the Surgeon General determined that the privy vault - - “That most objectionable and dangerous nuisance” - - was a threat to the soldier’s health. His concern had been prompted by the accumulated reports from disgusted post surgeons including several from Fort Laramie. Post surgeon Hartsuff, for instance, had recommended in 1874 that sinks be made bearable at least, so that “The call of nature shall not go unheeded nor be hurriedly performed.” This . . . — Map (db m86996) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Guardhouse — 1850 – 1868|
| The remains of the first guardhouse constructed in 1850, at Fort Laramie were discovered by workmen in 1960 during restoration of the “new” guardhouse. This site is a good example of the structural changes that occurred during the forts forty-one year military history. Old buildings were torn down and new ones erected, sometimes directly over old remains. The tiny cells below were only five feet in height and length and were usually reserved for “mill birds” or repeat . . . — Map (db m87001) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Handcarts – The New Plan — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
| We cannot afford to purchase wagons and teams as in times past. I am consequently thrown back upon my old plan – to make hand-carts, and let the emigration foot it . . . Brigham Young, 1855 Between 1856 and 1860, nearly 3,000 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or Mormons, pulled their earthly possessions in two-wheeled handcarts from Iowa to Utah. Most “Handcart Pioneers” were poor immigrant converts from northern . . . — Map (db m86981) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Infantry Barracks|
| In answer to the perpetual need for housing, construction of an enlisted men’s barracks commenced at the opposite end of these foundation ruins. The barracks were extended in this direction as more men were assigned. Kitchens, mess halls, laundress’ quarters and latrines were built behind (to your left). Home to about 150 men, the two-story barracks were sparsely furnished. Bunks, made of wood by the quartermaster, were two tiers high with each tier accommodating two men. The . . . — Map (db m87030) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — John (Portugee) Phillips|
Here on December 25, 1866
John (Portugee) Phillips
finished his 236 mile ride to obtain troops for the relief of Fort Phil Kearny after the Fetterman Massacre. — Map (db m79773) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Magazine — (Built in 1849)|
| Restored here to the 1850-1862 period, the magazine is among the oldest surviving structures at Fort Laramie. It was during this early period that George Balch, 1st Lieutenant, Ordinance Corp, sent the following report to the Assistant Adjutant General: “I find all the ordnance property with the exception of the field guns and their carriages stored in the magazine arranged with much order and preserved with great care. The different kinds of ammunition piled together in such . . . — Map (db m87032) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Military Justice: Punishment Harsh and Certain — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
| As long as you behaved yourself and performed your duty as a soldier, you got along alright.Sergeant Perley S. Eaton, 3rd Cavalry Few soldiers completed their enlistments without experiencing the military justice system. Minor infractions resulted in “company punishment,” non-regulation punishments that usually consisted of extra duty assignments, restrictions to quarters, and unpleasant fatigue details. Court martial routinely imposed fines, confinement, and hard labor . . . — Map (db m87003) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — 49 — Mormon Pioneers at Fort Laramie|
|Between the years 1847 and 1868, most of the approximate 80,000 Mormon Pioneers passed through Fort Laramie. This was the first stop for the vanguard company after leaving Winter Quarters, (near Omaha) Nebraska.
In June, 1847, after following a faint trapper trail on the north side of the Platte River, the Pioneers reached Fort Laramie. Brigham Young, with a number of his party, crossed the river and walked up to the fort.
At this time the fort was called Fort John. It was owned by the . . . — Map (db m79776) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Noncommissioned Officers’ Quarters — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
| Before you stand the remains of a six-unit apartment building constructed in 1884. Built for the fort’s senior noncommissioned officers and their families, this new structure provided the best housing available for married enlisted men on post. The staff entitled to live here were the post ordnance, quartermaster, and commissary sergeants; chief musician; and regimental sergeant major. Often in their fortes and fifties with many years of service in the military, these senior NCOs were usually . . . — Map (db m87054) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Officers Quarters|
| This 1885 photograph shows the buildings constructed on this site in 1881. Previous adobe structures, built in 1855, were left standing as rear wings. On the far left was the Commanding Officer’s residence. Between 1881 and 1890 it was successively occupied by the families of Colonels Meritt, Gibbon and Merriam and the only one equipped with inside plumbing, with a full bathroom upstairs and water piped into the kitchen. The other two buildings were customarily occupied by Lieutenants or . . . — Map (db m87026) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Old Army Bridge Over the Platte River|
|Erected in 1875. This bridge was a vital link between Cheyenne, Fort Laramie and the Military outposts, Indiana Agencies and gold fields of the Black Hills, Dakota Region.
Placed by The Historical Landmark Commission of Wyoming, June 1951 — Map (db m5747) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Old Bedlam|
|This graceful old structure, built in 1849, is the oldest standing building in Wyoming. It was nicknamed “Old Bedlam” because of boisterous sounds supposedly heard while it was occupied by bachelor officiers.
Shown in an 1889 photograph, “Old Bedlam” is generally regarded as the Bachelor Officiers Quarters. However, the left half was used as Post Headquarters and Commanders Apartment in the 1860’s and, at various times, the building was occupied by married officiers. — Map (db m79774) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Parade Ground|
| The parade ground was the center around which a variety of utilitarian buildings were constructed between 1849 and 1885. Though intended as a center of activities for the post with its parades and drills, Fort Laramie’s parade ground was not in constant use. Soldiers were kept busy with a broad array of duties related to the upkeep of the post and security of the region. The parade ground saw two types of formations. Guard mount or changing of the guard, occurred daily at 9:00 a.m. A full . . . — Map (db m87002) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Post Quartermaster’s Area — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
| The job of building, maintaining, and supplying military posts belonged to the Quartermaster’s Department. The QMD was responsible for quarters, barracks, construction, infrastructure, transportation of personnel and supplies, and the procurement of most equipment and commodities. The empty field in front of you once bustled with activity at the workshops of the blacksmith, wheelwright, farrier, carpenter, painter, and saddler. The quartermaster’s area extended from where you are standing for . . . — Map (db m87105) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
| I knew little about reading, spelling and arithmetic, while I was well versed in lightning, thunder, vapor and geography. Guy V. Henry Jr. on growing up at frontier military posts Wyoming’s first public school opened at Fort Laramie in 1852. Schools often suffered from inadequate facilities along with shortages of textbooks, supplies, and qualified teachers. Not until 1881 did regulations make commanders responsible for providing an effective school system. Fort Laramie . . . — Map (db m87006) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Refinement at Fort Laramie|
| Fort Laramie began as a dusty, drab frontier outpost as pictured above in the 1868 photograph. However, by the 1880’s, the Army had embarked upon a major cleanup and improvement campaign. The delightful results are evident in the 1887 view – trees and grass, gaslights, boardwalks, picket fences and vine-covered verandas, modern, comfortable quarters . . . even birdbaths! — Map (db m87020) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Sawmill |
| Through a succession of accidental fires, Fort Laramie’s sawmills gained a reputation of being oll-fated. The lime-grout building erected upon this site in 1887 was the last of several such structures that sheltered stream engines used for sawing wood and pumping water. — Map (db m87044) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Site of Army Bridge|
| The Laramie River was unpredictable and unchecked by dams. High water during the spring of the year often damaged or washed away existing bridges; therefore, from 1853 to post abandonment in 1890 the river was spanned by several successive bridges on or near this site. The first was constructed by a private firm which charged tolls to both soldiers and emigrants. In subsequent years they were free to all users. The bridges were well-traveled since a variety of living quarters and a hotel had . . . — Map (db m86986) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — Spanning a Century: End of an Era|
|Once broad and turbulent, the North Platte River posed a formidable obstacle to 19th century travelers. High water made it nearly impossible to cross the river for several months each year. The crossing became less dangerous by 1850 when ferry service was established to meet the growing volume of military and emigrant traffic. Frequent ferry accidents and slow crossing speeds continued to impede travelers until a permanent bridge was built.
Following the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, which . . . — Map (db m79743) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — The “Government Workhouse” — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
| “I am beginning to think the soldiers . . . know better how to handle pick and shovel than they do a gun . . .”Private George W. McAnulty, Fort Laramie, W.T., 1878 “ . . . nothing worries a soldier more than doing the dirty [work] about the post.”Private Paul Lindsley Mulford, 7th U.S. Cavalry The daily routine of the frontier army enlisted man was a highly regimented, never-ending cycle of drills, guard duty, roll calls, inspections, and fatigue . . . — Map (db m87018) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — The “New” Guardhouse and Adjacent Barracks|
| The “new” guardhouse, built in 1876 and shown in this 1887 view, was the last and most comfortable of three such structures at Fort Laramie. It was constructed upon the ruins of the original guardhouse, built in 1849-1850. The “new” guardhouse contained spacious guard quarters and prison rooms, and relatively few prisoners. In 1885, for example, inmates averaged less than three out of every hundred soldiers on the post. Also appearing in the photograph is the . . . — Map (db m86998) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — The Cavalry Stables — Fort Laramie National Historic Site|
| Most of the four generations of cavalry stables constructed at Fort Laramie were located here, just below the rise you are standing on. Measuring as large as 310 by 28 feet, the stables were made of log or board and batten construction. Typically configured with a double row of stalls, each stable housed 80 to 100 animals. Altogether, as many as 350 cavalry horses were kept here. Mountains of manure produced by the cavalry horses were a continual problem for the garrison. A report dated . . . — Map (db m87051) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — The Cheyenne-Black Hills Trail|
| passed near this point between 1876 and 1887. Built to supply the Dakota gold camps, the road was constructed in violation of the Ft. Laramie treaty of 1868 which reserved the Black Hills for Sioux Indians. Stagecoaches and wagons carrying passengers, freight and gold bullion rumbled through nearby Ft. Laramie, an important stopping point along the lime, until the arrival of the Chicago and North Western Railroad rendered the route obsolete. — Map (db m79780) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — The Greatest Ride in History|
|In memory of the Thoroughbred horse
John “Portugee” Phillips
from Fort Phil Kearny Wyoming to Fort Laramie Wyoming December 24, and 25, 1866, when he's sought aid for the garrison at Fort Phil Kearny, which was surrounded by Indians, after the battle with Lieutenant Colonel William F. Fetterman resulting in the death of Lieutenant Colonel Fetterman and 80 men. The horse died from exhaustion soon after arriving at Fort Laramie, having gone 236 miles in two days, . . . — Map (db m79746) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — The Pony Express — 1860-1861 — 1960-1961|
|From April, 1860, to October, 1861, Fort Laramie was a major post on the Pony Express route between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California. — Map (db m49117) HM|
|Wyoming (Goshen County), Fort Laramie — The Pony Express — 1860-1861 — 1960-1961|
|120 celebrated riders rode 650,000 miles with only one rider killed by Indians, one schedule not completed and one mail lost.|
Russell • Majors • Waddell
Founders • Owners • Operators — Map (db m49118) HM