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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Bridgeport in Morrill County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Camp Clarke Bridge and Sidney-Black Hills Trail

 
 
Camp Clarke Bridge and Sidney-Black Hills Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 22, 2014
1. Camp Clarke Bridge and Sidney-Black Hills Trail Marker
Inscription. Just north of here the Camp Clarke bridge crossed the North Platte River. The bridge was built in the spring of 1876 by entrepreneur Henry T. Clarke to improve the trail from the Union Pacific Railroad at Sidney, Nebraska, to the gold mining towns in the Black Hills. The rout first supplied the Sioux at Red Cloud Agency on the White River and the army at adjacent Camp Robinson; by 1876 the trail extended to Custer City and Deadwood in Dakota Territory. In 1878-79 some twenty-two million pounds of freight was shipped over the trail.

Clarke’s bridge was about 2,000 feet long with 61 wooden trusses. Tolls of $2 to $6 were assessed on the hundreds of freight wagons, stagecoaches, and riders that crossed. A hamlet known as Camp Clarke, with a hotel, store, saloon, and post office, sprang up at the south end of the bridge. A log blockhouse stood on an island in the river near the north bank. Although travel on the trail declined after 1880, the bridge continued in local use until about 1900. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Erected by Morrill County Visitors Committee & Nebraska State Historical Society. (Marker Number 391.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society marker series.
 
Location.
Camp Clarke Bridge and Sidney-Black Hills Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 22, 2014
2. Camp Clarke Bridge and Sidney-Black Hills Trail Marker
41° 40.224′ N, 103° 10.125′ W. Marker is near Bridgeport, Nebraska, in Morrill County. Marker is on U.S. 26, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bridgeport NE 69336, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bridgeport, Nebraska (approx. 3.6 miles away); Oregon Trail (approx. 3.7 miles away); Mormon Pioneer Camp (approx. 3.8 miles away); Guiding Landmarks (approx. 5.8 miles away); Courthouse and Jail Rocks (approx. 6 miles away); The Innocent Assassins (approx. 8.7 miles away); Mary Murray Murdoch (approx. 9.1 miles away); Chimney Rock Cemetery (approx. 9.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Bridgeport.
 
More about this marker. This marker is approximately 3 miles west of Bridgeport on US 26.
 
Also see . . .  Camp Clarke Bridge Site - Wikipedia. It was the only reliable crossing between Fort Laramie and North Platte, Nebraska. (Submitted on December 6, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsRoads & Vehicles
 
Camp Clarke and Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 22, 2014
3. Camp Clarke and Bridge
Plaque on rock to the left of the marker.
Camp
Clark
and Bridge

built for
Black Hills
traffic
by
Clarke
and
U.P.R.R.
1875
Marked by
Katahdin Chapter, DAR
1953
Camp Clarke Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Public Domain
4. Camp Clarke Bridge
Camp Clarke hamlet image. Click for full size.
By Public Domain, circa 1876
5. Camp Clarke hamlet
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 214 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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