“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Daniel in Sublette County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)

Fort Bonneville

Fort Bonneville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 25, 2014
1. Fort Bonneville Marker
Inscription. In May of 1832, Captain Benjamin Bonneville left Fort Osage, Missouri with an expedition consisting of one hundred and ten men and twenty wagons, headed for the Rocky Mountain West. Upon his arrival in the Green River Valley, he ordered immediate construction of a fort along the west bank of the River. Some uncertainty surrounds Bonneville’s intent, but historians believe it was to use the fort as a trading establishment and military outpost to demonstrate to the British that Americans were in the west to stay.

Dubbed “Fort Nonsense” and “Bonneville’s Folly” because of its poor location, the fort was soon abandoned as the severity of long Wyoming winters became apparent. However, the fort commanded a strategic location in the heart of the Rocky Mountain Trapping System. In 1833 it was the center of trading activity for the annual rendezvous and for storage of the 1836 Rendezvous.

The fort was fabricated of cottonwood pickets a foot or more in diameter and about fifteen feet in length. The perimeter was approximately eighty feet square, with blockhouses diagonally opposite each other. It had at least one internal structure which housed a forge that was used extensively during the fort’s occupation.

In 1989, an archeological survey was conducted at the site as one of Wyoming’s Centennial
Fort Bonneville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 25, 2014
2. Fort Bonneville Marker
Note the boulder in the background.
celebration projects. The effort produced evidence of a well defined “living surface”, and discovery of the external walls. The fort’s forge area was investigated, showing active and extensive blacksmithing. Numerous early 1800s artifacts were unearthed, revealing much about Fort Bonneville’s archeological significance as well as its historic contribution to events of the Fur Trade Era. These artifacts are on exhibit and interpretation at the Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale, Wyoming.

Completed in September 1832, Fort Bonneville was one of the first permanent structures built by whites in Wyoming. The location and the archeological remains are a listed National Historic Place. (Marker Number 39.)
Location. 42° 53.581′ N, 110° 8.187′ W. Marker is near Daniel, Wyoming, in Sublette County. Marker is on State Highway 354, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 344 Wyoming Highway 354, Daniel WY 83115, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Narcissa Prentiss Whitman (approx. 3.8 miles away); Green River Rendezvous (approx. 3.8 miles away); Pinckey W. Sublette (approx. 5 miles
Site of Fort Bonneville image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 25, 2014
3. Site of Fort Bonneville
Site of

plaque on the base
Fort Bonneville
The National Register of Historic Places
Wyoming Place No. 39
away); First Holy Mass in Wyoming (approx. 5 miles away); The Prairie of the Mass (approx. 5.3 miles away); Rendezvous - Birth of an Empire (approx. 7.9 miles away); Welcome to the Riparian Community of Duck Creek (approx. 9.8 miles away).
Also see . . .  The Fort Bonneville Myth - O. Ned Eddins. Washington Irving, The Adventures of Captain Bonneville, described Bonneville’s Green River camp:
…As it would be necessary to remain some time in this neighborhood, that both men and horses might repose, and recruit their strength; and as it was a region full of danger, Captain Bonneville fortified his camp with breastworks of logs and pickets...
(Submitted on January 29, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
Categories. Forts, CastlesIndustry & Commerce
Osprey Nest image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 25, 2014
4. Osprey Nest
Osprey Nest image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 25, 2014
5. Osprey Nest
One has to wonder why the bird built its nest on top of a power-pole rather than the platform designed for it.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 186 times since then and 19 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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