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

Rifle Pit Hill

Cold Springs Camping Ground

 
 
Rifle Pit Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 23, 2014
1. Rifle Pit Hill Marker
Inscription. Rock quarries, visible from several points near this location, were used beginning in 1849 to supply stone and lime for construction projects at Fort Laramie, about 15 miles east. Workers in the quarries were protected by soldiers stationed in fortified rifle pits dug in the crest of the low hill to the northeast. Five such rifle pits, eighteen to twenty four inches deep, form a well arranged defense perimeter.

The rifle pits also overlook the Cold Spring campground, a popular camping and watering place on the Oregon-California Trail (1841-1868). Another major campground, known as Warm Spring is located on the far side of the ridge to the south. Such springs were vital to emigrants travelling west. The North Platte River, running high and muddy with Rocky Mountain snowmelt, was not fit to drink for man or beast during the time of year the annual emigration passed this way. A still visible branch of the Oregon Trail is located about 500 feet north of Cold Spring.

Other major emigrant trail landmarks in the immediate area include the Oregon Trail Ruts National Historic Site, Register Cliff State Historic Site and a scattering of marked pioneer graves. The Oregon Trail Ruts, where wagon wheel tracks are worn up to five feet deep in a soft sandstone ridge, are the signature trail ruts of the entire Oregon-California-Mormon
Rifle Pit Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 23, 2014
2. Rifle Pit Hill Marker
Trail system. At Register Cliff, passing pioneers carved their signatures, hometown names and the date of their passing into the face of a mile-long bluff beside the North Plate River. Both places present strong visual evidence of the 500,000 westering pioneers who passed this way on their epic journey to Columbia River farmland, California gold fields and the religious freedom of the Great Salt Lake valley. Access to all sites is well marked in the town of Guernsey.
 
Erected by Historical Landmark Commission of Wyoming.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Oregon Trail marker series.
 
Location. 42° 16.022′ N, 104° 47.419′ W. Marker is near Guernsey, Wyoming, in Platte County. Marker is on U.S. 26 near Wendover Road, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Guernsey WY 82214, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Oregon Trail (a few steps from this marker); Grave of Lucindy Rollins (approx. 2 miles away); Encampments in the Guernsey Area (approx. 2.2 miles away); The United States Army and the Oregon Trail (approx. 2.2 miles away);
Oregon Trail Marker located near Rifle Pit Hill image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 23, 2014
3. Oregon Trail Marker located near Rifle Pit Hill
The Oregon Trail
1841
Cold Spring camping
ground. Rifle Pits on
brow of hill 500 feet
north.
Erected by The Historical Landmarks Commission of Wyoming
1943
Oregon Trail Ruts (approx. 2.2 miles away); Forts, Stations, and Camps (approx. 2.2 miles away); Oregon Trail Ruts State Historic Site (approx. 2.2 miles away); The US Army’s Role in Protecting the Oregon Trail is Best Described by the Soldiers (approx. 2.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Guernsey.
 
More about this marker. This marker is about two miles west of Guernsey, WY.
 
Categories. Roads & VehiclesSettlements & SettlersWars, US Indian
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 318 times since then and 7 times this year. Last updated on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3. 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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