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

Railroad and River

Fort Fred Steele's Lifelines

Railroad and River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 9, 2015
1. Railroad and River Marker
Inscription. 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 storage tower was supplanted by a brick pumping station with steam driven, coal fired pumps that filled a large underground reservoir on a hill above the tracks. The pumping station still exists, while the dome of the reservoir on the hill southwest of the railroad bridge has collapsed.
The North Platte provided transportation for the tie industry from the forests of the Medicine Bow Mountains to the railroad at Fred Steele for many decades, with the last tie drive taking place in the 1940's. Each year, several thousand ties were floated down the river to be loaded on railroad cars for shipment to various railroad and mining operations.
Cutting ice was another industry at Fort Fred Steele that provided what was a luxury at many forts and towns in the West. The frozen waters of the North Platte were cut and stored during the winter months,
Railroad and River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 9, 2015
2. Railroad and River Marker
providing relief and refrigeration during the hot Wyoming summers for soldiers, lumberjacks, travelers, and railroad refrigeration cars.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Transcontinental Railroad marker series.
Location. 41° 46.619′ N, 106° 56.741′ W. Marker is in Sinclair, Wyoming, in Carbon County. Marker is on State Highway 374 near Interstate 80, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sinclair WY 82334, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Brownsville and Benton (here, next to this marker); Carbon Timber Company (here, next to this marker); A Well Traveled Sawmill (here, next to this marker); Town of Ft. Steele (here, next to this marker); Bridge Tender's House (a few steps from this marker); Image of Fort Fred Steele (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rock Springs Massacre (about 300 feet away); Major Thomas Tipton Thornburgh (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sinclair.
More about this marker. The marker, among a grouping of a half-dozen other markers, is located on County Road 347, north of the Interstate 80 Exit 228 and on the south side of the railroad tracks near where County Road 347
<i>U.P. Train on Fort Steele Bridge, Wyoming</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1915
3. U.P. Train on Fort Steele Bridge, Wyoming
passes beneath the railroad bridge.
Categories. Forts, CastlesRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 20, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 266 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 20, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.   3. submitted on October 28, 2015.
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