Near Freedom in Caribou County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
Pioneer Historic Byway
Chesterfield established in 1879, is an early Mormon settlement on the Oregon Trail. The town features 23 historic brick buildings built between 1884 and 1904, including the old Chesterfield store. Chesterfield is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Last Chance Canal
The Last Chance Canal diverted Bear River water to irrigate Grace Valley. The canal was completed in the early 1900’s and was an engineering masterpiece for its time. Without the network of canals, farming in the region would not exist.
Red Rock Pass
About 14,500 years ago, an earthen dam suddenly broke, beginning one of the largest floods ever recorded in geologic history. Ancient Lake Bonneville, larger in size than Lake Michigan, emptied in a catastrophic torrent. Evidence of the flood, such as melon size gravel is visible along the byway. Today, all that remains of Lake Bonneville is the Great Salt Lake in Utah.
Preston is the seat of Franklin County. Established in 1886, Preston’s beginnings date back to early Mormon Pioneer Settlers. The
Franklin Historic District
Franklin is Idaho’s oldest town. Settled in 1860 by Mormon Pioneers, it is the southern gateway to the Pioneer Historic Byway. Franklin’s Historic District includes numerous structures on the National Register of Historic Places. The Relic Hall Museum has on display artifacts from early Mormon settlers.
Soda Springs Geyser
Soda Springs was a landmark on the Oregon Trail attracting pioneers to its mineral springs. The town also boasts having the world’s only captive geyser. On November 30, 1937, in an attempt to find a hot water source for a local swimming pool, a well driller set free the natural geyser at a depth of 317 feet.
Bear River Massacre Site
The Bear River Massacre Site is a National Historic Landmark. At the crack of dawn on January 29, 1863, the single largest massacre of Native Americans by U.S. troops west of the Mississippi began. Nearly 450 Shoshone men, women and children camped along the Bear River were attacked. As many as 380 Shoshone perished that day. The battle became one of the worst disasters for Native Americans in the west.
Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Grays Lake is home to at least 163 species of birds including the Great Basin Canada Goose and the Sandhill Crane. During 1965, 19,000 acres were set aside as a national wildlife refuge. The refuge is an excellent area to view Idaho’s wildlife in a pristine setting.
Sheep Rock – Oregon Trail
Early pioneers gathered at this location which was the first division of the Oregon and California Trails. The Hudspeth Cutoff went due west to California, while the main route of the Oregon Trail went northwest to Fort Hall.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Places.
Location. 42° 59.814′ N, 111° 4.575′ W. Marker is near Freedom, Idaho, in Caribou County. Marker is at the intersection of State Highway 34 and State Line Road, on the right when traveling west on State Highway 34. Marker is located in a pull-out on the north side of Idaho Highway 34. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Freedom WY 83120, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Baker Cabin (approx. 3.9 miles away in Wyoming); Tincup Creek (approx. 5.9 miles away); First Post Office (approx. 6.4 miles away in Wyoming); Agriculture under the Stars (approx. 8.7 miles away in Wyoming); Wyoming's Wildlife (approx. 8.7 miles away in Wyoming); The Astorians (approx. 11.6 miles away in Wyoming).
Also see . . .
1. Pioneer Historic Byway in Idaho.
The Pioneer Historic Byway traverses through southeastern Idaho’s Franklin and Caribou Counties. The 127-mile corridor begins at Idaho’s oldest town of Franklin on the Idaho-Utah state line and winds northward through rich historic and cultural sites, ending at the Idaho-Wyoming border. Within this pristine and bold landscape are a myriad of fascinating places, events and people that contribute to understanding the American West. The Pioneer Historic Byway is focused on telling the many remarkable stories that add to our knowledge of who and what we are as individuals and a nation. (Submitted on November 11, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Pioneer Historic Byway.
Begin at Franklin, Idaho's first city, and then travel up the Bear River to northern Mormon settlements, military campaigns, and the first Yellowstone route. Relive the byway's pioneer saga and walk Oregon Trail ruts in emigrant footsteps. See major geologic and natural sites, massacre sites and Chesterfield, a Mormon "ghost town." (Submitted on November 11, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. National Pioneer Historic Byway.
The National Pioneer Historic Byway abounds with undiscovered recreational opportunities, scenic and historic sites for families and travelers to discover and enjoy. Geological formations combine with mountain passes providing a beautiful journey. There are over ten reservoirs which offer boating, fishing, and camping. The Pioneer Historic Byway begins on US 91 at the Utah/Idaho border. It then continues north to Idaho 34 ending at the Idaho/Wyoming border. (Submitted on November 11, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 9, 2018. It was originally submitted on November 11, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 175 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 11, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.