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

"Graves" of the Unknown Emigrants

 
 
"Graves" of the Unknown Emigrants Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, May 28, 2013
1. "Graves" of the Unknown Emigrants Marker
Inscription.  Graves were an all-to-frequent reminder of the dangers of overland travel. Most emigrant journals record death, burial, or passing graves during the day's travel. Most burials along the trail were hasty affairs.

The official Company Journal of the Edmund Ellsworth Company of Handcart Pioneers, dated September 17, 1856, stated,

"James Birch, age 28 died this morning of diarrhea. Buried on the top of sand ridge east side of Sandy. The camp rolled at eight and traveled eleven miles. Rested ... by the side of Green River."

In the two weeks prior to Birch's death, five other company members were buried along the trail. Birch's gravesite has not been found.

No one is buried in the graves in front of this sign. They are here as symbols of all the emigrants who died and were buried alongside the trail, lost forever.

As you look at these simple mounds of rock and dirt, imagine what it would be like to lose a spouse, child, or friend on the trail. You would dig a shallow grave, say your goodbyes, and continue your journey West, saddened and bereft.
 
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Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the California Trail, the Mormon Pioneer Trail, and the Oregon Trail series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is September 17, 1856.
 
Location. 41° 59.885′ N, 109° 37.369′ W. Marker is near Farson, Wyoming, in Sweetwater County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 28, 11˝ miles west of U.S. 191, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Farson WY 82932, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Death on the Trail (a few steps from this marker); Burial on the Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Pilot Butte (within shouting distance of this marker); Continuing the Journey West (within shouting distance of this marker); First Transcontinental Telegraph (within shouting distance of this marker); Emigrant/Indian Relations (within shouting distance of this marker); Pilot Butte & "Graves" of the Unknown Emigrants (within shouting distance of this marker); Simpson's Hollow (approx. 2.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Farson.
 
More about this marker. Marker is one of eight interpretive signs at the
"Graves" of the Unknown Emigrants Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, May 28, 2013
2. "Graves" of the Unknown Emigrants Marker
Pilot Butte Emigrant Trails Interpretive Site. Sign donated by the descendants of the James Birch family.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 26, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 924 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 26, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.

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Apr. 20, 2024