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

Reluctant Farewells

 
 
Reluctant Farewells Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, September 17, 2015
1. Reluctant Farewells Marker
Inscription.  In this location wagons, carts, livestock, and emigrants forded the North Platte River during organized migrations through the Rocky Mountain West. Congressional prodding to occupy the Oregon Territory in the early 1840s, and the lure of fertile, unclaimed lands prompted many families to uproot and journey West. Populating the Pacific Northwest was essential to American possession of the continent.
Discovery of gold in California in 1848 ignited the passion and courage of many fortune seekers, as they raced to the gold fields to stake their claims. Later discoveries of gold and silver in Idaho and Montana added to the westward flow.
Referred to as Red Buttes or Red Hills crossing, this valley offered shade, forage, campsites, and an opportunity to repair equipment for the rocky route that lay ahead. Pioneers and their stock had paralleled the banks of the Platte and North Platte Rivers for nearly five hundred miles, but left the river here to avoid the rugged narrows a few miles upstream, and to follow the shortest path to the Sweetwater Valley.
You are standing on a floodplain that often lay underwater during the spring
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runoff or following sudden thunderstorms. In some years, dozens of wagons were stalled on the opposite bank until high water receded to sandy river channels. James Cayman, journeying east from California in 1846, witnessed a typical drama here on June 23 from a nearby vantage point:
"when we came in sight of the N. Platte we had the Pleasant sight of beholding the valy to a greate distance dotted with Peopl Horses cattle wagons and Tents their being 30 wagons all buisily engaged in crossing the River which was found not to be fordable and with poor material they had to make rafts of it took two trips to carry over one wagon with its lading." -- (Excerpt from James Cayman, frontiersman).
 
Erected by Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Oregon Trail series list. A significant historical date for this entry is June 23, 1848.
 
Location. 42° 46.457′ N, 106° 31.786′ W. Marker is near Bessemer Bend, Wyoming, in Natrona County. Marker is on Bessemer Bend Road (County Route 308) near Speas Road (County Route 311), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 14456 Bessemer Bend Road, Casper WY 82604, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other
Reluctant Farewells Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, September 17, 2015
2. Reluctant Farewells Marker
This maker is in the distance, on the left near the river.
markers are within walking distance of this marker. Science Visits the West (a few steps from this marker); Marking Their Progress (within shouting distance of this marker); Ranching Takes Its Place (within shouting distance of this marker); Witnessing the Past (within shouting distance of this marker); Shape of the Future (within shouting distance of this marker); First Among Many (within shouting distance of this marker); "History Is Not Obvious" (within shouting distance of this marker); Queen City of the West (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bessemer Bend.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located at the Bureau of Land Management's Bessemer Bend Historic Site.
 
Bessemer Bend image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, September 17, 2015
3. Bessemer Bend
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on January 2, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 299 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 2, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Feb. 21, 2024