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

Martin's Cove

Martin's Cove Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 31, 2016
1. Martin's Cove Marker
Inscription.  Two miles to the northwest nestled at the foot of the Sweetwater Rocks, lies Martin's Cove. Here Captain Edward Martin's exhausted company of Mormon handcart emigrants sought shelter from a severe early winter storm in 1856. The Martin Company, low on provisions and traveling late in fall, first encountered winter weather in late October near present day Casper. Of 576 men, women and children, approximately 145 died along the trail before finally reaching Salt Lake City the last day of November.

" A condition of distress here meet my eyes that I never saw before or since. The (Mormon) train was strung out for two or three miles. There were old men pulling and tugging their carts, sometimes loaded with a sick wife or children, women pulling along sick husbands, little children six or eight years old struggling through the mud and snow. As night came on the mud would freeze on their cloths and feet. We gathered on to some of the most helpless with our riatas tied to the carts and helped as may as we could into camp...Such assistance as were could give was rendered to all until they finally arrived at Devil's Gate fort, about
Martin's Cove Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 31, 2016
2. Martin's Cove Marker
Martin's Cove is located at the base of the Sweetwater Bluff in the background.
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the first of November.

The winter storms had now set in all their severity. The provisions we took amounted to almost nothing among so many people, many of them now on very short rations, and almost starving. Many were dying daily from exposure and want of food."

------ Daniel W. Jones, 1856

For more information on Mormon emigrants or the handcart companies, visit the Mormon Handcart Visitor Center located at the old Sun Ranch.
Erected by U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: DisastersSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Mormon Pioneer Trail series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1856.
Location. 42° 26.256′ N, 107° 13.099′ W. Marker is near Alcova, Wyoming, in Natrona County. Marker is on State Highway 220 near Martin Cove Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Alcova WY 82620, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sun Ranch (within shouting distance of this marker); Devil's Gate (within shouting distance of this marker); A Tribute to Hardship (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Following the River (about 600 feet away); The Emigrant Road
Martin's Cove image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 31, 2016
3. Martin's Cove
The National Register of Historic Places
Wyoming Place No. 104
(about 800 feet away); Tom Sun Ranch (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Oregon Trail (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Pioneer Women (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alcova.
More about this marker. This marker is located at the Devil's Gate BLM Interpretive Site, approximately 7 miles southwest of Independence Rock.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 29, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 29, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 282 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 29, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Jun. 22, 2021