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

19th Century Interstate Highway

The Lander Trail

19th Century Interstate Highway Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 2, 2016
1. 19th Century Interstate Highway Marker
Captions: (left) Devil's Gate, Wyoming. William Henry Jackson, 1860s (sic); (center) Emigrant wagon train on the Lander Trail, Big Sandy River. Albert Bierstadt, 1859; (right) Oregon Trail, Albert Bierstadt, after traveling on the Lander Trail in 1859.
Inscription.  The Lander Trail, part of the Congressionally designated California National Historic Trail, was a shortcut of the main emigrant trails to California and Oregon, as well as to the new gold fields in Montana and Idaho. Emigrants started their journeys from towns on the Missouri River and headed west through Kansas and Nebraska. Reaching Wyoming they ascended the Continental Divide about halfway along their five to six mont journey where they could take the new Lander's Cut-off Road (Lander Trail) at South Pass.

Expanding a Nation
Oregon & California Trails
From 1841 to 1869 about 350,000 people emigrated west on undeveloped wagon roads - the greatest voluntary mass migration in US history. To appease public outcry for improved transportation to the Pacific Coast, Congress passed the Pacific Wagon Road Act of 1857. Twelve years later the completion of the transcontinental railroad signaled the end of the emigrant trail era.

Faster, Shorter, Safer
The Lander Trail
The Pacific Wagon Road Act helped fund a new 256-mile
19th Century Interstate Highway Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 2, 2016
2. 19th Century Interstate Highway Marker
This marker is in the center.
Click or scan to see
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cutoff between South Pass, Wyoming and Fort Hall, Idaho. In 1858, Frederick Lander supervised the construction of this new road - one of the first federal funded roads in the West, Emigrants could save up to seven days travel, avoiding long desert crossings. Ten of thousands of emigrants traveled the Lander trail from 1859 to 1869.

An Oasis in the Sagebrush
New Fork River
Emigrants risked losing supplies, livestock, and even their lives here at the New Fork River - one of the most difficult river crossings on the Lander Trail. Despite these challenges, lush grass and cottonwood trees provided a brief oasis for weary travelers who had just crossed over the Continental Divide. Good camping and the bottleneck at the river crossing made this place one of the busiest on the trail.
Erected by Sublette County Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers.
Location. 42° 36.852′ N, 109° 51.303′ W. Marker is near Big Piney, Wyoming, in Sublette County. Marker is on Paradise Road near Wyoming 351 (Wyoming Highway 351), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1398 Paradise Road, Big Piney WY 83113, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers
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are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "Hear Was Hundreds of Emigrants" (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Building the Lander Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away); The First Engines: Oxen, Mules, and Horses (approx. ¼ mile away); "We Busy Ourselves in Various Ways" (approx. ¼ mile away); Crossing the New Fork River (approx. ¼ mile away); Rising to the Challenge of the New Fork River (approx. ¼ mile away); New Fork River Crossing (approx. half a mile away); Sand Springs - A Stop on the Oregon Trail (approx. 10 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Big Piney.
More about this marker. This marker is in the parking lot of Lander Trail New Fork River Crossing Historic Park.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 17, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 17, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 287 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 17, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Oct. 2, 2022