“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Bancroft in Caribou County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)

Settlement Along the Trail

Settlement Along the Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 14, 2018
1. Settlement Along the Trail Marker
Captions: (bottom left) From historic Chesterfield, the Oregon Trail winds its way northward toward the Snake River and the Hudson Bay Company trading post at Fort Hall.; (map on right) The Oregon Trail passes through Chesterfield ceding northwest to Fort Hall where emigrant wagons typically stopped to purchase supplies, rest, and make repairs to their wagons before journeying on to Oregon.
Inscription. The Oregon Trail was not blazed by the first wagon train of emigrants who set out on the journey in 1841. They were following pathways discovered and described by explorers, and mountain men in the early 1800s - pathways traveled for countless years by Native Americans and migrating wildlife. Ancient , earthen-covered lava flows between the Bear River and Fort Hall provided them with a fairly level road for travel through the Upper Portneuf Valley.
Trapper Osborne Russell and fifteen companions spent the winter of 1835-36 at a place called "Mutton Hill" on the Portneuf River. The many hot springs along the Portneuf, combined with a ready supply of bighorn sheep on the rocky hillsides and buffalo in the valley, made this a choice camping spot.
During the 1850s entrepreneurs from Salt Lake City and Fort Hall brought freight wagons filled with merchandise and set up shop along the road. In 1853, emigrants reported that they were hardly out of site of these traders.
In 1863, cattleman Alexander Toponce traveled up the Portneuf Valley from northern Utah, and by the 1870s he was operating a ranch on "Toponce Creek." just across the valley from this spot.

I rented the Fort Hall (Indian) reservation from the Government as a cattle pasture, paying $2,500 a year. I had a piece of land rented forty miles by seventy
Settlement Along the Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 14, 2018
2. Settlement Along the Trail Marker
miles. At times I had as high as 10,000 head of cattle on the land."
-- Alexander Toponce

Settlement at this location began with homesteading in 1880, and the establishment of Chesterfield Town in 1883. Most of the main migration along the Oregon Trail had declined, but some hardy souls still made the journey overland. The families of Chesterfield greeted them with hospitality, happy to share the bounty of this beautiful valley where the buffalo once roamed.
Erected by Oregon & California National Historic Trails,, National Park Service and Caribou Historical Society.
Location. 42° 51.851′ N, 111° 54.294′ W. Marker is near Bancroft, Idaho, in Caribou County. Marker is on Chesterfield Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bancroft ID 83217, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Meeting House (within shouting distance of this marker); Oregon Trail Campsite (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Chesterfield (approx. 0.4 miles away); Bancroft's First School (approx. 10.1 miles away).
More about this marker. All the roads in Chesterfield are identified as Chesterfield Road or un-named. The marker is located in a field south of the Meeting House.
Categories. Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on October 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 11, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 26 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 11, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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