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

Lander Cut-off of the Oregon Trail

Stock Trail

 
 
Lander Cut-off of the Oregon Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 11, 2015
1. Lander Cut-off of the Oregon Trail Marker
Inscription. Beginning in 1843, emigrants traveled across the continent along what became known as the Oregon Trail. Increased traffic during the 1850's resulted in the first government road construction project in the west. The 345 mile Central Division of the Pacific Wagon Road went from South Pass, Wyoming, to City of Rocks, Idaho, a geologic formation which marked the Division's western boundary. Superintendent Frederick W. Lander of Salem, Massachusetts, supervised construction for the U.S. Department of the Interior. The 256 mile section of the road leading from South Pass to Fort Hall, Idaho is known as the Lander Cut-off. The cut-off traversed this Salt River Valley for 21 miles and paralleled Highway 89 through this area. The new route afforded water, wood, and forage with a new, shorter route to Oregon and California saving wagon trains seven days. Lander, with a crew of 15 engineers, surveyed the route in the summer of 1857. The following summer, 115 men, many recruited from Salt Lake City's Mormon emigrants, constructed the road in less than 90 days at a cost of $67,873. The invention of the automobile led to its abandonment.

Stock Trail

Travel along the Oregon Trail was not restricted to one direction. Between 1875 ad 1890, drovers herded vast numbers of cattle, horses and sheep eastward from
Lander Cut-off of the Oregon Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 11, 2015
2. Lander Cut-off of the Oregon Trail Marker
Oregon to Wyoming. The animals were moved along the Lander Cut-off and into the Green River and Big Horn Basins and the Wind River drainage. There, they were used as initial range stock for the large ranches of cattle and sheep barons.
 
Erected by Star Valley Chamber of Commerce.
 
Location. 42° 34.86′ N, 110° 54.15′ W. Marker is near Smoot, Wyoming, in Lincoln County. Marker is on U.S. 89 near Gomm's Pond Lane, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Smoot WY 83126, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Periodic Spring (approx. 5.2 miles away); Lander Cut-off (approx. 5.2 miles away); a different marker also named Lander Cut-off of the Oregon Trail (approx. 5.2 miles away); Osmond (approx. 6.9 miles away); Afton Wyoming (approx. 10 miles away); Mormons in Star Valley (approx. 10.1 miles away); Star Valley (approx. 10.2 miles away).
 
More about this marker. This marker is about 3 miles south of Smoot.
 
Also see . . .  Lander Trail and the Oregon-California Trail - The Fur Trapper. Congress passed the Pacific Wagon Road Act in 1857. The first wagon road to receive congressional funding was the Lander Trail section of the Fort Kearney, South Pass, and Honey Lake Wagon Road. With the goal of improving the Oregon-California Trail system, the Lander Trail (Cut-Off) left the Oregon-California trail east of South Pass near the Ninth Crossing of the Sweetwater. (Submitted on November 12, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 12, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 216 times since then and 64 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 12, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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