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Casper in Natrona County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

The Mormon Ferry

 
 
The Mormon Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 17, 2015
1. The Mormon Ferry Marker
Inscription. “….A Company have gone back about three miles to make two canoes on which they intend to build a boat to be used here till the next company comes up. Another company also went about half a mile up the river to make slabs or puncheons to lay on the canoes. A while before dark the brethren returned from below with two good canoes twenty-five feet long each and nearly finished and ready to put together…” -- William Clayton, 1847

“…I was called to go with 16 or 18 others down the river in search of Timber for Canoes, as the President said he was tired of experimenting with Raft after going about 3 miles we found two cottonwood trees near together of which we constructed two canoes 23 feet long, put them on the Wagons & hauled them up to camp at night…” Norton Jacob, 1847

“….Meantime a set of hands was busy preparing two canoes, two and a half feet in diameter and 23 feet long, which, when coupled about five feet apart with cross timber covered with puncheons and manned with oars, made a boat with which three men could cross a wagon with its load…” -- Erastus Snow, 1847

“….at first tried the plan of floating our wagons by extending ropes down the river and attaching them to the end of the tongue, but the current would roll them over as if they were nothing but a log,
The Mormon Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 17, 2015
2. The Mormon Ferry Marker
Ferry reconstruction by members of the
Casper Stake
of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
wheels and bows appearing alternately upon the surface of the water, and two lashed together by means of poles placed under them shared the same fate… The plan was abandoned as being too dangerous. The next plan was to try small rafts, but the difficulty of polling a raft in so deep and swift water was such that the wind, aiding the current, would not infrequently sweep them down from one to two miles before it would be possible to make the other shore… In attempting to drag rafts across the current with ropes, the current would draw them under… Prest. Young stript himself and went to work with all his strength, assisted by the Dr. and brethren, and made a first rate White Pine and White Cotton Wood Raft… The new raft was in operation all day and worked well…” -- Wilford Woodruff, 1847

“…to the upper crossing of the Platte River. Here we had considerable trouble as the river was very high and rapid… It was decided to make two large canoes and lash them together for a ferry boat… We selected two large trees, three feet through. Of these we made two large canoes, 30 feet long. We then cut two other trees and hewed them down to two inches thick and straightened the edges, making planks of them 14”wide and 30’ long… We then ran it across the river, which was quickly and easily done. In this way, the wagons were all soon over; the stock we swam across…” -- Lewis Barney1847

“The boats were managed by means of large ropes stretched across the stream, then with pulley blocks working on the before named rope, then guy ropes attached to each end of the boat and to the two blocks with pulleys, then drop one end of the boat so that the force of the current pressing against it will push the boat across, then reverse the process and the boat will recross in about five minutes,” -- Jesse W. Crosby, 1850
*Ferry reconstruction by members of the
Casper Stake
of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

 
Erected by Casper Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mormon Pioneer Trail marker series.
 
Location. 42° 50.259′ N, 106° 22.29′ W. Marker is in Casper, Wyoming, in Natrona County. Marker can be reached from Fort Caspar Road near South West Wyoming Boulevard (Wyoming Highway 258), on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4001 Fort Caspar Road, Casper WY 82604, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Road to Zion (here, next to this marker); The Upper Crossing (here, next to this marker); Site of Old Platte Bridge (a few steps from this marker); Guinard Bridge (a few steps from this marker); Reconstructed Fort Caspar (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Battle at Platte Bridge (about 300 feet away); The Battle of Red Buttes (about 400 feet away); Old Fort Caspar (was about 500 feet away but has been reported missing. ). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Casper.
 
More about this marker. This marker is near the reconstructed Fort Caspar and Platte Bridge.
 
Categories. Roads & VehiclesWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 18, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 193 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 18, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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