Near Bessemer Bend in Natrona County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
Discovery of gold in California in 1848 ignited the passion and courage of many fortune seekers, as they raced to the gold fields to stake their claims. Later discoveries of gold and silver in Idaho and Montana added to the westward flow.
Referred to as Red Buttes or Red Hills crossing, this valley offered shade, forage, campsites, and an opportunity to repair equipment for the rocky route that lay ahead. Pioneers and their stock had paralleled the banks of the Platte and North Platte Rivers for nearly five hundred miles, but left the river here to avoid the rugged narrows a few miles upstream, and to follow the shortest path to the Sweetwater Valley.
You are standing on a floodplain that often lay underwater during the spring runoff or following sudden thunderstorms. In some years, dozens of wagons were stalled on the opposite bank until high water receded to sandy river channels. James Cayman, journeying east from California
"when we came in sight of the N. Platte we had the Pleasant sight of beholding the valy to a greate distance dotted with Peopl Horses cattle wagons and Tents their being 30 wagons all buisily engaged in crossing the River which was found not to be fordable and with poor material they had to make rafts of it took two trips to carry over one wagon with its lading." -- (Excerpt from James Cayman, frontiersman).
Erected by Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Oregon Trail marker series.
Location. 42° 46.457′ N, 106° 31.786′ W. Marker is near Bessemer Bend, Wyoming, in Natrona County. Marker is on Bessemer Bend Road (County Route 308) near Speas Road (County Route 311), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 14456 Bessemer Bend Road, Casper WY 82604, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Science Visits the West (a few steps from this marker); Marking Their Progress (within shouting distance of this marker); Ranching Takes Its Place (within shouting Witnessing the Past (within shouting distance of this marker); Shape of the Future (within shouting distance of this marker); First Among Many (within shouting distance of this marker); "History Is Not Obvious" (within shouting distance of this marker); Queen City of the West (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bessemer Bend.
More about this marker. This marker is located at the Bureau of Land Management's Bessemer Bend Historic Site.
Categories. • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 2, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 151 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 2, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.