Near Bessemer Bend in Natrona County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
Willow Springs Pony Express Station
There were two main alternate routes from the Casper area, and from the junction of the routes at Iron Creek. eleven miles northeast of here, the Oregon-California Trail followed a single track to Independence Rock on the Sweetwater River. Nearly 400,000 covered wagon emigrants, the Overland Stage route, and the Pony Express followed the trail to Willow Springs.
James Shields reached the Springs on June 8, 1850 and wrote:
Sir Richard Burton was aboard the Salt Lake stage when he reached the Springs on August 17, 1860:
We nooned at Willow Springs, a little dogger boasting of a shed and a bunk, but no corral; and we soothed, with a drink of our whiskey, the excited feelings of the Rancheros. The poor fellows have been plundered of their bread and dried meat by some petty thief, who had burrowed under the wall... The water was unusually good at Willow Springs: unfortunately, however, there was nothing else.
Erected 2008 by Oregon-California Trail Association.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Oregon Trail, and the Pony Express National Historic Trail marker series.
Location. 42° 40.464′ N, 106° 47.586′ W. Marker is near Bessemer Bend, Wyoming, in Natrona County. Marker is on Oregon Trail Road (County Route 319), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Casper WY 82604, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Look Back (approx. 1.3 miles away); Marking Their Progress Lure of the West (approx. 1.3 miles away); And On the Horizon... (approx. 1.3 miles away); Alcova Reservoir (approx. 8.4 miles away); Pathfinder Dam Construction (approx. 8.4 miles away); Fremont Canyon Power Plant (approx. 14 miles away); Fremont Canyon (approx. 14.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bessemer Bend.
More about this marker. This marker is located at Ryan (Prospect) Hill BLM Interpretive Site. The Site is about 12 miles southwest of Casper. From the town of Mills, take Poison Spider Road to county road 319. or from Bessemer Bend take county road 308. Note that CR 308 turns right where CR 314 continues straight. Alternatively,near Alcova, take the Oregon Trail Road (CR319) north from Wyoming Highway 220 for about 9 miles.
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Credits. This page was last revised on July 3, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 3, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 220 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 3, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.