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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Bear Lake County, Idaho
Adjacent to Bear Lake County, Idaho
► Caribou County (60) ► Franklin County (34) ► Cache County, Utah (39) ► Rich County, Utah (7) ► Lincoln County, Wyoming (27)
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|In Spring 1864 Miranda Campbell and sons, Warren and David; John B. Dunn and family arrived here. Others followed, dug irrigation canals, surveyed townsites into 1 acre lots. By Fall, 40 one-room log homes, also 16 x 20 ft. log schoolhouse with huge . . . — — Map (db m140163) HM|
|Most early Bear Lake settlers came from Britain. One was the first woman convert to the LDS church in Europe.
Born in Preston, England, Aug. 24, 1806. Ann Elizabeth Walmsley Palmer was baptized July 30, 1837. An invalid, she was carried into the . . . — — Map (db m99318) HM|
|Discovered in 1812 by trappers returning home from Astoria, Oregon, this valley and its large lake soon became an important fur trade center.
Donald Mackenzie, Jim Bridger and a host of famous beaver hunters operated here. Two major summer . . . — — Map (db m105867) HM|
|The Bear Lake resort town of Fish Haven was founded in 1864. Most of the original settlers moved away, leaving Thomas and William Shirley, Henry Howell, John Stock and their families the first permanent settlers. Joseph C. Rich and John Bagley threw . . . — — Map (db m140164) HM|
In 1870, Brigham Young appointed Ezra T. Clark, David Hess, and Nicholas Barkdull to colonize this area.
Originally known a Twin Creeks, Joseph C. Rich surveyed the site in 1871. In 1872, the new settlement was named Georgetown in honor . . . — — Map (db m140244) HM|
|In the spring of 1871, Joseph C. Rich surveyed the Twin Creeks area, later called Georgetown. In 1874, logs were hauled from the mountains for this cabin built originally on the corner of the block across the street and one block east and used for . . . — — Map (db m140243) HM|
| "Here we found pure water, sufficient for all of us and our cattle. Here we found oceans of grass and thousands of acres of rich, level land covered with wild flax." P.V. Crawford, July 8, 1851
Lush meadows and abundant water . . . — — Map (db m140217) HM|
|In 1863 Charles C. Rich with others explored this valley. A group of settlers in eleven wagons traveled through Emigration Canyon in September and founded Paris. Log huts with dirt floors and roofs sheltered 48 men, 40 women, and 30 children during . . . — — Map (db m140162) HM|
|The pictures below reflect first views of the downtown entering Montpelier from the west in different times in history.
The building was built for Edward Burgoyne by Jacob Tueller and Sons prior to 1899. The . . . — — Map (db m90920) HM|
| Strong Building and Stock Chevrolet
This red brick building, note the brickwork circles, was built for Lish Strong by the Tueller brothers of Paris, Idaho. It became known as the Strong Building. Part of the upper level was also used for . . . — — Map (db m90911) HM|
| On Aug. 13, 1896, Butch Cassidy and his infamous Wild Bunch of gunmen invaded Montpelier's bank and scooped up more than $16,500 in gold, silver and currency.
Leaving a surprised cashier and his terrified customers, they calmly rode away. A . . . — — Map (db m90806) HM|
|To load their wagons with salt from the salt springs on Crow Creek, Mormon settlers of Bear Lake Valley followed the Native American Indian trail over this pass about 1865.
In 1868, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Apostle Charles C . . . — — Map (db m105896) HM|
| On their way west to Oregon and California, emigrant wagons often crossed high ridges in order to avoid gullies and canyons.
When he came here in 1843, Theodore Talbot noted that he "had to cross a very high hill, which is said to be the . . . — — Map (db m90807) HM|
| "... the greatest impediment on the whole route from the United States to Fort Hall." - Theodore Talbot, 1843
Near the Wyoming/Idaho border the pioneers face Big Hill, on of the most challenging obstacles of their journey. The dusty . . . — — Map (db m90854) HM|
| "the steepest and longest ascent we have made on the route..." - James Wilkins
Looking east across the fields is Big Hill, one of the most difficult obstacles along the 2,000-mile Oregon/California Trail. The trail crosses the Thomas . . . — — Map (db m90851) HM|
|On the hot afternoon of August 23, 1896, Butch Cassidy with two members of his Wild Bunch Gang, Elza Lay and Bob Meeks, robbed The Bank of Montpelier which was originally located in the building across the street from this sign.
The Bank of . . . — — Map (db m90877) HM|
|Within five years after Apostle Charles C Rich was called to establish a settlement in Bear Lake Valley, 1868, he looked at western Wyoming as a possible expansion of the Mormon community. By 1879 the Bear Lake Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of . . . — — Map (db m105895) HM|
| Schmid Building
Carl (Charles) Schmid, a tailor from Freienstein, Switzerland opened a tailor shop in Montpelier in 1892. He named his business Chas Schmid, The Tailor. He made men's suits and coats and did repairs, alterations and dry . . . — — Map (db m90910) HM|
|Welcome to the Historic Downtown Montpelier Business District on Washington Street!
Take a few minutes to enjoy a walking tour filled with interesting information about this area and its place in history. Also, spend a few minutes visiting . . . — — Map (db m90878) HM|
|The Crow Creek Road was the link between the Mormon settlements of Bear Lake and Star Valley for 50 years. The 100-mile round trip between Afton, WY and the railhead at Montpelier ID would take a team of horses from 3 to 7 days depending on the . . . — — Map (db m105897) HM|
|Beginning in Independence, Missouri, the Oregon/California Trail passes through present-day Missouri, Kansas, Wyoming, and Idaho. it ends in Oregon, California or Utah - depending on the destination of the pioneers.
While the . . . — — Map (db m90876) HM|
|Westward-bound emigrants entered Idaho after crossing Thomas Fork Valley. They soon encountered the climb and descent of Big Hill, witnessed nature's curiosities at Soda Springs, and discovered willing traders at Fort Hall.
In 1843 wagons first . . . — — Map (db m90852) HM|
| Coming west with Ezra Meeker in 1852, Thomas McAuley decided to build a road to let emigrants bypass Big Hill.
Worst of all Oregon Trail descents, Big Hill needed replacement. Eliza McAuley reported that her brother Tom "fished awhile, . . . — — Map (db m90808) HM|
|Early sheriff and mayor Fred Cruikshank owned the first Model T Ford Agency in 1909.
Bear Lake Motors
Early sheriff and mayor Fred Locke Cruikshank was the owner of the first Model T Ford Agency in 1909 and closed it down in . . . — — Map (db m90908) HM|
|This building presently occupied by the News Examiner was built early in the 1900's by the Whitman family. It was used as a dry goods store until it was sold to the Robinsons in 1942 for use as a newspaper building.
Among the features of the . . . — — Map (db m90922) HM|
|“I have always felt I was at a disadvantage in making a living for my self and family if I did not have a wagon and team.” – John Nield Diary
John and Sarah Broadbent Nield moved their family to Star Valley in 1888 over the . . . — — Map (db m105901) HM|
|In 1895 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints built this sandstone structure, consisting of three rooms and a basement, to serve the community as a tithing office. When the Montpelier First Ward was divided in 1916, meetings of the new . . . — — Map (db m140216) HM|
|"One continual stream of honest looking open harted people going west" - James Cayman, mountain man, captured this sentiment in his diary as he watched pioneers heading west in 1846.
Between 1841 and 1869 nearly 300,000 farmers, . . . — — Map (db m90853) HM|
|In the spring of 1864, fifteen families of pioneers came from Paris, Idaho and settled Clover Creek, the name used until President Brigham Young changed it to Montpelier. After building crude homes the settlers erected a large building of logs, . . . — — Map (db m105874) HM|
|Early Montpelier was well known for its pine trees placed down the center of Washington Street. As U.S. Highway 89 became more popular to the traveling public, the trees were finally cut down amid much discussion throughout the town.
Rich . . . — — Map (db m90907) HM|
| The streetscape of Montpelier has changed through the years. The early years of this Oregon Trail town began with only horse power including wagons and horseback. Streets were packed dirt with hitching posts. With the advent of the horseless . . . — — Map (db m90880) HM|
|Grove C. Gray built a brick building in 1907 to house the second bank of Montpelier. On June 25, 1910, two men attempted to rob this bank by dynamiting the vault. While attempting to dynamite the vault, they jostled a loaded pistol that was on top . . . — — Map (db m90909) HM|
| In 1848, Pegleg Smith established a trading post on the Oregon Trail at Big Timber somewhere near here on the river.
Some travelers called it "Fort Smith", though it had only four log cabins and some Indian lodges. Packing a plow and tools . . . — — Map (db m90805) HM|
|By 1881, just five years following the opening of the Crow Creek Freight Road, freighters had started calling this canyon by that name. Snowslides were frequent on snowy, windy days as drifts would build up on the shale ridge. Unable to hold the . . . — — Map (db m105894) HM|
|Bank of Montpelier's Impact on Local Banking History
Residents of Bear Lake county have discussed the Butch Cassidy bank robbery for years with varied endings. Not unlike fishermen's boastings, tales of the exact amount of Butch's loot will . . . — — Map (db m90879) HM|
|On April 7, 1852, seventeen-year-old Eliza Ann McAuley, with her older brother Thomas and sister Margaret, left Mount Pleasant, Iowa, to travel overland to California. For a time they were accompanied by the "Eddyville Company," led by William Buck . . . — — Map (db m90850) HM|
| A bad ford gave trouble to wagon trains crossing this stream on the trail to California and Oregon in 1849.
In that year, gold-seeking 49'ers developed a shortcut that crossed here. Then emigrants built two bridges here in 1850. But an . . . — — Map (db m90804) HM|
|Clinging to the white shale formation a mile east (on the Crow Creek Rd.) is the White Dugway. There was moisture in the shale and when frost had it in its grip the road was very slippery. Freighters learned to be cautious as a wagon or sleigh could . . . — — Map (db m105899) HM|
|Past travel and settlement across the rugged lands of the Bear Lake Valley were strongly influenced by the valley's hydrologic features. The shifting rivers, sloughs, and marshes presented natural barriers and were prone to flooding. This often . . . — — Map (db m140215) HM|
|The region comprising Bear Lake County has alway been an important juncture for overland travel. From the 1800s onward, migrants on the Oregon and California trails traversed the area, relying on knowledge garnered by Native Americans, early . . . — — Map (db m140213) HM|
|Settled in 1864, the community of Ovid was among the first permanent settlements in the Bear Lake Valley. Its first residents were predominantly Scandinavian immigrants, and the first home was a dugout cabin constructed by Thomas C. Peterson. Over . . . — — Map (db m140214) HM|
| In honor of
Charles Coulson Rich
Pioneer builder of the west.
Major-General of the Nauvoo Legion
Alderman of the City of Nauvoo, in the time of Joseph Smith.
Pioneer of Utah, 1847.
Chairman of the first committee . . . — — Map (db m105849) HM|
|Paris, Idaho was settled in the fall of 1863. Two years later a building used for church, school and recreation was erected by James Nye and others, of logs hauled from George Sirrine's sawmill It was 20' X 60' with two large rooms and a stage at . . . — — Map (db m105873) HM|
|This pioneer Idaho town was founded Sept. 26, 1863 when a wagon train brought more than 30 families of Mormon colonizers.
More pioneers soon followed, some living in huts of quaking aspen and others building log cabins for the mild first . . . — — Map (db m105836) HM|
|Designed by one of Brigham Young's sons, this imposing Romanesque tabernacle was built between 1884 an 1889 by skilled local craftsmen.
Swiss stone masons cut and carved red sandstone that horse and ox teams hauled from a canyon 18 miles . . . — — Map (db m105848) HM|
The Thomas Sleight Cabin was built in the fall of 1863 by Thomas Sleight and Charles Atkins, who with their wives, Marianne and Ann, occupied it together during the first winter of the settlement of Paris, Idaho.
It was first finished with . . . — — Map (db m105866) HM|
|Erected in Honor of
Born in the village of St. Charles
Idaho, March 25, 1867
He is internationally known for
his painting and sculptoring
and most famous for Mount
Rushmore National Monument
Gutzon . . . — — Map (db m105878) HM|
|In May, 1864 Brigham Young called Swan Arnell, Sr., Charles G. Keetch, Sr., Robert Pope, and Johh Windley with their families to settle here. Soon others followed. Charles Windley was the first child born in the village. The town site was surveyed . . . — — Map (db m105869) HM|