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
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