Jim Bridger was one of the most colorful and widely traveled mountian men of his era. In 1842 he and Louis Vazquez established a trading post on the Blacks Fork initially intending to supply the fur trade. As that trade was in decline the post supported emigrants traveling the Oregon and Mormon trails. While Bridger called the small stockaded compound a “Fort” it did eventually become a military installation which was finally abandoned in the 1890’s. The area is now a historical site maintained by the state, in addition to the small town of Fort Bridger. We met friends here on July 3rd for the small Independence Day parade. Following drinks and lunch we visited the historical Fort Bridger.
|Replica of Bridger’s Original Stockade|
|Inside the “fortifications” were two buildings. This one had two rooms shared by the Bridger and Vasquez families.|
|The other building also had two rooms, one a blacksmith’s shop, the other for storing supplies|
|Many of the historical buildings remain from when the fort was a military installation. The site has gone through a number of different occupations. Mormon settlers took it from Bridger, to support their continued expansion. The military occupied it from the Mormon’s during the Utah War. A merchant and his family maintained it as a supply depot until the military again occupied it before abandoning the property and turning it over to Wyoming. The buildings here were the military barracks, which now houses the visitors center and museum. The smaller buildings are the commissary and guardhouse.|
The museum is one of the nicest small museums we have visited. It gives a detailed history of the site and is well worth the time to visit. While there we had a limited chat with a young family who were Eastern Shoshone from the Wind River Reservation. They were visiting to help their daughters understand the history of their family. The father was a direct descendant of Chief Washakie who figures predominantly in the history of Fort Bridger. Both the mother and father were passionate about knowing and preserving their history. It was an unexpected and happy connection that seemed more significant on this weekend when we celebrate our independence from England.
|Commissary and Guardhouse|
|First Sergeant’s Quarters|
|New Guardhouse |
|Officers Quarters| Adjacent to the Fort are about ten cabins built to shelter travelers along the Lincoln Highway. The Lincoln was one of America’s first intercontinental highways stretching from Times Square in New York City to San Francisco. Road travel is our life and these historical sites are of great interest. These Cabins and “Auto Parks” sprang up along these highways to support travelers. Our campsite in Evanston was at the Phillips RV Park which has been family owned and operated since 1936.
These Orange and Black Garage Camp Cabins included a small room with attached “garage”. There were detached “wash houses” for bathing and laundry. Meals were taken at local diners. While traveling many of these same roads, we are somewhat more self contained.
|Office where one would check in|
Not quite AIROSMITH but suitable all the same.
Post a Comment