Historic Fort Bridger

Thursday, October 19, 2017- Trip Day 76

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This is our second day at Fort Bridger. We’ve shopping to do and a tour of Fort Bridger State Historic Site which just happens to be located right next door to the RV park. The town of Fort Bridger is so small (390 souls) that the population doesn’t warrant a real grocery store, it has a convenience store. We head off to Lyman (2100 souls) located 5 miles away. One would think that a town that size would have a grocery store but nope, it doesn’t! So……. we double back and head south to Mountain View. Benedict’s Market is a really nice full service market. It even has a real full service hardware department! Some of the vehicles outside depict the values of the locals.

Mountain View, stock feed and Personal Opinion of Tree Huggers

Mountain View is what it says it is. The views of the Wasatch Mountains are stunning. Unfortunately, the view is obscured by a haze of which I don’t know the cause. I borrowed a couple of photos from the internet to give you an idea of how the name came about. We find a great park with nary a soul about so Megan got to go for a run.

After shopping and playing in the park we dropped the groceries off at camp then visited Fort Bridger State Historic Site. The gate to the parking lot was closed, the locals said you can just walk in so we did. No one was there so Megan got to run again and found Groshon Creek. In she goes- Dunk, Dunk, DUNK!  According to literature cooking in grills, dogs on leash (our bad on this one), are welcome but no horses, no alcohol, fireworks, overnight camping or throwing of any objects are permitted.

This location has been important over the years

From the Historic Sites brochure:

“I have established a small fort, with a blacksmith shop and a supply of iron in the road of the emigrants on Black Fork of Green River, which promises fairly…….”. Thus spoke Jim Bridger in a letter he dictated to would-be suppliers in 1843. While that fort would last little more than a decade Bridger’s word would prove prophetic. The location proved to be one of the main hubs of western expansion used by mountain men, Indians, emigrants and Mormon Pioneer, the U.S. Army, Pony Express, Overland Stage and Union Pacific Railroad. Even during the 1900’s The Lincoln Highway, Highway 30 and Interstate 80 crossed in or near Fort Bridger.

Reconstructed Jim Bridger Trading Post

Established in 1843 by Jim Bridger and Louis Vasquez, it was obtained by the Mormons in the 1855 for $8000. The Mormons replaced the stockade fence with a cobblestone wall. The place was evacuated and burned upon the arrival of Johnston’s Army in 1857. It became a military outpost in 1858. The fort was abandoned in 1890 and most of the wooden structures were sold or moved off the grounds. Those that remained fell into disrepair. Eventually groups and individuals took interest in preserving and restoring what remained. In 1933 the property was dedicated as a Wyoming Historical landmark.

There are enough restored and replica buildings to make the Fort interesting. Some old horse drawn equipment is on display in the shed. Signed areas indicate where barracks and officer’s quarters used to stand. The grounds are outstanding even in their fall attire. The prevailing aspen trees a devoid of foliage and the grass is dry and brown. One can imagine how pretty this place is in the spring.

We’ve been on the road a long time, over two and a half months. The weather is getting a little iffy. A little snow is predicted for tomorrow night and daytime temps are to be in the 40’s on Saturday. Even though we are only an hour and a half from places we’d like to visit it’s time to move on.

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A row of Aspens on Fort Bridger Grounds

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