WyoHistory.org

The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Randy Brown

Randy Brown

Longtime historic trails scholar Randy Brown is author of Graves and Sites on the Oregon and California Trails (1998) and Inscriptions on Western Emigrant Trails (2004), both published by the Oregon-California Trails Association. A retired schoolteacher, he lives in Douglas, Wyo. and serves as preservation officer for the association’s Wyoming chapter.

Church Butte

In 1843, Oregon Trail diarist John Boardman was probably the first to make reference Church Butte near present Granger, Wyo., calling it “Solomon’s Temple.” In the 1850s, most emigrants referred to the landmark as Church Butte, because of its shape and perhaps because Mormon companies held religious services there on their way to the Salt Lake Valley. 

Haystack Butte

Not many diarists mentioned Haystack Butte, a minor landmark on the Sublette Cutoff of the Oregon/California Trail, but forty-niner J. Goldsborough Bruff sketched it in his journal. Some remarked that the 60-foot-high butte resembled “a farmer’s hay stack;” others called it called it “a bee-hive” or “sugar-loaf.”

Pages

Encyclopedia | In 1843, Oregon Trail diarist John Boardman was probably the first to make reference Church Butte near present Granger, Wyo., calling it “Solomon’s Temple.” In the 1850s, most emigrants referred to the landmark as Church Butte, because of its shape and perhaps because Mormon companies held religious services there on their way to the Salt Lake Valley. 
Encyclopedia | Not many diarists mentioned Haystack Butte, a minor landmark on the Sublette Cutoff of the Oregon/California Trail, but forty-niner J. Goldsborough Bruff sketched it in his journal. Some remarked that the 60-foot-high butte resembled “a farmer’s hay stack;” others called it called it “a bee-hive” or “sugar-loaf.”
Encyclopedia | Oregon/California Trail travelers crossing Ham’s Fork in what’s now southwest Wyoming noted a stream that was sometimes low, sometimes dangerously high, ferries run by interesting characters and a stage station so full of flies that they “darkened the table and covered everything put upon it.”
Encyclopedia | Emigrant Hill on the Child’s Cutoff of the Oregon Trail—a route that ran north of the North Platte River—challenged travelers with a steep, rocky descent followed by twisting turns and a steep rise up again. Four-year-old Elva Ingram died near here of cholera in 1852, and is buried nearby. 
Encyclopedia | Oregon Trail emigrants often attached ropes to the back of their wagons and locked the back wheels to slow their descent of steep, rugged Mexican Hill about five and a half miles west of Fort Laramie. Some lost control of their wagons and crashed at the base.
Encyclopedia | In April 1867, during Red Cloud’s War, 19-year-old Pvt. Ralston Baker of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry died during an Indian attack at La Prele Creek crossing on the Oregon Trail. His grave remains near the spot where he fell, south of present Douglas, Wyo. 
Encyclopedia | William L. Clary, 19, died of cholera in 1850 while traveling with 45 other men driving cattle to California. Four other drovers died en route and the company’s captain died soon afterward—all of cholera. Clary’s grave survives on private land near Torrington, Wyo.  
Encyclopedia | Henry Hill, a War of 1812 veteran, died in 1852 on the Oregon Trail and lies buried on private property in Goshen County, Wyo. More than 30 members of two Hill families related by marriage traveled in the 62-member wagon train. All told, six of them died before reaching California.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Randy Brown