Here are some questions to ask before you visit Reshaw’s Bridge, while you’re there, and again after you return:
- Early accounts say the original Reshaw’s Bridge was 1,000 feet long. How wide is the river now, do you think?
- Why did the original bridge need to be that long?
- Why was the bridge so important to the pioneers?
- What was the Oregon Trail? The California Trail? The Mormon Trail? Were they separate trails or all one road at this point?
- How long did the pioneers follow the North Platte River? How many times did they cross the North Platte River?
- Assuming a wagon train was heading west from Missouri or Iowa, how long would they have been traveling at this point?
- How far did they have to go to reach Oregon? To reach California? To reach Utah?
- Looking at the reproduction bridge in Reshaw’s Park in Evansville, Wyo., can you imagine the original bridge? How would it have been different? How the same?
- What was life like for the travelers who camped here with their wagon trains?
- What was life like for the people who lived and worked at the trading post here?
- What was life like for the soldiers who lived here?
- The Richard brothers collected tolls for the wagons and livestock that crossed their bridge. Can you work up a rough estimate of how much money they made in a year? See the Jefferson Glass article about the bridge for clues.
- Besides bridge tolls, what other ways did the Richard brothers make money? What does that tell us about life here in the 1850s?
THERE ARE TONS of more good questions a person could ask about Reshaw’s Bridge.
SEND US three interesting Reshaw's Bridge questions of your own. Be sure to identify your school and classroom teacher or note if you are home schooled when you send in questions. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on a 2014-2015 contest for submitting the most questions.