Posts Tagged ‘ wyoming ’

American Auto Trail-Wyoming’s U.S. Highway 30-Now Available in Google Maps

American Auto Trail-Wyoming’s U.S. Highway 30

U.S. Highway 30, originally known as the Lincoln Highway, crosses the rolling prairies and deserts of southern Wyoming, with heavily timbered, snowcapped mountains in view nearly all the way.   Although it reaches its greatest altitude (8,835 feet) near Laramie and crosses the Continental Divide at Creston, it offers easy grades, with little mountain driving.  The route connects several of the largest towns in Wyoming, yet has vast stretches where no dwelling is seen for many miles.  Long freight trains chuff over glistening rails near the highway, and streamlined expresses slither swiftly through the sage, making bright orange streaks across the dead brown and gray-green plain, which sometimes sweeps unbroken from one blue barrier to another.

In October of 1913, the Lincoln Highway was proclaimed to be the nation’s first transcontinental highway and covered 3,300 miles through gravel, mud, and sand.  Across Wyoming it followed the right-of-ways abandoned by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1901.  Many towns were already established along the railroad, and within each of those towns up sprang filling stations, hotels, cabins, and cafes.  However, one should not be confused by highway names such as the Lincoln Highway, Highway 30, and Interstate 80.  In 1926, U.S. Highway 30 was built along the same route of the Lincoln Highway, but a much straighter route resulted.  Interstate 80 furthered those changes along the same route.


New Guide in American Trails Revisited Series–Wyoming’s Oregon Trail


This edition in the American Trails Revisited series explores the Oregon Trail through Wyoming.  The route of the southern Cherokee Trail route along U.S. Highway 30, the main Oregon-California-Mormon Emigrant Road entering the state on U.S. Highway 26, as well as the side routes of the California-Mormon Trail through Fort Bridger and the Lander Cut-Off through the Thompson Pass, are explored in this guide.  Over 300 historic sites and points of interest are documented, with detailed driving directions to locate them.  Reference maps and GPS Coordinates for all listed sites are also included.

Available 10/23 for the Amazon Kindle for $2.99

Available now at for $2.99

All proceeds help us to support local historic organizations.

Forgotten Landmark-Town of New Fork (WY)

Photo courtesy of Google Maps Streetview, accessed 10/15/2011


The New Fork town site consists of several log and wood frame structures representing one of the
earliest settlements and commercial centers in the isolated upper Green River
Valley. The small ranching settlement was established by John Vible and Louis
Broderson in 1888 near the New Fork and East Fork Rivers. Both men were Danish
emigrants who had come to America in 1884. They met while working on the Oregon
Short Line railroad in western Wyoming and Idaho. The two men pooled their
meager resources into an informal partnership. They planned to file on
homesteads in order to raise cattle and to start a mercantile business by
locating a store close to the Lander Cut-off of the Oregon Trail. The partners
built a small log structure which served as the store, trading post, and living
quarters. The location became known as New Fork.

By the end of 1908, the town boasted a school, a saloon, a hotel, a barbershop, a livery and a
blacksmith shop, and a wood-frame house with a bay window owned by the saloon
keeper Frank Seabolt, in addition to the Vible stores and residence. In 1909
and 1910, John Vible contracted with locally prominent carpenters to build a
large frame dance hall. He named it Valhalla after the Norse Heaven populated
by heroes slain in battle. The dance hall became the focal point of community
activity including dances and political rallies.

By 1918, the post office was discontinued and mail was then delivered to nearby Boulder. New Fork had
gradually been eclipsed by other communities, including Pinedale which became
the county seat when Sublette County was created in 1921. Transportation
patterns had changed over the years, and the Lander Cut-off fell into disuse.
Railroad transportation never reached the upper Green River Valley. A scarlet
fever and diphtheria epidemic struck the Vible family in late 1915, and John
Vible, his daughter and two elder sons died within a period of two weeks. These
factors contributed to the demise of New Fork.[i]

Site is 3.1 miles south of Boulder, WY on U.S. Highway 191.

New Fork, National Register of Historic Places; Wyoming State Preservation

Atlantic City Historical Society (WY)

An eclectic collection of
folks–Atlanticans and others–comprise the Atlantic City Historical Society.
The group is interested in
preserving the history of Atlantic City, Wyoming, the surrounding gold mines and
mills, and the stories told and recounted by local area residents and
those who knew or know the characters of the region.

        Society members gather
once a year on August’s fourth Saturday to visit area attractions and share
tales of the miners and the mining era.

If you have pictures or stories you’d like to submit for inclusion, please go to
the Miner’s Delight Inn B&B’s “Reach us” page and send
the inn an email; Barbara and Bob will ensure your information gets into the
right hands.

Historic Hotel-Morton Mansion Bed and Breakfast, Douglas (WY)

This residence was constructed in 1903 by John
and Sarah Morton, owners of one of the largest ranches in Wyoming.

Lost Landmark-Wheatland Railroad Depot, Wheatland (WY)

Photo courtesy of Wyoming Tales and Trails;


This structure was completed in 1895.  The depot closed in 1969.  The depot was the point of arrival
for most settlers and the point of departure for the area’s products; sugar beets, wheat, cattle and produces.  The
deterioration of the depot began with a train derailment during the 1960’s. A quick stop caused several empty ore cars to leap from the tracks, one colliding
with the bay. The brick was damaged and began to bulge. The area was covered with stucco. Until its closure, the depot was a focal point of commerce.[i]

After its listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1996, the depot was torn down.

Wheatland Railroad Depot- National Register for Historic Places Inventory
Nomination Form; McClelland, Linda; 1996.

Western Plains Historic Preservation Association–Western History Center, Lingle, WY

Western Plains Historic Preservation Association (WHPA)  

Brief HistoryGrant Narrative


The concept for WPHPA was actually conceived in 1980 when an 1860’s cemetery was accidentally unearthed near Lingle by a land-leveling project.  The site contained numerous human burials and thousands of artifacts.  It was learned that no state or federal agencies or funds were available to mitigate the find.  A group of concerned local residents organized to salvage the site. Within a year a similar site was discovered also during land leveling near Torrington.  The group was again called into action.  It soon became apparent that this general area in the North Platte Valley contained numerous historic, prehistoric and fossil sites that were in dire need of preservation efforts.  The group of volunteers originally organized as a local chapter of the Wyoming Archeological Society.  Later on it became obvious that more latitude was necessary to address the magnitude of the resources present in the area and to preserve and develop the resources for future research and educational purposes.  WPHPA was then established as a nonprofit entity and began a wide range of historic preservation activities.  Since then WPHPA has grown steadily and is a healthy, financially sound and vibrant organization.


The purpose for which WPHPA exists is stated in their Articles of Incorporation:

“The primary business and purpose of this corporation shall be to discover, preserve and memorialize the history and prehistory of Goshen County and Platte County, Wyoming and their surrounding areas, to encompass, where pertinent, the States of Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Montana, as well as other states, areas or regions; to acquire by gift or other lawful means, real property or interests in real property; to discover, purchase, commission or otherwise preserve personal property items, writings, newspapers, journals, and the like, which shed light on the prehistory and history of the region; to discover, procure, and preserve physical objects of every kinds that may relate to the prehistory and history of the region; to promote, protect and preserve the archeology, archeological developments, archeological research, and the promotion and publication of archeological research and archeological findings in the region; to promote the ownership, maintenance and development of archeological, prehistorical and historical properties by local private entities, as opposed to ownership, maintenance and the development by state or federal agencies; to establish and maintain museums or display centers on land leased or owned by the corporation; to acquire funding by any or all lawful means to support the activities of the corporation; and to hold regular meetings and other activities for the recreation and instruction of the corporation’s membership or association.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, the corporation shall the powers set forth in Wyoming statutes.”


Various current activities of WPHPA include:

  • Stabilization and salvage excavation of historic and prehistoric sites in imminent danger due to natural erosion or land development.
  • Curation and analysis of artifacts from numerous sites.
  • Maintenance of a repository for artifacts, documents and other data.
  • An ongoing oral history program.
  • Educational activities – members annually present numerous programs to public schools and interested groups.  Many tours to various sites are conducted each year.  A field school attracts many students each summer.
  • Maintenance of a museum and interpretive center (the Western History Center) presently located in Lingle.
  • Operation of the Expanding Environments youth program that provides summer jobs for high school students.
  • Advising local agencies, boards and businesses on the status of cultural resources in the area and about cultural resource laws.
  • Contracts with Government agencies and private entities to conduct cultural resource inventories and surveys for various types of projects.


WPHPA offices are equipped with the latest computer and other office machines.  Over 2,000 square feet of space is dedicated to laboratory use.  All field equipment is up-to-date.


In the last 5 years WPHPA has successfully completed surveys for the Union Pacific Railroad (over 20 miles in Wyoming and Nebraska), 50 miles of survey of power line corridors for Niobrara County Electric, numerous small projects for the Army National Guard at Camp Guernsey, and has participated in several large projects for the Forest Service in Colorado and South Dakota.


We have several pottery vessels from the San Lazaro site that need to be curetted and reconstructed.  Working with pot shards can be very educational and fun although sometimes it sure can be frustrating.  But you can do it and we sure need some volunteers to help.  We will also soon begin excavations at the Gratiot houses and we will need lots of folks to help with digging, mapping and recording, sorting and cleaning, etc.  All members are encouraged to participate as there is something for everyone to do.  And we have several oral history projects pending.  If you are interested in doing interviews with some of the old timers in the area please let us know.  Memberships make a nice gift (see attached membership form).