Friday, September 16, 2011

Exploring Ft Bridger

Location, Ft Bridger, WY

Our drive today had us bucking headwinds most of the way. I could feel the wind but don’t think it slowed us down too much. Western Wyoming has a lot of open spaces with antelope and even a small herd of wild horses.

There are also lots of gas wells especially around Wamsutter. I wish I had seen how the town looked a few years ago as BP has put upwards of $2 billion into the enterprise including the town site. It is a sprawling oil town now.

After we arrived at Ft Bridger RV Camp, we toured nearby Ft Bridger which actually is at the entrance to the RV Park. Ft Bridger was built by mountain man Jim Bridger as a trading post and way station for emigrant trains. Most of the area is comprised of the old fort which was major stopping point for wagon trains during the time of all movement west to Oregon and California. It was also used as a Pony Express stop. Later the Carter family operated a store along with out buildings. All of these buildings have been restored and remain in good condition.

The original Ft Bridger burned down. The reconstructed fort is located on the property but several hundred feet from the original. Archeological digging recently confirmed where the old fort stood.

Even as a reconstruction, the fort looks much like the original. It had two buildings set at right angles to each other and all surrounded by wood picket walls. Later, a separate wood fort was made for horses so they could be locked up at night.

Many of the foundations of the barracks buildings are still visible although all have long disappeared.

The Generals house is intact and well preserved and open to tours. This building was moved at least three times and even disassembled and stored at one time. It was built with all the amenities to house visiting dignitaries.