In 1812, Robert Stuart and his returning party of Astorians pioneered the Platte Valley, Sweetwater, South Pass route through the Rockies that became the Oregon Trail. River crossings demanded ferries or bridges. Mormon ferry service began in 1847. In 1851, John Richard built a bridge over the North Platte, a mile west of Deer Creek. Trading posts often grew up at bridge and ferries because of the Indian trouble. In 1855, the Army placed an officer and 25 men at Richard's Bridge and brought Richard's Trading post back to Fort Laramie. In 1858, the Army established a garrison of 67 soldiers and 35 civilians at Richard's second bridge, calling it "Post at Platte Bridge." Louis Gruinard built a bridge over the Sweetwater River in 1857 and 6 miles from Richards bridge on the North Platte in 1858. Richard's Bridge was the departure point for wagon trains going on the Bozeman Trail in 1864 and Guinard's Bridge was a departure point for those going on the Bridger Trail. Because of various reasons, Richard's Bridge was disassembled and transported to the new post, Fort Caspar, near Guinard's Bridge. ALTERNATE SUBJECTS: Overland Trails; California National Historic Trail; Bozeman Trail; Mormon Ferry; Missouri Ferry; North Platte River--Wyoming; Sweetwater River (Wyo.); Green River; Overland Stage; Central Overland California and Pike's Peak Express; Richard's Bridge (Wyo.); Guinard's Bridge--1859-1867; Richard, John Baptiste; Guinard, Louis; Stuart, Robert; Grattan Massacre; Military--Fort Clay; Military--Post at Platte Bridge; Military--Camp Payne; Military--Camp at Platte Bridge; Fort Caspar (Wyo.); Fort D.A. Russell (Wyo.); Fort Sanders (Wyo.); Fort Fred Steele (Wyo.); Fort Fetterman (Wyo.); Fort Kearney (Nebraska), South Pass (Wyoming) and Honey Lake (California) Wagon Road Map: Trading posts, forts and bridges of the Casper area [Robert A Murray]. Annals of Wyoming cover date Spring 1975.
Creation: This 4.64 mega byte file is derived from a high-resolution TIF image that was scanned from the original using an Hewlett Packard ScanJet 3300C.
You may use the digital images and catalog records found on this website for your private study, scholarship or research. Some of the images from the University of Wyoming Libraries are in the public domain.