National Register of Historic Places

Martin's Cove


Date Added to Register

Tuesday, March 08, 1977

Smithsonian Number


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Martin's Cove is one of a number of handcart company campsites along the North Platte-Sweetwater segment of the Oregon Trail. The cove was not a natural landmark common to all Oregon Trail travelers such as Independence Rock, Devils Gate or Split Rock; rather it is a topographic feature of the Oregon Trail landscape that derives its historic significance as a temporary place of refuge for handcart emigrants. During an early winter storm in October and November of 1856 a party of Martin Handcart Company emigrants perished. More than the site of this tragedy, however, Martin's Cove is a symbol of the physical strain and hardship suffered by many who sought a better way of life.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources