National Register of Historic Places

Granger Stage Station


Date Added to Register

Thursday, February 26, 1970

Smithsonian Number


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Also known as the Ham's Fork Station and South Bend Station, the Granger Stage Station is a rectangular building with two foot thick walls constructed of cut native stone and lime-sand mortar. The area surrounding Ham's Fork confluence with Black's Fork of the Green River is rich in history and three major eras of overland travel are represented there. As early as 1824 the fur trappers and traders began traversing the region and continued to frequent the two streams until the decline of the fur trade in the late 1830s. In 1834 the trappers held their annual rendezvous along the banks of Ham's Fork about twenty miles upstream from Black's Fork.

The year 1841 marked the beginning of the great covered wagon exodus from the eastern states to California and Oregon. The Trail, followed by thousands of the emigrants on their way westward, crossed Ham's Fork a few hundred feet above its mouth. As the trail became well established, stage coaches carrying passengers and mail began to utilize it. A stage station came into being near the junction of Ham's Fork and Black's Fork around 1856 and was called Ham's Fork Station. Throughout the 1860s there was considerable activity around Ham's Fork Station. First came the fleeting operation of the Pony Express in 1860 and 1861. During 1862 the Overland Stage operation was changed from the South Pass route to a new line that used the Bridger's Pass and Bitter Creek route. The new Overland Trail rejoined the old original route at Ham's Fork. Ham's Fork Station lost its identity at that time to become known as the South Bend Station. The new designation was derived from the fact that near the Station the Black's Fork makes a sudden bend from its northeasterly course to assume a southeasterly course toward the Green River.

The Union Pacific Railroad construction arrived at Ham's Fork in 1868. The old stage station and the immediate vicinity became overrun with workers when a rail camp was located near the site. A sidetrack, station buildings and a water tank for locomotives were set up and the place was named Granger. Granger then became an active rail station along the line. To commemorate the pioneers that had passed along the way, Clarence E. and Eva Adams deeded the site of the historic stage station and one acre of land to the State of Wyoming in 1930.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources