Signature Rock (Site 48BH188)
is a large amphitheater-like sandstone cliff located between
Cowley and Byron, Wyoming, north of the Shoshone River. Names
and dates incised on sandstone rock formations at Signature
Rock in 1864 correspond to the individual dates of various Shoshone
River crossings and layovers. For example, Benton Garinger of
Ohio left his name for posterity on June 19. He may have been
a member of Bridger's train, but more likely was a member of
one of the trains led by either Jacobs
or Allensworth. Traveling with Allensworth, Hedges stayed in
camp on June 19 and 20. Stanfield laid over on June 19, and
on the 20th, he "traveled a short distance today. . . .
stoped [sic] the rest of the day to let the stock graze . .
. near small creek." This small creek was most likely Sage
Creek, approximately five miles north of the Shoshone. On June
29, T. B. McNeal of Ohio added his name to the cliff face. Although
it is not clear which train he was with, it appears that he
accompanied the fourth train that was about eight to ten days
behind Allensworth. Three weeks after Bridger's first train,
J. Housel left his name on July 8. He was probably a member
of Charles Baker's train that crossed the Shoshone River on
July 8. Four additional names, W. M. McCoy, D. A. Leaky, Wm.
Henry, and S. Magee, were added to the cliff face on July 14,
corresponding to William Haskell's train that crossed the Shoshone
River on July 14.
The inscriptions also indicate
the route the trail took up the
of Sage Creek. They are very significant because they substantiate
the correct route of the Bridger Trail through an area with
limited historic evidence concerning the trail route. The location
and authenticity of the inscriptions has been confirmed by field