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Crook County

 

Brian Beadles
Historic Preservation Specialist
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  • Arch Creek Petroglyphs

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    The Arch Creek Petroglyph site is a well-preserved and well protected example of an unusual aboriginal rock art style located in the Southern Blacks Hills area of northeastern Wyoming. The incised, long bodied stick figures are relatively uncommon compared with other motives and depictions such as shield figures and V-necked anthropomorphs. The Arch Creek Petroglyph site can yield important information on symbolism, composition, style and execution. It can also provide information on aspects of the cosmology of its creators.

    National Register form available upon request.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, December 04, 1986
     
    Location:
    Crook County
     
    County:
    Crook County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48CK41

     

  • Bridge over Missouri River

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    Read all about it... The forty bridges in this thematic study are the best of their types which were still in use on the state and county road systems in Wyoming when the study was completed in 1982. Selected from a statewide survey of all functional vehicular trusses and arches using a specific evaluation criteria and methodology, most represent superlatives of their generic engineering types (i.e. truss configuration and connection types) while typifying bridgebuilding and transportation trends in the state. All were built in the first three decades of the twentieth century (1905-1935).

    Although bridges were put up during the earlier periods of overland wagon emigration, they had not begun to proliferate in the state of Wyoming until the early twentieth century with the emergence of the automobile as a principal form of transportation. All the listed bridges display a remarkable homogeneity of construction and operational histories. Generally, county-built trusses were contracted through competitive bidding among several Midwestern bridge erectors and built from standardized designs using prefabricated components. After creation of the Wyoming Highway Department in 1917, the role of the counties in truss bridge construction diminished. The later highway department bridges were typically designed from standard plans maintained by the department and built by local contractors from components fabricated in the same Midwestern foundries.

    One feature that all steel truss bridges shared was their versatility. Quickly erected, they could also be dismantled and moved if necessary. Many county road bridges in Wyoming had begun service as railroad bridges, sold or given to the counties as obsolete structures. Similarly, early highway bridges which had become unsuitable to handle increasing volumes of traffic were sometimes replaced with new trusses, with the older bridges demoted to places along less traveled roads.

    After World War II, new trussbuilding was rare in Wyoming. Today trusses have been largely superseded by more sophisticated engineering designs and are seldom erected. The remaining highway and roadway truss bridges are remnants of past technologies, whose numbers are continually dwindling through attrition.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, February 22, 1985
     
    Location:
    Crook County
     
    County:
    Crook County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48CK945

     

  • Devils Tower Entrance Road

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    The earliest road to Devils Tower was a three-mile, 12 to 16-foot unpaved road with a grade of eight percent, constructed in 1917 by the National Park Service and Crook County. Visitors traveled by horse, horse-drawn buggy, and automobiles on this primitive road. Until 1928, there was no bridge across the Belle Fourche River, and visitors entering from the east had to ford the river. As the river was subject to sudden and unpredictable rises in the summer months, people often found themselves stranded in the park until water subsided. A 150-foot long steel-truss bridge (with a 150-foot wooden east approach) was finally built in 1928, only to have the east approach washed out by the river the following year. The river channel was subsequently diverted in 1930 to protect the bridge. Between 1927 and 1933, serious consideration was given to the idea of extending the entrance road to form a driving loop around Devils Tower. The earliest map to depict such a road was generated by the NPS Civil Engineering Division in August 1927. Such a road was never completed, however.

    During the initial phase of Presidents Roosevelt's ''New Deal'', legislation aimed at relief and recovery provided funds for maintenance or improvement of park roads and work on the entrance road began. Some portions of the road were reconstructed on new grades and alignment during 1933 and 1934. The establishment of a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp at the monument in 1935 greatly speeded up construction developments. Several road projects were completed over the next two years, including culvert installation; construction of head walls and spillways; flattening and rounding of roadside cut and fill slopes so that they would better harmonize with the surrounding natural contours, facilitate revegetation, and minimize erosion; seeding and sodding; obliterating segments of the old roadway; moving and transplanting trees and shrubs; and installing guardrails. During 1937-1938 an oil seal coat was put on the entire road. While some roads in the national park system have been listed on the National Register as significant examples of engineering or due to their exceptional architectural features, the qualities which make the Devils Tower entrance road distinctive are related to the manner in which the road designers sought to integrate a transportation route with its natural surroundings.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, July 24, 2000
     
    Location:
    Crook County
     
    County:
    Crook County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48CK1645

     

  • Devils Tower Entrance Station

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    The Entrance Station is a small rectangular one-story log building set on a sandstone foundation located just inside the monument boundary. The design of the structure is based on plans drawn up by the National Park Service Landscape Division in 1933 for the Caretaker's Cabin at Aspenglen Campground, Rocky Mountain National Park (since removed). In 1939 the NPS Branch of Plans and Design drew site plans for the Entrance Station, and in 1941 additional plans were drawn to specify interior furnishings so the building could double as a residence. The building was under construction from 1939 to 1941, but occupied by June 1940.

    The Entrance Station was constructed for use of rangers engaged in collecting entrance fees and dispensing information to visitors. It was equipped with a closet, pantry, and bath; a cistern for collection of rain water; hand pump for elevation of this water to a tank in the attic; complete plumbing in bath and kitchen sink; a cesspool some distance from the building; gasoline lamps for lighting; bunk beds and built-in kitchen cabinets and table.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, July 24, 2000
     
    Location:
    Crook County
     
    County:
    Crook County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48CK1642

     

  • Devils Tower Ladder

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    The historic ladder is located on the southeast side of Devils Tower. It was first constructed and used in 1893 by William Rogers and Willard Ripley, local ranchers, in their exhibition ascent of the tower. About 1,000 people came from up to 12 miles away to witness this first formal ascent of the tower. Rogers' wife Linnie ascended the ladder two years later, becoming the first known woman to reach the summit of the tower. An estimated 215 people later ascended the tower using Rogers' ladder. It was last used in 1927 by stunt climber Babe (''the Human Fly'') White.

    Rogers and Ripley's ascent initiated a pattern of sport climbing of the tower that has lasted until the present day. The ladder presently consists of a series of wooden stakes connected on the outside by vertical wood planks. One end of each stake is driven sideways into a rock crevice, vertically ascending the tower. Attached with nails and/or bailing wire to the other end of the stakes are 12-foot lengths of 1 x 4-inch lumber. The ladder ascends from about 100 feet above the ground to the summit, and is about 170 feet long. Sources vary on the original length of the ladder. Some say it was 350 feet and others say 270 feet; it is uncertain which figure is accurate.

    At some time during the 1930s, the decision was made to remove the lower 100 feet of ladder for safety reasons (to prevent climbers from using it). In the summer of 1972, the park restored the remaining 170-foot length of ladder by straightening old stakes, replacing about 18 linear feet of missing pegs, and by attaching a 1 x 4-inch lumber rail, similar to the original, to the outer ends of the pegs.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, July 24, 2000
     
    Location:
    Crook County
     
    County:
    Crook County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48CK1641

     

  • Devils Tower Old Headquarters Area Historic District

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    The Old Headquarters Area Historic District includes three extant buildings and their immediate surroundings. The buildings are the old administration building, the custodian's residence, and the fire hose house. These buildings represent the park's early efforts to protect the nation's first national monument and to provide for visitor enjoyment. Funded as an Emergency Conservation Works project and built by the CCC in 1935, the old administration building was used as the monument's headquarters and museum until 1959. At that time, headquarters was relocated while the building continued its function as the park's primary visitor center. The Custodian's Residence was designed by the National Park Service Landscape Division and constructed in 1931. The Fire Hose House was completed in 1937. It was designed and used to house the fire hydrant and to store the monument's hose and fire fighting equipment and continues to be used for that purpose.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, July 24, 2000
     
    Location:
    Crook County
     
    County:
    Crook County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48CK1499

     

  • Inyan Kara Mountain

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    Inyan Kara Mountain is located in the Black Hills region of northeastern Wyoming. Although the mountain is not the highest peak in the Black Hills its association with the culture of the Plains Indians is significant. It also stood as a landmark to early travelers and explorers in the region. In addition, the mountain is a historic site which, on several occasions, served as a host to dramatic events relative to Indian-White relations prior to Euro-American migration to the area after 1875.

    According to one Sioux legend the Black Hills region was the dwelling place of the ''Great Spirit'' who had set aside the area as a temporary resting place for the spirits of the departed braves so that they would not become blinded by the splendors of the final happy hunting ground upon arriving there. The outlying mountains of Devil's Tower, Inyan Kara and Bear Buttes were also considered sacred places and were often visited, not only by the Sioux, but by many other tribes as well. It is also said that when Indians entered the vicinity of Inyan Kara, they would hang offerings on the rocks and trees to appease the thunder gods who were responsible for the mysterious rumblings heard during the calmest days and nights.

     

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Tuesday, April 24, 1973
     
    Location:
    Crook County
     
    County:
    Crook County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48CK57

     

  • McKean Archaeological Site

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    The McKean Site (48CK7) was originally recorded by the Missouri River Basin Survey of the Smithsonian Institution in 1951. Extensive excavations were conducted at the site in 1951 and 1952. Large quantities of lithic artifacts were recovered, predominantly from two cultural levels which are now designated Middle Plains Archaic. More than 100 projective points recovered from these levels became type specimens for the McKean Lanceolate, Duncan, and Hanna point types.

    In subsequent years the McKean Complex became an important subject of controversy in Plains archaeology. Numerous papers, articles, and reports discussed the temporal and cultural significance of the McKean Complex. There was little argument that these artifacts were diagnostic markers of the Middle Plains Archaic Period. However, there was a great deal of debate over whether the distinct types, which co-occurred in some sites and not in others, represented distinct temporal periods or distinct ethnic groups.

    In the summers of 1983 through 1985 crews from the University of Wyoming returned to re-investigate this important site. Recovery of diagnostic artifacts by these investigations was much lower than in 1951 and 1952, but excavations were also much less extensive. One of the new results was the identification of a Late Prehistoric component in the soils above the Upper Late Plains Archaic Level.

    The McKean Site is an extensive multiple component stratified site spanning approximately five millennia of aboriginal cultural development. Evidence recovered from the site indicates that it was probably never a single large campsite, but the accumulation of many small events over many centuries. It continues to be recognized as the major type site in formulation of the Middle Plains Archaic cultural period. The site is also widely recognized as important in the development of professional archaeology in the Northwest Plains as well as the adjacent regions. This site was a significant element in the careers of William T. Mulloy and Richard P. Wheeler, important pioneers in the archaeology of the Northwest Plains and other regions, and world renowned archaeologists who figured prominently in the early formulation of typologies and chronologies in the Plains region.

    National Register form available upon request.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, April 05, 1991
     
    Location:
    Crook County
     
    County:
    Crook County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48CK7

     

  • Ranch A

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    Ranch A is located along Sand Creek, south of Beulah in Crook County, Wyoming. Buildings within the district reflect two distinct operations: a lavish 1930s vacation retreat for Moses Annenberg, a wealthy newspaper publisher, and a 1960s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fish genetics laboratory. Annenberg hired a South Dakota architect to design the substantial rustic log buildings, and Finnish craftsmen worked with the logs and implemented the designs. The buildings constructed by government agencies for fish research purposes were built during the 1960s using artistic concrete block. The fishery operations created settling ponds, diversion channels, and other features that assisted their efforts. The log buildings of Ranch A are some of the finest architect-designed buildings in Wyoming. Ray Ewing of South Dakota was hired by Moses Annenberg to execute the designs.

    The lodge, constructed in 1932, is a massive structure that abuts the north slope of the Sand Creek Canyon wall. In addition to the lodge, Annenberg had a garage/apartment constructed in the same style. A barn, hydroelectric plant, and a pump house were also built to service Annenberg, and the architect used a half timber motif on these utility buildings. Annenberg's interest in the area focused on fishing and hunting so he had the streams stocked with trout. Exotic animals were brought into the Sand Creek Valley, and a large game fence was built to keep the animals inside. The interior of Ranch A originally housed some of the finest rustic western furniture and accouterments that were manufactured in the West during the 1930s. Noted furniture designer Thomas Molesworth crafted the furniture that Annenberg purchased to furnish the lodge. Even the light fixtures were distinctive Molesworth creations.

    Moses Annenberg was born in Prussia, immigrated to the United States, and lived in Chicago. His family was poor and Annenberg started selling newspapers at an early age. A very ambitious man, Annenberg ingratiated himself to William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate. Quickly Annenberg rose in the Hearst organization and Hearst moved Annenberg to Milwaukee. There Annenberg astutely invested in real estate and started his own businesses. In 1936 Annenberg purchased the prestigious newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer. By the late 1930s, Moses Annenberg was one of the richest men in America. Annenberg's business practices were scrutinized by the federal government and in 1940 he was convicted of income tax evasion and sent to prison in Lewisville, Pennsylvania. Annenberg died in 1941 and his heirs sold Ranch A the following year.

    Governor Nels Smith with two partners bough Ranch A in 1942. For the next twenty years a variety of people owned Ranch A and used the property as a dude ranch. Ranch A was featured in ''National Geographic'' in 1956 as a western resort. Ranch A was not profitable as a dude ranch and in 1963 the federal government purchased the property for fish operations. The Fish and Wildlife Service constructed a fish genetics laboratory at Ranch A to study salmonid genetics. The laboratory was phased out beginning in 1979 and was replaced by the fish diet development center. During various periods, the lodge was used for offices and a laboratory was constructed in the basement. Ranch A is now owned by the State of Wyoming and managed by the Ranch A Restoration Foundation as an education center.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, March 17, 1997
     
    Location:
    Near Beulah
     
    County:
    Crook County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48CK413

     

  • Sundance School (Old Stoney)

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    The Sundance School is a symmetrical buff colored Minnelusa sandstone structure, and is a substantial and outstanding example of 1920s institutional architecture designed with the intent to construct a lasting facility for the education and social development of the community's young people. At two stories with a garden level basement, it is one of Sundance's most impressive buildings. The building for Crook County High School and District #1 was constructed in 1923. It was designed by the firm of Link and Haire, Architects of Billings, Montana. The building was used for elementary and high school classes until 1971 when it was closed for school purposes.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, December 02, 1985
     
    Location:
    Sundance
     
    County:
    Crook County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48CK268

     

  • Sundance State Bank

     

     
     

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    The Sundance State Bank, constructed in 1914, is located on the corner of Main Street in the business area of Sundance, Wyoming. The building is two stories constructed of quarry-faced sandstone taken from the nearby Reuter Canyon. This stone won the quarry stone award at the Chicago World's Fair in 1916. The bank building is significant as a representative of transitional commercial architecture in the early twentieth century.

    Its quarry-faced stone with abundant stone detailing and other Richardsonian Romanesque elements, demonstrate Victorian influence while the unbalanced facade and large square windows are characteristic of later twentieth century styles. The bank's date of construction is an exceptionally late date for this type of structure because the more popular trend at the time was toward brick structures with less ornamentation.

    The bank is also significant for its association with the World War I agricultural boom which insured the stability and continued growth of the area's agricultural base and affected the broad patterns of Wyoming economic and social history.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, March 23, 1984
     
    Location:
    Sundance
     
    County:
    Crook County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48CK1164

     

  • Vore Buffalo Jump

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    Five miles west of the point where Highway 14 intersects the Wyoming-South Dakota state line is the Vore Buffalo Jump Site. The main feature of this archaeological site, situated between Highway 14 and Interstate 90, is a symmetrical, open pit about 200 feet in diameter, forty feet in depth, and containing a thick growth of vegetation. The pit was formed when the gypsum-permeated soil eroded, leaving a sink hole whose sides, sloping at an inclination of between 50 and 60 degrees, were steep enough to cause the crippling or death of buffalo which were stampeded over them.

    Archaeological investigations in the center of the pit during the 1970s indicated the pit was the site of both the kill and butchering processes. Buffalo bones and projectile points were unearthed to a depth of about fifteen feet. About ten tons of bones, in an excellent state of preservation, were removed from the site. Carbon-14 dating indicates the Vore Site witnessed probably 400 or more years of use beginning about 1300 A.D. and ending about 1700 A.D.

    National Register form available upon request.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Wednesday, April 11, 1973
     
    Location:
    Crook County
     
    County:
    Crook County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48CK302

     

  • Wyoming Mercantile (Aladdin General Store)

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    Aladdin, Wyoming is a small community located along state highway 24 in the extreme northeast corner of the state. The Aladdin General Store is the largest and most prominent of a total of fifteen buildings that make up the town along both sides of the highway. The Aladdin Store and Post Office is significant for its association with the settlement and economic development of the town of Aladdin. It is also a rare and well-preserved example of late 19th century vernacular mercantile architecture, and one of five 19th century mercantiles left in the state which represent the settlement and economic development period.

    Records show that the property now known as the town of Aladdin was originally patented by Amos Robinson on November 12, 1894. Robinson built the store in 1896 as the Wyoming Mercantile. At Robinson's death in 1896 the court transferred title to Mahlon S. Kemmerer. Kemmerer became the first president of the Wyoming and Missouri Valley Railroad, a line which extended about 18 miles from Aladdin to Belle Fourche, South Dakota. A map of Aladdin, prepared by the Sanborn Map Co. in 1923 states that all of the properties on the map, including the Wyoming and Missouri Valley Railroad were owned by the Wyoming Mercantile. The railroad continued operation through 1927. The hauling of coal, mining props, and supplies contributed to the economy of the railroad and the town.

    Through the years the Aladdin Store and Post Office has housed a general store, a bar, a post office, a barber shop, a telephone office, and served as a depot, freight station, and gas station. The store at Aladdin has always been the heart of the community and its center of activity; it continues to be such today.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Tuesday, April 16, 1991
     
    Location:
    Aladdin
     
    County:
    Crook
     
    Smithsonian Number:
    48CK1371

     

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