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Uinta County

 

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  • A. V. Quinn House

     

     
     

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    The Quinn House, also referred to as Pine Gables, is a frame one and one-half story residential structure that sits on the edge of the Downtown Evanston Historic District. Constructed in 1883 for A.V. (Anthony) Quinn, it is one of the older and larger Victorian homes in Evanston. Quinn was a nineteenth century entrepreneur who first came west for the California gold rush. He moved east with the building of the Central Pacific Railroad and finally settled in Evanston in the 1870s. He opened the town's first bank, became a prosperous merchant, acquired extensive land holdings and participated in territorial politics. His wife, Mattie, was involved with the Women's Temperance Movement and the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees. The Quinn House embodies characteristics of traditional late 19th century Victorian architecture as constructed in small western town. The house is a fine example of architectural trends of the merchant class in thriving railroad communities such as Evanston.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, September 13, 1984
     
    Location:
    Evanston
     
    County:
    Uinta County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48UT1173  

     

  • Bridge over Black's Fork

     

     
     

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    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:
    Uinta County
     
    County:
    Uinta County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48UT1175  

     

  • Bridger Antelope Trap

     

     
     

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    Archaeological investigations of the Bridger Antelope Trap was conducted by Dr. George Frison of the University of Wyoming in the late 1960s. At that time it was estimated that the trap was probably in use prior to 1850. The site provides evidence of a unique example of food procurement on the Northwestern Plains. The method used by Native Americans of the Late Prehistoric Period was to drive a herd of antelope into the long entrance or wing of the trap which was constructed of juniper wood, and head them toward the trap proper which was located at the base of a hill. This part of the trap was a circle, an endless path around which the antelope were driven until they were exhausted and dispatched by the hunters. The circle was also formed by juniper wood. The Antelope Trap itself covers approximately twenty-six acres. The arc-shaped wing or entrance to the trap is about one-quarter of a mile in length and extends in a northeast-southwest direction across a smooth valley. The trap proper forms an extension of the wing and is about 700 feet in diameter.

    National Register form available upon request.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, January 21, 1971
     
    Location:
    Uinta County
     
    County:
    Uinta County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48UT1  

     

  • Brigham Young Oil Well

     

     
     

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    The Brigham Young Oil Well is a site that serves as a reminder of the thousands of Mormons who made the trek from the east to their new home in the Great Salt Lake Valley of Utah between 1847-1869. This oil seep was discovered by the initial party of Mormon migrants who, under the leadership of Brigham Young, reached this spot in 1847 and used the petroleum they found here to lubricate their worn-out wagons, polish gunstocks, and even heal sores on livestock. After reaching Salt Lake, a party of Mormons returned to this site to dig a well at the oil seep so that later travelers would also be able to use the oil. In addition, the well operated as a source of petroleum for the Salt Lake City community until 1869 when the newly completed Union Pacific Railroad began to bring in a higher quality oil. The Brigham Young Oil Well thus played a vital role in the Mormon migration to the West and in the early settlement of Salt Lake City.

    National Register form available upon request.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, April 25, 1985
     
    Location:
    Near Evanston
     
    County:
    Uinta County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48UT1174 

     

  • Downtown Evanston Historic District

     

     
     

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    Evanston, located along the Union Pacific's tracks in southwest Wyoming, began as an ordinary nineteenth century boom town in 1868 and eventually became the business center for southwest Wyoming. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century until the twenties, Evanston was the major maintenance facility for the railroad between Green River, Wyoming and Ogden, Utah. The town continued to grow because coal, a necessary component for the railroad, was discovered north of Evanston in 1868. Within walking distance of the Union Pacific depot, Evanston's commercial enterprises that served local miners and railroaders grew along Front and Main Streets. The downtown became a center for commercial and governmental activities when Evanston became the county seat in 1870. Evanston's commercial area began to take on a more substantial and permanent appearance during the 1880s and 1890s as prosperous merchants constructed stores such as Ferd's Hardware and the Blyth and Fargo. Throughout the 1880s and 1890s Evanston's commercial core continued to change. Although the local coal mines for the Union Pacific began to decline after 1900, oil was soon discovered and a renewed energy boom helped to maintain Evanston's economic base.

    The Federal government constructed an impressive courthouse-post office in the town. Opera, and then movie houses, located in the commercial area became a significant point for the downtown. In 1915 the town of Evanston constructed a large city hall on the edge of the commercial area. Within Evanston's compact downtown, the town hall, post office, library, and county courthouse were all located within a three block area. Agricultural, railroad, timber and energy interests helped the commercial area maintain its continued growth from 1900 to 1930. Yet, national and local economic factors brought a halt to Evanston's prosperity in the late twenties. The Union Pacific closed its maintenance facility and the worldwide depression effectively stopped Evanston's fifty years of building.

    As a social, commercial and government center, downtown Evanston made significant contributions to the development of southwest Wyoming. The fine commercial and governmental structures within the district embody distinctive characteristics that are typical of a successful downtown area constructed between 1880 and 1930. The district retains many visual reminders of the town's early growth. Many buildings still have original iron fronts; others have modern facades, while the original buildings remain intact behind these coverings.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, November 25, 1983
     
    Location:
    Evanston
     
    County:
    Uinta County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48UT1121  

     

  • Evanston Main Post Office

     

     
     

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    This thematic study includes twelve post offices owned and administered by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) throughout the State of Wyoming. These include the Basin, Greybull, Douglas, Lander, Torrington, Thermopolis, Buffalo, Kemmerer, Powell, Yellowstone, Evanston, and Newcastle Main Post Offices. The buildings represent a continuum of federally constructed post offices allocated to the state between the turn of the century and 1941. The buildings exhibit a variety of styles and sizes but maintain a common demeanor representative of the federal presence. All of the buildings were constructed from standardized plans developed from guidelines provided by the Office of the Supervising Architect in the Treasury Department. Variations in design styles reflect both the transition in the design philosophies of the Supervising Architect and the requirements developed in response to the Depression. These variations in design, as well as functions are also somewhat related to the communities in which they were placed and reflect the economic, political, and governmental context of those communities.

     
     

     

    Date Added to Register:
    Tuesday, May 19, 1987
     
    Location:
    Evanston
     
    County:
    Uinta County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48UT246  

     

  • Fort Bridger

     

     
     

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    Fort Bridger's history is long and varied spanning every major phase of Western frontier development except the fur trade. Its establishment, early operation and namesake relates to one of the most famous of all the early trappers and explorers: James Bridger. The decline of the fur trade in the Rocky Mountains in the late 1830s forced the mountain men who remained on the frontier to seek new occupations. Jim Bridger established a small trading post in the valley of the Black's Fork of the Green River and formed a partnership with Louis Vasquez. Erected in 1842, the post was open for business early in 1843. Bridger's proposed intention was to establish trade with the friendly Indians in the neighborhood and with the emigrants who passed the fort on their way west. Because of a convenient location on the Overland Route, Fort Bridger became second in importance only to Fort Laramie as a resupply and outfitting point for travelers between the Missouri River and the Pacific Coast.

    A dispute over the ownership of the Fort developed in 1853. The Mormons, who had settled the valley of the Salt Lake in 1847, claimed they had purchased the fort for $6,000, paid in gold coin. Bridger denied such a transaction had ever occurred. In the fall of 1853, two parties of Mormons sent out from Salt Lake City came to the vicinity, established Fort Supply and took over Fort Bridger. The two forts were then used to aid converts to the church as they traveled over the trail to Salt Lake City; to establish trade with the other emigrants; and to check the threat of Indian hostilities the Mormons claimed Bridger was promoting. Friction developed between the Mormons and the Federal Government in the late 1850s. President Buchanan dispatched United States troops to the area in 1857 precipitating the so-called ''Mormon War''. Upon the approach of ''Johnston's Army'', the Mormons deserted and burned both Fort Bridger and Fort Supply. Colonel A.S. Johnston, later famous as a Confederate general, immediately took over the sites and declared Fort Bridger to be a military reservation. In 1858 it was officially made a military post and a building program started.

    In the 1860s, in addition to military activities, the fort served as a major station for the Pony Express, the Overland Stage Line, and the trans-continental telegraph. Troops from the fort patrolled the trails and frequently provided escort and protection when Indian depredations made travel hazardous. Regular Union troops arriving at Fort Bridger after the Civil War found it in a state of poor repair. A renewed building program started soon afterwards. Though strategically located, Fort Bridger never served as the base for any of the major military expeditions. The post was abandoned in 1878 but reactivated in 1880. Through the 1880s the military erected additional buildings and barracks and made many general improvements. The military permanently abandoned Fort Bridger in 1890.

    Photo on File at the State Historic Preservation Office

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Wednesday, April 16, 1969
     
    Location:
    Fort Bridger
     
    County:
    Uinta County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48UT29  

     

  • Piedmont Charcoal Kilns

     

     
     

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    Built for the purpose of processing charcoal to be used in mining smelters, the Piedmont Charcoal Kilns represent a unique type of structure that once was found in abundance on the frontier. The advent of such industries as charcoal production did not begin until the Union Pacific completed laying its tracks through the area in the latter part of 1868. Piedmont was one of the many railroad stations established along the line and served as a terminal for helper engines. It possessed a round house, water tank, telegraph office and a few business establishments. A short distance to the west was another such station called Hilliard. The two station's close proximity to the mines in Utah combined with the ready availability of timber in the nearby Uinta mountains made them ideal locations for charcoal processing and shipping. At one time over forty kilns were in operation in the general vicinity, and in 1873 it is estimated that over 100,000 bushels of charcoal per month was being produced. Five kilns were constructed adjacent to Piedmont Station around 1869 by Moses Byrne.

    For making charcoal, the kilns were filled to the top with wood, a fire started and then they were sealed in such a way that the fire could be regulated. The wood was allowed to slowly smolder for several days. At the end of the necessary time the drafts were closed, the fire was allowed to die out, and the wood was allowed to cool. Most of the charcoal was shipped to the Salt Lake Valley, but small quantities also went to Fort Bridger for use in the blacksmith forges and heating stoves. The price of charcoal reached 27 cents per bushel during the time of peak demand but fell to only 7 cents in the declining years of business. Today, the abandoned Union Pacific grade serves as a county road, Piedmont is a ghost town, and the surviving kilns serve as an impressive reminder of the activities that took place.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, June 03, 1971
     
    Location:
    Uinta County
     
    County:
    Uinta County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48UT54  

     

  • Saint Paul's Episcopal Church

     

     
     

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    St. Paul's Episcopal Church is a picturesque example of the Carpenter Gothic style as it was expressed by protestant communities throughout rural Wyoming. Constructed in 1884-1885, it features the basic floor plan of 19th century parish churches with standard Gothic treatments such as gabled roof, lancet windows of stained glass and tracery bargeboards in the gable. The bell tower is situated atop the intersecting gables of the narthex and features an octagonal witches cap with rectangular window louvers at its base.

    In the mid 19th century many American church architects were strongly influenced by a group of English Ecclesiologists who actively promoted the construction of Gothic parish churches as the only suitable structure for Christian worship. This influence was enhanced by an increasing demand by designers and parishioners alike that church buildings reflect their use. Innovative Americans adapted the best of the sanctioned English styles to the needs and capabilities of their own religious communities; an architectural principle that is to be considered one of the Gothic revivals most lasting contributions to the development of a new aesthetic in American architecture.

    St. Paul's is exemplary of that new aesthetic. It is a religious property deriving its primary significance from architectural distinction because it embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period and method of construction prevalent in small frontier communities of the late 19th century. St. Paul's is also important because it was the only Episcopalian church in the county, and the only Protestant church in the community.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, November 17, 1980
     
    Location:
    Evanston
     
    County:
    Uinta County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48UT245  

     

  • Triangulation Point Draw Site District

     

     
     

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    The Triangulation Point Draw Site District is a large group of Late Prehistoric occupations reflecting influences from both the eastern Great Basin and the Northwest Plains. Interactions between these regions were important in the development of aboriginal cultural patterns in southwestern Wyoming. The site district is composed of a variety of surface and buried components. Artifacts characteristic of both eastern Great Basin and Northwest Plains cultural traditions have been recovered from sites within the district. The sites are moderately large scatters of chipped stone artifacts, ground stone tools, thermally altered rocks and organic stains. Buried components include intact hearth features, truncated habitation or activity surfaces, and strata which appear to be deflated and reburied surfaces. Diagnostic projectile points include Rose Spring corner notched, Plains side notched, small corner notched similar to a Late Prehistoric form from Mummy Cave, and Late Prehistoric corner notched.

    National Register form available upon request.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Tuesday, September 16, 1986
     
    Location:
    Uinta County
     
    County:
    Uinta County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48UT114/377/392/440  

     

  • Uinta County Courthouse

     

     
     

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    The Uinta County Courthouse is actually the result of three stages of development. The first is the 1873 jail, a two-story brick structure built in the center of the town square. It was not intended to be freestanding for any length of time and was a simple structure devoid of ornamentation. The second part of the courthouse was built onto the jail in 1874. In 1910, a two-story brick addition was constructed at the front, or west end, of the courthouse. It changed the scale and character of the courthouse from that of a relatively simple, territorial building to a more pretentious, more national building. The addition is essentially Georgian Revival style.

    The significance of the Uinta County Courthouse is based not only upon its architecture, but also upon its age and its place in the history of Uinta County. Uinta County is one of the oldest counties in Wyoming. It was the first new county created by Wyoming laws, established by the First Wyoming Territorial Legislature on December 1, 1869, and organized on April 7, 1870. In 1873, Governor John A. Campbell, Wyoming's first Territorial Governor, approved an act of the legislature authorizing the commissioners of Uinta County to erect a jail and courthouse to cost not more than $25,000. The jail portion of the courthouse was to be built first while the courthouse proper was to be completed by the following year. In 1887 a new jail was built and the jail portion of the courthouse was converted into office space and a storage area. The Uinta County Courthouse is the oldest courthouse building in the state of Wyoming.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, July 14, 1977
     
    Location:
    Evanston
     
    County:
    Uinta County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48UT208  

     

  • Union Pacific Railroad Complex

     

     
     

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    The main Union Pacific tracks, as well as numerous spurs, bisect the railroad complex in Evanston, Wyoming. The complex contains frame and brick industrial buildings located in their original surroundings on the northeast side of Evanston. Most of the brick buildings were constructed in 1912-1913 while the frame structures date from the late nineteenth century to the 1920s. The construction materials and architectural designs act as unifying elements within the Union Pacific industrial yard. Today the names of the architects and builders remain unknown, yet each building represents typical construction techniques and designs for industrial buildings such as the roundhouse. Construction on the Union Pacific Railroad began in 1863. On November 23, 1868, Harvey Booth erected a tent on what is known as Front Street in Evanston, Wyoming. There he opened a restaurant and saloon in anticipation of the arrival the the Union Pacific Railway. The first cars reached Evanston in December, 1868 and, in the space of a few weeks, nearly 600 people, some living in tents, populated the area. Then came an order from the railway managers to move the end of the line and the base of supplies to Wasatch, twelve miles further west. The shanties and tents were torn down and within 24 hours, most of the citizens of Evanston picked up and moved to Wasatch. Within three days, the town was entirely depopulated. Evanston appeared to be destined to suffer the same fate of other ''end of the tracks'' towns.

     

    The following June, however, the headquarters moved back to Evanston and the town began to grow. The Union Pacific Railway provided a dependable economic base for the resident population, and the opening of the coal mines near Evanston at Almy provided also a source of regular income for workers. The Union Pacific roundhouse and shop complex was completed on July 4, 1871. With the completion, Evanston became the major maintenance facility for the U.P. Division between Green River, Wyoming and Ogden, Utah. In 1912-1913 new, larger facilities were built. A new roundhouse was erected, consisting of 27 stalls, each 100'' deep, along with a steam heating plant, electric lights, and a new turntable.

    The development of diesel engines made the Evanston facility obsolete, and the roundhouse and shops were closed. Union Pacific maintenance crews were transferred to Green River. In 1927, the Union Pacific Reclamation Plant opened at the Evanston complex. There, rolling stock was repaired and refurbished. This plant employed over 300 men, making it Evanston's largest employer. In 1971, modern production methods and lower prices for new equipment caused the final closure of the roundhouse as a Union Pacific facility.

    In 1974, the railroad deeded the land and facilities to the City of Evanston; local businessmen formed a corporation to develop the area. The same year, the plant was leased by the Wyoming Railway Car Corporation, for the purpose of preventive maintenance, painting, sandblasting, and designing of railroad cars. More than seventeen railway companies sent cars to Evanston for repairs. In 1979, the Lithcote Company purchased Wyoming Railway Car Corporation.

    The Union Pacific Railroad saved Evanston from becoming another ''end of the tracks'' town. The remaining roundhouse and associated structures serve as a visible reminder of the important role played by the railway in the growth and development of Evanston.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Tuesday, February 26, 1985
     
    Location:
    Evanston
     
    County:
    Uinta County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48UT971  

     

  • Wyoming State Insane Asylum

     

     
     

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    Also known as the Wyoming State Hospital, the Wyoming State Insane Asylum encompasses 24 of the 154 current campus acres and is owned by the State of Wyoming. The district consists of fifteen contributing buildings, two noncontributing buildings and one contributing object. The buildings include the main administration building with patient dormitory wings, four separate patient dormitories, employee dormitory, staff apartment complex, three staff houses, cafeteria, two farm outbuildings, three maintenance buildings, and a noncontributing recreation center. The object is a cobblerock entrance at the main entrance to the hospital. The buildings show influences of late Victorian, and/or late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century Revival styles. The farm outbuildings and utilitarian buildings are vernacular. The hospital was established in 1887. Its remaining historic resources were constructed over a course of forty years beginning with the oldest dormitory on campus dating to 1907/1908 and ending with the staff apartment complex, two staff houses, and cafeteria that all date to 1948. Cheyenne architect William Dubois is responsible for the design of six separate large dormitories dating from 1907-1935.

    The Wyoming State Insane Asylum has historical significance on several counts. First, the Asylum has state significance, both as an institution for the care of the mentally ill and in the organization and architecture of its buildings because, during the period of significance, the Asylum reflected contemporary thinking about and trends in the treatment of mental illness. Second, the Asylum is significant to the State of Wyoming because, from its inception to the present, the institution has served the population of the entire state of Wyoming as its only institution for the treatment of the mentally ill. In addition, several of the contributing structures in the district were designed by distinguished Wyoming architect William Dubois. Finally, the Asylum has great significance on the local level, as it has been a dominant feature of the Evanston landscape--physically, socially, and economically--since 1887.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, February 27, 2003
     
    Location:
    Evanston
     
    County:
    Uinta County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48UT266  

     

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