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NR By County Test

Sublette County

 

Brian Beadles
Historic Preservation Specialist
(307) 777-8594

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  • Bridge over Green River

     

     
     

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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 Today trusses have been largely superseded by more sophisticated engineering designs and are seldom erected.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:
    Sublette County
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU978  

     

  • Bridge over New Fork River

     

     
     

    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:
    Sublette County
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU932  

     

  • Calpet Rockshelter

     

     
     

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    Site 48SU354, the Calpet Rockshelter/Petroglyphs, encompasses a sandstone outcrop at the base of a butte in Sublette County, Wyoming. It includes a rockshelter with two stratified cultural levels, scattered fire-cracked rock and a few surface artifacts with at least two buried components on the colluvial slope below the shelter, and nine petroglyph panels distributed throughout the site area. Radiocarbon dating shows that the site dates to the Late Prehistoric Period. Cultural affiliation of at least the lower cultural level in the shelter can be ascribed to the Fremont. The petroglyph panels reflect utilization of the site area by the Fremont and Prehistoric/Protohistoric or Historic Period Shoshoni, as well as visitation of the site by Euro-Americans.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, May 13, 1994
     
    Location:
    Sublette County
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU354  

     

  • Chambers Lodge

     

     
     

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    The Chambers Lodge, also known as the Redick Lodge, is situated on the northwest bank of upper Fremont Lake in Sublette County, Wyoming. The building is finely hand-crafted using native materials, granite stone and Douglas fir. It sits upon stone rubble foundations, and its walls are exclusively horizontal logs-in-panels. The outbuildings clustered around the Lodge include a machine shop-storage shed, root cellar, pump house along the lake shore, three small guest cabins, barn and two privies. All are constructed in the same vernacular as the Lodge building with native materials.

    The idea for the Lodge was first conceived in 1916 by Nebraskan George M. Redick while on a scouting trip with officials of the Union Pacific Railroad. The railroad had considered building a hotel in Pinedale or on nearby Fremont Lake to serve as an overnight stop along the route from the railhead at Rock Springs to Yellowstone National Park. Although construction of the hotel was soon rejected as being prohibitively expensive, Redick himself was transfixed by the setting of the lake and returned the following summer with his family to locate a summer cabin site. That same summer they purchased horses and equipment, commissioned architect Otis Miller of Miles City, Montana to design the Lodge, and contracted with Forest Ranger E.E. McKee for a lease for the site and to mark the trees for the cabin logs in the canyon at the head of the lake. Construction of the Redick Lodge began in the summer of 1918. The Redick family occupied the Lodge throughout the 1920s, spending summers there and often entertaining visitors. However, the Redick family fortunes plummeted during the Great Depression, and their last summer at the Lodge was spent in 1931. In October 1938 the Lodge was purchased by Dr. Oliver Chambers of Rock Springs and has remained in the family.

    The historical significance of the Lodge is based upon its association with the early-day recreation industry in Wyoming, a form of commerce which has burgeoned into an economic mainstay for the region. Built at a time when dude ranches were beginning to flourish and the automobile was opening many areas to working class tourist trade, the Lodge typifies a distinct form of recreational retreat - the private seasonal residence placed in a spectacular Rocky Mountain setting. It is also significant for its representation as a locally prominent example of an architectural style known as Western Craftsman, a style most commonly associated with the dude ranches which had sprung up throughout the Rocky Mountain west during the early decades of the twentieth century.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, March 18, 1983
     
    Location:
    Sublette County
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU413  

     

  • Circle Ranch

     

     
     

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    The historic Circle Ranch, also known as the R.L. Miller Ranch, is located about four miles southwest of Big Piney, Wyoming. The Circle Ranch complex consists of fourteen buildings, including a large wood frame ranch house built in 1905, garage, pumphouse, storage house, ice house, two bunkhouses, chicken coop, pig sty, and barn. The key buildings in the complex are two original log structures. The first is a homestead cabin built by early pioneer Nicolas Swan between 1878 and 1880, and the second is the homestead cabin of Otto Leifer also built between 1878 and 1880. The Circle Ranch has been continuously occupied as a working cattle ranch for over 100 years. It became one of the most economically successful and enduring cattle operations in Wyoming and provided an important economic base for the town of Big Piney and the surrounding ranching community. Furthermore, its owners served the community and state in political and business leadership roles. It was established by Otto Leifer in 1878 in an unsettled region nearly 100 miles from the nearest railhead. In 1895 he sold his ranch and livestock to a pioneer LaBarge rancher, James Mickelson. In a short period of time, Mickelson developed the Circle Ranch into the largest ranch in the region and it has remained in the Mickelson family since.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, May 14, 1987
     
    Location:
    Big Piney
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU537  

     

  • Craig Cabin

     

     
     

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    The Craig Cabin is believed to have been constructed by an early trapper and his two nephews sometime between 1898 and 1900. Around 1902 Jack Craig moved into the cabin and took out a gold claim on the site. He claimed to be successfully mining for gold and sold shares to his gold mine, however there is no evidence that Craig ever found gold at the site. Craig diverted water from Jack Creek for his mining endeavor, which caused tension with local ranchers who had water rights. Craig left the area around 1940. The cabin was taken over by Arthur Bowlsby who used it to outfit tourists for hunting, fishing, and sightseeing excursions. The Craig Cabin represents three important economic activities in the West – fur trapping, gold mining, and outfitting.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, September 19, 2016
     
    Location:
    Bondurant
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU2133  

     

  • Daniel School

     

     
     

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    The Daniel School was constructed in 1920 by A.F. Atwood, General Contractor and Builder, from Big Piney, Wyoming. It is an early rural school significant because it represents the theme of early twentieth century education in an isolated, sparsely populated ranching community. The harsh climate with severe winters and short growing seasons precluded the development of a farming economy. Instead, the region was ideally suited for livestock grazing, which resulted in a small number of large ranches and a small population. Providing the children of Sublette County with an education presented unique problems. In a vast region with a poor transportation system and long winters, numerous one-room schools were created to serve a few nearby ranches. Classes were often held in bunkhouses or other adapted buildings or in small one-room log schools that could be easily moved from one location to another as needed. As the region became more settled and the towns began to grow in population early in the twentieth century, more substantial permanent school buildings were built to replace the early log or frame one-room schools. The Daniel school is representative of this second stage of educational development in the region.

    Consolidation brought an end to the Daniel School. Daniel had been a part of District No. 8. This was the first school district to be eliminated in the earliest serious attempt at consolidation in Sublette County. Starting with the 1939-1940 school year, District No. 8 was incorporated into District No. 1, and Daniel pupils were transported to Pinedale for classes. The Daniel School stood abandoned for years until the Daniel Homemaker Club or Daniel Do Mores acquired it. This community organization repaired and remodeled the building which has been used for community clubs, organizations, and activities.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Wednesday, September 05, 1990
     
    Location:
    Daniel
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU949  

     

  • Father DeSmet's "Prairie Mass"

     

     
     

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    The site of ''The Prairie Mass'' is on a broad open plain atop a high bluff overlooking the Upper Green River valley. The Prairie Mass represents one of the earliest occurrences of organized Christian religious ceremony to take place in the Rocky Mountain region and the first Catholic Mass to be held in the area that now comprises the State of Wyoming. This Mass, which took place on Sunday, July 5, 1840, is also a symbolic reminder of the missionary movement on the Western Frontier that so greatly influenced the cultural transition of many of the American Indian tribes. The Mass was conducted by Reverend Pierre DeSmet.

    After several missions among the Indians, Father DeSmet started out from St. Louis on March 27, 1840 to begin work among the Flathead tribe located in the Upper Missouri valley. Joining an American Fur Company caravan, Father DeSmet journeyed up the valley of the Platte River past Fort Laramie, Independence Rock, over South Pass, and paused briefly at the annual fur trader's rendezvous in the shadow of the Wind River Mountains on the Upper Green River. Father DeSmet added a new element to the rendezvous by delivering sermons and lectures, holding religious ceremonies, and participating in council discussions with various groups of Indians. It is estimated that 2,000 Indians, trappers and traders were present to hear the first Mass ever celebrated in the Rocky Mountains. The congregation was addressed in both French and English with the Indians spoken to through an interpreter. The Canadians sang hymns in French and Latin and the Indians in their native tongue. When the service concluded, the French-Canadians christened the site ''La Prairie de la Messe'' -- the Prairie of the Mass.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Tuesday, April 28, 1970
     
    Location:
    Daniel
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU28  

     

  • Fort Bonneville

     

     
     

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    Following in the tracks of the fur traders Captain Benjamin Bonneville, 7th U.S. Infantry, headed West with an expedition in May of 1832. Taking an extended leave of absence from the Army, Bonneville was interested in establishing new enterprises in the fur business. An additional and unofficial purpose of his expedition was to explore the region of the Rocky Mountains and report to the government about the natural features of the region as well as the conditions of the fur trade and the character and customs of the native Indian tribes. Backing for the venture was obtained through eastern financiers.

    Leaving form Fort Osage on the Missouri, the party consisted of 110 men, about 20 wagons and an assortment of mules, horses and cattle. By August of 1832 Captain Bonneville's band had reached the Green River, or ''Sisk ke dee'' as it was then called by the trappers. In arriving at the Green River the Bonneville party had traversed South Pass and had achieved the distinction of being the first to take wheeled vehicles across the continental divide of the Rocky Mountains. Bonneville became apprehensive about the presence of hostile Blackfeet Indians in the vicinity and directed his men to construct a fortified winter camp on the right bank of the Green River. Designed primarily for protection the stockaded structure was completed August 9, 1832. In all probability Bonneville intended to also operate this ''fort'' as a fur trading center in the heart of the mountain trapping grounds. Nature intervened when the early and heavy fall snows caused Bonneville to change his mind and abandon the site, apparently believing the location to be a poor one. The Bonneville party moved south and west from the Green River during the remainder of 1832 exploring many areas of what is now Wyoming.

    The considerable amount of labor expended in constructing Fort Bonneville, followed by its almost immediate abandonment, led many to refer to it as ''Fort Nonsense'' or ''Bonneville's Folly.'' Though Bonneville's post was of little lasting significance it was the first of its kind in the region and heralded the coming of the fixed trading post concept in the fur trade.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Tuesday, April 28, 1970
     
    Location:
    Sublette County
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU29  

     

  • Green River Drift Trail Traditional Cultural Property

     

     
     

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    The Green River Drift continues to play a significant role in the development of the ranches in the Upper Green River Valley and specifically of the Upper Green River Cattle Association member ranches and is a representative example of a stock drift trail. It has been an essential corridor between seasonal grazing lands for ranches in the Upper Green River Valley for over one hundred years. With 99 miles of trail and spurs, the Drift has been essential to the operation of these ranches in the area. The Drift showcases how a stock drive works and its significance within the ranching industry. It also highlights the relationship between federal agencies and ranchers through the use of public land for grazing. The trail has been continuously used since the 1890s to get the cattle from what are now the BLM allotments at the south end of the trail to what are now the United States Forest Service allotments at the north. The Drift crosses BLM managed property, State of Wyoming property, private property, and United States Forest Service managed property. The trail also makes use of some county roads along its path.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, November 22, 2013
     
    Location:
    Cora
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU7312  

     

  • Jensen Ranch

     

     
     

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    The historic Jensen Ranch is located in Sublette County near the town of Boulder, Wyoming. The ranch complex consists of a cluster of dwellings, barns, outbuildings, pole corrals, and barbed wire fences. The ranch is dominated by a wood frame Foursquare ranch house which was constructed in 1918 by Metinus Jensen. The Jensen Ranch is a pioneer cattle ranch which represents the themes of early 20th century settlement and agricultural development on submarginal lands in Sublette County and the State of Wyoming. Submarginal lands were settled late, after the more attractive and better watered lands had already been claimed.

    Danish immigrant Metinus Jensen settled the area in 1905 and gradually built a successful beef cattle operation. The Jensens were neither political leaders nor the county's wealthiest cattle barons, but they helped form the real foundation of Sublette County's ranching community, persevering against an inhospitable climate on marginal lands far from the nearest railhead. The Jensen Ranch has remained a working cattle ranch and has been owned and operated by the same family for three generations.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, May 05, 1988
     
    Location:
    Near Boulder
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU976  

     

  • Log Cabin Motel

     

     
     

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    The Log Cabin Motel, also known as Camp O' The Pines, is significant for its role in the early development of Pinedale's auto tourism. It is also an excellent representation of the property type ''cabin camps'' in Wyoming's statewide historic context, ''Automobile Tourism of the Depression Period (1920-1939)''. The Camp of the Pines was built in 1929 to serve the growing auto tourism business, and was the first and only cabin camp built in Pinedale. It is one of the few surviving cabin camps in the state.

    Pinedale's population in 1929 was only 215. However, the construction of a scenic highway through town, which linked the Lincoln Highway at Rock Springs with the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park, and the increasing use of the automobile for leisure travel, provided the perfect opportunity for the locals to develop their tourism facilities. Walter Scott owned the Pinedale Cash Store and Scott Stage Company, a Chevrolet dealership. In the spring of 1929 Scott decided to build the Camp O' the Pines. He enlisted the help of various people in town, some craftsmen and others who were paying off debts. Local people would come into the Pinedale Cash Store and buy on credit; Scott then allowed them to pay off their debts by building his cabins.

    Although the Camp was built for tourism purposes, it also fulfilled the needs of the community by providing temporary housing for local people. It was open all year-round and often rented by the month. Scott built 8 cabins in a U-shaped configuration: one for the residence--a three room cabin in the center of the U, and seven 2 unit cabins that surrounded the residence. A bathhouse was built behind the residence. The cabins were rustic, and the cars pulled up beside the cabin to park. This typified the early development of cabin camps.

    The cabins were remodeled in the early 1930s and 1940s to update the facilities with indoor plumbing and modern stoves. Camp O' the Pines has continued to upgrade the facility to meet the demands of the public since the Depression Period. However, the various owners have retained its original cabin camp configuration.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, March 25, 1993
     
    Location:
    Pinedale
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU1286  

     

  • New Fork

     

     
     

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    The New Fork townsite consists of several log and wood frame structures representing one of the earliest settlements and commercial centers in the isolated upper Green River Valley. The small ranching settlement was established by John Vible and Louis Broderson in 1888 near the New Fork and East Fork Rivers. Both men were Danish emigrants who had come to America in 1884. They met while working on the Oregon Shortline in western Wyoming and Idaho. The two men pooled their meager resources into an informal partnership. They planned to file on homesteads in order to raise cattle and to start a mercantile business by locating a store close to the Lander Cut-off of the Oregon Trail. The partners built a small log structure which served as the store, trading post, and living quarters. The location became known as New Fork. By the end of 1908 the town boasted a school, a saloon, a hotel, a barbershop, a livery and a blacksmith shop, and a woodframe house with a bay window owned by the saloon keeper Frank Seabolt, in addition to the Vible stores and residence. In 1909-1910 John Vible contracted with locally prominent carpenters to build a large frame dance hall. He named it Valhalla after the Norse Heaven populated by heroes slain in battle. The dance hall became the focal point of community activity including dances and political rallies.

    By 1918 the post office was discontinued and mail was then delivered to nearby Boulder. New Fork had gradually been eclipsed by other communities, including Pinedale which became the county seat when Sublette County was created in 1921. Transportation patterns had changed over the years, and the Lander Cut-off fell into disuse. Railroad transportation never reached the upper Green River Valley. A scarlet fever and diphtheria epidemic struck the Vible family in late 1915, and John Vible, his daughter and two elder sons died within a period of two weeks. These factors contributed to the demise of New Fork.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, July 16, 1987
     
    Location:
    Near Boulder
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU438/439  

     

  • Sommers Ranch Headquarters Historic District

     

     
     

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    The Sommers Ranch Headquarters Historic District is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A as a representative example of the numerous modest ranches of the upper Green River Valley basin. The majority of these ranches are small cattle operations that began as homesteads. The period of significance begins in 1908 when the Sommers established the ranch headquarters with the corrals, bunkhouse, chicken house, and ditch continuing through to 1957 with the completion of the “new” house. The buildings, a mix of log, frame, and modern metal sheds, are typical of other ranches in the valley. Most successful ranches in the valley contain this mixture of historic buildings as well as modern metal structures and trailers.

    The Sommers Ranch is situated on the east side of the Green River between the confluence of Horse Creek and Cottonwood Creek in the midst of the sagebrush-covered hills of Sublette County. Surrounding land is used for the production of hay as well as grazing. Irrigation canals fed by the Green River and originally built with teams and fresnos, provide water for raising hay on the meadowlands. Multiple springs on the west side of the Green River provide water for cattle during the winter.

    The Ranch Headquarters is an interesting mixture of hand crafted vernacular buildings along with modern buildings that help maintain the economic viability of this ranching operation, and is typical of how ranches in the Green River Valley grew from the turn of the century. Working ranch buildings, regardless of age and material, are part of the evolution of ranching in the Green River Valley. The property retains a high degree of integrity of location, setting, feeling, and association. The modern intrusions do not detract from the historic ranch but merely reflect a pattern typical of ranching in the region, involving moving and re-using buildings as well as construction of new ones as needed.

    Pioneerering homesteaders, such as the Sommers family, created a ranch by a variety of means: land claims, family members’ homesteads, or outright purchase of land. The second generation often purchased additional land that further enlarged the ranch. The third and fourth generation ranch families of today have deep ties to the land their forefathers homesteaded and take great pride in those men and women who worked hard and persevered. They helped create a community by serving on livestock boards, participating in roundups, supporting churches and schools, and volunteering for various community projects. Without these small, independent ranchers and their ability to survive drought, weak markets, and other manmade and natural disasters, there would be no ranching in Sublette County as we know it today.

    The experience of the Sommers family and the establishment of the Sommers Ranch is typical of many pioneer ranching families who settled in rural Sublette County. In a pattern that was repeated by numerous ranchers in the county, Prof Sommers settled a homestead and gradually increased his holdings. He did what others did before him to enter the ranching business; he formed a partnership with family members, and also worked another job in order to increase his holdings.

    Sommers was a latecomer to the valley. By 1900, much of the land in the Green River Valley had already been homesteaded. Settlers first came into the lower Green River Valley in the 1870s and subsequent settlement followed the Green River north. This is an area of dry land that explorer John Wesley Powell in 1879 called "the arid region of the United States." With rainfall of less than twenty inches a year, the land was not suitable for crop production but adequate for stock grazing. As families continued to homestead in the valley, small family ranches grew in number and transformed the upper Green River Valley into a thriving cattle ranching community.

    Albert P. Sommers, known throughout his life as Prof, was born November 8, 1871 in Ashtabula, Ohio to a German-Swiss family. At some point, he relocated to Kansas where he taught school in 1896 and 1897. Around 1900, Sommers came to Wyoming due to a lung problem, taught at the Opal school before entering into partnership with Charles Olson, and leased a ranch on Fontenelle Creek. Prof's brother, Pearl Sommers, joined him in the ranching operation about 1904. While trailing cattle to and from the Upper Green River country, they saw the open land where each would take out a homestead claim in 1907. Prof also bought isolated parcels, and filed on desert claims in the same area. He filed his first water right on the Sommers Ranch in 1908. Pearl Sommers moved to Jackson a few years later and eventually to California.

    Prof married May McAlister on May 11, 1911. May, born in Illinois in 1879, moved with her family to Kansas in 1886. She began teaching school when she was seventeen years old. In 1903, a teacher friend urged May to join her in Wyoming, telling her the land was beautiful and there were lots of men. May did come to Wyoming and taught school in Big Piney. By the time May married Prof in 1911, she had bought land and had started homesteading. Later, she, too, filed a desert land entry. Her teacher friend, Nellie Yates, also homesteaded and bought isolated parcels, which Prof and May Sommers later purchased. May's parents, Jim and Josie McAlister came to Wyoming where Jim homesteaded. With the family and friends working together, the Sommers were able to establish a ranch of nearly 1900 acres.

    Sommers is also associated with a number of improvements in the county. In 1912, he helped build an important road that connected Pinedale and Big Piney. The Big Piney Roundup Association was created, during 1890, in response to the so-called Equalizer Winter of 1889-1890 in which 90% of the cattle in the Upper Green River Valley died during the freezing months. The Big Piney Roundup Association handled the cattle so the ranchers had time to put up hay on the river and creek bottoms. Sommers was a charter member of the Upper Green River Cattle and Horse Growers Association, which formed in 1916, and served on the board.

    Today, the Sommers Ranch Headquarters Historic District remains in operation on the land settled by Prof, Pearl, and May McAlister Sommers. The meadows, ditches, corrals and outbuildings they established in 1908 are still in use. They have been maintained or improved for over 100 years. The Sommers Ranch was awarded a centennial plaque by the Green River Valley Cattle Women and received a Centennial Ranch award from Wyoming's State Historic Preservation Office. The Sommers Ranch has raised beef cattle commercially since 1908, and Albert and Jonita started a small registered Hereford herd in the late 1980s. Brother and sister are what their grandparents and parents were: small, well-respected ranchers, the backbone of a ranch, a community, and Wyoming.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, June 18, 2009
     
    Location:
    Sublette County
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU450  

     

  • Steele Homestead

     

     
     

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    As an 1886 homestead complex, the Steele Ranch is one of Sublette County's best remaining examples of an early homestead/ranching operation that has been passed from generation to generation. It is an excellent representative of the cattle ranching frontier which contributed significantly to the broad patterns of Wyoming settlement and development. It is associated with the Steele family, locally significant for their involvement in local politics. The ranch also embodies the distinctive characteristics of type, period, and method of construction typical of high plains ranching.

    In 1886 Ed P. Steele and a friend of his traveled from Boulder, Colorado, to South Pass City in order to try their luck in the gold mines. They continued on over to the eastern part of the Green River Valley and searched for gold there. One mile below the confluence of Silver Creek at the base of Fremont Butte, five miles east of Boulder, Wyoming, they built a cabin on the East Fork River. On August 15, 1888, the rest of the Ed P. Steele family including 75 head of cattle arrived at the cabin. The Steeles filed and bought more land until they eventually operated 3,000 acres with 600 head of cattle and 100 horses. The original homestead cabin has evolved from the one-room cabin built in 1886 to an eight room log structure, whose last addition was constructed in 1908.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, April 25, 1985
     
    Location:
    Near Boulder
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU446  

     

  • The Church of St. Hubert the Hunter and Library

     

     
     

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    Also known as the Bondurant Protestant Episcopal Church, this property consists of the church, library, two outhouses, and picnic shelter. It lies within the small ranching community of Bondurant which is located in Hoback Basin southeast of Jackson. The church is a one story log structure built in 1940 and 1941. The library was completed in 1943. Local ranchers built the structures using native lodgepole pine that is abundant in the nearby mountains. The church not only serves as a religious facility but also functions as a community center and the associated library functioned as a library and school.

    The founding of the church is the result of travelers being stranded in the area by a blizzard. During the winter of 1937 Wyoming's Episcopalian Bishop, Winford H. Ziegler, passed through the Hoback Basin on his way to Jackson. A blizzard forced him to stop near Bondurant and seek refuge at nearby ranches. Months later, while in Philadelphia, Bishop Ziegler had a conversation with Bishop Perry, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, regarding a diamond donated by Mrs. John Markoe. According to the story, Mrs. Markoe stipulated that the diamond was to be sold for cash to finance a memorial church. Some versions of the story suggest the deal was to build a church in the most remote place in the U.S. Upon hearing this story, Bishop Ziegler recalled the hospitality afforded him by the residents of Bondurant. He suggested that the gem be sold to build a church at Bondurant. The Presiding Bishop agreed and sold the diamond for $1,400. Bishop Ziegler returned to Bondurant in the early spring of 1939 to solicit volunteers to erect the new church. The church and library not only provided religious, health and educational needs, they provided a strong social bond for the numerous widespread ranches that comprise the Bondurant community. The construction, utilization, and operation of the Church of St. Hubert the Hunter and Library epitomize the community spirit shown by the residents of Bondurant.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, January 24, 2002
     
    Location:
    Bondurant
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU2673  

     

  • Trappers Point

     

     
     

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    The Trappers Point site is eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion D, because it has yielded information important to the understanding of prehistory in the Intermountain West (Miller et al. 1999a), especially with regard to hunter/gatherer interactions with wildlife (settlement), the procurement and processing of pronghorn antelope (subsistence economy), and stone tool/weapon technology (industry). The social history of these human groups is partially revealed by evidence of communal activities pertaining to the exploitation of game animals during and immediately after a mass kill. In addition, data gathered in 1992 continue to yield significant information (Fenner and Walker ms; Sanders and Miller 2004), and preserved site areas will contribute even more data if future research is initiated. The site is nominated at the national level of significance because it is the earliest known mass kill/processing of pronghorn in North America. Prior to the Trappers Point discovery, the 3,000+ year old Laidlaw site in southern Alberta (Brumley 1984) was the best example of time depth for communal pronghorn hunting (Frison 1991:241).

    Several factors make the Trappers Point site a significant discovery. First, it contains a long term record of human adaptation to the upper Green River Basin environment that begins at the onset of the Early Archaic and extends into the Late Prehistoric. Second, Stratum III is one of the few components from the entire Green River Basin with a substantial artifact assemblage and good integrity that dates to the earliest portion of the Early Archaic, which is known in southwestern Wyoming as the Great Divide Phase (Thompson and Pastor 1995:29). More sites of this general age are beginning to be found in the Jonah natural gas field, but without the amount of preserved bone characteristic of Trappers Point (Jana Pastor, personal communication, July 2006). Third, the extensive faunal assemblage from the second cultural level (Stratum V) yielded the first evidence in the region of a pronghorn mass kill, intensive butchering, and seasonality of procurement on which to base models of Early Archaic subsistence and settlement (see Lubinski 1997). Fourth, all three Early Archaic cultural levels (strata III, V, and VII) contained extensive and diverse artifact assemblages; in fact these combined components include one of the largest collections of projectile points recovered from stratified, Early Archaic contexts known from southwestern Wyoming (Francis and Widman 1999:139). Fifth, the great variation in projectile point morphology from these three strata provides a clearer perspective of typology and chronology for the Early Archaic Period than has traditionally been possible. Sixth, chipped stone raw materials were transported into the Trappers Point site from all margins of the Green River Basin, hinting at wide ranging patterns of human movement. Seventh, inferences for communality suggest Early Archaic populations aggregated in larger groups than single family units for regional hunting and gathering, at least based on Stratum V evidence. Finally, spring pronghorn migration may have great antiquity in the basin, having begun at least by the Early Archaic. Trappers Point informs us about prehistoric hunting strategies, technological diversity in weaponry, and yields tantalizing clues for the time depth of regional pronghorn behavior that persists today in the Sublette herd.

    The record at Trappers Point clearly establishes it as one of the key sites in Wyoming and a unique resource to the nation. It contains archaeological and paleoenvironmental data that span the entire Holocene, with high integrity components representing the Early Archaic Period. While older or younger sites with similar functions may exist elsewhere on the ridge, additional fieldwork would be required to find them. Trappers Point already has yielded strong evidence of the “hitherto unknown, but long suspected, time depths for both human procurement of pronghorn and patterns of pronghorn migration” (Frison 2004:138). Research on the diverse projectile point assemblage, the well preserved faunal assemblage, and the intact site stratigraphy has shed light on several aspects of prehistoric human adaptations, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, ancient game migration patterns, and the culture history of the Intermountain West. The site is a major discovery in Wyoming archaeology, and its documentation is being used as a standard for some of the ongoing cultural resource management investigations in the Green River Basin (Dave Vlcek, personal communication, September 2006). Trappers Point deserves national recognition for its contribution to the study of ancient human lifeways, and for its potential to yield further information if more of the site is ever investigated.

    National Register form available upon request.

     
     

     

    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, May 14, 2007
     
    Location:
    Sublette County
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU1006  

     

  • Upper Green River Rendezvous Site National Historic Landmark

     

     
     

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    The Upper Green River Rendezvous were held in various places near Daniel, Wyoming from 1825 to 1840. The Rendezvous was a colorful trading fair at which trappers, traders, and Indians gathered. It was instituted during the early Rocky Mountain fur trade by General William Ashley, and it effectively revolutionized the trade. Instead of a system of fixed posts to which Indians and trappers came, the rendezvous was a previously established meeting place to which the great supply caravans from St. Louis brought trade goods which were exchanged for the furs. The rendezvous lasted for a few days or at most a few weeks. Grazing and hunting requirements forced the wide dispersal of trappers and traders during the annual get-togethers. The area they encompassed was river grassland from 15 to 20 miles long and from one to five miles wide. Of the 15 annual meetings held, eight of the Rendezvous took place at a Green River site and five convened near the junction of Horse Creek and the Green River. Each year in July a reenactment of the Rendezvous is held in nearby Pinedale.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, November 07, 1963
     
    Location:
    Sublette County
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU52  

     

  • Wardell Buffalo Trap

     

     
     

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    The Wardell Buffalo Trap is the site of the earliest known communal bison kill involving the use of the bow and arrow on the Northwestern Plains. A bison corral located near the Green River was used by hunters to intercept bison herds moving from grazing lands to the water. Nearly five feet of stratified bison bone levels with radiocarbon dates spanning 500 years of the Late Prehistoric Period have been identified at the site. A large butchering and processing area and campsite are located nearby. Archaeological excavations at the site the early 1970s uncovered outlines of an ancient fence located near the end of a box-canyon into which animals were driven.

    National Register form available upon request.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, August 12, 1971
     
    Location:
    Near Big Piney
     
    County:
    Sublette County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SU301  

     

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