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Sweetwater County

 

Brian Beadles
Historic Preservation Specialist
(307) 777-8594

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  • Arapahoe and Lost Creek Site

     

     
     

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    The Arapahoe and Lost Creek Site is an unusually good representative of aboriginal settlement and subsistence in the arid interior basins of Wyoming. The site extends roughly nine kilometers along the terraces of Arapahoe and Lost Creeks in the northern portion of the Great Divide Basin. This archaeological site is a multi-component site containing late Paleoindian, Early Archaic, Middle Archaic, Late Archaic, Late Prehistoric and Protohistoric components, spanning a time period from roughly 9000 years ago up to perhaps 100 years ago. Surface inventory of the site disclosed numerous distinct activity areas, about three dozen hearth features, and numerous indications of buried components.

    National Register form available upon request.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Wednesday, March 12, 1986
     
    Location:
    Sweetwater County
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW4882  

     

  • Bairoil Town Hall

     

     
     

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    The development of the highly productive gas and oil fields that surround the community of Bairoil began in the early 1900s and continues today. Originally a company town, everyone who lived in the area had some connection to the oil field and to this building. Every major company who had a part in the development of these wells utilized the old town hall building for their headquarters, general offices, and/or as a dorm for their workers. This is thought to be the last remaining building on its original location in Bairoil that dates to the early development of the surrounding oil and gas fields. Following the decision by Amoco in 1978 to no longer keep Bairoil as a company town, the citizens decided to formally incorporate Bairoil as a town. Amoco donated the building to the town for use as its town hall, and Bairoil officially incorporated in 1980. Throughout its history as company headquarters and as the town hall, the building has been the central place where decisions were made that affected the lives of each citizen of Bairoil.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, November 30, 2015
     
    Location:
    Bairoil
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW18823  

     

  • Dean Decker Site

     

     
     

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    The Dean Decker Site (48SW4541/48FR916) is located along the terraces of lower Sand Creek and portions of Red Creek in the northwest fringe of the Great Divide Basin. Cultural materials extend continuously for 6.5 kilometers. Archaeological materials consist of scatters of thermally altered rocks, hundreds of cobble hearths and unlined hearth stains, thin scatters and dense concentrations of lithic artifacts, and occasional groundstone artifacts. The lithic materials are predominantly local cherts and quartzites. Diagnostic artifacts include probable Fremont pottery and Late Prehistoric projectile points. It is likely that this site represents the accumulation of small campsites from the Middle Archaic through the Protohistoric Periods. The archaeological data available from this site can contribute significantly to research regarding prehistoric settlement and subsistence patterns of small aboriginal groups.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Wednesday, March 12, 1986
     
    Location:
    Sweetwater and Fremont Counties
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW4541/FR916  

     

  • Downtown Rock Springs Historic District

     

     
     

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    The Downtown Rock Springs Historic District is comprised of portions of eight blocks of the central business district in the original townsite plat of Rock Springs, Wyoming. The District contains forty-five buildings, twenty-seven of which are considered to be contributing elements to the District. Buildings include structures built for commercial, financial, governmental, social, recreational, and transportational purposes. The Historic District is unique in that it was bisected into north and south sectors by the Union Pacific Railroad mainline and sidings. Most of the buildings in the District are located along North Front and South Main Streets and face the railroad tracks. The Union Pacific Depot and Warehouse are located on the south side of the railroad tracks. During the late nineteenth century, the railroad tracks presented a very real safety hazard and served to impede ready access to the north and south portions of the commercial district. However, by the turn of the twentieth century, a pedestrian bridge was constructed over the tracks by the Union Pacific Railroad to allow safer and easier passage between the north and south portions of the commercial district. Later in the twentieth century, a vehicle underpass and overpass and a pedestrian underpass were constructed to allow easy flow of foot and vehicle traffic between the two sectors. The presence of the railroad tracks is perhaps the chief factor in the growth and development of the city of Rock Springs.

    Overall the District contains a wide variety of architectural forms, dimensions, and materials representing the different dominant building periods and architectural preferences in the history of the growth of the city from the 1870s through the 1940s. The architectural forms include frame falsefronts, Late Victorian Italianate, Romanesque Revival, and Neo-Classical Revival buildings, and many simple brickfront commercial buildings without strong stylistic origins. The facades of many of these buildings were modified in the 1920s, the 1930s, and the early 1940s to reflect the Art Deco Movement, but the second stories often retain their original ornate cornices and other Late Victorian Italianate detailing. The Downtown Rock Springs Historic District is significant as the original commercial heart of a major southwestern Wyoming city and for its representation of several different architectural styles and influences.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Wednesday, January 19, 1994
     
    Location:
    Rock Springs
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW17029/17382 

     

  • Dug Springs Station

     

     
     

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    Dug Springs Station on the Overland Trail is located in south-central Wyoming, in eastern Sweetwater County approximately midway between the cities of Rock Springs and Rawlins. Like most stage stations in Wyoming west of the Continental Divide, Dug Springs Station was constructed of slabs of native stone, quarried locally. The floor was likely dirt and the roof constructed of poles and dirt. The Station was in the 1860s one of thirty-one stopping points or waystations in Wyoming along the Overland Trail, the major central western transportation route in the United States between the years 1862-1869. Stage stations along the Overland Trail were usually spaced from ten to fifteen miles apart. Dug Springs Station is sixteen miles east of Laclede Station and thirteen miles west of Duck Lake Station. Its name derives from springs at the station site which probably were enlarged or dug out by someone to provide access to fresh water.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, September 22, 1977
     
    Location:
    Sweetwater County
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW942  

     

  • Eden-Farson Site

     

     
     

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    The Eden-Farson Site is a Native American campsite. The main activity at the site was the processing of pronghorn killed during a communal hunt. The site includes the largest known pronghorn bone bed in the region with at least 212 animals represented. A single radio carbon date places occupation of the site at the cusp of the Protohistoric Period, which was a time of profound cultural changes for Native Americans. Site excavations revealed the presence of a minimum of 12 lodges with workshop areas, hearths, and a wealth of artifacts. The artifact assemblage from the site has been the focus of several studies and additional archaeological materials likely remain at the site.

    National Register form available upon request.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, September 22, 2014
     
    Location:
    Eden vicinity
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW304  

     

  • Eldon-Wall Terrace Site

     

     
     

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    The Eldon-Wall Terrace Site (48SW4320) is a large prehistoric archaeological site located in the Green River Basin of southwestern Wyoming on a low broad terrace of the Black's Fork River. Cultural materials extend for approximately 0.6 kilometers along the terrace. Surface materials consist of clusters of thermally altered rock, some of which are associated with charcoal stains, clusters or concentrations of lithic debitage and tools, and an overall thin scatter of lithic artifacts. The dominant lithic materials are locally available cherts and chalcedonies, including Bridger chert, tiger chert, and Granger green chert. All of the materials occur as pebbles and cobbles in the local lag gravels. A single temporally diagnostic projectile point indicates a Middle Archaic occupation. The activity areas at the site can provide important information regarding intra-site patterning and aspects of lithic technology. The hearth features are likely to contain preserved materials which can reflect past habitats and subsistence patterns and provide radiocarbon dates.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, December 13, 1985
     
    Location:
    Sweetwater County
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW4320  

     

  • Elinore Pruitt Stewart Homestead

     

     
     

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    The Elinore Pruitt Stewart Homestead house is a substantial log structure consisting of an original cabin (circa 1898) and north and south wings/additions (circa 1909). The building is located in the Burntfork Valley in the very southwest corner of Sweetwater County where the line of Sweetwater County and Uinta County meet the Utah state line. The homestead's significance revolves around two points: the long overlooked role of women homesteaders in the American West and the literary merits of Mrs. Stewart's book, Letters of a Woman Homesteader, a warm and lively chronicle of her ranch life in the southwest corner of Wyoming. Elinore Rupert Pruitt, a widowed laundress from Denver, came to Wyoming in the spring of 1909 to work as a housekeeper for Clyde Stewart. Within six weeks of her arrival Mrs. Pruitt filed a homestead entry on property located very close to Mr. Stewart's homestead. One week after filing her homestead entry Mrs. Pruitt and Mr. Stewart applied for a marriage license. After their marriage, the Stewarts built additions onto Mr. Stewart's existing cabin. The homestead structure, then, was originally constructed by Clyde Stewart and became Mrs. Stewart's as well after her marriage.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, April 25, 1985
     
    Location:
    Near McKinnon
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW6482  

     

  • Expedition Island National Historic Landmark

     

     
     

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    Expedition Island, near the present day town of Green River, Wyoming, was the starting point for the two expeditions down the Green and Colorado Rivers led by Major John Wesley Powell in 1869 and 1871. On these expeditions Powell completed the exploration of the last, large, unknown land area in the continental United States. Exploration of the unknown Colorado River by Powell and his crew opened up a new era for the nation. New concepts of conservation, reclamation, forestry and water management, geological and geographical surveys, and a whole new and scientific approach to the western lands ensued.

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    Date Added to Register:
    Wednesday, April 16, 1969
     
    Location:
    Sweetwater County
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW938  

     

  • First National Bank Building

     

     
     

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    The First National Bank Building, constructed in 1919, is situated on South Front Street in Rock Springs. The architects, Walter J. Cooper of Salt Lake City and D. D. Spanni of Rock Springs, chose terra cotta to face the building and for architectural ornamentation. This building represents one of the most elaborate use of terra cotta in southwestern Wyoming. The First National Bank Building is significant because it housed the first bank in Rock Springs to open under a state charter. Augustine Kendell arrived in Rock Springs on August 1, 1887, with the intention of establishing a financial institution. The Sweetwater County Bank was opened in a converted butcher shop with Mr. Kendell assuming all bank responsibilities. Within a year business had progressed enough to warrant the conversion of the bank into a National bank under the name of First National Bank of Rock Springs. As the First National Bank grew it became the city's largest banking institution.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, March 13, 1980
     
    Location:
    Rock Springs
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW6385  

     

  • Granger Stage Station

     

     
     

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

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

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

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, February 26, 1970
     
    Location:
    Granger
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW939  

     

  • Gras House

     

     
     

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    The Boucvalt-Gras House is a distinctive one story residential bungalow structure, built in the California Bungalow tradition. Completed in 1914, the house is of frame construction with clapboard cladding and a low hipped roof. The house embodies the distinctive characteristics of early twentieth century bungalow construction as adapted to Rock Springs at the time it was an important coal mining center tied to the Union Pacific Railroad and its fortunes. The Boucvalt-Gras House is probably the oldest of the bungalow style houses in Rock Springs.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, March 13, 1986
     
    Location:
    Rock Springs
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW6483  

     

  • Green River Commercial District

     

     
     

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    The Green River Downtown Historic District is eligible for its association with patterns of history significant to the development of Green River. The downtown district developed and continued to thrive in direct connection to its location along nationally significant transportation routes including the Union Pacific Railway and the Lincoln Highway. The district’s mixed-use character can be attributed to the community’s crowded early development within a small area of land bounded by the Union Pacific and the Green River to the south and a series of unique bluffs and rock formations to the north.

    The Green River Downtown Historic District encompasses the downtown area’s surviving historic core. The entire district falls within the boundaries of Green River’s Original Town (c. 1867, official 1877). The district is located within a grid system of paved streets north of, and parallel and perpendicular to, the Union Pacific tracks. Streets are offset from the cardinal directions by 45 degrees. In general setbacks are uniform and begin at the sidewalk in the typical fashion of commercial downtown districts. However, a rise in elevation from the valley floor of the Green River to the south to the sandstone formations found immediately north of town, influences the overall character of the district.

    Buildings are primarily commercial in nature, but transportation, education, communication and residential uses also played a significant role in the district’s historic development. In particular, the selection of Green River as a switching point on the Union Pacific Railroad and the coming of the Lincoln Highway in 1913 spurred early development along Railroad Avenue and East Flaming Gorge Way. Buildings within the district date from 1891 to 1943, indicating its continued importance throughout the period of significance. A building boom took place immediately after World War I spurred in part by the increasing popularity of the Lincoln Highway. Of the twelve contributing buildings within the district, five were constructed between 1919 and 1922.

    While the district has no overarching architectural style, most of buildings were designed in various forms of the vernacular commercial style typical of main streets in Wyoming and the United States during the early 1900s. Only four buildings within the district are architect designed.

    The present day community of Green River owes much of its early existence to transportation. Situated along the Green River, southwestern Wyoming’s most substantial waterway, and near a number of unique and colorful rock formations, it was a natural stopping point along some of the nation’s earliest east-west transportation routes for Euro-American westward expansion and settlement. Prior to this, however, the area was well known and used by the Shoshone, who referred to the river as the Seedskadee Agie or the Prairie Chicken River.

    Green River, of course, had the advantage of the river’s presence and when the first transcontinental railroad was routed through southern Wyoming it seemed a natural rail center. The Union Pacific began construction of a roundhouse and machine shop south of the tracks and just west of Pine Street (South 2nd West Street). The original depot was located in a small section house just west of where the two-story brick depot (Building No. 9) stands today. The selection of Green River as the southern terminus of the Oregon Short Line in 1884 further solidified Green River’s status as a major rail center.

    Wyoming gained statehood in 1890 and Green River officially incorporated under state law on May 5, 1891. The town continued to grow, thanks in large part to the presence of the Union Pacific. By 1900 the population reached approximately 1,000, and this growth spurred new construction and the establishment of new services.

    Green River continued to grow and make improvements between 1900 and 1910. More significant was Union Pacific’s decision in the summer of 1917 to make Green River the regional headquarters for Wyoming’s Western division, from Rawlins to Ogden, Utah, which spurred construction projects as well as community optimism. As a result of this decision, improvements to the Union Pacific “campus” continued throughout the war, even after all railroads were placed under the control of the U.S. Government in an effort to better coordinate their wartime use. A one-story annex was added to the east side of the main depot building (Building No. 9) to house an express room and the second story was remodeled for office use in 1918.

    A building boom took place in downtown Green River immediately after World War I; constructed after the war was the Hotel Tomahawk (Building No. 11), which was completed in 1920. The Hotel Tomahawk was more than just a hotel; it was also a trendsetter in Green River as one of the first major buildings in town consciously designed to face the Lincoln Highway and not the Union Pacific tracks. Green River residents were no doubt excited by the economic prospects of the Lincoln Highway Association’s decision to route the nation’s first transcontinental automobile route through Green River in 1913. However, excluding a few early exceptions, highway-related development did not take place until after World War I. During the 1920s, new development continued to take place in the Green River Downtown Historic District along the Lincoln Highway (Flaming Gorge Way) at a slow but steady pace.

    At this time, the railroad divided the north and south sections of the city. As early as 1919, the Green River Star publically called for something to be done about the “perpetual nuisance” of the railroad grade crossing, reporting that “Autos and teams have been held at either side from thirty minutes to an hour and a half on many occasions” (Green River Star, 8/22/1919). The crossing was not only a nuisance to vehicles but a danger to pedestrians as well. The story of south side children crawling under stopped trains in an effort to get to their north side schools illustrates the potential for tragedy (Humstone, 2005). Remedying this situation was expensive, however, and Green River citizens would have to wait for federal assistance during the Great Depression to build a vehicle underpass and a pedestrian overpass.

    Along with highlighting the benefits of the improved crossing, this passage also expresses the increased importance of the south side of the tracks to the community of Green River. While the commercial and civic buildings north of the tracks still maintained dominance, Green River—bound to the north by undevelopable land—was now growing to the south. By 1937 Green River was experiencing a slight recovery from the Depression, as this year marked the highest expenditures in new construction (mostly at the UP Yards) and in the remodeling of buildings and businesses since the stock market crash in 1929. World War II, however, would continue to stifle construction, although not necessarily economic recovery.

    After World War II this southward development would continue, as the town spilled across the river after which it was named. The overpass connected south side residents to schools, civic buildings and businesses on the north side of the tracks, while at the same time connecting the historic downtown district to Green River’s future.

    The Green River Downtown has changed little since its period of historic significance. With recent development flanking the district on all sides, it serves as a window into Green River’s transportation, commercial, and community history for citizens and visitors alike. Despite formidable competition from commercial development south of the river and near Green River’s two Interstate exits, the contributing buildings within the Downtown Historic District have remained in continuous service to their community. Green River became a Main Street community in 2005, with the hope of spurring downtown revitalization and historically sensitive rehabilitation within the district and beyond. Recognizing and documenting the significance of the district to Green River’s past is a necessary step in ensuring the Green River Downtown Historic District will contribute to the community’s future as well.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, January 09, 2009
     
    Location:
    Green River
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW17058  

     

  • Laclede Station

     

     
     

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    Laclede Stage Station on the Overland Trail is located midway between the cities of Rock Springs and Rawlins. A mile and a half upstream from Laclede Station is the location of the first Overland Trail crossing of Bitter Creek, and just west of the crossing is the ruins of a military post, Fort Laclede. A portion of the station walls are standing and provide an idea of how the station was laid out in the early 1860s. It appears that the station was constructed of slabs of native stone quarried from nearby hills. Laclede Station was in the 1860s one of thirty-one stopping points or waystations in Wyoming along the Overland Trail, a central route through Western America. Stage stations along the Overland Trail were usually spaced from ten to fifteen miles apart. Laclede Station is eight miles east of Big Pond Station and sixteen miles west of Dug Springs Station. Laclede Stage Station is important as a physical remnant of the heritage of the Overland Trail, a pioneer road of national significance.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Wednesday, December 06, 1978
     
    Location:
    Sweetwater County
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW941  

     

  • Natural Corrals Archaeological Site

     

     
     

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    The Natural Corrals Site (48SW336) is a multicomponent prehistoric campsite located in the Leucite Hills in Sweetwater County. The site was initially recorded in 1974 and test excavations were conducted in 1977. Among the items found in excavation were lithic tools and debris, including Late Prehistoric projectile points, groundstone, steatite fragments, Shoshone-style pottery sherds, glass trade beads, percussion caps, and bison bones. Additional archaeological testing in the early 1980s defined two distinct cultural components. The upper component dates from A.D. 1790-1850 and the lower component dates to the Late Archaic period, 500 B.C. to A.D. 500. On the surface, projectile points and artifacts dating to the Early Archaic and Paleoindian periods have been collected. The site serves as an excellent example of the interface between material cultures from indigenous groups and those derived from a foreign technology. Because of this, it can provide data about cultural changes that Native Americans experienced once they came into contact with Euro-American trade goods and later the people themselves. The site also provides the unique opportunity to determine the amount of culture change that occurred between the Archaic and Protohistoric periods, and to show what role Native Americans played in the Fur Trade period of American history.

    National Register form available upon request.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Monday, August 17, 1987
     
    Location:
    Sweetwater County
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW336  

     

  • Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church

     

     
     

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    Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, also known as the South Side Catholic Church, was constructed in 1932 and designed by the Boston architectural firm of Maginnis & Walsh. The Union Pacific Coal Company loaned the services of their architect, James Libby, as supervising architect and engineer. The church is built of buff-colored combed brick with a red and brown clay tile roof. It is significant for the importance it has had among Western European immigrants and the community of Rock Springs as a whole. Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church became identified with immigrants from Ireland and other west European Catholics. It was a touchstone for this community and represented a distinct difference in the two strains of Catholicism which coincided in Rock Springs, the other being the east European settlers who formed a rival parish on the north side of town. One notable piece of Our Lady of Sorrows' history occurred in November of 1940. At the 8:30 a.m. Mass on November 3rd, a very famous family attended Mass with the parishioners of Our Lady of Sorrows. The Von Trapp family from Austria honored the congregation by singing the Mass. They were passing through Rock Springs on their way to Denver where they were scheduled to appear in concert. The family's history was later made known to the world in the movie ''The Sound of Music.''

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, November 06, 1997
     
    Location:
    Rock Springs
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW11564  

     

  • Parting of the Ways

     

     
     

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    The Parting of the Ways is a fork in the Oregon Trail which marks the origin of the Sublette-Greenwood Cutoff route. The original trail continues southwest to Fort Bridger while the Sublette Cutoff veers west to cross the Little Colorado Desert providing a short cut to the Bear River. This historic fork in the Oregon Trail was a point where many wagon trains parted company. Some took the short dry route to Bear Valley saving 46 miles, while others took the longer Fort Bridger route to Oregon or on to Utah and California. The dry route included 50 waterless miles and became popular during the gold rush period.

     
     

     

    Date Added to Register:
    Sunday, January 11, 1976
     
    Location:
    Northeast of Farson
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW4198  

     

  • Point of Rocks Stage Station

     

     
     

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    The Point of Rocks Stage Station is located in a valley of Bitter Creek in Sweetwater County, Wyoming. It was built of native sandstone taken from the surrounding hills. Mud mortar chinked the walls. The station has at various times served as a stage stop, a freight station, a store, a school, a ranch headquarters and a home. In some references the Station is also known as ''Rock Point'' or ''Almond'' station. Point of Rocks principal significance is as a stop on the Overland Stage Line during the 1860s and as the junction of the Overland Trail and the Union Pacific Railroad in 1868. For a number of years the Station was the starting terminal for the stage and freight operations running north to South Pass City and the Sweetwater mines.

    From 1862 to 1868 Point of Rocks station served the Overland Stage and the Wells, Fargo and Company operation when the latter purchased the business from Ben Holladay. Specific references to events that occurred around Point of Rocks are scarce but the entire vicinity was the scene of considerable Indian hostilities during the Civil War years. The station was burned out at least once. According to one account the station was also the scene of a robbery staged by a ''Jim Slade, ex-stage line superintendent, turned bandit.'' Seven passengers on the coach were reportedly killed in the holdup. The westward construction of the transcontinental railroad reached Point of Rocks in the summer of 1868. The two routes met at this point for the first time and the Overland Stage was, for all practical purposes, then out of business.

    In 1877 Lawrence Taggert, a Union Pacific section foreman, moved his family into the building. His wife turned one room of the station into a schoolroom and served as teacher. A daughter of the Taggerts, Mrs. Charles Rador, lived in the station as a child and in 1897 moved with her husband into the building. Mr. Rador operated his sheep-ranching outfit from the station and the Radors resided there until 1910. The last person to reside at the stage station was Jim McKee, supposedly at one time a member of the Hole-in-the-Wall gang. McKee is said to have spent much of his time looking for a cache of unrecovered loot from one of Butch Cassidy's robberies. The Point of Rocks Stage Station became the property of the State of Wyoming in 1947.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, April 03, 1970
     
    Location:
    Sweetwater County
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW802  

     

  • Powder Wash Archaeological District

     

     
     

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    The Powder Wash Archaeological District includes 19 rock art sites located in small rockshelters and a complex of apparently related structures consisting of an extensive wooden drift fence corral, four separate groups of wickiups constructed of deadfall juniper poles, two known rockshelters with entrances partially enclosed by low walls of rock and juniper logs, and three low circular stone-walled structures that may have served as breastwork fortifications. The sites in the district appear to have been occupied during the Protohistoric and Historic periods. The numerous rock art sites, which primarily portray images of horses and warriors, and their probable association with the drift fence, wickiup lodges, and possible fortifications have led to the hypothesis that the sites in the district are the product of war parties bivouacking in the area before and after raids.

    National Register form available upon request.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Wednesday, December 04, 2013
     
    Location:
    Baggs
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW18660  

     

  • Red Rock

     

     
     

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    The Red Rock is one of several curious eroded rock formations which are landmarks located along the Overland Trail in Wyoming. The Overland Trail was the major western transportation route in the United States between the years 1852-1869. The Rock is about 20 feet high and 120 feet in circumference and stands apart clearly from its surroundings due to its color. It is a whorl of sandstone ranging from light pink to ochre to rust, depending upon the position of the viewer, the time of day, and season of the year. The windward or west side of the rock has weathered considerably, as the names which were inscribed there are barely legible. The leeward or east side of the rock is less exposed and still contains names of a dozen or so legible names of passing travelers, at least one of which dates to the 1850s. Three of the most noteworthy historical inscriptions are: E.E. White 1852; Fritz Langer 1862; and J.H. Jones 1862.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Tuesday, November 21, 1978
     
    Location:
    Sweetwater County
     
    County:
    Sweetwater County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48SW771  

     

Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office

The Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office documents, preserves, and promotes Wyoming’s heritage with our preservation partners.

 

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