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Late in the emigration, the ninth, and last, crossing of the Sweetwater River was known Historic painting of South Pass Stage Station, (American Heritage Center)variously as Gilbertís Station, Upper Sweetwater Station, South Pass Station, and finally, Burnt Ranch. The site served as a rest and relay station for the Concord coaches, the Pony Express and telegraph lines. It was here that the Seminoe Cutoff  rejoined the original trail and where the Lander Road  branched off.

Because of the key role it played in protecting both emigrant and military traffic as well as the telegraph lines, the station became a favorite target for the Indians. A unit of the 11th Ohio Volunteers was Marker at Burnt Ranch Sitestationed here between 1862 and 1868 to guard the emigrants and telegraph lines. They were frequently harassed by the Indians. In 1868, they finally abandoned the station and, shortly thereafter, the Indians burned it to the ground, giving it its lasting name.

A number of emigrants are known to have been buried in this area, including those of Charles Miller, Joe Barnette, and a Mrs. Bryan. Unfortunately, several of the graves have been vandalized.
Historic photograph of the Jo Barnette and Mrs. Bryan graves, (Wyoming  State Archives)


Fremont County, Wyoming. T28N/R100W

National Park Service Comprehensive Management Plan
There are no known threats to the site. The site has been nominated for inclusion on the National Register.

Listen to Todd Guenther, local historian and director of Lander Pioneer Museum speak about Burnt Ranch.



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