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The Willie Handcart Company, after being stopped by the early October blizzard near the first Willie’s marker on the east side of Rocky Ridge, made a debilitating eighteen hour forced march over the ridge before finally reaching this site on Rock Creek. Here, the Company made another camp. Finally, the rescuers sent out from Salt Lake arrived and provided them with limited provisions before hurrying on to assist the Martin Company trapped near Red Buttes.

The assistance, while valuable, came too late to save many members of the company and at Plaque located at Willie's Handcart Siteleast fifteen were buried here in a common grave, probably in the deep snow. A plaque here marks the spot and local LDS stakes frequently re-enact the rescue. In all, about 67 members of the 404-member party perished. In terms of deaths, the combined Willie and Martin Handcart Companies suffered the greatest percentage of losses of any emigrant parties to cross the trails.

National Park Service Comprehensive Management PlanMemorial Park at Willie's Handcart

This site is publicly accessible and maintained by the LDS Church which, in addition to the plaque, has established a small memorial park and rest area. Trail ruts are clearly visible coming over the small hill.

Directions

Fremont County, Wyoming. T28N/R99WTrail Ruts near Willies Handcart Site

At Rock Creek about 8 miles southeast of Atlantic City on the Lewiston Road (graded gravel). Inquire locally for directions and road conditions.


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