This site, where the Continental Divide crosses the 42 degree parallel, North Latitude, was first claimed by Spain through the presumptive right of early discoveries and explorations. The area was also a part of Acadia, granted in 1603 by Henry IV of France, and a part of New England as granted to the Plymouth Colony by James I, transferred to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1629. In 1682, La Salle claimed for France the whole basin of the Mississippi River (thus including the northeastern portion of this site).
France ceded its claims to Spain in 1762 but regained them in 1800 and sold the region of "Louisiana" to the United States in 1803.
Great Britain claimed the western portion of the site in 1792 and the United States laid formal claims in 1818 until the 42 parallel was accepted as the boundary between United States and Spain in 1819. Mexico, after gaining independence from Spain in 1821, reconfirmed the boundary lines. In 1824, Great Britain relinquished her claims to the area of the Columbia River basin, reaffirming this action by the treaty of 1846 establishing the right of the United States to the "Oregon Country." On July 4, 1848, the cession of territory by Mexico was proclaimed giving to the United States the undisputed right to all of Wyoming.
The monument on this site was constructed
by the Kiwanis Clubs of Lander, Rawlins, Riverton and Rock Springs, Wyoming, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management of the U.S. Department of Interior. The site was dedicated on September 24, 1967. Elevation is 7,775 feet above sea level.