Rifle Pit Hill

Rifle Pit Hill (HM1IO2)

Location: Guernsey, WY 82214 Platte County
Country: United States of America

N 42° 16.022', W 104° 47.419'

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Rock quarries, visible from several points near this location, were used beginning in 1849 to supply stone and lime for construction projects at Fort Laramie, about 15 miles east. Workers in the quarries were protected by soldiers stationed in fortified rifle pits dug in the crest of the low hill to the northeast. Five such rifle pits, eighteen to twenty four inches deep, form a well arranged defense perimeter.
The rifle pits also overlook the Cold Spring campground, a popular camping and watering place on the Oregon-California Trail (1841-1868). Another major campground, known as Warm Spring is located on the far side of the ridge to the south. Such springs were vital to emigrants travelling west. The North Platte River, running high and muddy with Rocky Mountain snowmelt, was not fit to drink for man or beast during the time of year the annual emigration passed this way. A still visible branch of the Oregon Trail is located about 500 feet north of Cold Spring.
Other major emigrant trail landmarks in the immediate area include the Oregon Trail Ruts National Historic Site, Register Cliff State Historic Site and a scattering of marked pioneer graves. The Oregon Trail Ruts, where wagon wheel tracks are worn up to five feet deep in a soft sandstone ridge, are the signature trail ruts of the entire Oregon-California-Mormon Trail system. At Register Cliff, passing pioneers carved their signatures, hometown names and the date of their passing into the face of a mile-long bluff beside the North Plate River. Both places present strong visual evidence of the 500,000 westering pioneers who passed this way on their epic journey to Columbia River farmland, California gold fields and the religious freedom of the Great Salt Lake valley. Access to all sites is well marked in the town of Guernsey.
HM NumberHM1IO2
Series This marker is part of the Oregon Trail series
Placed ByHistorical Landmark Commission of Wyoming
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 at 9:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13T E 517292 N 4679446
Decimal Degrees42.26703333, -104.79031667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 16.022', W 104° 47.419'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 16' 1.32" N, 104° 47' 25.14" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)307
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1315 US-26, Guernsey WY 82214, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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