The buildings in this area are virtually all that remain of the once thriving commercial empire of Judge William Alexander Carter and his wife Mary, Fort Bridger's only two Post Traders. Carter arrived at Fort Bridger with Colonel Albert S. Johnston's Army in 1857 and soon received the appointment as Post Trader. Selling to soldiers, emigrants, railroad builders, cattlemen, settlers, and Indians, William Carter amassed a fortune and became one of Wyoming Territory's most influencial (sic) citizens. His interests extended into lumbering, agriculture, livestock, mining, and politics. Carter's 'Bug" brand was known on cattle ranges of four states. Carter County, Dakota Territory (antedating Wyoming Territory) was named for him as was Carter Mountain in northern Wyoming. The Carters entertained such notables as President Chester A. Arthur, James Bridger, Chief Washakie, Mark Twain, Jay Gould, Sidney Dillon, Generals Sherman, Harney, Crook, Augur and Bisbee.
After William's death on November 7, 1881, Mary E. Carter assumed her husband's position and carried on the empire he began in 1857. With Fort Bridger's abandonment in 1890, Mary became the caretaker until the government auctioned off the buildings in 1895. The Carter family maintained the family business through the early Twentieth Century. Judge and Mrs. Carter's contributions to the Rocky Mountain West, though of different nature, compare with those of James Bridger.