On Oct. 16, 1812, the Astorians (Robert Stuart, Ramsay Crooks, Robert McClellan, Joseph Miller, Benjamin Jones, Francis Eclair and Andy Vallee) passed this way and forded Pine Creek near here, the first white men known to have seen it. They were returning to St. Louis from Fort Astoria on the Oregon coast and were on foot, all their horses having been stolen by Indians.
From Stuart's journal: "We forded another stream of considerable magnitude who bank were adorned with many pines, near which we found an Indian encampment of large dimensions, deserted apparently about a month ago." In the center of the camp they found a great lodge, 150 feet around and 40 feet tall. Inside three persons lay interred. Stuart noted: "must have required great labour and time in erection, from which we infer that the personages on whose account it was constructed were not of the common order."
Six days later, Oct. 22, 1812, they made the memorable discovery of South Pass.