This spot where the old Oregon and Mormon Trails cross the Little Sandy River (or Creek) was a popular camping and resting place for travelers headed to Oregon, California and Utah. Indeed, this site is one of the most significant landmarks on the entire length of the trail.
Depending on the year's moisture, the Little Sandy provided the first water for emigrants and their livestock once leaving Pacific Creek, over 20 miles east of here.
For many emigrant parties, the campsite at the Little Sandy Crossing was a scene of reorganization. At the Parting of the Ways 8 miles northeast, many groups divided, some going to Oregon and some continuing on to Utah or California. Here, George Donner was elected Captain of the group known as the "Donner Party" which later met a tragic end in California.
In 1824/25, William Ashley and his party of mountain men rested on the banks of the Little Sandy. In 1847, while recovering from "mountain fever," Brigham Young, leader of the Mormon exodus from the "States." met Jim Bridger in this area and received information about the route to Utah. In 1860, a Pony Express Station was established nearby.
"Times weren't easy for us at first because the land hadn't been farmed and there was no machinery, so we started from scratch like early settlers had done. Out first three children were
raised in a little two-room log house that grandfather had built." - Ruth Chesnovar
Enjoy your visit at this site, but please ensure that you don't damage any of the fragile trail resources located in the area.
A special thanks to the Chesnovar family, who were the original owners and stewards of this land, for their assistance in making it possible for future generations to enjoy this area.