Crossing the New Fork River Historical

Crossing the New Fork River Historical (HM1TR0)

Location: Big Piney, WY 83113 Sublette County
Country: United States of America

N 42° 36.829', W 109° 51.006'

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Frederick Lander carefully chose this place for the trail to cross the New Fork River. An island once split the river in two channels, allowing emigrants to ford without a bridge or ferry.
There is a large island in the centre (sic), and the stream on each side is from twenty to thirty yards wide. In the spring it s form three to four feet deep. You had better raise the beds of your wagons. Timber on island and west bank. - Frederick Lander, Emigrant Guide
You are standing on the west side of the emigrant era island looking at the new river channel that cut through the island sometimes during the 1940s or 1950s. The bank on the opposite side was part of the east side of the island.

Danger in the Water

Frederick Lander underestimated the amount of spring run-off. Most years during high water emigrants had difficulty fording the New Fork River.
I seen several that had their teams drowned and out of of one train a few days ago their were two men drowned (sic). - James McClung, New Fork River, July 19, 1862

Highs & Lows

Water levels vary significantly depending on season and weather in any given year. Unfortunately, high water usually occurred in July when most emigrants has to make this crossing. (photos: July 2, 2011 on
the left, August 18, 2001 on the right)

A Taxing Crossing

In 1862 (a high water year), some enterprising emigrants built a ferry across the Green River 10 miles down river from here below the confluence of the New Fork and Green rivers. The ferry was too expensive for most emigrants, so they crossed here as best they could.
The captain sent a man to the ferry... He found the charge to be four dollars per wagon... and (the) wait two days of our turn to come. - Jane Gould, New Fork River, July 20, 1862.
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HM NumberHM1TR0
Placed BySublette County Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, August 14th, 2016 at 5:01pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12T E 594311 N 4718572
Decimal Degrees42.61381667, -109.85010000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 36.829', W 109° 51.006'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 36' 49.74" N, 109° 51' 0.36" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)307
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 19 Boulder South Rd, Big Piney WY 83113, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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