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The demand for beaver pelts in the early 1800s led to the exploration and eventual settlement of the American West. South Pass was part of a major thoroughfare through the Rockies and its discovery is significant to the era known as the fur trade.
Trail ruts at this site were mistakenly identified as the Parting-of-the-Ways where emigrant parties separated on their journeys to Oregon, California, or Utah.
The actual Parting-of-the-Ways is approximately 10 miles west of this spot. Where you are sta…
This marks a fork in the trail, right to Oregon, left to Utah and California.
1812, Robert Stuart and eastbound Astorians used South Pass gateway.
1824, Eleven westbound Ashley-Henry men led by Jedediah Smith and Thomas Fitzpatrick.
1832, N. Wyeth …
In July 1844 the California bound Stevens-Townsend-Murphy wagon train, guided by Isaac Hitchcock and 81-year old Caleb Greenwood, passed this point and continued nine and one half miles southwest from here, to a place destined to become prominent in Oregon …
Just a few miles from where you're standing, the emigrants would come to the first of several trail "splits" that would take them to a crossing on the Green River where they would camp for the evening.
Even with South Pass behind them, Oregon or Californ…
Death on the trail did not allow for the fineries of the funerals back home. Emigrants made do with materials available. Black would adorn the clothes of mourners, and care would be taken to provide the best funeral possible. The most travelers could provid…
Graves were an all-to-frequent reminder of the dangers of overland travel. Most emigrant journals record death, burial, or passing graves during the day's travel. Most burials along the trail were hasty affairs.
The official Company Journal of the Edmund…
Death was a constant companion for emigrants headed west. It is estimated that 10,000 to 30,000 people died and were buried along the trails between 1843 and 1869.
Cholera and other diseases were the most common cause of death. People didn't know that ch…
Relations between emigrants using the trails and the Indians were inconsistent during the migration period. While hostile acts and violent confrontation did occur, they have been overemphasized in trail history. During the early migration period of the 1840…
To All PioneersWho PassedThis WayTo Win And HoldThe West
Trail Crossed30 Miles NorthThis Point
Erected ByPeople OfGreen River 1931