4. The Fancher Train stopped at Fort Bridger on the Oregon Trail in Wyoming Territory
1849 view of Fort Bridger, Stansbury Expedition
The Fancher Train stopped at Fort Bridger, on the Oregon Trail. (The Oregon Trail was also known as the Emigrant Road, and the Oregon-California Trail.) All of the emigrant roads leading to Utah converged at Fort Bridger, which had been seized (apparently illegally) by the Mormons from Jim Bridger in 1853. At these type of outposts along the route, individual wagon trains traditionally organized, agreeing to travel together during the next leg of their journey. The trail's most difficult challenge of crossing the last desert and mountain barriers lay ahead of them. An eyewitness described how the party formed there, comprising Fanchers, Camerons, the two Dunlaps, and "perhaps Baker" Trains. (At that time the Baker Train had not arrived, but the Baker Train joined the other trains there later.) Others recalled meeting the Bakers, Mitchell brothers, Milum Jones and the widow Tackett at Fort Bridger at the end of July.
1855 Description of Fort Bridger: "an Indian trading-post, situated on the latter stream, which here branches into three principal channels, forming several extensive islands, upon one of which the fort is placed. It is built in the usual form of pickets, with the lodging apartments and offices opening into a hollow square, protected from attack from without by a strong gate of timber. On the north, and continous with the walls, is a strong high picket-fence, enclosing a large yard, into which the animals belonging to the establishment are driven for protection from both wild beasts and Indians."
(August 11, 1855 report of Captain Howard Stansbury).
Fort Bridger, unlike most of the other forts on the Oregon Trail, was founded as a privately owned and operated facility to provide provisions, at inflated prices. Photos ~ The original fort was burned down by William A. Hickman and the Nauvoo Legion (Mormon guerilla militia force) in October 1857, during the 1857 Mormon War, or Utah War, approximately two months or so after the Fancher Train had passed through. (Also see Fort Bridger 1888).Hickman, a personal assistant to Brigham Young, allegedly killed 54 men on the direct orders of Young. He wrote an auto- biography in 1872 entitled Brigham's Avenging Angel.) Fort Bridger was burned to prevent the approaching U.S. army from seeking shelter there. The Mormon scorched earth policy included burning the Fort, all forage, and all of the ground for a distance of seven miles from Fort Bridger. Fort Bridger and the Mormon War. The Fort was assumed by the U.S. military under Albert Sidney Johnston in 1858.
Oregon Trail Landmarks, Supply Stops, Obstacles, and Links
Virtual Tour of Fort Bridger - Click on "Fort Bridger" on the map
The Oregon Trail
According to an act of Congress, the Oregon trail began in Independence, Missouri, and ended in Oregon City,
Oregon. Unofficially, the starting point could be Council Bluffs, St. Joseph, Saint Louis, or possibly other places.
The Fancher Train picked up the Oregon Trail in southern Wyoming, probably near Independence Rock.
İFancher Family Association