Between the years 1847 and 1868, most of the approximate 80,000 Mormon Pioneers passed through Fort Laramie. This was the first stop for the vanguard company after leaving Winter Quarters, (near Omaha) Nebraska.
In June, 1847, after following a faint trapper trail on the north side of the Platte River, the Pioneers reached Fort Laramie. Brigham Young, with a number of his party, crossed the river and walked up to the fort.
At this time the fort was called Fort John. It was owned by the American Fur Company and managed by James Bordeaux who greeted Brigham Young and the others. From Bordeaux they learned that they needed to cross the river at this point because the marshy terrain on the north side of the river would soon make travel impossible, so the Pioneers made arrangements to cross the river on a large flatboat.
Realizing that many others would need to cross the river at this point, the Pioneers built the first ferry in this area. Brigham Young left men to run the ferry which was used for over twenty years, aiding not only Mormons but all others who followed.
The present Fort Laramie in now a National Historic Site and dates mainly from the Civil War era. This marker, in the town of Fort Laramie, marks the approximate place that the Pioneers actually crossed the river.