By wagon, encampments in the Guernsey area, are a day's trek from Fort Laramie. Emigrants had three choices of camp sites in the Guernsey area: Register Cliff, Warm Springs or Cold Springs, the farthest encampment. Lieutenant John C. Fremont's Camp Site
In 1842, Lieutenant John C. Fremont, led a mapping expedition of the Oregon Trail. According to Fremont's map maker, Charles Preuss, the flat area just below this sign is the most likely where the expedition camped on 21-22 July 1842. While camped here, Fremont noted in his report to Congress that Fort Larami would be a suitable place for a military post.
Warm Springs Camp Site
Many period documents describe this area as the Emigrant's Wash or Laundry Tub, due to the natural warm water temperature. Warm Springs is located approximately 1.25 miles to the west, up the drainage you are facing. In 1842, Lieutenant John C. Fremont wrote "At the distance of ten miles from the fort, we entered the sandy bed of a creek, a place where, on the left bank, a very large spring gushes with considerable noise and force out of the limestone. On the opposite side, a little below the spring, is a lofty limestone escarpment, partially shaded by a grove of large trees." Today, the site remains much the same.
Cold Springs Pass and Camp Site
Cold Springs Pass is located approximately three quarters of a mile and just to the left of the highest point you see. The Pass was used to get to Cold Spring Camp Site. The camp site is observable from a pull out on Highway 26 and is located approximately 2 miles west of Guernsey.
Register Cliff is located 2 miles to the East. The camp site was located on the flats below a mile long cliff of soft sandstone used as a name register by thousands of emigrants from 1847 on. It's interesting that no emigrant ever mentions inscribing names or initials on the cliff in diaries. Also located near Register Cliff was the War and Guerrier Trading Post (1852-1855), Mills and Janis Trading Post (1858-1860), and the Sandy Point Pony Express Station (1860-1861).
Comments 0 comments