John C. Fremont, the "Pathfinder", was born in 1813 and explored a large portion of central Wyoming including the Casper area. He made an independent survey to the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming in 1842, and the 13,743' Fremont Peak of the Wind Rivers is named in his honor. Fremont tried unsuccessfully to navigate the North Platte River through a canyon southwest of Casper in August of 1842. The boat capsized, resulting in the loss of important mapping equipment, journals, registers, maps and supplies. Subsequently, he received the dubious honor of having this area come to be known as Fremont Canyon. Through the recommendation of Fremont, the government purchased and garrisoned Ft. Laramie in 1849.
Benjamin L.E. Bonneville passed this point in the summer of 1832 during the exploration of the central Rockies. Bonneville, an American soldier, was born in France in 1796 and served with the 7th U.S. Infantry. In 1832 he led an expedition of 110 men and 20 wagons along the North Platte River, thus becoming the first to take wagons through South Pass. In 1833 he found an oil seep at Dallas Dome near present day Lander, Wyoming. The drilling of the No. 1 Murphy well in 1884 kicked off the production of oil in Wyoming.