Richard's Bridge

Richard's Bridge (HM1QCW)

Location: Evansville, WY 82636 Natrona County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 52.206', W 106° 16.026'

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The Bridge of the Emigration

Canyons and the southward curve of the North Platte west of here forced emigrant wagon trains to cross to the north side of the river somewhere between present Glenrock and Casper. This region was known generally as the Upper Platte Crossing. Until the construction of this bridge the crossing was usually done via dangerous and expensive ferries, the most famous of which was the Mormon Ferry, located at different times three to six miles west of this site.

In the winter of 1852-1853 John Richard (pronounced Reshaw) and his business associates including his brother Joseph and Joseph Bissonette, began construction of the bridge that stood at this site for thirteen years. It was completed in time for the Oregon and California emigrations of 1853.
An Oregon emigrant, John Murray, wrote on June 9, 1853: "The bridge is a substantial structure - it as 8 wood framed piers filled & sunk with rock & the reaches are supported by heavy braces. The sides are railed up & bottom planked. The bridge is about 150 yards long & comes out this side (north) on a high rock bank... At each end of the bridge are Indian lodges and trading houses & a blacksmith shop, Above the bridge a mile is another trading post where they have lots of horses and mules to sell or trade."
In 1859 another-bridge across the Platte was built by Louis Guinard six miles west were the military post Platte Bridge Station was established. Richard soon bought Gurnard's Bridge and operated stores at both locations. In 1864 Richard's Bridge was the departure point for the four large trains that opened the Bozeman Trail.
At the end of the 1864 travel season Richard closed his trading post at the bridge and moved everything to his store at Platte Bridge Station. In 1865 he sold his operations and left the area. Early in 1866 the army dismantled Richard's Bridge and hauled the timber to the post at the upper bridge, newly named Fort Caspar. It was used as firewood and building materials.
Year Placed2000
Placed ByOregon-California Trails Association
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, January 4th, 2016 at 1:03pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13T E 396502 N 4747168
Decimal Degrees42.87010000, -106.26710000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 52.206', W 106° 16.026'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 52' 12.36" N, 106° 16' 1.56" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)307
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Cemetery Rd, Evansville WY 82636, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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