Late in the year of 1856, the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies and the Hunt and Hodgetts Wagon Companies left Iowa City for their journey westward. Near this spot, these companies crossed the Sweetwater River for the sixth time, thus the name Sixth Crossing.
Because the companies left late in the year, they encounter severe winter storms, suffering from cold, rain and snow. Barely surviving on scant rations, they were rescued by a relief party from Salt Lake City, Utah, sent by Brigham Young. With much faith in each footstep, they struggled on through thick dust, mud and snow.
We pause to remember all the pioneer women who crossed the ocean and the plains, forded streams and rivers - some which were covered with ice, bore children along the way, and lost and buried loved ones. The women gathered anything that would burn for their fires and cooked from meager supplies. They came with but little but gave their all on the journey west.
Bound together in faith and with tears of joy and sorrow, mothers, daughters, and sisters worked together for one cause and one purpose. The walked on, enduring one of the most tragic, yet most heroic events of the pioneers going west. They left a treasured legacy to their descendants.