"I have always felt I was at a disadvantage in making a living for my self and family if I did not have a wagon and team." - John Nield Diary
John and Sarah Broadbent Nield moved their family to Star Valley in 1888 over the Crow Creek Road. Hauling all of their earthly possessions over the route taught them first hand the dangers of the mountain road. Their story is much the same as most early settlers to the valley.
In 1890, sons Joseph L and John E subcontracted the mail for two years from Montpelier to Afton and then the Nield family carried the mail under contract for twelve consecutive years. So with the need to have fresh horses and a stopping place along the route, John Edward and Jane Parker Nield moved to THIS LOCATION on Cozzens Ranch. Horses were pastured or fed, rested and prepared for the next mail carrier, stage driver, or freighter who was in need of fresh horse power.
A milk house was built over the large spring that flows out of the hill so the water could be used as a cooling agent for milk. Jane hired help to milk cows, make butter and cheese to sell in Afton and Montpelier or to travelers on the road. Sometimes the customer was a Shoshone Indian to whom she gave a large slice of her best cheese. The road station served the family and other teamsters well.
John William Nield, Ben Nield, Seth Broadbent Nield, and Joseph Taysom moved the mail for eight more years. By the end of this contract, 1934, trucks rolled over the Crow Creek Road in the summer. This Nield mail contract was the last to use team and sleigh. For 22 years the Nield cousins carried the US Mail between the two valleys but it took the help of every freighter on the road to get it through on time. In the early days, the Alleman, Wells, Books, and Lowe Ranches had a cabin with a welcome warming fire for emergency stops. Other friendly faces along the way belonged to Tolmans, Kenningtons, Beyelers, Halls, Thorntons, Bagleys, and Allreds.
When Lavar, Floyd and William Nield moved to Montpelier the cousins worked both ends against the middle, hauling cheese and butter for Burton Creamery Company to be shipped by rail from the Montpelier Depot. By the time they were seven years of age, cousins Ellis and Horace followed close behind their dad's wagons with their own rigs, third generation freighters on the Crow Creek Freight Road.