On January 27th, a cold winter day in 1844, Captain John C. Fremont and his guide Kit Carson, led as small band of half-starved men west past this point. They were in search of the fabled Buena Ventura River, which they believed would give them easy passage through the high range to the west and on to the fort of John Sutter. A short way northwest of here, they were forced to abandon their howitzer because of the deep snow, as their tired men could no longer pull the 1500 pound gun and caisson. In desperation, Fremont decided to force a winter crossing of the great Sierra Nevada. They succeeded, and with his band of courageous men reprovisioned themselves at Sutter's Fort and then recrossed the Great Basin arriving in St. Louis, Missouri on August 6, 1844. A year later, Fremont was back in California and was the United States officer who, on January 15, 1847, received the surrender of the California forces under General Andres Pico at Cahuenga Pass.