Journal of Western Travel
by John McTurk Gibson
edited by Weldon Hoppe
July 11th, 1859 -- Our ox went dead last night, rained the greater part of the night. Roads very heavy this morning, 9 miles brought us to Fort Bridger, the prettiest place for a Fort we have yet seen. The river is divided into three branches, and comes down through a nice level country enclosing rich pasturage reserved solely for Government purposes. The Fort when completed will be a little larger than Kearney. They have one sawmill in operation, and another in course of construction. Government offers $40 per month for hands to work in the pineries. There are 8 white women in the Fort, one company of Dragoons, two of infantry, and no artillery, save two large guns. We have had a pretty severe thunderstorm, and owing to the way my team is now cut down, I have been somewhat subject to the blues all day.
Travelled 10 miles. We are camped west of Bridger. Bridger is the nicest place for a fort I ever saw. Black Fork is divided into some 12 or 15 branches running through the town of as nice clear water. These streams are all bridged at every street. These streams abound with trout and suckers. This creek heads in the mountains. Both above and below the streams are united in one. The distance between the two out side streams is about one mile. There are some scattering bushes along these. 15 miles up the creek is a pinery situated in the mountains. This place was formerly occupied by the Mormons. They left here for Salt Lake. They had farms 12 miles above here. They also built some stone forts and thrown up an embankment. The troops have been here one year. They are building considerable. Some good log houses are erected. The greater part of the buildings are formed of canvass. 400 troops are here. Saw mill, black smith shop and other conveniences not had in other places. 6 white women live here. 125 miles to Salt Lake. There is a range of mountains south of the fort half covered with snow. 3 miles west of town is plenty of pine for fire wood.
Copyright © 1997 Weldon Hoppe