Henry T Williams.

Pacific tourist : Adams and Bishop's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean : a complete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific railroads online

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Online LibraryHenry T WilliamsPacific tourist : Adams and Bishop's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean : a complete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific railroads → online text (page 18 of 62)
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south of the track, and a little east of the
station. They seem in the distance like faint
outlines of huge perpendicular columns, not
very high, but really 365 feet perpendicular
above their base surroundings. Their summit
is about 1,100 feet above the track. At the
base of the rocks proper, and about 735 feet
above the track, seven sulphur springs break
out, three of which are large ones, the balance
being small.

North of the track, and three-fourths of a
mile west of the station, is an iron spring,
reputed to possess remarkable medicinal qual-
ities, several invalids, especially females, hav-
ing been highly benefited by drinking and
bathing in its waters. Four miles north of
the station is a huge sulphur spring, with
water pouring forth from the ground. The
artesian well, which supplies the water
tank here, is 700 feet deep. Water is pumped
oul. by steam power. \Y ells & Fargo's Over-
land Express Company had a station nere,
and their old adobe buildings, rapidly going
into deca'y, may still be seen across the
creek, at the base of the bluffs. In the
" piping " times of the town several build-
ings were commenced, but the collapse was
so sudden that they were never completed.
This station is 806.7 miles from Omaha, and
6,490 feet above the sea. It is now .a place
of large coal interests, over one hundred
car loads per day being shipped. . There
is also an artesian well one thousand and fif-
teen feet deep.

TJtaifer, simply a side track, 812 miles
from Omaha, with an elevation of 6,425
feet. The moving trains will give the tourist
an ever-varying view of the grand and beau-
tiful scenery of this valley.

Sftlt Wetls, 818.2 miles from the eastern


terminus of the road, and 6,360 feet above
the sea. It is a telegraph station, and in
the construction period of the road, was a
place where considerable timber, wood, etc.,
was delivered. The water from the well here
has a saltish, alkaline taste, hence the name.
Three and one-half miles north, there is a salt
or alkali basin, which has no visible outlet in
which the brackish waters stand the most of
the year.
Baxter, 826.2 miles from Omaha; eleva-

its entire line. Rock Springs coal for domestic
purposes is only surpassed by anthracite. It
has but little of the sulphurous smell of other
soft coal, burns into ashes without cliiikers, and
without the black soot which characterizes other
coal. These mines, with others, were formerly
operated by the Wyoming Coal Company.
Their product is annually increasing; wherever
the superior merits of the coal have become
known it speedily supplants other kinds in use.
In 1875 the company mined 104,427 tons, or


tion, 6,300 feet A side ' track where passenger
trains do not stop. The valley narrows in this
vicinity, and the rugged rocks with their ragged
edges, if possible become more interesting to the

Rock Springs, S31.6 miles from Omaha,
and 6,280 feet above the sea. This is the great
coal station on the line of the Union Pacific
Road. The company not only furnishes the
finest lignite coal to be found, for its own use,
but supplies the market at every point along

10,442 cars allowing the usual ten tons per car.
They did not, however, ship this number of cars
as considerable coal is furnished to all the en-
gines that pass, and consumed by the people
living in the town. They are now working two
veins,one sixand the other about nine feet in thick-
ness. The Artesian well here is 1,145 feet deep.

Lawrence, 840.6 miles from Omaha, with
an elevation of 6,200 feet. A side track for
passing trains between Rock Springs and

Green River, which is the end of the Lara-


mie division of the road, 273.8 miles from that
place, and 816.6 miles from Omaha, with an ele-
vation of 6,140 feet. This is a regular eating-
station, breakfast and supper, and is now one of
the best kept hostelries on the road. This place
will eventually be a popular resort for those who
are seeking for fossiliferous remains, and those
who delight in fishing. Here is the outfitting
point for hunting and fishing parties who
desire to go either north or south, and here
is the head center for Rocky Mountain spec-
imens, fossils, petrifactions, etc., and travelers
would like to know beforehand just what accom-
modations they can obtain. Mr. Kitchen is able
to provide for all, in elegant style, at reasonable
prices. Here, also, he has on exhibition and for
sale the specimens alluded to such as beautiful
moss agates, fossil fish, petrified shells and wood,
with others which we are not able to name. Par-

others to reclaim the soil, but thus far
with indifferent success, though Mr. Fields
was quite successful, in 1875, with a crop of
potatoes, cabbages, turnips, radishes, and other
"garden truck."

Stages leave here for the Big Horn Waters
and other towns tri-weekly. The old mud
huts are beginning to find occupants again.
The Desert House is the only hotel, a
pleasant place with its flowers, ferns, and

The high projecting tower north of the
track, crowning a bluff, is 625 feet higher than
the river level below, and about 615 feet higher
than the track. Other rocks, as " The Sisters "
and " The Twin Sisters " will be readily recog-
nized by the passing traveler.

" Wake up, wake up," said an old lady to her
husband, as the train approached the station one


ties of m^n are employed to search the hills,
mountains and valleys in this vicinity, for these
specimens, and when found, to bring them in.
The stock is, therefore, continually replenished
with rich and rare gems and fossils, and they
may here be obtained at any tirm.

Being the end of a division, Green River has a
large roundhouse with fifteen stalls, and the
usual machine and repair shops. The railroad
bursts into the valley through a narrow gorge
between two hills, then turns to the right and
enters the town, crossing the river beyond on a
wooden truss bridge. The old adobe town, re-
mains of which are still visible, was on the bot-
tom-land directly in front of the gorge.

Green River is now the county-seat of
Sweetwater County, Wyoming, and has a
population of nearly 1,000 persons. Efforts
have been made by Mr. Fields and a few

morning last year; "here is Solomon's ternple
petrified," said she, as she gave him another
shake. The old gentleman rubbed his eyes, gave
another yawn, and finally looked out, to see what
excites the curiosity of every traveler, as he
arrives at this place. Sure enough : it seems as
though some great temple once stood here, or
several of them, and in the wrecks of time, left
their gigantic pillars standing, as a reminder of
their former greatness.

T/ie Green River. The peculiar color of
this river is not owing to the fact of any discolora-
tion of the water ; that, when the banks of the
stream are not filled by freshets of itself or some
of its tributaries, is very pure and sweet, and of
the usual color of clear water, but is owing to
the green shale through which it runs, ad which
can readily be seen in the bluffs in the vicinity
and for quite a distance up Black's Fork, and



which is supposed to contain arsenic or chloride
of copper, which becomes detached by drainage
and fastens itself to the pebble stones and bot-
tom of the stream, causing the water, as you
look into it, to b3ar the sania color. This river
rises in the Wyoming and Wind River Mount-
ains, is fed by numerous tributaries, and flows
in a general southerly direction, until it unites
with the Colorado River. The scenery along its
banks, most always rugged, in some places is
sublime. Where it is crossed by the railroad, its
valley is narrow, enclosed on either side by high
bluffs, which have bean washed into numerous
fanciful shapes by the storms of time, and
which are crowned, in many instances, by col-
ums, or towers, forcibly reminding one of the
towers, battlements and castles, spoken of in
the old feudal times. Its tributaries, nearly
all have narrow fertile valleys, which are be-
ing occupied by stockmen, and which afford
both hay and shelter for stock. South of
the railroad, it winds through the famous Col-
orado Canon, so well and grandly described
by Major Powell, the explorer. The river and
its surroundings must from their verv nature,
always be a source of interest to the scien-
tist, and will soon become a popular resort
for fossil hunters, gem searchers and sports-

Brown's Hole. This is a beautiful scene
just below Red Canon, the water is calm, quiet,
and peaceful, like a mirror, with wonderfully dis-
tinct reflections. Here is the last quiet stretch
of the river ere it enters into the turbulent pas-
sage of the deeper, gloomier, and larger canon


below The sandy beach, at the left, shows the
foot-prints of numerous deer, bears, and elk that
frequent the bank.

Brown's Hole is an expansion of the val-
ley of Green River, and is about five miles
wide and thirty miles long. This is a name given
by the old trappers, 40 years ago, or more and
has been a favorite wintering place for stock.
Little or no snow falls in the valleys, and they are
so well surrounded by high mountains, that the
bleak winds of winter cannot reach them. The
valley is covered with wild sage and bunch
grass and at the time of the visit of the Hayden
Exploring Party, there were 2,200 head of Texas
cattle, just driven in, to fatten for the California
market. In the north sides of the valley, the beds
of rock have, by the action of the weather, become
shaped into innumerably beautiful, architectural
forms, like the ruins of pyramids.

Giant's Club. This is fairly a giant in di-
mensions, as its proportions are really colos-
sal. It rises with almost perpendicular sides,
and is impossible to scale by ascent. The rock
is valuable for its curious composition, as it bears
evidences of having once existed at the bottom
of a lake. The rock lies in regular strata, all
horizontal, and most of these contain fossils of
plants and fishes. The plants are all extinct
species, and closely allied to our fruit and forest
trees ; among them, however, are some palms,
which indicated this to be, in original times.
vhen the deposit was formed, a very warm
climate. Professor Hayden, in examining this
rock, and others near, found the plants in the
upper part of the rock, and about a hundred feet


lower down, discovered the remains of fishes, all
of them belonging to fresh water, and all extinct
species. They were imbedded in oily shales, and
insects were found with them, in a remarkable
state of preservation. With the fishes were also
found feathers of birds, and a few reeds.

Peculiarities of the Green Itiver RocJcs.
To the curious formation of rocks which give
all this region its characteristic features, is given
the name of the Green River Shales ; the sedi-
ments are arranged in regular layers, mostly
quite thin, but varying from the thickness of a
knife-blade to several feet. These peculiar
layers, or bands, are quite varied in shades of
color. In some of the thin slabs of shale, are
thousands of beautiful impressions of fish, some-
times a dozen or so within the compass of a

ters of the river are of the purest emerald, with
banks and sand-bars of glistening white. The
perpendicular bluff to the left is nearly 1,500 feet
above the level of the river, and of a bright red
and yellow. When illuminated by full sunlight,
it is grand, and deserves its full title " The Flam-
ing Gorge." It is the entrance to a gateway to
the still greater wonders and grandeurs of the
famous Red Canon that cuts its way to a depth
of 3,000 feet, between this point and its entrance
into Brown's Hole.

Leaving Green River the railroad crosses the
bridge, turns to the right, and runs along under
the bluffs the highest being about 350 feet
high, and almost over the river in one place for
about three miles, when it again turns to the
left, passing the divide where there is an un-


square foot. Impressions of insects and water
plants are also sometimes found. At Burning
Rock Cut, the road is cut through thin layers of
a sort of cream-colored, chalky limestone, inter-
spersed with strata of a dark brown color,
saturated with petroleum as to burn freely.
The Cut derives its name Burning Rocks, from
the fact that during the building of the road
the rocks became ignited and burned for some
days, illuminating the labor of the workmen by
night and filling the valley with dense clouds
of smoke by day.

Curious Scenes along the Green River.
At the mouth of Henry's Fork there is a view
on Green River of great beauty, which derives its
principal charm from its vivid colors. The wa-


named side track, and along a hilly, broken
country. '

The Sweetwater. This stream rises in the
Wind River Mountains, directly north of Point
of Rocks and Salt Wells, in the great South
Pass, discovered by General Fremont, and runs in
a general easterly direction uniting with the
North Platte River about 80 miles north of Fort
Steele. South of it is the Sweetwater Mountain
Range. North of it lay the Rattlesnake Hills,
which are said to be one continuous chain of
broken ragged rocks heaped upon each other in
confused masses. They are utterly barren and
desolate, and beyond the snakes which give them
their name, are avoided by almost every living
thing. Near the mouth of this river, Independence


Rock, a noted landmark of the plains, rises. It
is on the line of the Indian trail, to the upper
North Platte Region, and near it has been found
immense deposits of soda in lakes which are
said to be nearly pure, and which are soon to be
worked. The valley of this stream is rarely
covered with snow in winter, and affords ex-
cellent grazing for stock the entire year. Were
it not so exposed to Indian raids in summer, it
would soon be occupied. The care of stock re-
quires horses and beyond the killing of a few
head for beef occasionally, the Indians do not
trouble it; the horses are what they want, and
what they come after and scalps will be taken,
if necessary to obtain them. Placer, gulch and
quartz gold has been discovered in the Wind
River Mountains, near the Great South Pass,
and fortunes have been made and lost in that
mining district in a very short time. They have
bean made by the mining sharks, who sold their
mines to the inexperienced and uninitiated from
the East, and lost by the parties who were
" taken in." There are however valuable mines
in this vicinity (nearly all gold), which will
some day be developed. To the east of the
Wind River Mountains the Shoshone or Snake
River Indian reservation has been laid off. The
principal towns are Atlantic City, South Pass
City and Miner's Delight, a mining town. Near
Atlantic City is Camp Stambough and still
farther north on the east side of the same mount-
ain, is Camp Brown, the latter being near the
boundary line of the Indian reservation referred
to. Very fine hot mineral springs have been
found on or near this reservation, which will
eventually be extensively patronized. The main
road by which these places are reached, leads out
from Bryan and Green River. From the latter
place four-horse coaches are run tri-weekly,
while from the former a great quantity of gov-
ernment freight is annually shipped. The road
crosses the river near the mouth of Big Sandy
Creek, and follows up this stream, and its south
branch to Pacific Spring, after which it crosses
a low divide to a tributary of the Sweetwater.
While the road from Point of Rocks is much
shorter yet this route is said to be the best as it
follows the valley of a stream all the way, and
avoids sand-hills which are very trying to stock.
From Green River the road at present traveled,
passes up the valley until it strikes the Big
Sandy, where it intersects the road from Bryan.
The nearest peaks seen on the north side of the
track, as you pass the divide just west of Creston,
are those of the real Rocky Mountain Range, and
extend in a north-westerly direction to the head
of the Wind River Mountains, from which they
are only divided by the Sweetwater Valley. Be-
fore the Lodge Pole Valley Route was discovered
via the Cheyenne' Pass, the North Platte and
Sweetwater Route via the South Pass and Big
Sandy was the main, in fact the great overland

route, traveled by the Mormons and Cali-
fornia emigrants. At the time the railroad was
built, however, the Lodge Pole Route was the
one mainly traveled. The vast region north of
the railroad between the Black Hills and Green
River Valley, contains within itself the germs of
a mighty empire, only waiting for the united
efforts of capital and labor for development.

Bryan, over 13 miles from Green River,
and 860 miles from Omaha, with an elevation of
6,340 feet or just 200 feet higher than at Green
River. This station was formerly a division ter-
minus at which time it was a place of consider-
able importance. The government has a depot
here, where its freight for Camp Stambaugh,
Camp Brown and other places is received. The
majority of the freight for the Sweetwater Min-
ing District and the settlements at the base of
the Wind River Mountains, South Pass City,
Atlantic City, etc., is also shipped from this
place, the distance to the latter city being 90
miles. Bryan is the first station where the rail-
road strikes Black's Fork of the Green River.
This fork rises in the Uintah Mountains, directly
south of Piedmont, and runs in a north-easterly
direction till it reaches Bryan, then turns toward
the south-west and unites with Green River some
twenty miles below the town of Green River.
The valley at Bryan is quite broad in places, and
thickly covered with sage brush and greasewood.
The soil is said to be fertile and capable of pro-
ducing large crops with irrigation.

Fort Bridger, eleven miles south of Carter
Station, is on this stream, and at that place over
300 bushels of potatoes have been raised from a
single half acre of ground. This shows what
this virgin soil can do if irrigated. The table-
land on the elevated benches that the traveler
will observe on either side of the road, is said to
be equally rich, and would be equally as prolific
if it could be irrigated. As you approach Bryan,
look away to the south and south-east, and you
will behold the towering peaks of the Uintah
Mountains, 70 or 80 miles off. They do not
look so distant, but then distance is very decep-
tive in this country. Bryan is a telegraph sta-
tion with a store, saloon, and a few houses all
that's left to tell the story of its better and de-
parted days. Its early history is the same as all
the railroad towns we have mentioned, with
roughs, cut-throats, gamblers, villains, etc., and
their cleaning out by vigilance committees, under
law administered by "Judge Lynch."

We now pursue our way up the valley of
Black's Fork. Four miles west of Bryan, the
road first crosses this stream which it follows to
Church Buttes.

Marston is the next station a side track
21 miles from Green River, and 8('>7.<i miles from
Omaha ; elevation. 0.215 feet. From the appar-
ently level plains which the road crosses, abrupt
buttes or bluffs rise as if built by human hands


as mounds to conceal some treasure, or to perpet-
uate some remarkable incident in history. They
form a curious study, and awaken no little in-
terest in the mind of an observing traveler. To
the left of the track there are a number of low
buttes as you approach

Granger, the next station, 877.2 miles from
Omaha, and 6,270 feet above the sea. It is a
telegraph station, named in honor of an old set-
tler here, and is the principal shipping point on
the line of the Union Pacific, for Montana and
Idaho cattle. These cattle are driven to this
point from the territories named, and the ship-
ments are increasing every year. Yards and
chutes have been erected for their accommodation
and use. Near the station are one or two stone
houses. The road here crosses Ham's Fork, a
tributary of Black's Fork, which vises some 70

to Evanston, in great profusion. The most of
them, however, are valueless, but occasionally
specimens of rare beauty are picked up. On
what are called " the bad lands," about 7 miles
south of the road, however, the finest agates,
with other beautiful gem?, are obtained with lit-
tle difficulty. In Ham's Fork water agates,
creamy white, and amber colored, may be occa-
sionally picked up. They are quite rare, and
when cut by the lapidary, are held to be of con-
siderable value.

View of Uintah Mountains. The view
we give an illustration of, on page 80, is one of
the finest in the Far West. The scene is taken
from Photograph Ridge, at an elevation of
10,829 feet. In the foreground is a picturesque
group of the mountain pines. In the middle
distance flows Black's Fork. The peaks or cones


miles north-west, and which, the old settlers say,
is really the main stream of the two. The banks
of this stream, as far as you can see, are lined
with bushes, and farther up, its valley produces
luxuriant grass, from which hay is cut, and upon
which numerous herds of cattle feed. An oval
peak rises on the north side of the track, beyond
which, in the distance, may be seen a range of
bluffs, or mountains,which rise up between Ham's
Fork and Green River. From Granger to the
next station, are buttes on both sides of the
track, while, to the left, the high peaks of the
Uintah Range tower up in the distance, affording
one of the grandest views on the line of the road.
This is the region of moss agates, gems of vari-
ous kinds, and precious stones. Agates are found
all along the line of the road from Green River


in the distance have their summits far above the
limits of perpetual snow, and from 1,500 to 2,000
feet above the springs that are the sources of the
streams below. These cones are distinctly strati-
fied, mostly horizontal, and there are frequently
vast piles of purplish, compact quartzite, which
resemble Egyptian pyramids on a gigantic scale,
without a trace of grit, vegetation, or water. One
of these remarkable structures stands out isolated
from the rest, in the middle of the Valley of
Smith's Fork, and is so much like a Gothic
church, that the United States Surveying Party
gave it the name of Hayden's Cathedral, after
the leader of the exploration.

Church Jiiittes, 887.7 miles from Omaha;
elevation, 6,317 feet. The particular buttes,
from which the station derives its name, are


about 10 miles south of the station, on the old
overland stage road, but buttes rise up from the
level plains in this vicinity in every direction.
They are, however, fast washing away. The
annual increase in rain-fall on this desert, since
the completion of the railroad and the stretch-
ing of five telegraph wires, is remarkable, and
is especially noticed by the old settlers. These
rains, with the frosts of winter, are having a
noticeable effect on the buttes. Isolated peaks
have disappeared entirely and prominent pro-
jections have bean materially lessened. There
are still a large number, however, chiseled by
the action of frosts and rains into fantastic
shapes which will excite the attention and rivet
the gaze of the traveler, as he passes by ; but, if
their annual diminution continues, in less than
half a century, they will have lost their interest.
Near this station is the last crossing of Black's
Fork, which now bears away to the left, while
the road ascends another of its branches, called
the Big Muddy. What has been said in refer-
ence to abates, etc., of the other stations, will
apply to Church Buttes with equal force.

Curious Scientific Explorations.
Church Buttes is a curious formation, located on
the line of the old overland stage route, about
one hundred and fifty miles east from Salt Lake,
and at this point having an elevation of 6,731
feet. The formation is part of the Mauvaises
Terres, or Bad Lauds, and consists of a vast de-
posit of sedimentary sandstones, and marly clay,
in perfectly horizontal strata, and contain within
their beds, some very remarkable paleontological
remains. The peculiar effects of stormy weather
and flood, in the past, has carved the bluff-lines
into the most curious and fantastic forms lofty
domes and pinnacles, and fluted columns, these
rocks resembling some cathedral of the olden

Online LibraryHenry T WilliamsPacific tourist : Adams and Bishop's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean : a complete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific railroads → online text (page 18 of 62)