Commemorate the Oregon Trail’s Anniversary in Goshen County
Monday, April 30, 2018
The Oregon Trail represents the remarkable determination of the American spirit. Beginning in 1841, an estimated 300,000 pioneers took part in the “Great Migration” along the trail from Missouri to Oregon, in search of better lives in the West.
Emigrants made a grueling 2000-mile journey through seven states. Most travelers made the trek on foot, averaging about 10 miles each day over the course of about five months. One in 10 people perished along the way, from hazards like dangerous river crossings or diseases like cholera and dysentery
This year marks the 175th anniversary of the famed “Pathway to the West.” This milestone provides an excellent excuse to visit. A 57-mile portion of the trail cuts through Wyoming, starting on US 26 at the Nebraska border. Visitors can traverse portions of the trail by foot, horseback, mountain bike and car.
The Oregon Trail Scenic Byway through Wyoming features wonderful opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery. The historic trail runs diagonally through Goshen County.
The Fort Laramie National Historic Site is a key stopping point along the way. The fort is located at the confluence of the North Platte and Laramie Rivers and boasts 22 original structures, several which can be toured.
Fort Laramie was established as a private fur trading post in 1834. Later it became an important military post that has been preserved to tell the dramatic tale of westward expansion.
American history buffs can delve farther into area history at several nearby destinations in Goshen County within easy driving distance from the fort.
The Western History Center in Lingle has interpretive exhibits on pioneer emigration and frontier warfare. Visitors can also learn about the prehistory of Goshen County and the surrounding area through archaeological artifacts.
The Homesteaders Museum in Torrington, housed in a 1926 Union Pacific Train Depot, includes historical information, artifacts and genealogy resources dating back to Goshen County’s first settlement in 1834.
In addition to all this fabulous history, visitors can revel in Goshen County, Wyoming’s wide-open spaces. The endless views, expansive prairies and starry nights make the trip even more worthwhile.