Tongue River Crossing
Posted by: brwhiz
N 44° 53.777 W 107° 13.825
13T E 323891 N 4973848
Quick Description: This Wyoming Historical Marker is located on the north side of US Highway 14 between Ranchester and Dayton.
Location: Wyoming, United States
Date Posted: 9/23/2012 6:10:25 AM
Waymark Code: WMFB5B
Long Description:Tongue River Crossing
Historically, this area of the Tongue River served as a trail and stage road crossing. The Bozeman Trail, road to the Montana gold fields, crossed here beginning in 1864. The Bozeman cut through the Powder River Basin, violating the Fort Laramie Treaties, which designated the area as tribal lands for the Northern Plains Tribes. Use of the trail contributed to the “Plains Indian War” and military occupation of the region.
In the summer of 1865 a road building expedition managed by James A. Sawyers set out from Niobrara, NE headed to Virginia City, MT. When the expedition reached the Dry Fork of the Powder River, its route merged with the Bozeman Trail. General Patrick Connor attacked and destroyed an Arapaho village downstream on August 29, three days before Sawyers’ Expedition arrived at this crossing. In retaliation, an Arapaho war party laid siege to Sawyers’ encampment for 13 days until a military escort arrived.
From 1879 through 1895, the Bingham Post Office operated near here on the north side of the Tongue River. Between 1879 and 1885, Bingham also served as a stage station along the Rock Creek Stage Line. This 400-mile line ran from Rock Creek on the Union Pacific Railroad in southern Wyoming to near present day Billings, MT. In 1882 the Northern Pacific Railroad stretched through Montana and the stage line served the important role of connecting the two railroads. By 1890 a variety of shorter rail and stage routes connected areas within the two states and the need for a Wyoming to Montana stage route came to an end.