Rich Colors, Rich Lands - Sundance in Crook County, Wyoming
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member gemeloj
N 44° 31.661 W 104° 12.346
13T E 563109 N 4930790
Rich Colors, Rich Lands Gold Metal, Green Grass, Black Coal & Crude
Waymark Code: WM11TFY
Location: Wyoming, United States
Date Posted: 12/16/2019
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member jhuoni
Views: 2

Sundance in Crook County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains) The first Caucasian residents of this area came as prospectors following the Black Hills Gold Rush. In 1876 the glitter of gold led them from the large mining camps of Lead and Deadwood westward to Sand Creek, located near this site. Instead of moving on when they reached the end of the precious vein, many of these adventurers settled here, shifting their energies to other forms of mining as well as farming and ranching.
Aladdin Coal Mines The Black Hills Gold Rush brought with it the need for supplies, in particular, lumber and coal. Several coal beds located north of here near Aladdin were discovered in the 1870s and began to be mined in the 1890s. This coal primarily served gold smelting in Lead and Deadwood. At first it was hauled by wagon. Then in 1898-1900 the Wyoming and Missouri River Railroad (W&MR) was built between Aladdin and Belle Fourche, opening the area to oil production and sawmills and helping farmers and ranchers transport their products to market. Industrial coal mining ceased in 1911 when the gold frenzy subsided, and the railroad closed in 1927. Mining coal for local, domestic use however, continued through the early 1940s. Pictured left is the Aladdin Coal Tipple, an enduring monument to 19th-century coal mine engineering.
Rocky Ford Oilfield Around 1900 an oil seep just south of this Visitor Information Center clued residents to the presence of oil. Geologists studied the area, and entrepreneurs dug test wells. When the Rocky Ford Oilfield was identified southwest of the seep, several oil companies formed to stake claims and start production. One such firm was the Rocky Ford Oil and Development Company, whose president was local farmer E.M. Harper (pictured left around 1915 pumping oil by hand and far left on a drill rig). Windmills or hand-operated pistons pumped most wells, each producing between three gallons and three barrels of oil per day. After commercial production ended, locals continued to tap the remaining wells for decades, using the product as a lubricant and salve.
Fertile Grasslands Settlers to this area came for the gold, the coal, and the oil. However, what they found in abundance in northeast Wyoming was fields of gorgeous green grass. Trailing cattle through here on the way to Montana between the 1870s-1890s, cowboys following the Texas Trail admired the area's grazing potential. Many of them stayed, introducing ranching to the region. Their descendants continue the tradition to this day with "centennial" farms and ranches. Tied closely to the ways of bison that occupied this land for thousands of years, ranching is well suited to the location, as is farming hay and grain. Together, these occupations have shaped settlement and structured the economy of the area.
Heart Mountain Relocation Center
Sundance, Wyoming

Marker Name: Rich Colors, Rich Lands

Marker Type: Rural Roadside

Date Dedicated: 2011

Web link(s) for additional information: [Web Link]

Addtional Information: Not listed

Group Responsible for Placement: Not listed

Marker Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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Walking Boots visited Rich Colors, Rich Lands - Sundance in Crook County, Wyoming 06/04/2019 Walking Boots visited it