"Resurrection of a ghost city" South Pass City by kokoryko
South Pass City Travel Guide: 10 reviews and 45 photos
This was once a city, then was a ghost city probably, and nowadays it is back on maps, a very very tiny village (see picture!) which has rehabilitated the old ghost city.
South pass was the place where the Oregon Trail and the California Trail crossed the Great Divide during the migrations to the West in the nineteenth century.
It is located on the southern area of the Wind River Range, high mountains (culminating at Gannet Peak with 4207m) of South Western Wyoming. By chance prospectors discovered a little bit gold dust in the creeks of the area in 1867 and the place became a “gold fever” city judiciously located on one of the main trails of the immigrants. I just can imagine (with my western movies “culture”) how the place has been between 1870-1900.
Businessmen and traders rapidly settled in South Pass City to fill the needs of prospectors and miners; horse stalls, blacksmiths, general stores, clothiers, saloons, seven (!) hotels, butchers, restaurants, etc, etc, composed very soon a half mile long main street.
Today a few of the old houses and buildings have been renovated and constitute the place we can visit and where we can have a little bit of the old atmosphere.
At time of its “glory” South Pass City was an important city in Wyoming; there were not only rude miners, tricky poker players, prostitutes, gun men, but also families, a teacher, a mayor other “honest” people, and all lived in a sort of constructive symbiosis and it resulted that the first woman judge (justice Esther Hobart Morris) of the United States was appointed here; following this, Wyoming was the first state of the U S granting vote to the women! Isn’t it amazing that this happened here in the wild mountains rather than in the “civilized” states of the East Coast?
But when the gold fever was over and when the migrants found other routes or just became more rare, the city emptied almost as quickly as it grew. Only very few gold miners stayed there, living in harsh conditions and the few houses remaining are either part of this open air museum or holiday homes for some nostalgic people loving the wild West and the mountains.
The very quiet Willow Creek runs its clear waters parallel to the main street where about thirty buildings are preserved; it is interesting to hike up on the hills to have a general view of this place which looks today a bit like a doll village, with bright colored wooden houses disseminated over clean manicured meadows; travels are dreams and imagination: the stage coach arrives with a big cloud of dust, the horses whinny, piano music comes from the saloon, the hammer of the carpenter resonates, the rock mill propagates its thundering sound and heavy dust, the kids scream coming out from the school. . . . .
My photographs are not works of art, my writings are not literature.
Be kind, I posted them here, and I would appreciate you inform me if you intend to display them elsewhere! Merci!
- Pros:A nice introduction to old Wild west
- Cons:A bit "clean" may be?
- In a nutshell:Kid's dreams. . .
The modern mine of South Pass City is not operating nowadays; it was active a few years ago and it may resume its... more travel advice
During the short hike, you have to cross the Willow Creek and in the flat valley, there are little meadows which I... more travel advice
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