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Bear Creek - TravelStorys

WY Tour Goshen County

Location Trip Time Travel Type
Wyoming 1 hour

Bear Creek

The mountain you can see from here is called Bear Mountain. It is named for the distinguishing "Bear" rock formation. The community that lives and ranches here is the Bear Creek Community. It is said that General Custer's reinforcements were camped here, after getting lost on their way to The Battle of the little Big Horn. It must have been difficult to navigate in that era. Just a decade earlier, a group of emigrants lost their way near here. If you look to the East and you will see a mountain that locals call 66 Mountain. The legend varies a bit but, the most reliable story goes something like this: In the early 1860's a group of 67 emigrants were headed back East. After their horses stampeded one night because of prowling Indians or wolves, the emigrant group continued on foot along the trail to Fort Laramie. With a boy named Ed Stemler as their guide, they trailed their horses to the head of "Lorren's Fork," and then to the hills bordering Pumpkin Creek. At the head of the valley, near the mountain, the travelers were attacked by a marauding band of Cheyenne Indians, and took refuge on the slopes of the hill. After a protracted struggle the band fell, all were killed but their young guide. Stemler had red hair and freckles so the superstitious natives left him alone thinking he was a devil. Ed made his way to Pine Bluffs where he recovered. Ed stayed in the country establishing a ranch where the little band of 66 were killed. Mr. Stemler remained silent concerning the story of the massacre, telling very few and swearing them to secrecy. The mountain has been called "66" ever since.

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