Sunday, January 30, 2011

Amanuensis Monday- Hannah Lee's Overland Journal, Part 2

Hannah Hyndman Lee
For the second time, Hannah Lee and her husband Milton had left Iowa and headed west toward Wyoming. On this trip they were headed for the Jackson Hole area near where Peter Lee had gone to settle when Milton and Hannah had returned to Iowa after their first trip to Wyoming. Arriving in the Jackson area they acquired a parcel of land and built a roadhouse to take in travelers who came to the area. They only stayed in the Jackson Hole area for a few years before returning to Iowa for a second time but it was long enough that an area Ranger Station was at one time named for Milton Lee. The old roadhouse building stood for years and operated as various businesses. The well known Heidelberg Bed and Breakfast, which is no longer in business, stood on the exact spot of the old Lee roadhouse according to Teton County records which our cousin found some years ago.

Below is the continuation of Hannah Lee’s Overland Journal as her group departed the Fort Laramie area to push on westward. It is transcribed with all the original spellings. You can find the family background information and the first part of this story and journal transcription on Those Old Memories, located here.

                   HANNAH LEE’S OVERLAND JOURNAL-   PART 2

In the morning we started for Douglass, we are going up the North Plat River & find good camping places.  There we see a rabbit & once in a while some antelope but they are hard to get as the distance is so far one has to practice a while before they can get one.  Nothing will hit them but a 38 Winchester.  Here we find lots of sage chickens.  They are about as big as our Plimeth Rock chickens and are about as good.  We are coming to some hills.  Some days we have traveled threw quite a sandy country but their was plenty of grass for the horses but wood was scarce.  Some times we had nothing but sage brush & other times weeds, but we seen so many curyosities  that made us forget that wood was scarse.   Well here is Douglass a good sised town on the north side of the river & we are on the south.  We see Ft. Fetterman.  Here we stay 2 days, & we go on our way to Casper Wyoming.  We travel a number of days & is in a country where we don’t see but 1 ranch that any body lives in.  In about 12 days we are in Casper a nice little town on the plat River.  Here we meet Jim Lock of Fairfield, Iowa.  Jim is looking well & glad to hear from Fairfield.  Here we stay all nite.  This is July the 3 and they are decorating the buildings for a grand selabration on the 4th.  We see a thousand head of cattle the cow boys are bringing them a cross the river & taking them back in the hills.  The horses gets scared & Mr. Oleary’s team starts to run away but are caught & no harm done.  We go on for Lander one hundred & sixty miles on our way we find some of the lovliest flours.  We gather some nice ones & press them & send them to our Friends at home.   We meet lots of Freighters halling wool to Casper as that is the nearest shiping point.  I have seen lots of Freighters with as many as twelve nice mules with fine harness on a Big heavy Mountain Wagon loaded with wool & 2 trail wagons fastened behind the other wagon.  At night when they camp, they unharness every mule as he stands in his place the harness is laid behind each mule & the collars in front.  They are fed & turned out to graze.  One saddle horse is larieted to drive the mules in, when fed they are soon in their places.  Here we are at the foot of a Mountain.  Mrs. Barger & I walk.  On the top we find 3 freight teams campt for dinner.  They have six yoke of Cattle, the first ox teams I have seen for many years.  Later on we find a freighter with one wagon wheel broke down & has to go back to Lander.  We camp on deer Crick & stay over Sunday.  There is a nice spring we find some wild goosberies.  There is know one lives here & we find it very lonely.  At night we are serenaded by wolves, one of our horses thinks she had better start back to Iowa & the rest all follow, but after a long chace are brought back & we go on. 

 Five oclock in the evening we camp at Lander quite a nice place, situated in a valley.  Groceries are very high.  We leave Lander to pass threw the Indian Reservation, the Shushonies.  We travel up wind River a Rough & Rocky road.  The reservation is 80 miles square we see lots of Indians the women & men are very dark Colord & have their hair Braided while the old Indiam men have their hair long hanging down over their shoalders & ware their over Coats most of the time all summer as it is cold out their.  The roads are so rough, we camp 3 nights in the reservation.  Wind River is not very wide but pretty deep on one side & is full of big & little rock which makes it dangerous to cross as it runs so swift a horse can hardly keep his feet.  We leave the reservation & travel up wind river over 1 hundred miles.  We camp & find a little store in the mountains.  Here flour is five dollars a hundred, but we have a good suply & glad we didant need any but coffee we have to get which is 33 cents a lb.  That’s good enough as it has to be freighted a long way.  We camp at a squaw mans & stay all night.  In the morning we start on for Old man Clarks, he is an old gentleman a bout 75 years old & lives all a lone in the mountains.  We meet him on the road & ask if he could tell us where Mr. Clark lived, & he said if there were any more Clarks lived their he dident know of any but told us which way to go & said he would be back soon & meet us up the river but we did not see him & went on & campt by the river 4 days to a wait the arrival of an escort to take us over the wind river mountains.  The boys went up the river a bout a quarter of a mile to his house & had a talk with him.  He had lived their a long time & always went by the name of Old Man Clark.  This was in ninety five when the Indian trouble was in the Jackson hole Country in Uintah co. Wyoming.  Here came a man a horse back from over their 8 days travel threw a heavy timbered Country & unsettled, not a house to stay in over nite, one has to camp out .  He tells us that he seen Mr. Lee & Spencer & that they sent word for us to stay there till we hear further news from the Indian trouble.  Well we all talk it over & all are in favor of going on.  We are at the foot of a mountain, & the Indians were out in the hills hunting.  About 1 oclock we cross wind river for the last time & go about 8 miles & camp.  We are to have Elk Stake for supper.  We are where the game is plenty.  We stay all nite, after supper we hang our old Camp Kettle on the pole & boil some for dinner the next day.  We will soon be at the foot of the Big Mountain.  Well here is a cabin this is old man Clarks gold mine.  We all get down & go in & inspect the place.  None of us has ever seen any mining done we all go down in the mine.  Here are all the mining tools & the rocker, but no one at work but they said it would pan out $30 dolars to the ton.  We start up a pretty steep mountain about 4 miles long.  Here is the heavy  pine timber the tallest pines I ever seen.  My but it is nice.  A bout 2 oclock we are all on top of the Mountain and glad to eat a cold dinner as all walked but the drivers.  3 or 4 miles farther & we camp.  We are all getting short of meat & have a bout 10 days to travel before we get over to the Jackson hole Country.  There is a trail one can go a horseback a shorter distance.  There is no stores & we will all do the best we can & flour is getting scarce.  All at once our road comes to an end.  The men get down & at last finds a wagon track.  We go down a small valley & here is a young porcupine he thinks he is hid he sits on a limb with his head tuckt under a few leaves.  We leave him & camp.  Here is a large herd of Antelopes.  The Boys slip a around the pines & took a few shots but they were to far away.

In the morning we start & go on down the mountains to green river as we go we pass 3 places like Big Meadows a beautiful place.  It is getting dark.  Pete Lee sees an antelope & gets his forty five ninety Winchester & killed 2.  We were all glad as none of us had any meat since Morning & Williams is out of flour.  The game is drest & we all have a share.  Here we stay till noon.  The next day in the morning Mr. Burlingham came with a lot of Dudes from Boston on their way to the National Park all were a horseback & about 30.  We gave them a hind quarter of the antelope & they gave Mr. Williams some flour.  They had a big wagon loaded with grub.  3 more teams joins us from the Big Horn.  There is 7 covered wagons now.   We leave green river. 

To be continued next Monday with part 3…

Source: excerpts from the original journal of Hannah Lee, © and owned by Kathleen Hopkins

Amanuensis Monday is a popular ongoing series created by John Newmark at Transylvania Dutch Blog.

Part 1 of this story is here
Part 3 of this story is here. 


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