Sublette County Historic Preservation Board - Honor the Past, Enrich the Future

Due May 24, 2020 (Extended to June 9, 2020)
Big Piney & Marbleton Historic Building Survey

The Sublette County Historic Preservation Board (SCHPB) is soliciting proposals from a qualified consultant or consulting team to complete a historic building survey of pre-1940 structures in the towns Big Piney & Marbleton, in Sublette County, western Wyoming.

Big Piney’s roots date back to 1879 when a post office of that name was established on the Swan Ranch establishing the earliest community in what is now Sublette County, Wyoming. The post office was moved 3 miles east to the current town location when Dan Budd relocated his ranch headquarters in 1887. In 1892, Budd erected a store with a second floor dance hall. By 1911, the first plat established building lots and a town. Just 1 mile north, the community of Marbleton was also platted and formed in 1910. Since that time the two towns have grown side by side and now share schools and post office, but still have separate town governments.

See Request For Proposal for more details - Due May 24, 2020 (Extended to June 9, 2020)

Big Sandy Lodge: 2020

The Sublette County Historic Preservation Board (SCHPB) is helping the current owners, Morris family, collect oral histories and documents related to the history of Big Sandy Lodge.

Big Sandy Lodge is located adjacent to Mud Lake in the southern end of the Wind River Mountain Range within Bridger Teton-National Forest (BTNF). It is currently operated as guest lodge and outfitting business under permit of the BTNF. The complex consists of corrals and 18 buildings including the main lodge, 10 guest cabins, a care taker house, 2 outhouses, bath house, barn, tack shed, and wrangler cabin.

Adjacent to the primary trailhead to the southern Wind River Mountains, the location was originally established and used by Finis Mitchell from 1929 to 1937 as a fishing basecamp due to its proximity to Mud Lake and other alpine lakes capable of supporting stocked fish. The current wrangler cabin was built during Finis’ time in the 1930s. The main lodge and remaining buildings were built from 1949-1955 by the Thomas family as a guest ranch and it has been continuously operated as such ever since. The unique lodge and cabins were constructed from logs milled in the area. Big Sandy Lodge is the only guest lodge on the BTNF that has not been significantly changed or expanded since its construction. It still retains excellent integrity of location, setting, design, workmanship and historical association.

BTNF Historic Buildings: 2017 - 2018

The Bridger-Teton National Forest has recently made several of their historic buildings available for rental. These include the GP Bar Guest Ranch Lodge, Hoback Guard Station and Sherman Guard Station.

The Preservation Board used the opportunity to research each location and create a scrap book and historic pictures for the walls that guest can use while renting to learn more about the rich area history.

GP Bar Lodge Scrapbook (aka Green River Lakes Lodge)
Hoback Guard Station Scrapbook
Sherman Guard Station Scrapbook

Looking Back: GP Bar Dude Ranch - October 10, 2017
Green River lake Lodge Open House - June 24, 2018

Reservations: Green River Lake Lodge, Hoback GS, Sherman GS

Cora Townsite National Register Nomination: 2016 - 2017

The Cora Townsite (48su428) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 24, 2017.

The current town of Cora is made up of seven buildings that are all privately owned, but the old store still operates as a Post Office serving a broader rural community of several hundred residents. Originally founded in 1891, the town moved a couple times before finally settling at its current location in 1919. Most of the buildings were constructed by hand by European emigrants around 1900. None have been moved since 1919, the beginning of the period of significance. Although privately owned, the old store and post office building has been the rural community gathering spot for more than a century.

Cora National Register Celebration - July 14, 2017
National Register of Historic Places in Sublette County

Deadline Ridge Fire Lookout: 2015 - 2019

The Deadline Ridge Fire Lookout (48su1738) is located at approximately 10,100 feet elevation on Deadline Ridge in the Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF) on the Big Piney Ranger District. It was built in 1941, probably as a CCC project, but little is known of its history. The stick built structure is 11 feet by 11 feet of a typical plan for the time. Unlike other Sublette County lookouts, this one is easily accessible by vehicle, and is in good condition. It commands a great view in three directions. It is in the best condition and only one of three fire lookouts that still stand in Sublette County. In cooperation with the BTNF, the Preservation Board repaired and restored the lookout. This included painting, roof repair, restoration of windows, building of new shutters, door repair, installation of interpretive panels, and a replica furniture. Members of the public can visit the site year road, but is usually snowed in from October thru June. A companion interpretive display has been developed at the Green River Valley Museum in Big Piney.

The Historic Preservation Board and USFS have started planning on restoration of the fire lookouts on Monument Ridge and Prospect Peak.

Deadline Fire Lookout Information & Directions

Deadline Ridge Fire Lookout Proposal - January 31, 2015
Restoration - August 17, 2015
Restoration Continues - September 8, 2016
Open House Announcement - August 21, 2019
Open House - August 28, 2019
Closing For Winter - October 9, 2019

Homestead Survey: 2005 - 2017

With funding from the Sublette County Commissioners, the Historic Preservation Board conducted an extensive documentation project of remaining homestead structures in the county. The included methodically researching every patent record, contacting current owners, and documenting with GPS and photos any remaining structures and buildings. Almost 3000 land patents in Sublette County were issued under the Homestead Act, Desert Claim Act, and other similar legislation, which required improvements on the land. Documenting those surviving buildings and improvements was the focus of the project. The work was been spearheaded by Helena Linn with help from Deanne Bradley and Ton Hawley. The records will be archived at the Green River Valley Museum for access to researchers.

Homestead Research Guidelines (36K PDF)
Homestead Site Forms (40K DOC)
Landowner Information Letter (211K PDF)

Craig Cabin National Register Nomination: 2013 - 2016

Craig Cabin is located on Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF) on Jack Creek in Sublette County, Wyoming. The buildings and site are more than 100 years old and unique because they encompasses three phases of economic activities in the area. The cabins began as a remote fur trapping outpost in the late 1800s. The cabins were next repurposed as a gold mine base in the early 1900s. A diversion ditch and sluice boxes were added. Finally, the buildings were converted to and outfitting base camp in 1971 and has been continuously used in that capacity to present.

While most early cabins on Forest Service land have not survived the test of time, the Craig cabin site has thrived because of the continuous use and repurposing for various economic activities.

Craig Cabin was listed on the National Register September 19, 2016.

National Register Nomination - Craig Cabin
National Register of Historic Places in Sublette County

Green River Drift: 2009 - 2014

In October 2013, The Green River Drift was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The drift is a 58-mile long cattle trail that has been continuously used since the 1890s by the Upper Green River Cattle Association ranchers to get cattle from spring pasture on the desert to summer pasture in the forest. Because it is still being used much as it has for more than 100 years, the Drift was listed as a Traditional Cultural Property (TCP), the first ranching related TCP in the nation. It is the oldest and longest continuously used stock driveway in Wyoming.

Driven by rancher Jonita Sommers and Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office, efforts started in 2009 for a National Register nomination. Because the trail crosses private, county, state and federal lands, and covers more than 100 miles of main trail and side trails, the nomination was very complex taking 4 years to complete. The Preservation Board aided in working with private public landowners, hosted a dedication on June 20, 2014 to celebrate the listing.

The Preservation Board has also developed three interpretive road sign to be placed along the Drift. The mesa sign has been installed at the Sommers Homestead. The drift fence and forest signs are complete pending final site approval for installation.
Dedication of Green River Drift
National Register Nomination - Green River Drift
National Register of Historic Places in Sublette County

Lander Trail Survey: 2006 - 2008

With the rapid natural gas boom in the Sublette County starting in the mid 1990s, parts of the emigrant Lander Trail were threatened. The Preservation Board wanted to be proactive instead of reactive in protecting the trail by educating private land owners of the important historic resource on their land, but also documenting the trail before any significant impacts due to development. The Preservation Board commissioned a professional survey of the entire Lander Trail on private ground through Sublette County. The survey led to the development of a 100 acre historical park where the Lander Trail crosses the New Fork River.

Lander Trail New Fork River Crossing Historical Park: 2009 - 2014

The Preservation Board was offered to participate in development of Programmatic Agreement development with gas field developers on public ground. The goal was to find appropriate mitigation for impacts to the setting of the Lander Trail in the Pinedale Anticline gas field. The result was offsite mitigation and development of the New Fork River Crossing Historical Park providing a unique river setting experience for trail visitors and preserving an rare emigrant river crossing location.

At the request of the Preservation Board, Sublette County Road and Bridge built the parking lot and Preservation Board funds were used signs and improvements around the parking lot. More than 20 private, non-profit and government organizations were involved in developing the Park. Grand opening was June 21, 2014.

2017 Update - The New Fork River Crossing was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 17, 2017.
Grand Opening - June 21, 2014
National Register of Historic Places in Sublette County

Pinedale Historic District Project - 2004

In cooperation with the Town of Pinedale and the Museum of the Mountain Man, the Preservation Board established the original four blocks of Pinedale as a Historic District. The Board designed and purchased a 24" by 36" plaque that was placed at the northeast corner of Pine St and Franklin Avenue. The plaque was dedicated during Pinedale's centennial celebration on September 26, 2004 by Mayor Rose Skinner and Wyoming Senator Barbara Cubin. Board President Ann Noble conducted a walking tour of the historic district in the afternoon and gave a presentation on the new book she is writing, "Pinedale - A Centennial History".

Pinedale Historic District Plaque (252K PDF)
Early Pinedale History
Pinedale Celebrates 100 Years

Bondurant Church National Register Nomination - 2001

With a $2500 grant from SHPO, the Preservation Board was able to get the Bondurant Church and Library buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The project also included an informational brochure and website highlighting historic community buildings of Sublette County. The featured buildings included the Church of St. Hubert the Hunter in Bondurant, the Daniel School House, the Boulder School House, and the Big Piney Community Hall.

Historic Community Buildings of Sublette County
National Register Nomination - Bondurant Church

Civilian Conservation Corps - 2000

The Preservation Board hired historian Ann Noble to research and document the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) activities and camps in Sublette County during the 1930s and 1940s. When research was complete, several public slide show presentations were given. Camp Fremont near Pinedale was one of the first camps in the nation. The CCC work included construction of roads, bridges, campgrounds, ranger stations and many other projects. Many of the facilities are still in use today.

CCC in Sublette County

Photographic History of Sublette County - 1998 & 1999

The Sublette County Historic Preservation Board found and digitized over 5000 photographs that document the history of Sublette County and its residents. The private and public collections were scanned by dozens of mostly volunteers and ultimately published on CD-ROM and the internet. By making these photos available to everyone on the internet, they have been used by hundreds of researchers instead of stored away in boxes in closets or museums where only a few get to see them. Since the original project a few new collections have been added.

Photographic History of Sublette County

About the Board

The Sublette County Historic Preservation Board is a public board of volunteers appointed by the Sublette County Commissioners. Our mission is to educate, encourage and aid in preservation of our community's historic assets. The board is set up under the Certified Local Government (CLG) program administered by the National Park Service and the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Funding is primarily through the Sublette County Commissioners, but the board is also charted to apply for federal funds via the CLG program.

2020 Members:
Clint Gilchrist, President
Dave Vlcek, Vice-President
Dawn Ballou, Secretary
Bob Beiermann
Jonita Sommers
Carmel Kail
Don Schooley
Andrea Lewis

More information:
By-laws of the Historic Preservation Board (124K PDF)
Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office
National Park Service
Certified Local Government Program
National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places in Sublette County

Minutes & Annual Report - 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

Please send any questions to