Camp Auger

CAMP AUGUR - 1869

Camp Augur, a small military post, was established at the future site of Lander in June, 1869.  Original purpose was to protect the friendly Shoshones from enemy tribes; it served as protection for the white settlers as well.

At Fort Bridger in 1868, Chief Washakie, leader of a small band of Eastern Shoshone Indians, signed a treaty with the government for the creation of a reservation in the Wind River Valley for the exclusive use of the Shoshones.  However, the reservation in the Wind River Valley put his people within range of their enemies – the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes.  Chief Washakie would not move his people onto the reservation until military protection was provided for his small band.

The Fort was built in a triangular formation.  The buildings were made of unhewn logs and had dirt floors. More than likely the Fort also had observation towers. Two good streams of water were nearby.

In 1870 the fort was moved 15 miles north and in 1878 renamed Fort Washakie after Shoshone Chief Washakie.

A few settlers had already squatted on the land in the vicinity of Camp Augur/Brown and it wasn’t long before the mine fields began to play out and many disheartened miners headed down to the “warm valley” to settle.  The area had plenty of wildlife, an abundance of water, and a warmer climate.  After the military site was no longer on reservation lands and was the supply route to the new post, it was an opportune time to start new businesses for freighters and travelers to the military post.  The seed for the town of Lander was planted.

Benjamin Frank Lowe, one of the founding fathers of the town, proposed to name the town Lander, in honor of General Frederick Lander of the United States army.   Lowe had been associated with Lander and guided him through the South Pass country.

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