‘Fort Nonsense': The Oldest Settlement in Wyoming
Years before the Oregon Trail, California Trail, and Mormon Trail guided western pioneers across Wyoming, a French born explorer established the first trading post in the Cowboy State.
In 1832, Benjamin Louis Bonneville led a group of 110 men on an expedition. When they arrived at the Green River, near the present day town of Pinedale, Wyoming, they constructed a fort to bunker down for the winter.
Unfortunately, Bonneville underestimated the Wyoming weather and his men abandoned the fort. It would later be known at Bonneville's Folly and Fort Nonsense.
Although the fort didn't become a permanent settlement, it did serve as a meeting place and trading post for early frontiersman.
Four years later, in 1836, the Oregon Trail was discovered. In 1842, legendary mountain man Jim Bridger established a fur trading post further west on the Green River. Fort Bridger would later become a military post and remained in operation until 1890.
The last remnant of Bonneville's Folly is a historical marker which was placed on the site over a century later by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
If you ever hear someone refer to Fort Bridger as Wyoming's first trading post, now you'll know what to tell them. Nonsense.