Fort Hall

Nathaniel J. Wyeth, a New England ice merchant, decided to go into the fur trade. In 1834 he established Fort Hall near what is today Pocatello, Idaho. Things did not go well. Wyeth returned home in 1836 and sold his fort to the Hudson's Bay Company. Travelers rested at the fort and got new supplies when they were available.

The trail north from the Bear River to the Portneuf River, which would take travelers to Fort Hall, was difficult, but by now the road-hardened travelers handled it routinely. Nine or ten days travel brought them to Fort Hall -- that remarkable outpost of Yankee entrepreneurship in the wilderness.

The fort was abandoned in 1855, but emigrants continued to camp in the abandoned buildings and graze stock in the pastures until 1863. That year, extraordinary floods swept away even the remains.

The original site of Fort Hall is on private property today, but a replica has been built in the city of Pocatello where visitors may see how the original fort looked.


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