Idaho Falls Posts:
What became Idaho Falls was the site of Taylor’s Crossing on the Montana Trail which was a timber frame bridge built across the Snake River. The 1865 bridge was built by Matt Taylor who was a Montana Trail freighter who built a toll bridge across a narrow black basaltic gorge of the river that succeeded a ferry seven miles upstream by several years. Taylor’s bridge served the new tide of westward migration and travel in the region that followed the military suppression of Shoshone resistance at the Bear River Massacre near Preston, Idaho in 1863. The bridge improved travel for settlers moving north and west and also for miners, freighters, and others seeking riches in the gold fields of Idaho and Montana and especially the boom towns of Bannack and Virginia City in western Montana.
This monument is a rock structure, with plaques on each side, and a miniature Teepee on the top. One plaque is by the Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association and others. Another plaque is by the National Park Service, and another by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. The fourth plaque is missing.
The Battle of Bear River, as it was called, and later designated as the Bear River Massacre, was fought in this vicinity January 29, 1863. Col. P. E. Connors, led 300 California Volunteers from Camp Douglas, Utah, against Bannock and Shoshone Indians, who had been blamed for hostile attacks on emigrants and settlers. Although exact numbers differ, more than 400 Indians were trapped and destroyed in battle as they occupied a winter camp that offered ideal protection in Battle Creek Canyon. They suffered a military disaster unmatched in western history, when Connor’s Force struck at daybreak. 250 to 300 Indians were killed, including 90 women and children, and lodges were burned. Very few Indians survived, not only the battle but also the cold.
Also at this site:
Captain Jefferson Hunt, Soldier, Pioneer, Churchman,
Born January 20, 1804 in Kentucky – Died May 11 1879 in Idaho
Charles Jefferson Hunt served in the Mormon Battalion as Captain of Company “A” and as assistant executive officer, in its historic march from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Diego, California, 1846-47. His service won the commendation of all who served with him.
Under appointment by President Brigham Young in 1851, Captain Hunt was guide for the pioneers to San Bernardino, California.. His pioneer service included also Provo, Parowan and Huntsville, (which bears his name) in Utah, and Oxford, Idaho.
A convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he was loyal, obedient and faithful to the end.
See other historic markers in the series on this page for UPTLA/SUP Markers.
A bad ford gave trouble to wagon trains crossing this stream on the trail to California and Oregon in 1849. In that year, gold-seeking 49ers developed a short cut (practically U.S. 30 west of here)which crossed this stream. By the early 1850’s, two bridges had been built and their enterprising owner was charging $1 a wagon toll–which not everyone could afford. Penniless emigrants struggling in the water cursed while richer companies comfortably clattered across the bridges.