Week 4 Question: "Where is 'Lake Beautiful' in Sublette County?"
Winner: Kenna Tanner, Pinedale, with the correct answer "New Fork Lake"
Sublette County History Contest
Fork Lake" (also known as Lac d'Amalia)
to the late 1890s, this lake shows up referred to as Lac d’Amalia,
Lake D'Amalia, Lake de Amalia, DeMalia, or de Amalia in the Wind
River Range. Wyoming
Place Names website, a service of the Wyoming State Library,
says this about the origin of the name for New Fork Lake: “Formerly
called DeMalia Lake, so named by the early trappers after the
sister of Lucien Fontenelle. Shown as Lake de Amalia on maps
through 1897. It is named New Fork Lake on the 1900 map of the
State of Wyoming by the General Land Office.”
William Henry Jackson, an American geological survey photographer and an explorer of the American West in the late 1800s, took pictures of this lake and labeled them with several variations of ‘de Amalia’. A Hayden survey map from 1887/1888 shows this lake, a tributary to the Green River, labeled Lac d’Amalia. Several of Jackson’s photos of New Fork Lake can be found by searching the Library of Congress website, https://www.loc.gov/item/2008678243/ and also the Denver Public Library digital website, http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15330coll21/id/8486
In 1980, John W. Shields did a biography of Perry W. Jenkins – “Father of Sublette County” with a Lola Homsher Endowment Fund Grant from The Wyoming State Historical Society. In this report he says, “He was directly associated with the enlargement of the New Fork Lake, which was a natural lake known locally by the Indians as Lake De Amelia which translated as “Lake Beautiful.” Jenkins evidently told his family that the dam on the New Fork River was the first retention dam built on the headwaters of the Colorado River watershed.” This comment was noted as the author’s personal correspondence with Ruth (Jenkins) Wilson Oliver, June 14, 2007. (http://www.crwua.org/documents/about-us/oral-histories/Perry-Jenkins.pdf)
the wyominggeneology.com website for “The Piney Country,
Wyoming”, an article mentions a man named Eugene Alexander
who “in 1889 he took up land on Newfork River just below
Lake de Amelia, which is also called New Fork Lake.”
are photos taken of Lake d’Amalia by William Henry
Jackson in the late 1800s:
In our clues for this question, the “John” we mentioned was John Perry Barlow, grandson of P.W. Jenkins who is known as “The Father of Sublette County.”
geographical features have changed names over time. The United
States Board on Geographic Names (BGN) is a federal body within
the United States Geological Survey, an agency of the Department
of the Interior. The purpose of the board is to establish and
maintain uniform usage of geographic names throughout the federal
government of the United States.
4. Yellowstone Lake is shown as Sublett's Lake on maps from the 1800s. Beaver Creek used to be shown as Lead Creek on early maps. North and South Cottonwood Creek were called Marsh Creek and White Clay Creek. North Piney Creek was called Bitterroot Creek.
The Green River is 730 miles long, beginning in the Wind River
of Wyoming and flowing through Wyoming and Utah for most of its
course, except for 40 miles into western Colorado. In 1776, the
Spanish friars Silvestre Vélez de Escalante and Francisco
Atanasio Domínguez crossed the river near present-day
Jensen, naming it the Rio de San Buenaventura. The map-maker
of the expedition, Captain Bernardo Miera y Pacheco, erroneously
indicated that the river flowed southwest to what is now known
as Sevier Lake. Later cartographers extended the error, representing
the Buenaventura River as flowing into the Pacific Ocean. At
least one charted the Buenaventura as draining the Great Salt
Lake. Later Spanish and Mexican explorers adopted the name Rio
Verde, meaning "Green River" in Spanish. Wilson Hunt
of John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company called it The Spanish
River in 1811. By then it was known that the Green River drained
to the Colorado River and the Gulf of California. When Jedediah
Smith reached the lower Colorado in 1826 he at first called it
the Seedskeedee, as the Green/Colorado River was commonly known
among the trappers. By the time of Bonneville's expedition in
1832, the names "Seeds-kee-dee", "Spanish River", "Green
River", and even "Colorado River" were used interchangeably
by the trappers and American explorers. Today, the Seedskadee
Wildlife Refuge in SW Wyoming on the Green River is derived from
the Shoshone language word sisk-a-dee-agie, which means "river
of the prairie hen".
8. Lucien Fontenelle was a French fur trader in the Rocky Mountains in the early 1800s with his family hailing from the New Orleans, Louisiana area. His parents were killed in a hurricane when he was young and he and his sister Amelia were raised for a time by an aunt in New Orleans. Lucien left at age 16 to create a life of his own and began working in the lower Missouri fur trade. His work and travels took him across the Rockies into what is now Wyoming, Idaho and Utah. His sister Amelia was said to be “a lady of striking appearance.” She lived a long life, marrying an eminent New Orleans lawyer, ultimately living to age 81. It is said she spoke very little English. Fontenelle Creek and Reservoir in Wyoming are named after Lucien.
9. Perry Wilson Jenkins was born in 1867 and ultimately ended up in Wyoming settling in the Upper Green River Valley in the hopes of improving his health. He was a professor of mathematics and astronomy, he was an engineer and a surveyor. In the early 1900s he acquired land holdings in the Upper Green and began cattle ranching at the Bar Cross Ranch near Cora. He served as Cora’s Justice of the Peace beginning in 1908. He used his engineering knowledge and skill in the construction of canals and reservoirs in western Wyoming. He was a co-owner of the first gas station in Big Piney. He had a deep interest in history and helped found the Sublette County Historical Society and participated in early Green River Rendezvous celebrations. He became quite involved in local and state politics and served in the Wyoming House of Representatives. He helped champion the bill to create Sublette County as one of Wyoming’s 23 counties.
10. Mytopo.com website lets you browse and view free US Geological Survey, US Forest Service, and NRCan topo maps for the US and Canada.
11. The Green River Valley Museum has a lot of local history online. They have many oral histories about local area ranches under their Brands pages. www.grvm.com
12. Dr. Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden (September 7, 1829 – December 22, 1887) was an American geologist noted for his pioneering surveying expeditions of the Rocky Mountains in the late 19th century. In 1869, he led an expedition along the Front Range to Denver and Sante Fe. In 1870 he received a $25,000 governmental grant to lead a 20-man expedition to South Pass, Fort Bridger, Henry's Fork, and back to Cheyenne. In 1871, Hayden led a geological survey into the Yellowstone region of northwestern Wyoming. The survey consisted of some 50 men which included notables such as Thomas Moran, painter and famous frontier/Civil War photographer William Henry Jackson. The following year, Hayden and his work, Preliminary Report of the United States Geological Survey of Montana and Portions of Adjacent Territories; Being a Fifth Annual Report of Progress was instrumental in convincing Congress to establish Yellowstone as the first U.S. National Park, aided by Jackson's stunning large-format photographs and Moran's dramatic paintings. In 1883 F.V. Hayden produced the Twelfth Annual Report of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories: A Report of Progress of the Exploration in Wyoming and Idaho for the year 1878. In Two Parts [Yellowstone]. His surveys and maps were a landmark in the history of the exploration and documentation of the American West. These publications also encouraged the westward expansion of the United States.
John probably knows the answer to this one.
1 History Question:S
2 History Question:S
5 History Question & Clues:
Winner: Lisa Williams, Cora, Wyoming
Radio ad for Week 6
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