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Kenneth Mays
Deer Creek near Glenrock, Wyoming.

In a journal entry for June 10, 1847, Horace K. Whitney recorded that the 1847 pioneer company “encamped in a circle at 1/4 past 6 P. M., in a beautiful grove of cotton wood trees, having come 17¾ miles to-day. Near here is a beautiful stream, about 3 rods in width, which, running with great rapidity empties into the river a short distance hence. It is called Deer Creek” (see "The Journey West: The Mormon Pioneer Journals of Horace K. Whitney with Insights by Helen Mar Kimball Whitney," edited by Richard Bennett, page 268).

Kenneth Mays
Interpretive panel identifying the site of Deer Creek Station, Glenrock, Wyoming.

The site was located at the present-day town of Glenrock, Wyoming. A simple, hanging interpretive panel says this site was visited in 1842 by Kit Carson and was named “Rock in the Glen.” That name presumably morphed into “Glenrock,” as it is now called.

A decade after the pioneer company passed by, Brigham Young ordered a way station to be built to assist the thousands of pioneers who were yet to pass that way on their way West. It was used as a store, for blacksmithing, a corral, hotel and to facilitate the movement of mail.

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A Wyoming state interpretive panel now identifies the site and notes that it was known as “Deer Creek Station” to travelers on the Oregon-California-Mormon Pioneer Trail from 1857 to 1866. Erastus Snow described Deer Creek as “the most delightful place we have seen since we left the states," stating that the creek or stream was “about thirty feet wide and two feet deep, swift current and clear water.” Another report stated that William Clayton caught two dozen fish in Deer Creek (see "The Mormon Vanguard Brigade of 1847," edited by Ronald Barney, page 169).