on-line book icon

table of contents

Field Division of Education
The History of Scotts Bluff Nebraska
NPS logo


As related above, the Black Hills were thrown open to prospectors in the fall of 1876 (the Army had discontinued its prohibition in the summer of 1875). Like the rush of the Forty-niners, the Black Hills rush followed a financial panic, that of 1873' "Black Friday." From all sides the would-be-miners poured in, usually from points on the Union Pacific and Northern Pacific railroads. The two leading outfitting points were Sidney (Sidney Barracks, established in 1867 as a sub-post for Ft. Sedgewick on the South Platte; independent in 1870, until abandoned in 1874), and Cheyenne. The Sidney route was a few miles shorter, but somewhat rougher, than the Cheyenne road. After 1876 Sidney throve rapidly as an outfitting town for the mines (205 miles distant). The road, known as "the agencies route," was improved; Clarke built a toll bridge over the North Platte at Camp Clarke (now Bridgeport), and stages and freight wagons pulled out daily for the northern diggings. This was the last gold strike to affect the Scotts Bluff area.1

1R. I. Dodge: The Black Hills (1876), p. 143.
Morton: History of Nebraska (1907), Vol. 1, p. 86.

Previous Next

top of page

History  |   Links to the Past  |   National Park Service  |   Search  |   Contact

Last Modified: Sat, Oct 20 2001 10:00:00 am PDT

ParkNet Home