In 1883, tales of a fabled “tar spring” may have inspired a wildcatter – Pennsylvanian Mike Murphy – to drill Wyoming’s first oil well. A few years later, Civil War veteran Philip Martin Shannon will explore more of the Salt Creek oil seeps, revealing a 22,000-acre oilfield.
In 1837, Washington Irving published The Adventures of Captain Bonneville: or, Scenes beyond the Rocky Mountains of the Far West.
Eastern readers were spellbound by Capt. Benjamin Bonneville’s four-year expedition, encounters with Indians, and detailed accounts of life on the fur-trapping trail.
In the unforgiving lands that would one day become the Wyoming Territory, Bonneville traveled down the Popo Agie River and in 1832 made note of a natural resource that would one day bring a new industry to the state of Wyoming:
“In this neighborhood, the captain made search for ‘the great Tar Spring,’ one of the wonders of the mountains, the medicinal properties of which he had heard extravagantly lauded by the trappers. Read the rest of this entry »