Place Names

Sometimes doing historical research can be confusing, or maybe it’s just me. I know where Cottonwood Creek is and the Bitter Cottonwood is well known in eastern Wyoming.
Cottonwood Creek on the Oregon Trail, Two Days out of Fort Laramie by Wagon
But looking through a copy of Virginia Cole Trenholm and Maurine Carley’s, 1946 Wyoming textbook, Wyoming Pageant, I found some interesting facts.
Wyoming has:

·        30 Cottonwood Creeks

·        38 Spring Creeks

·        29 Beaver Creeks

·        25 Bear Creeks

·        23 Dry Creeks

·        21 Horse Creeks

·        18 Sand Creeks

We also have some descriptive or unusual names for streams, some of my favorites:

·        Donkey Creek

·        Dry Donkey Creek

·        Damfino Creek

·        Savage Run

·        Halfturn Creek

·        Warhorse

·        Hidden water

·        Fool Pinhead

·        Crying Creek

Many Indian names of places have been lost in history, too bad. Some of the more modern names are simply named after someone that had a bit of power or influence at the time. Seems to me that early explores, trappers, Indians, and all early people of the land, more often used names that referred to place or the landscape, something recognizable. Not so many Powell Mountain’s or Fremont Peak’s and more Roundtop Mountain, Flat Top and the Rocky Mountains.

It might all be confusing, but on a lazy summer afternoon, it sure is fun!

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