Soda Springs

Soda Springs-Springs shotContinuing up the Bear Lake Valley from Clover Creek (Montpelier), Oregon Trail travelers soon reached the next important stopping place, Soda Springs. The area was well known by emigrants for its abundance of unusual springs.

"Travelled about 22 miles along the bank of the Bear River and are encamped at Soda Springs. This is indeed a curiosity. The water tastes like soda water, especially artificially prepared. The water is bubbling and foaming like boiling water."
--Sarah White Smith, July 24, 1838

Soda Springs-Golf Course ruts"You could hear Steamboat Springs which was the most renowned one as you came into the valley from the east they could hear rumbling and roaring. And there were just a huge number of carbonated springs, regular springs, cold water and just sulfur type smelling springs. The whole area was laced with them. And they camped and explored, probably spent a few days here. It was quite a phenomenon to them. And on a calm day you can go out on the back of the golf course, you can look over the reservoir and you’ll still see the rings as Steamboat continues to bubble."
--Tony Varilone, local historian

Alexander Reservoir now covers both Steamboat Springs and sections of the Oregon Trail that pass through the area. But if they look closely, visitors can still see wagon ruts running through the nearby golf course and at Oregon Trail Park on the shores of the reservoir.

Wagon Box Grave marker with inscription: Wagon Box Grave of 1861. First grave in cemetary. This monument markes [sic] the grave of an immigrant family. Father, mother, and five children massacred on Little Spring Creek on half mile south of this spot. Buried in their own wagon box by trappers and immigrants led by George W. Goodheart.In the towns Fairview cemetery the wagon box grave provides another direct tie to the past. It contains the remains of a family of seven who were killed by Indians after staying behind the main party to look for lost horses.

"It’s called the wagon box grave because they dug a hole, put the wagon box – took the wheels off – put the wagon box in the bottom, covered them up with their blankets and buried them and marked the grave. And there were enough people still hanging around or who were hanging around in this area that it became known as the wagon box grave and permanently marked."
--Tony Varilone, local historian