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Sublette County Names

Page history last edited by Judi Myers 11 years, 9 months ago

Sublette County Names

Sublette County is sprinkled with interesting place names. In 1915 the Pinedale Roundup reported that a new grocery store was being built in “Meadowbrook”, on the Green River east of Daniel.  Mulligan Park up Skyline Drive is named for ‘Mulligan’ Shanley who cut logs for Pinedale’s homes & businesses.  The Miller Addition a couple miles west of Pinedale was called “Oleo Acres” in the 1970s because a sign proclaimed it to be ‘One of the Cheaper Spreads”.  Pole Creek (intersects US 191 south of the airport) was named because in the early days, poles had to be laid across the boggy valley for the wagons to cross.


The area north of Daniel has long been the “Bronx” and in 1905 the Roundup referred to the Pape Ranch as “The Colorado Colony”.  In 1909 the name “Tourist City” was proposed for a new town on the Rahm Ranch near Cora.  Other Cora area names include “Sagebrush Downs” (a snowmobile track), “Forty Rod Flat”; “Mickey Adams Dugway” (a hill on Wyo 352 north of Cora), and “The Pits” (an ancient geyser area between The Buttes & Kendall Guard Station on the 1940 National Forest map).


In the 1830s Sir William Drummond Stewart named Fremont Lake “Stewart’s Lake” and New Fork “Lake Drummond”.  An 1892 map refers to New Fork as “Lake DeMalia”.  At one time Boulder Lake was called “Mountain Lake” and Square Top was “Roosevelt Butte”.  Skyline Drive was “Highland Drive” and later “Mulligan Park Road” (1940 map).   The end of the road was named “Elk Heart Park” after a hunter shot 2 elk there with one bullet.  It is now spelled ‘Elkhart’.  In the 1980s Pinedale’s town dump was located off Skyline Drive just before you get a view of Fremont Lake.  People would often look for treasures when they threw in their trash, so Phil, the caretaker, painted a truck hood with the words “Hillside Shopping Center” & stuck it at the dump’s entrance.


Some nicknames are rarely on maps.  Pinedale west & north of Pine Creek is “Hollywood” and north of Valley Road is “Shelter Park”.  The high point on the road to Jackson is “The Rim”.  “The Openings” are the Big Sandy trailhead, “Bear Trap” is a meadow at Big Sandy Openings that held a big, wood, bear trap in the 1970s, “Poverty Flats” was north of Marbleton, and the “Soapholes” are south of Daniel.  “Eldorado” was a ranch WNW of Daniel where the Elder family lived.  South of Boulder at Milepost 74 on the east side of US 191 is a tiny group of cottonwood trees (which used to be seasonally decorated by unknown elves).  There are two homemade signs about 50 feet apart reading “Entering (& Leaving) Sand Springs Forest Area”.  The signs are old & faded, but still standing.   “Graveyard Ridge” above Burnt Lake was named when one of 3 gold miners feigned illness & ran off with the gold when the others went to work.  He was followed & shot on this ridge. 


Many years ago Bob, a Game & Fish biologist, was asked to help a USGS man with area names.  Bob drove the map man all over the county telling him the names of lakes, rivers, buttes, meadows & mountains.  They came to one trickling creek and the geologist asked for it’s name.  Bob had no idea so answered, “Damned If I Know”.  The USGS man duly recorded “Damifino Creek”.

It is fun to touch upon a few of Sublette County’s colorful names.

                                                                                                            Judi Myers, 2012



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