Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project

Internet Presentation

Version 0625102ND

 

Author: Neal Du Shane

 

SHERMAN, WYOMING

 

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Sherman, Wyoming Topographical Map

Provided by Author

 

The Ames Monument is the major remaining evidence of the Ghost Town of Sherman, Wyoming. Plus the derelict abandoned Pioneer Sherman Cemetery, standing silent on a windswept hill about one quarter mile north of the monument.

 

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Sherman, Wyoming

Satellite Map by Neal Du Shane

 

SHERMAN, WYOMING CEMETERY

 

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Photo by Neal Du Shane

 

There is only one headstone remaining in the Sherman Cemetery but there is evidence of many other graves. Upon close examination of the lone remaining headstone inscription is:

 

“LESTER C. son of

Daniel M.

HEGKERT

Born 1882, Died 1883

At Rest

HEGKERT.”

 

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Monument erected in 1958

Photo by Author

 

A marker placed by the Historical Landmark Commission of Wyoming 1958 stating “most bodies have been removed”. We spend time researching the cemetery and our findings are as follows.

 

Historic Sherman, Wyoming Pioneer Cemetery

 

GPS reading N41 08 7.68, W105 24 2.06 (WGS83)

 6,048 Sq. Ft. (approx.)

.14 Acres (approx.)

In 2010 it is still fenced but one section has been trampled.

Entrance has no gate.

Total grave potential is 118 based on Sq. Ft.

Actual graves remaining are 53 (all unmarked except one)

One headstone

12 graves are females

41 graves are males

In addition there are 5 graves outside the fenced area, all male.

Two graves appeared to be exhumed

Actually only one grave was exhumed

 

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Entrance to Historic Sherman Cemetery

Photo by Author

 

Speculating the male graves are of railroad workers and the females were in support roles to the community, i.e. restaurant, laundry, seamstress, housewife, ceiling inspectors etc. Strange but most of the male graves are at the front (side with the gate) two or three rows and the females are in the last two or three rows. Not exactly sure what this represents, if anything? Speculating if the ladies were single “solid doves” they would not be buried as a family. There is evidence of only one possible family plot with rocks piled around two graves, of which one grave has been exhumed (the only exhumation). All other graves are only visible to a trained eye or observing shrub growth, disturbed earth or a large rock used as a headstone but no inscription was observed on any of these rocks.

 

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East bound Union Pacific at current Sherman, WY

Photo by Author

 

Sherman existed as a Railroad town from approximately 1867 to 1878-80 at an elevation of 8,269 Ft. Sherman became a ghost town when the main Union Pacific Railroad tracks were relayed a short distance to the south (3.42 Miles) at an elevation of 8,015 Ft. a total elevation decrease of 254 ft the trains currently have to pull. Think of this elevation reduction the size of a 20.5 story building, which is significant in total operating expense over the years for the RR on a main line. Today the Highest point in the Transcontinental Railroad is three miles to the southeast of the former town of Sherman. On most maps Sherman is shown at the current RR site but nothing remains except a siding shown in the above photograph.

 

If you use Google Earth and put in the GPS Coordinates listed above you can still trace the original Rail Road right-of-way and observe the relocation of the RR tracks to the south. It appears there was a spur that went from Sherman to Vedauwoo Park, currently located off I-80 at the Wyoming 329 exit. Vedauwoo has been identified as an Arapaho Indian word for “earth” or “Earth born”.  

 

Information on this historic Wyoming Ghost Town is available at:

http://userpages.aug.com/bdobson/sherman.html

SHERMAN MOUNTAINS

The Sherman Mountains are erosional remnants rising above the general level of the surface of the Laramie Range. The flat topped characteristic of the range resulted from beveling during an ancient erosion cycle. Bedrock hers is granite, a crystalline rock made up of pink fieldspar, glassy quarts, black mica and hornblende, which originated deep in the earth’s crust over a billion years ago.

 

The peculiar rock forms of the Sherman Mountains are controlled by three sets of joints, or planes of weakness, cutting the granite and dividing it into large blocks. Weathering has round off corners and has enlarged joint planes, resulting in irregular blocky rock masses, many of which are capped by balanced rocks.

 

TREE ROCK

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Photos by Neal Du Shane

This small pine tree that seems to be growing out of the solid rock has fascinated travelers since the first train rolled past on the Union Pacific Railroad.  It is said that the builders of the original railroad diverted the tracks slightly to pass by the tree as they laid rails across Sherman Mountain in 1867-69. It is also said that trains stopped here while locomotive fireman “gave the tree a drink” from their water buckets. The railroad moved several miles to the south in 1901 and the abandoned grade became a wagon road.

 

In 1913 the Lincoln Highway Association was formed “To procure the establishment of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific.” The Lincoln Highway was an instant success in a nation enamored with the newfangled automobiles and eager for a place to drive them. The Lincoln passed right by Tree Rock as did U.S.30 in the 1920’s and interstate 80 in the 1960’s. At this place the road was approaching the 8,835-foot Sherman Summit, the highest point on the Lincoln. The view of the surrounding mountains was like nothing that the west bound easterners had ever seen. Still, they noticed the little tree, which became the favored subject of many early postcards and photographs and still it.

 

The tree is a somewhat stunted and twisted limber pine (Pinus Flexilis), at type of tree commonly found in this area where ponderosa and limber pines dominate the landscape. The age of the trees is unknown, although limber pines can live as long as 2,000 years. The tree grows out of a crack in a boulder of Precambrian era pink Sherman granite formed more than 1 - 4 billion years ago.

 

Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project

Internet Presentation

Version 0625102ND

 

WebMaster: Neal Du Shane

 

n.j.dushane@comcast.net

 

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