Summarized by Kent Larsen
Swap for Martin Handcart Company Site on Hold
RAWLINS, WYOMING -- An attempt by the LDS Church to swap land with the US
Government's Bureau of Land Management is on hold while the Church looks for
suitable land to swap. The Church wants to get the Martin's Cove site
because it is where about 150 members of the Martin Handcart Company died
from exposure and starvation in 1856 after being trapped by early snows.
The Church has been seeking to arrange the swap since 1998, but is stymied
as it tries to find land of equal historic significance in Wyoming that it
can trade for the Martins Cove site. According to Jack Kelly of the BLM's
Lander Field Office, the Church's land management company is looking for
The disaster involves the Martin company, one of two well-known handcart
companies that started their journey across the plains late in the season.
By the time they reached Martins Cove, the company, already short on food,
was stalled because of heavy, early snows. In spite of rescue efforts, about
150 members of the Martin company died in what remains the single largest
disaster on the trail.
BLM-LDS swap stalled
Billings MT Gazette 3Oct00 N6