Gold in them thar' hills?


Craig Cabin to be featured in upcoming presentation

PINEDALE – The history of the historic Craig Cabin and working artifacts of its gold-mining operation, listed in 2015 on the National Register of Historic Places, will be revealed Monday night by historian Ann Noble in a special event at the Museum of the Mountain Man.

Noble’s free program about the historic site starts at 7 p.m. and the public is welcome to come and enjoy refreshments.

Noble spearheaded the National Register application with stories from former owner and outfitter Bill Webb and oral histories from early old-timers. She gathered many historic details from Webb as well as one Bondurant local, Eileen Fronk Dockham, who recalled that Craig used to show off gold nuggets he said came from nearby Jack Creek.

Dockham wasn’t the only person who appeared to doubt his take – more history that Webb and Noble uncovered while writing up the site’s history. The structures’ listing was sponsored by the Sublette County Historic Preservation Board CLG, which is sponsoring this special event

Rumor has it the late Frank Craig set himself up as a gold prospector back in 1902, using the cabin and tack shed already built between 1898 and 1900 and adding a diversion ditch and a wooden sluicing box that can still direct water through to fall below into Prospector Creek.

The site, privately owned and operated, commands a view of the Sawtooths in the Gros Ventre Range and is accessible by trail, including a long-ago Indian trail that survives here and there through the Hoback Basin.

Whether or not there was gold in those hills or not, Noble has gathered a treasure trove of historic details about Frank Craig and his prospecting career, along with seldom-heard anecdotes about the historic site’s survival for well over a century.

A special portion of Monday’s program will be the presentation of the National Register of Historic Places’ plaque to the current “thrilled” owners Robert and Jill Maier.


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