Volunteers needed for Holden Hill recording project

Here’s a great opportunity to learn about some Western history while helping preserve it at the same time.

The Bureau of Land Management, in cooperation with the Wyoming Archaeological Society’s Upper Green River (UGR) Chapter, is seeking volunteers to assist in the recordation of Holden Hill, an emigrant inscription site on the Sublette Cutoff,a shortcut which shaved about 85 miles and seven days off the main Oregon-California Trail route.

Hundreds of emigrant inscriptions can be found on the base of the sandstone walls at Holden Hill. The site has previously been recorded and the emigrant names documented; however, the photographic techniques available at that time were not adequate. New technology such as 3D photography can capture more detail and allow the documentation of palimpsest inscriptions which are layered on top of each other.

Neffra Matthews and Tom Noble of the BLM National Operations Center in Lakewood, Colo., are well known for their 3D photographic imaging of the Red Gulch dinosaur trackway near Worland, Wyo. They will lead and train volunteers in this technique which will be used at the Holden Hill site. Plans also include making inscription line drawings and metal detection along the trail, if time allows.

The recordation effort is scheduled for Aug. 27 through 31. To volunteer or for more information, please contact Pinedale Field Office Archaeologist Sam Drucker at 307-367-5358 or sdrucker@blm.gov.

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