1824 - South Pass discovered

South Pass, discovered in 1824 by mountain men, Thomas Fitzpatrick and Jedidiah Smith

         Thomas Fitzpatrick, Jim Bridger, Jedidiah Smith, and Etienne Provost (Provo, Utah named in his honor), discover South Pass through the Rocky Mountains.  This low-lying saddle of alluvial benchland that surmounted the continental divide would prove to be an essential pathway through the mountains for hundreds of thousands of settlers on the Oregon Trail.  It also made it possible for Fitzpatrick to blaze that trail with the first settlers, including Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, in 1836. 

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          Until this time, beaver men transting the continental divide went over Teton Pass, to the north - then made their winter camp near the present day site of Ogden Utah.