New historical video about Bitter Creek now available

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Once a thriving community, very little is left of Bitter Creek today

Wyo4news Staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]

SWEETWATER COUNTY, WYOMING — A new YouTube video about the long-vanished community of Bitter Creek is now available online, the Sweetwater County Historical Museum announced on Friday.

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About 34 miles east of Rock Springs, Bitter Creek once was home to a railroad depot, stockyards, huge sheep shearing sheds, a school, a post office, housing for Union Pacific employees, and the Varley Mercantile, but nothing remains now but a concrete water tower base, a tall, deteriorating water softener tank, and a few foundations.

Produced by museum staff and volunteers, A History of Bitter Creek, As Told by Ed Varley, can be found on the museum’s YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VI8NV9aInuw&t=1260s

Varley and his wife Rae Dell are long-time Point of Rocks residents. He was born in 1936, grew up in Bitter Creek, and attended school there through the 8th Grade. After that, he attended Rock Springs High School, graduating in 1954. He is the author of two books:  Bitter Creek Kid, and Grand Pa’s Stories – A Local History. Museum Executive Director Dave Mead and Public Engagement Coordinator Aidan Brady interviewed him at his Point of Rocks home. Afterward, Varley provided them with a guided tour of the Bitter Creek site.

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The interview made possible a rare,  and very personal, account of life in the little hamlet from the 1930s through the 1950s. By the early to mid-1970s, Bitter Creek was in its twilight – the Post Office there was discontinued in 1971, and the Union Pacific depot was torn down in 1974. Little remains now but memories, like those of Ed Varley.

A History of Bitter Creek, As Told by Ed Varley is part of the Smithsonian Institution’s “Museum on Main Street,” project, co-hosted by the Sweetwater County Historical Museum, Wyoming Humanities / ThinkWY, and the Green River Chamber of Commerce. The museum will always be grateful to Ed and his extended family for making the video possible.

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