The Robidoux Trading Post, near Scotts Bluff National Monument, is one of our favorite historic destinations in Nebraska. It was there in the 1840s, that the post was established by a Frenchman, either Joseph or Antoine Robidoux. Robidoux sold a variety of goods and provided blacksmithing services for travelers.
Although the trading post on the site is a replica of the original, it was made from 100-year-old hand-hewn logs. So of course you can imagine our dismay to learn that in 2009, the road-facing logs were sprayed with blue and black graffiti. The site doesn’t really get a lot of traffic and is 8 miles from town, so I’m sure the vandals had an easy time of it.
(If you scroll to the bottom of the page you can see a photo of the beautiful logs used to build the replica trading post)
Fortunately, this July (2011) volunteers took on the task of removing the graffiti and restoring the logs. You can read the entire story in the Gering Citizen.
Robidoux Trading Post
One emigrant described the post as a log shanty with a blacksmith’s forge on one end and a grog shop on the other. Other trading posts are known to have existed near Mitchell Pass at the same time, including one owned by the American Fur Company, but Robidoux’s is most often mentioned in diaries. The heaviest use of the pass was during the Oregon Migration and the California Gold Rush of the 1840s. Following the opening of Mitchell Pass in 1851, which provided a shorter trail, Robidoux Pass and the trading posts fell into disuse.
As a side note – one of the reasons Vicki and I were so drawn to the Trading Post is because another member of the adventurous Robidoux family – – Joseph, founded our hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri. If you travel throughout the west, you’ll definitely run into the Robidoux family, especially in accounts of the fur trade.
Where is the Robidoux Trading Post?
A life-size reconstruction of the Robidoux Trading Post can be found in Carter Canyon, located one mile south of Gering on Highway 71 and eight miles west along Carter Canyon Road. Visitors wishing to explore both Robidoux Pass and the reconstructed Robidoux Trading Post can access both sites by driving to Robidoux Pass then following Rifle Site Pass Road south to Carter Canyon Road. The site is open to visitors who can take self-guided tours.
Do you have any photos of the Trading Post? If so contact us – we’d love to post your photo and comments.