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Ice Slough


Location of sign - roadside 9.5 miles west of Jeffrey City on U.S. 287 in Wyoming.


Photo taken May 2008


Ice Slough, Wyoming Ice Slough


Text of sign:


Ice Slough is a small stream that flows into the Sweetwater River five miles east of here.  In front of this point is a slough (i.e. a 

marsh or shallow un-drained depression). The Slough gave the name to the stream east of here.  In the "Ice Slough" the marshes 

soils and plants insulated the previous winters ice and it melted slowly throughout the summer.  Under the marshes a thick mat of ice

could be found late into June or early July.  Westward bound immigrants would stop their wagons here for the purpose of breaking

out chunks of ice to use in their drinks and to preserve meat.  William Clayton's 1848 "Latter-Day Saints' Emigrants' Guide" called

this the "ice spring" and wrote "This is in a low, swampy spot of land on the right side of the road".  Ice may generally be found by 

digging down about two feet."  In 1854 Alonzo Delano traveled up the valley of the Sweetwater.  While not giving the exact 

location of where he stopped he wroted on June 26th "...about four o'clock in the afternoon, on the borders of a morass, perhaps

a mile in length by a half a mile in breadth.  Some of the boys, thinking that water could be easily obtained, took a spade, and going

out on the wild grass, commenced digging.  About a foot from the surface, instead of water, they struck a beautiful layer of ice, five

or six inches in thickness."  By late summer the ice had disappeared.  Today, due to a number of factors, the slough has nearly

dried up and thus little ice forms here in the winter.



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