In 1852, Charles "Seminoe" Lajuenesse established a trading post on the Oregon Trail near Muddy Gap and Devil's Gate in Natrona County. The fort was abandonded in fall 1855.
The Mormons used this post as a place of refuge in 1856 while they were caught in an early blizzard at Horse Creek, located to the east of Independence Rock. This was in November 1856. The fort’s roofs provided shelter for some, and wood from collapsed buildings helped warm many others. But the small trading post was not big enough to support 500 people through a single winter storm. An unknown number of people died in the storm, most of the others reached Salt Lake City by the end of November.