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Looking NNW from Wildcat Hills, in Scottsbluff County, NE, towards Scott's Bluff National Monument.

SCOTT'S BLUFF NATIONAL MONUMENT

Scott's Bluff National Monument in western Nebraska includes an important 19th century landmark on the Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail. The National Monument contains multiple bluffs (steep hills) located on the south side of the North Platte River, but it is named after one prominent bluff called Scott's Bluff which rises over 830 feet (330 m) above the plains at its highest point. The monument is composed of five rock formations named Crown Rock, Dome Rock, Eagle Rock, Saddle Rock, and Sentinel Rock.

Scotts Bluff County and the city of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, were named after the landmark.

THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF HIRAM SCOTT

One of the most commonly asked questions posed by visitors to Scott's Bluff National Monument is, "How did the bluff get its name?"

The answer to that question is shrouded in mystery and has intrigued travelers through the North Platte river valley for almost two centuries.

WHO WAS HIRAM SCOTT?

Hiram Scott was born about 1805 in St. Charles County, Missouri, and was employee of William Ashley's Rocky Mountain Fur Company. He is also described as unusually tall and muscular. In 1826, Hiram Scott is believed to have taken part in the first fur trader rendezvous held near the Great Salt Lake, and it has been assumed that he attended those held in 1827 and 1828.

We do know that there was a man by the name of Hiram Scott who was employed by the American Fur Company. His name appears on the pay lists of that company in 1827, where he is listed as a clerk. We also know that his name does not appear in any of the company's papers after 1828.

Beyond this - little else is known with any certainty. In the early days of the fur trade, it was the practice of the various fur companies to send trappers into the Far West to gather pelts which would then be brought back to St. Louis and sold to eastern buyers.

Learn more at http://www.nps.gov/scbl.

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