Site of thousands of prehistoric Native American rock art panels that have earned it the moniker “the world’s longest art gallery,” Nine Mile Canyon boasts the highest density of rock art in the United States. But the petroglyphs and pictographs attributed to the Archaic, Fremont and Ute people are not the canyon’s only claims to a piece of American history. The canyon also contains many historic sites – including stagecoach stations, settlers’ cabins, ranches, and iron telegraph poles installed by the famed 19th-century Buffalo Soldiers – that stand as reminders of the area’s more recent, pioneer history.
The Fremont culture or Fremont people is a pre-Columbian archaeological culture which received its name from the Fremont River in the U.S. state of Utah where the first Fremont sites were discovered. The Fremont River itself is named for John Charles Frémont, an American explorer. It inhabited sites in what is now Utah and parts of Nevada, Idaho and Colorado from AD 700 to 1300. It was adjacent to, roughly contemporaneous with, but distinctly different from the Anasazi culture. These Indians were hunter-gathers, and may have spoken different languages, or had widely divergent dialects (Madsen). Fremont Indians occupied this desolate land several hundred years before Europeans arrived in America.
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