Photo from nps.gov
Around 1850, Fort Laramie, located
in the state of Wyoming, was a trading post, run by the American Fur Company,
who sent their agent there to run the place, on this then wild and dangerous
frontier post. The agent brought his daughter with him as well. The daughter
had been educated in eastern schools, and was an accomplished equestrian
who was into speed; loved to ride fast. In order to stay with him, the
young woman had to promise her father that she would never leave the safety
of the post without an escort. The father's assistants were given the
job of keeping tract of his headstrong daughter, and making sure she obeyed
her promise to her father. However, feeling that her father's rule was
silly, she slipped out on her favorite black horse for a fast ride, when
her father was called away from the post.
The assistants, seeing her go, chased
after her, calling to her to stop, and wait for them. Unfortunately, she
ignored their calls, and foolishly raced her horse down the Oregon Trail,
never to be seen again alive. It is speculated that she might of met foul
play, or lost her way & starved to death, or perhaps drowned in the
nearby river. Her body or her horse were never found.
Every seven years, since 1850, when
the original tragedy happened, a lady equestrian apparition, dressed in
green, and riding a fine, coal-black stallion is seen riding at break-neck
speed, east of Fort Laramie, along the old Oregon Trail.
1) While many have seen her over
the years, the first recorded sighting was made in 1871, by Lt. James
Nicholas Allison, who was stationed at the then Fort Laramie, in charge
of a calvary unit. One afternoon, during a wolf hunt using hounds, he
outdistanced his fellow wolf hunters, and had to stop to get a stone
out of his mount's hoof. When he looked up, he saw a woman rider on
a big black horse approaching incredibly fast, and wearing a long, green
riding dress, with her dark hair tucked up under a veiled riding hat.
She was silently galloping at top speed, on a trail that crossed the
path he was following. As she crossed closely to where he was standing,
he got a good look at her sparkling, jeweled whip, as she whacked the
horse's flank, to inspire even more reckless speed.
Allison immediately gave chase to
this wild horsewoman, but found that she had vanished into thin air,
when he had followed her up a small hill, that gave him a terrific view
at the top, of the flat, treeless land that existed in all directions.
He suspected then that she might be an apparition, because there were
no tracks left by her horse, he realized that he had heard no hoof beats,
and he noticed that his brave, gutsy hound was now cowering, with hackles
raised, slinking behind him in fear.
2) After hearing about the Lady
in Green's sad story from his commanding officer, and that she indeed
has been seen still riding the land around Ft Laramie, Lt. Allison did
some follow up investigation by speaking to an elderly indian woman
who had actually lived close to the trading post, and was an eye witness
to the daughter's folly, and saw her go off on her "fatal ride."
She gave him a description of the lady, as she remembered her, that
fit the description of the apparition that he had just seen, even including
the jeweled whip. She confirmed that the Lady in Green's tragic story
was true, and that other indians, and trappers had seen her apparition
3) Many years later, while Allison
was riding a train across Wyoming, he heard cowboys talking about a
rancher in the Ft. Laramie area seeing the Lady in Green, riding pell-mell
on her coal black horse.
Does she still ride the plains, along
the Oregon trail?
Yes. She still seems to appear every
seven years. Her last appearance was in
1997, and her next appearance should be in 2004.
Photo from wyoshpo.state.wy.us