"Enterprising Young Men"
The canyon to your right and the river that
flows through it are named for John H. Weber, a
former Danish sea captain who came to America
in 1810. Following paths established by native
Ute and Shoshone, Weber arrived here in 1824,
leading a group of trappers employed by the
Ashley-Henry fur trading enterprise of St. Louis,
Missouri. They came to the Rocky Mountains in
search of adventure and quick profits. They
found the Wasatch country teeming with beaver
and carried back tales of lush valleys where land
could be had for the taking.
The St. Louis based beaver fur trade reached its
peak in the 1830s. By 1840, most beaver had
been trapped out, and the fashion world was
calling for silk instead of beaver to make men's
top hats. With the decline of the western beaver
fur trade, many former trappers and mountain
men took to guiding travelers and land hungry
Top hats made of beaver fur were in great demand
by fashionable dandies in Europe and the eastern
seaboard of the United states in the early 1800s.
Trappers usually wore buckskins, Indian made
and often gaily decorated. A flint striker, traps,
rifle, powder, lead, and skinning knife were all
the equipment they needed.