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History of Uintah County, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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Uintah County is located in the central portion of the Uinta Basin, which extends sixty miles into western Colorado. The northern rim of the basin is formed by the Uinta Mountains, the western rim by the Wasatch Mountains, and the southern rim by the Roan and Book cliffs. The basin is the geological remains of prehistoric Uinta Lake, formed during the late Tertiary period, the same period when sediment was deposited in the lake bottom to form gilsonite, oil shale, tar sands, and oil. Ashley Creek and the White, Uinta, and Green rivers are the major streams in the county. The Green, the largest of the four, slices through the central portion of the county.

Prehistoric Indian sites suggest that the Uinta Basin was inhabited thousands of years ago by Archaic and more recently by Fremont peoples. In historic times it was part of the Utes' domain. The first white men in the area were Fathers Dominguez and Escalante who traveled through the Uinta Basin in 1776 searching for a land route to Monterey, California. In his diary Escalante called the basin "a fine plain abounding in pasturage and fertile, arable land, provided it were irrigated." Nearly fifty years later American and French trappers found the Basin rich in beaver and other wildlife. In 1831-32 Antoine Robidoux, a French trapper licensed by the Mexican government (Utah was part of Mexico until 1848), built a small trading post near present-day Whiterocks where trappers could trade beaver pelts for supplies. The post was abandoned in 1844 because of difficulties with the Indians.

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