Mountain Men Entrepreneurs

“The success of the overland emigrations was due in large measure to their timely coincidence with the decline of the Rocky Mountain fur trade. Many seasoned western mountaineers, no longer needed for such outmoded ventures as the rendezvous system, were attracted by the related activity of furnishing supportive services to greenhorn overland travelers. Throughout the 1840s and 1850s emigrants benefitted immensely from trading posts adjacent to the trails and from the geographic knowledge and trail savvy of mountain men. . . .[M]ost of the canny entrpreneurs who anticipated the profit potential in catering to the many needs of overland travelers were former mountaineers.”