On the high plains of south-central Wyoming, where 141 years ago the Mormon handcart pioneers of the ill-fated Martin company met tragedy during an early winter snow storm, President Gordon B. Hinckley Saturday dedicated a new visitors center, the fulfillment of a prayer he uttered in 1992.

Five years ago, President Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated a monument at Martin's Cove in the Sweetwater Mountains to the memory of the handcart pioneers. He petitioned in the dedicatory prayer that the time would come when there would be easier access to the cove where the pioneers had sought refuge from the raging storms. The cove, which is on Bureau of Land Management land, was accessible only through private land.Since then, the church has purchased access to the cove from the owners of the Sun Ranch and have agreed to buy the entire ranch. The ranch house has been remodeled into the visitor's center.

An estimated 10,000-12,000 people attended the outdoor dedication of the visitors center against a backdrop of Devil's Gate.

Included in the visitor's center is a list of the more than 1,000 members of the Willie and Martin handcart companies and the Hunt Hodgett wagon companies, which ran into trouble in 1856 because of insufficient food and clothing and severe weather.