Founded in 1834 as Fort William, a fur-trading post, this was a center for trade in beaver pelts and buffalo robes, and a place for mountain men, frontier entrepeneurs, and Plains Indians to mingle. Rebuilt in 1841 as Fort John, the new trading post became a welcome stop for emigrants migrating westward along the Oregon Trail and the Mormon Trail. In 1849, the United States Army purchased the post, renamed it Fort Laramie, and expanded it into a major military fort. From then until 1890 when it was decommissioned, it was the center of military presence on the High Plains. Although it was never the site of a battle, it was an important command post, a staging area for troops, and a strategic communications and transportation depot. The Pony Express, Trans-Continental Telegraph, and the Deadwood Stage route all passed through Fort Laramie.