HOT SPRINGS COUNTY, WYOMING -- (Senate - June 18, 2013)
Madam President, it is my pleasure to honor the residents of Hot Springs County, WY as they celebrate their centennial.
Located in northern Wyoming, and nestled in the Big Horn Basin, Hot Springs County is an incredible place to live and work. Nearly 5,000 residents reside in the communities of Kirby, East Thermopolis, and Thermopolis, the county seat. The county boasts a wide range of recreational opportunities, and its residents share the beauty of the Big Horn River, the Owl Creek Mountains, and the Wind River Canyon with visitors from around the country.
Hot Springs County has a storied past and a promising future. The county is aptly named for the natural mineral hot springs in the area. For thousands of years, Big Spring has produced millions of gallons of mineral water at a constant temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Northern Arapahoe and Eastern Shoshone Native Americans relied on the spiritual and physical healing powers of the hot springs years before the first settlers arrived. In 1896, under the guidance of Chief Washakie, the tribal leaders transferred ownership of the land surrounding the springs to the U.S. Government. The treaty opened the natural beauty of the area to the public to be enjoyed in perpetuity. Today, this historic treaty is celebrated every August with the Gift of the Waters Pageant. This celebration recreates the treaty ceremony of 1896 and is a truly special attraction.
In the past 100 years, Hot Springs County has benefitted from a variety of industries and has enjoyed great economic success. The county played a key role in supplying oil to support the war effort during World War II. The communities of Grass Creek and Hamilton Dome were especially efficient producers of oil during this period. In addition, a portion of the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad travels through the county. The Railroad connects the State to important supplies and goods from around the country.
Tourism is arguably the county’s most successful industry. In Thermopolis, Hot Springs State Park attracts thousands of guests every year. Created from the land purchased in the Treaty of 1896, the Park provides year-round recreation opportunities, including hiking, picnicking, and soaking in the world-famous hot springs. Just 20 miles away, folks can visit the Legend Rock Petroglyph Site, which is home to some to the best-preserved examples of Dinwoody rock art in the world. The Wyoming Dinosaur Center celebrates Wyoming’s incredibly rich natural history. It is one of the few centers in the world that has an active excavation site within driving distance. Visitors can see active dig sites, explore modern preparation laboratories, and admire dozens of fossilized dinosaurs and specimens. Folks in the county have done an incredible job of preserving the county’s rich history and sharing with its visitors.
Hot Springs County is a very special place to all of us in Wyoming. In addition to being the hometown of my wife, Bobbi Brown Barrasso, Thermopolis is also the hometown of former Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal. The fine folks of the county are incredible leaders and greatly contribute to the success of the entire State.
It is an honor to recognize the residents of Hot Springs County as they celebrate their 100th anniversary. This year, the Hot Springs County Centennial Committee has planned a countywide celebration on June 22nd to commemorate this milestone. I invite my colleagues to visit the communities of Hot Springs County. The county’s rich heritage, geological wonders, and genuine cowboy hospitality provide a truly wonderful experience to visitors from all over the world.
Page 54581-54582 Congressional Record 113th Congress
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