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South Pass City 1870

Ghost Towns of Wyoming


Atlantic City

42°29'43" N, 108°43'8" W

   Atlantic City is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fremont County, Wyoming, United States. Founded in 1868 by Tozier, Collins & Thompson with the discovery of the Atlantic Lode. By 1870, the town supposedly attained a population of 2,000. This, as in the case of South Pass City, was probably an exaggeration. The 1870 census only reflected a population of 321 whites and 4 blacks. The population was 39 at the 2000 census. The community is a small mining settlement in a gulch near South Pass in southwestern Wyoming. The town declined following the end of the placer gold rush in the early 1870s, but continued to exist as advances in mining technology allowed further extraction of gold. From the 1960s until 1983, it was the location of US Steel iron ore mine.
   The town claimed the honor of having the first brewery in the Territory. Atlantic City was noted for its "French" section which appealed to lonely miners. After the intial gold rush the town began to fade until the arrival of French engineer Emile Granier who attempted to revive mining.


Bear River City

41°10'22.92" N, 110°52'12.58" W

   Bear River City, Wyoming is a ghost town that was briefly a rapidly thrown together railroad town, located about ten miles south of Evanston, Wyoming.
   The town can trace its origins back to the early 1860s. A businessman from Salt Lake City named Joseph F. Nounnan was contracted to construct the Union Pacific railroad grade in the area where it crossed the Bear River in southwestern Wyoming. He constructed a supply depot and lodging for his men on a site along the route of the Overland Stage as well as the path of the California and Mormon emigration trails. Due to its excellent location, the city grew rapidly. At its peak, the town had its own newspaper office, and a red light district. The town served as a passover for miners, railroad workers, and hunters heading farther into the west. It is best known for the "Bear River City Riot" that occurred on November 19, 1868.
   The riot began following the vigilante lynching of a murder suspect who worked for the railroad. This resulted in friends to the lynched man revolting against the vigilantes, which caused the town to erupt in violence. Town Marshal Thomas J. Smith, only recently appointed, immediately took a stand against both factions. There were numerous shootouts during the riot, and almost the entire town was torched, including most town government buildings. Smith stood his ground, but was unable to stop the onslaught of several hundred rioters, with the end result being sixteen people killed.
   Town citizens repelled an assault on the town jail, resulting in the deaths of numerous rioters, and one Bear River City citizen, Steve Stokes. A US Cavalry troop was dispatched from Fort Bridger, and martial law was imposed. The riot essentially ended any future the small town might have had, and it soon became deserted. Marshal Smith moved on to eventually become the Marshal of Abilene, Kansas. His stand during the riot resulted in his nickname, "Bear River" Smith.



Benton"It is not a country where people are disposed to linger."
-- surveyor James Evans

"The country over which we passed was a barren desert of alkali composition. There was not a spear of grass or a drop of water in the whole distance... We have to haul our water in barrels... The team returned with casks filled with water. It was as red as blood and filled with all kinds of vermin. The horses and mules as dry as they are would not drink it. We were compelled to return twenty miles to our old camp to get water."
-- surveyor Thomas Hubbard

   Construction camps and end-of-track towns were often lawless sinks of crime. One such place was Benton, Wyoming, on the Union Pacific Railroad. In the summer of 1869, Benton served as home to more than 3,000 people. Fine alkali dust coated the streets and the wind seemingly never stopped. Water had to be hauled from the Platte River and could be sold for a dollar a barrel. Twice a day, trains arrived from the East bringing passengers and freight which then had to be unloaded and shipped farther West in stagecoach or wagons. Despite its isolation, Benton had a newspaper.
   Republican presidential candidate Ulysses S. Grant and two of his sons toured the West in the summer of 1868. They met with UP officials in the rowdy, dusty tent settlement of Benton, Wyoming. By December of that year, Benton would vanish off the map. Grant noted in a letter to his wife that his sons would someday appreciate having seen "the Buffalo and the Indian, both rapidly disappearing now."
   Like many railroad towns, Benton exists no more, but its remnants can be seen on public lands in central Wyoming near Rawlins.



Bessemer 1892
Bessemer 1892
   In November 1812 near Bessemer Bend, the Astorians, under Robert Stuart constructed the first cabin in Wyoming. Bessemer Bend provided emigrants on the Oregon Trail an easy location to ford the river and thus avoid the tolls on the Mormon Ferry at Casper.
   the town of Bessemer was established consisting of 49 city blocks. Its developers had high hopes that it would become the county seat for newly formed Natrona County. It was therefore dubbed "The Queen City of the West." Because of its central location within the territory, they also believed that it would become the eventual capital of the state replacing the temporary capital in Cheyenne. Cheyenne is, "technically speaking," still the temporary capital. The plat of Bessemer reserved space for the hoped for capitol building. Its hopes were soon dashed with the formation of Casper. In the election to determine whether Casper or Bessemer would become the county seat, Bessemer received 731 votes and Casper 353. That is, until someone noticed that the total number of votes cast in the Bessemer precinct was greater than its total population. All votes in the Bessemer precinct were therefore disqualified and Casper was declared the winner 353 votes to Bessemer's 64. By 1895, Casper had a population of 544 and Bessemer a population of 64.



41°34'14.06" N, 109°40'53.21" W

   Bryan is a ghost town in Sweetwater County in the U.S. state of Wyoming. Bryan is located about 12 miles (19 km) west of Green River along the Blacks Fork River, and for a short time was the local headquarters and division point of the Union Pacific Railroad. Today, only a few concrete foundations remain.
   As with other cities in Wyoming, squatters rushed to occupy land in Green River City in anticipation of the arrival of the transcontinental railroad in 1868. Unwilling to negotiate with the squatters, the railroad instead laid out a new town to the west of Green River along the Blacks Fork River and established it as the local headquarters of the railroad[1]. Stage service was established between Bryan and Green River and from there connecting to mines and towns throughout Wyoming.
   Once passed over for the headquarters the population in Green River dropped rapidly. Several years later Blacks Fork dried up due to a drought and the railroad was concerned that there was not enough water in Bryan to service the locomotives. The railroad was able to acquire enough land to move the headquarters to Green River and completely abandoned Bryan. The population plummeted and never recovered.
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Carbon Timber Town

   A late 1800s era class C saw milling/shipping center for railroad ties. It is directly across the Platte River from Fort Fred Steele. The town was also known as East Fort Steele.



   Crosby is located in "Coal Draw" just south of Gebo. A house, mine superstructure and tailings piles remain. This town was named for Jesse W. Crosby, Mormon pioneer. The town was started by Dad Jones, prospector and miner, who supplied Thermopolis with coal from Crosby in the early 1890's. The coal mines closed here in 1932. Just seven years earlier, there were 125 kids in the Crosby school.


The Duncan


Fort Steele

   Colonel Richard I. Dodge, who selected this site on the west bank of the North Platte River, named the fort for Major General Frederick Steele, 20th U.S. Infantry, a Civil War hero.
   Fort Fred Steele was established on June 20, 1868 and occupied until August 7, 1886 by soldiers who were sent by the U.S. Government to guard against attack from indians. Records indicate that Fort Steele’s Army never once encountered a battle. The west side of the fort was “Officers Row,” and the east side contained the men’s barracks, laundries, and a sawmill. Passing through on the south side was the railroad. In 1886, the fort was abandoned. Eight years later, the property was purchased by the Cosgriff Brothers for one hundred dollars. Soon after converting the buildings to stores and residences, fire destroyed much of the town, and the remaining buildings became the property of the Leo Sheep Company. Today, many of the buildings are foundations or depressions in the ground.
   The construction of the Trans Continental Union Pacific Railroad across southern Wyoming 1867-1869, in turn, brought the cattlemen, sheepherders, loggers, tie hacks, miners and merchants who changed the wasteland into Wyoming Territory.
   With the establishment of the Lincoln Highway in the area in 1922, the town had a brief economic resurgence which ended with the relocation of the highway in 1939. Today the area has been designated as a state historic site with little more remaining but the foundations of the buildings.



43°47'27" N, 108°13'49"W

   Gebo is a ghost town located in Hot Springs County in the U.S. state of Wyoming. It is located about 11 miles (18 km) north of Thermopolis. The town was established as a coal mining camp in 1907 alongside the nearby camps of Crosby and Kirby. It was named after Samuel Gebo who established the Owl Creek Coal Company and the first mine in the area. Mining remained active until 1938. At its height, over 2000 people lived in the area, mostly miners and their families, making Gebo briefly the largest town in the county. The remains of the town were bulldozed in 1971, though some buildings and the cemetery remain.



   A mining town of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company of Michigan.
   The name "Hecla" derives its name from a volcano in Iceland, Hekla, which during the Middle Ages was believed by many to be one of two known entrances to the Gates of Hell. That belief was promoted by a Norse geoography text known as the Konungs Skuggsjá , the "King's Mirror", written by an unknown author about 1250 A. D. In the text, the author wrote of Iceland:
Father. I have no doubt that there are places of torment in Iceland even in places where there is no burning; for in that country the power of frost and ice is as boundless as that of fire. There are those springs of boiling water which we have mentioned earlier. There are also ice-cold streams which flow out of the glaciers with such violence that the earth and the neighboring mountains tremble; for when water flows with such a swift and furious current, mountains will shake because of its vast mass and overpowering strength. And no men can go out upon those river banks to view them unless they bring long ropes to be tied around those who wish to explore, while farther away others sit holding fast the rope, so that they may be ready and able to pull them back if the turbulence of the current should make them dizzy. Now it seems evident to me that wherever such great violence appears and in such terrible forms, there surely must be places of torment. And God has made such great and terrifying things manifest upon earth to man, not only that men may be the more vigilant, and may reflect that these tortures are indeed heavy to think upon, although after they depart this life they will have to suffer those that they see while still on earth; but even more to make them reflect that greater still are the things invisible, which they are not per-mitted to see. But these things are a testimony, that it is not untrue what we have been told, that those men who will not beware of evil deeds and unrighteousness, while they live on earth, may expect to suffer torment when they leave this world. For many a simple-minded man might think that all this was mere deception unworthy of notice and told merely to terrify, if there were no such evidence as what we have now pointed out. But now no one can deny what he sees before his own eyes, since we hear exactly the same things about the tortures of hell as those which one can see on the island called Iceland: for there are vast and boundless fire, overpowering frost and glaciers, boiling springs, and violent ice-cold streams.Translation from the Old Norse by Laurence Marcellus Larson in 1917.
   Hecla Post Office was established on July 24, 1886 as Converse Post Office. Its name was changed to Hecla on October 16, 1888 with James C. Pennington as postmaster. It was discontinued on October 31, 1929 and its mail then handled by the Granite Canon Post Office. *

Jeffrey City

42°29'26" N 107°49'42" W

   Jeffrey City was named after Dr. C. W. Jeffrey, a wealthy doctor from Rawlins, Wyoming, who initially financed the costs for prospector and businessman Bob Adams to start the Western Nuclear Corporation mining firm and open a Uranium mine near the area in 1957, during the cold war and the height of uranium demand.
   Thousands of people looking for high-paying mining jobs streamed into Jeffrey City, and Western Nuclear designed and financed a company town for the workers and their families. At the height of the boomtown optimism, an extremely large high school was built that included an Olympic-sized swimming pool. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the uranium market collapsed and the mine was forced to close. As was typical of many boomtowns, Jeffrey City was singularly dependent on the local mine, and after it closed there was no reason for residents to remain. What was once a thriving local community with shops, schools, library, sheriff, youth hostel, churches, medical clinics and more, became a ghost town as 95% of the residents left the town by 1986. Today, the only businesses that remain are a mostly dormant church and a bar called the Split Rock Café that caters to the few local residents and those passing through on the highway.



   Jireh was a small Christian college town located on the prairie between Manville and Keeline, Wyoming on Highway 20. Reverend George Dalzell, a First Christian minister of the Congregational Church in Lusk saw the need for more higher education. A Christian school for young people as well as a Christian community to support the town and college. John Breese Day told him of a piece of deeded land and Rev. Dalzell homesteaded on the west side of this land. Jessie A Dalzell and R. G. Coffin bought the deeded land and they deeded the land to the Jireh Land Company in1909.
   Jireh had a lumber yard, two banks, one of which, Addison A. Spaugh bought and moved to Keeline, the Modern Model Store was built in 1908, the express office was on the second floor. There was a post office; mail routes that served 80 people were established. A one room meeting hall and school room (later replaced by a two room grade school with 1st - 8th grades). There was a depot, doctor, jewelry store, three general stores, the college building know as Wilkinson Hall, two hotels (one was replaced by a two story building), telephone, grist mill, hardware store, real estate office, garage, newspaper-The Jireh Record, print shop, notary public and insurance agent, auctioneer, blacksmith who did wagon work and auto repair, building contractor and tonsorial parlor.
    When the college was torn down, the cornerstone was saved and placed on the south side of Highway 20 as a monument to Jireh. Many settlers rest in the five acre cemetery donated by Reverend George Dalzell.
   Jireh took its name from the place where Abraham was about to offer his son up as a sacrifice to Jehovah. See Genesis 22:
11. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
"Jehovah-jireh" means Jehovah will see; that is, Jehovah will provide.



44°53'2.4" N, 108°12'28.8"W

   Kane is a town that existed two miles south of the confluence of the Shoshone River and the Bighorn River in Big Horn County, Wyoming. Prior to the completion of the Yellowtail Dam in Montana, the residents of Kane sold their homes and land to the federal government. When the dam was completed the area surrounding Kane was flooded. Kane Cemetery, which is located one mile north of the confluence and is now part of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, still exists. Relatives of people buried in the cemetery may continue to be buried there. Although the idea somehow gained currency that the cemetery and its residents were relocated prior to the impoundment of water behind the dam, this is incorrect.



   Named for a man by the name of Lewis who erected a stamp mill and hoisting works on gold properties discovered by Captain H. G. Nickerson in 1882. These operations led to the establishment of a town near the site, which was given the name "Lewiston", after the man whose activities had attracted its population. Mr. Lewis continued his operations for only a year or two and then disappeared. It probably never had a population of more than 100. Main families were the Nickersons and Gustins.


Lost Springs

42°45'57" N, 104°55'37" W

   Lost Springs was first inhabited in the 1880s, when it received its name from railroad workers who could not find the springs shown on survey maps of the area. The town was incorporated in 1911, and it originally had 200 residents, most of whom worked at the nearby Rosin coal mine. After the coal mine closed around 1930, the population of Lost Springs steadily declined. By 1960, the population of the town had dropped to 5. In 1976, both the state of Wyoming and the U.S. Bicentennial Commission designated Lost Springs as the smallest incorporated town in America; its population was then 11.
   In 1983, Lost Springs became involved in a court battle with the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company. The railroad, which ran adjacent to the town, attempted to seize 5.2 acres (0.021 km2; 0.0081 sq mi) of land to build a 22-foot (6.7 m) railway embankment. Lost Springs Mayor Leda Price alleged that the embankment, which would lie between the town and U.S. Highways 18 and 20, would separate the town from traffic on the highway. A Wyoming district judge ruled in the town's favor, and the railroad ultimately agreed to build an unobstructive track bed and use its own land for track.


Miner's Delight

42°31'58" N, 108°40'48" W

   Hamilton City, or Miner's Delight as it was commonly known, was a town in Fremont County, Wyoming, United States, during the mining boom in the 19th century. Today a few buildings stand as a reminder of an era gone past in Wyoming history.
   Miner's Delight was among the state of Wyoming's first communities. Gold was discovered there in 1868 and with that discovery came an era of gold mining and the establishment of the town of Hamilton City. The Miner's Delight mine was located about a quarter mile west of the town. Boom and bust periods followed the operation of the mine. In March 1882 the mine was completely shut down and not used again until after the turn of the 20th century. The two brief boom periods, 1907 and 1910, were in relation to mining operations.
   The town's nomenclature and how it ended up being called Miner's Delight over Hamilton City is a topic of historical debate. There are generally two stories associated with the changing of the town's name. Both stories involve the discovery of a golden lode, a miner's delight, on the ridge above town.
   The first story goes, in 1869 a man named William Jones, while chasing his cows about pasture, stumbled across some quartz with gold flecks dotting it. The site was so remote and so far above town that he erroneously assumed no one else would ever find it. Contented, he continued on his way, gathering his stray cattle. When he returned to the site of the gold lode he found others working the claim. He tried to relate his tale of the discovery to the other miners but they would have none of it and they ran him off.
   The other story does not have quite the same Old West flair as the tale of Jones' would-be discovery. A man named Johnathan Pugh, who incidentally is listed as one of the original founders of the lode, claimed to have discovered the gold. He even described the quartz ridge above town, down to the gold nuggets embedded in it.


New Fork

42°42'13" N, 109°42'55"W

   New Fork is a ghost town in Sublette County, Wyoming, United States, near Boulder. It was one of the earliest settlements in the upper Green River valley. New Fork was established in 1888 by John Vible and Louis Broderson, Danish immigrants who had arrived in the United States in 1884. They established a store along the Lander cut-off of the Oregon Trail. By 1908 a small town had grown around the store, and in 1910 Vible built a dance hall, called The Valhalla.
   In the early years of the settlement the local Bannock and Shoshoni Indians from the Wind River Indian Reservation accounted for much of the town's trade. Vible and Broderson's original store was a log cabin, selling supplies obtained in Evanston.
   The death of Vible and members of his family from diphtheria and scarlet fever in 1915 started a decline, exacerbated by the abandonment of the Lander cut-off. Mail service stopped in 1918.

   Several log and frame buildings remain in the townsite.


Pacific Springs

   Pacific Springs, 300 feet lower than South Pass, appear in a valley just to west as an extensive Pacific Springs marsh in a bleak, dry landscape. This, the first good water west of South Pass, provided the emigrants their first encounter with what J. Goldsborough Bruff called "the fountain source of the Pacific streams…" Clayton’s Guide recorded that there was an "abundance of grass any where for a mile. Good water, and plenty of Wild Sage for fuel." He called it a "pretty good place to camp" but warned that it was not a good crossing. "After you leave here you will find a good road but very little water." Several graves are known to exist in this area.
   Once called the "Old Halter and Flick Ranch," this unique town, founded in 1853, is referred to by old-timers as the "muddiest damned spot on the Lander-Rawlins Stage Road." By 1918, the town had faded to just a post office named Pacific.
   In the 1860s, a stage and Pony Express station existed in this area. It was apparently burned by the Indians in 1862. Its exact location is unknown. The springs has also been a vital source of water for area ranchers. *


41°13'4" N, 110°37'40" W

   Piedmont, located southeast of Evanston, was settled about 1867 to provide railroad ties for the Union Pacific Railroad. Moses Byrne built several kilns here for producing charcoal, and Charles Guild established one of the first ranches in the Territory. Both Byrne and Guild were Mormon pioneers.
   Originally, the area was named "Byrne," but due to confusion with Bryan Station was renamed Piedmont. Both Byrne's wives, Anne Beus and Catherine Cardon, and Guild's wife, Marie Madeleine Cardon, were from small towns in the Torino Province, part of the Piedmont Region of northern Italy. Moses' wife Anne Beus lived in Ogden, Utah, and his other wife Catherine Cardon eventually ended up living in Piedmont, after first having spent time in the Utah towns of Ogden and Slaterville. Most historical sources that reference both 'Mrs. Byrne' and Piedmont are taken to be referring to Catherine Cardon. Catherine Cardon Byrne and Marie Madelaine Cardon Guild were sisters.    The Guild family joined the Byrne family in 1866 at the Muddy River Station in southwest Wyoming, having traveled from Salt Lake City. As the transcontinental railroad moved into western Wyoming, a wood and water station was needed, and it was found that a spot approximately five miles west of the Muddy River station was ideal, being situated in the direct line of the track. Moses Byrne was asked to run the station. It was thought at first that they would call it Byrne, but it was later decided that the name might be confusing, since there was a station called Bryan west of Green River.
   Piedmont, a typical tent camp for the railroad, probably at this time knew its greatest population; yet there is evidence of only approximately twenty homes. The tent town served as a base camp for the graders who were constructing a roadbed up the steep side of the mountain to the summit called Aspen Station.
   The route for the railroad had many sharp curves, including a full horseshoe bend. By 1868, the railroad crew arrived to lay track on the prepared roadbed. It was soon realized that helper engines would be needed on the eight-mile grade. Wells that were dug provided plentiful water. Sidings, an engine shed, and a water tank were constructed, and Piedmont became a wood and water refueling station for helper engines.
   Men were needed to run the helper engines, so more families moved in. There were also homesteaders arriving at that time. The Guilds opened a mercantile establishment, and the town boasted four saloons.
   The logging industry, as a commercial venture, became well established in Piedmont as well. Moses Byrne constructed charcoal kilns in Piedmont during 1877. Five in total were built, at a cost of fifteen hundred dollars. Quaking aspen and pine logs were hauled by ox teams to the kilns where they were burned into charcoal. The Union Pacific Railroad Company used the charcoal as fuel for the passenger cars.

   On May 5, 1869, the Central Pacific Railroad crossed Promontory Summit in Utah and stopped just a few feet short of the Union Pacific tracks. The north side of the rails were joined, but those on the south side were left for the driving of the golden spike. On May 7, Promontory was overflowing with discharged workers; tent saloons were stocked, and the women arrived. A special train from Sacramento had arrived with all the dignitaries of the Central Pacific Railroad.
   Things weren't going quite so well on the Union Pacific train. In Piedmont, there were three hundred graders and tie cutters who had been discharged but not paid. The story was circulated that the financing of the railroad had collapsed and that, upon completion of the railroad, the Union Pacific would receive a government subsidy. This would bankrupt the grading and tie contractors.
   They enlisted the aid of a telegrapher to let them know of the arrival of the special train in Piedmont. There the train met an obstacle of ties on the track, and by the time the ties were cleared off, the special car carrying the financial wizard and the Union Pacific vice president was side railed, leaving the rest of the train to go on. A telegram was finally sent by the detained men that resulted in two hundred thousand dollars being sent to give the workers their back pay. Another telegraph was sent to Promontory with the message that the dignitaries would not arrive there until May 10. When the money arrived at Piedmont, the train car was re-coupled and sent on its way. The golden spike was driven on Monday, May 10, 1869.
   It was later reported that a Salt Lake banker sent a telegram to Fort Bridger for troops to go into Piedmont, but a telegrapher took the message off and no troopers were sent.
   Robert Fulton, a telegrapher in Rawlins, Wyoming, in 1869, established the date of the hijacking as being May 7. Some historians disagree on the date, but in any case newspaper accounts of the holdup brought temporary fame to Piedmont.

   About 1910, the Union Pacific Railroad began digging the Aspen tunnel through Aspen mountain. The completion of the tunnel, approximately one and one-half miles long, resulted in the elimination of the steep, winding grade from Piedmont to Aspen Station. The railroad was rerouted from LeRoy to the tunnel, missing Piedmont by several miles. Piedmont was stranded, and its demise began.
   In 1940, lack of business forced the closing of the old Guild Mercantile Store. Since then, most of the buildings have been hauled away. All that remains are three or four tumbledown remnants of homes, some foundations, the coal dump where the engine shed once stood, the charcoal kilns of Moses Byrne, and the cemeteries.


South Pass City

42°28'16" N, 108°48'19" W

   South Pass City is an unincorporated community in Fremont County, Wyoming, United States. It is located 2 miles south of the intersection of highways 28 and 131. The closest town is Atlantic City. The entire community is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
   South Pass City sprang into existence as a stage and telegraph station on the Oregon Trail during the 1850s. The site of this first settlement was about 9 miles south of present-day South Pass City at what is today known as Burnt Ranch. Burnt Ranch was located where the Emigrant Trails crossed the Sweetwater River for the last time and ascended toward South Pass.
   In 1866 gold was discovered in the vicinity, and a year later prospecting began on what would become the Carissa mine. Prospectors and adventurers quickly arrived and founded what is today known as South Pass City. Within a year the community's population had swelled to about 2,000. One of those who arrived in 1869 was Esther Hobart Morris. In 1870 she was the first woman in the U.S. to serve as a Justice of the Peace. In 1869, William H. Bright, a saloon owner and representative to the Wyoming Territorial Constitutional Convention, introduced a women's suffrage clause into the territorial constitution. When the constitution was approved by Territorial Governor John A. Campbell in December 1869, Wyoming became the first U.S. territory to recognize a woman's right to vote.
   Within a decade the city's population shrank dramatically as the large gold deposits that had been hoped for failed to materialize. By the mid 1870s South Pass City's population was reduced to about 100 people. Over the next century the population of South Pass City declined further and many of the city's homes, mercantile stores, hotels and saloons fell into disrepair. A few businesses continued to operate in South Pass City with the last of the pioneer families finally moving on in 1949.
   At the end of the 20th century steps were taken to renew the community and turn it into a historic site. As a result the community today consists of two areas: South Pass City, in which a handful of residents live, and South Pass City State Historic Site, which preserves more than 30 historic structures dating from the city's heyday in the 1860s and 1870s. In 1970, the community was added to the National Register of Historic Places.



   Sherman is the highest point on the transcontinental railroad, at more than 8000 feet. But it was a slow easy climb and a walk in the park compared to what the Central Pacific had to cut through in the Sierras.
   The town was built in the 1860's. It was a major stop for the transcontinetal railroad. Within 15 months of the railroad reaching Sherman Hill, the town boasted railroad machine shops, a Wells Fargo express office, a newspaper, a millinery store and 2 two-story false fronted hotels, the Sherman House and the Summit House.
   The foundations to buildings are still there including the 5 stall roundouse and the turntable.


Tubb Town

   In 1888, the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad announced plans to consruct tracks across northeast Wyoming and into Montana. Delos Dewitt Tubbs (1849-1930), in anticipation of the Railroad coming, established Tubb Town, a ranshackle collection of saloons, hotels, and "sporting houses" along the proposed railroad route. All visitors were required to pay a toll of sorts on entrance, a "set'em up for the bunch." The party didn't last long. Tubbs apparently overlooked that the railroad was also in the real estate business and that all the towns along its tracks were laid out by its subsidiary, the Lincoln Land Company. The Burlington Railroad decided instead to build a town a few miles west at Newcastle.
   The first lots in Newcastle were sold on Sept. 10, 1889. The same day all of the inhabitants and businesses of Tubb Town, located on Salt Creek and the Custer-Belle Fourche Trail, picked up lock, stock and whiskey barrel and moved to Newcastle. One saloon owner loaded the bar on the back of a wagon and continued to serve his thirsty patrons on the trek.
   A month before the move, the Sundance Gazette reported:
"That always lively place, Tubtown, was the scene of unusually stirring times Saturday last. At one time a number of fights were going on in the street, and Deputy Swisher was worn out trying to stop them. No sooner would he quell one of the melees than he would see another fightgoing on a little ways off. He finally quit in disqust, and told the boys to fight all they wanted, but he would kill the first one who tried to use a gun. The trouble was caused by a fistic rivalry between graders and miners, large numbers of whom were in town that day. From all accounts an officer in a town like tibville couldn't be paid all he earns, as a good many frequenters there want to deal out misery to him in big chunks."


Van Tassell

42°39'49" N, 104°5'28" W

   The town of Van Tassell is located approximately two miles west of the Nebraska-Wyoming state line on Highway 20.
   Van Rensselaer Schuyler Van Tassell pioneered ahead of the railroad and came to Cheyenne when it was founded in 1867. The eastern part of what is now Wyoming was then Dakota Territory. In 1857 Laramie County was created by the Dakota Territorial Legislature at Yankton, South Dakota. This established, for the first time, what later became the eastern boundary of Wyoming. In 1869 Congress created Wyoming Territory. Ulysses S. Grant was President of the United States. John A. Campbell was the first Territorial Governor (1869 - 1875).
   R. S. Van Tassell first came to this section of Wyoming Territory when he bought the Jim Moore place - later know as the Jay Em Ranch. After Moore's death he married Mrs. Moore. He gained control of the land where Van Tassell now stands in 1880. When the railroad came through in 1886, railroad officials named the station and town that sprang up around it Van Tassell. Mr. Van Tassell was among the largest cattle raisers in the Rocky Mountain region. He died in California in April 1931 when nearing the age of 100. He is buried in Cheyenne.
   With the coming of the homesteaders, Van Tassell grew rapidly, reaching its peak in 1913. At the peak of it's development, Van Tassell had two hardware stores, three general stores, lumber yard, bank, two churches, two newspapers (one of which later became the Lusk Free Lance), butcher shop, dairy, creamery, butter factory, blacksmith shop, land office, electric light plant, two garages, a hotel with sixteen rooms and a spacious lobby, three cafes, large warehouse, depot, two drug stores, a city hall with fire department, a city jail, an insurance office, pool hall, mortuary, livery barn, minister, doctor, dentist, barber, mortician, coroner, hairdresser, and a city law officer.
   The population was 18 at the 2000 census.



41°45'40" N, 106°50'42" W

   Walcott is an unincorporated community in central Carbon County, east of the city of Rawlins, the county seat of Carbon County.Although Walcott is unincorporated, it has a post office, with the ZIP code of 82335.