Historic Wyoming Places
Periodically, we will update this page with new and unique historic Wyoming places. These profiles give insights into both the building's architecture as well as its history. As you travel across the back highways of this great state of ours, keep an eye out for some of these historic Easter eggs!
Many of these properties came to our attention through our Historic Architecture Assistance Fund (HAAF) program. If you have a historic property, check out the HAAF program! In addition, if you own a unique architectural piece of Wyoming history and would like to share your story, submit here.
Most of us have at least heard of the Ames Monument. But how many of us have actually gone out to see it? AHW volunteer Katherine Kasckow tells the story of her first time visiting the pyramid on the plains.
Togwotee Pass is a major gateway to both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Preservation Programs Assistant Luke Anderson recalls the feeling of crossing the pass for the first time.
Though little is known about this specific tower, one can only imagine the types of thoughts that must have occupied a lookout's mind as they sat stranded, completely alone at 10,000 feet, watching for orange glows on the horizon.
David Noyes remembers attending Hebard Elementary School in the 1950s
Hilery Lindmier recalls childhood memories of watching Wyoming Symphony Orchestra concerts from the balcony of the auditorium in Casper's distinct Natrona County High School
The statue of the 16th president sits at the highest point on Interstate 80 between Laramie and Cheyenne
Adobe Town once sat in the heart of the Red Desert
The uranium mine ghost town Jeffrey City is in Fremont County
This historic school resides in Casper, Wyoming
The AMK Ranch, originally settled in 1890, now belongs to Grand Teton National Park
People started moving into South Pass City in the 1860s
This depot from 1910 speaks to the West's long relationship with the railroad
The Cooper family's Spanish Mission revival mansion appears a bit out of place in the frigid winters of the Laramie Valley
The lust for gold and quick wealth in the mid-19th century in America did not just grip places like Oregon and California. Places like South Pass show how Wyoming too had its own share of gold rush booms and busts
Hoyt Hall sits on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie
Mt. Sinai synagogue has provided a space for the Jewish community since 1915, when the original cornerstone was laid on Pioneer avenue and 20th Street.
The First Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Church on August 13th, 1884, conducting services in Scandinavian languages. Newly arriving immigrants who were experiencing the same cultural changes were able to support each other in the shared space of the church.
Susan Wissler was born in Broadhead, Minnesota in 1853 and would become the first female mayor in Wyoming.
On July 4, 1867, the Union Pacific railroad established its headquarters in the area that would later become Cheyenne. The U.S. Cavalry followed them weeks later to establish Fort D.A. Russell. There wouldn’t be a high concentration of Buffalo Soldiers on the base until 1902 after the Philippine Insurrection.
The school was originally built in 1922 as North Casper School. Thanks to the Casper Housing Authority and the VA, the old Roosevelt High School will continue to be a neighborhood center for another hundred years.
The Casper Artists' Guild's renovation of the former Pacific Produce building for their new location is a great example of how abandoned historic buildings can transition from a public burden to local gem and destination place with strong community support.
The Laramie Plains Civic Center is a terrific example of how former school buildings can be adaptively reused for the greater good of a community. Laramie will have to face this issue once more as the high school built in 1960 is now empty after the city built a brand new high school that opened in 2016.
In 1911, Park County split from Big Horn County, and in 1914 the Park County commissioners appointed a board for a public library system. The city council immediately applied again for a Carnegie Public Library Building grant.
Within the city of Rock Springs stands the grandiose Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church that was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 22nd, 2015. With its Romanesque architecture and a 125-feet bell tower, the Church looms over the southwestern Wyoming town.
The Big Horn County Library was created in 1907 by the Book Lovers’ Club, an organization created by a group of women in Basin in 1906.
The Rock Springs Coal sign was originally constructed in 1929 by the Wyoming Coal Operators. The welcome sign arched over the Lincoln Highway to greet travelers as they came through town.
The Bim Kendall House in Laramie is home to the University of Wyoming's Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources. The house was built in 1954 by prominent Laramie architects Eliot and Clinton Hitchcock.
In order to make the Cheyenne depot stand out, the Union Pacific turned to prominent architect Henry Van Brunt who was nationally-known for his institutional buildings designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style that was popular during the late 19th Century.
The bandshell in Laramie is one of thousands of public works projects that were completed as a result of the Works Progress Administration. Communities across America are dotted with buildings and parks that came from Roosevelt's New Deal.
The Wyoming Motel in Cheyenne was one of the many motels that sprung up in the heyday of long distance automobile travel. The motel was built in 1936, making it Cheyenne institution for the last 80 years.
The depot in Medicine Bow stands out in the small town with its bright red roof. It speaks to a time early in the state's history before the Lincoln Highway and the Interstate highway system when train travel was still the best way to get from destination to destination.
In a way, the the Wolf Hotel in Saratoga owes its existence to a particular case of rheumatism. Now it has become a feature of Carbon County.
The town of Granger is currently in the process of converting their former school into a community center.
The Lincoln Highway was notorious for attracting unique landmarks to draw in business from travelers. One such place on the Lincoln Highway, now Highway 30, is a monolithic, three-story stone building - the Virginian Hotel.
The Fossil Cabin Museum on Highway 287 just outside of Medicine Bow, Wyoming was built in 1932, but its materials are much older. The cabin is constructed entirely out of dinosaur fossils.
The castle-like structure that sits atop a cliff overlooking the Guernsey reservoir was a Civilian Conservation Corps project initiated during the Great Depression.
While the Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church has not been in one location for its entire lifetime, its congregation and presence in the community have been an important part of Cheyenne since it was established in 1878.
Fort McKinney, located about two miles west of Buffalo, Wyoming, was home to at least four companies of Buffalo Soldiers, all members of the Black Ninth Cavalry, making it a significant site in Western African American history.
The Ucross Foundation has successfully developed a way to find creative new uses for historic buildings while at the same time honoring the historic use of the location and the agricultural traditions of the area. Ucross still operates as a working cattle ranch, while simultaneously serving as a retreat for artists from across the country, making it a truly successful preservation project.
With the new Laramie High School now completed, questions surround the fate of the one built in 1960. There is a glimmer of hope, however, if we turn to the past. Laramie has an excellent track record of reusing its high schools, with one former high school now being used as apartments and the other serving as the Laramie Plains Civic Center.
One of few schools in Wyoming to incorporate Craftsman elements in its design, Nellie Iles School in Laramie is seamlessly integrated into the surrounding neighborhood.
The Lincoln Highway didn't only offer spectacular views of the beautiful countryside across America. It also offered some pretty nice accommodations. The Hotel Tomahawk in Green River was as glamorous as any hotel in its time, and it has continued to serve the population of Green River in various ways over its lifetime.
Elmer Lovejoy brought the future to Wyoming when he introduced the state to the horseless carriage in 1898. University of Wyoming professor Phil Roberts tells the story of Wyoming's first automobile.
Cover Photo credit: Cinema Treasures
When you think of Sinclair, you might think of the bold green dinosaur associated with the oil company. However, there is also a small town named for the company in central Wyoming. In the town are not green dinosaurs, but instead a plethora of Spanish Mission revival architecture. One great example is the Sinclair Theater, which has been empty for some time but is currently in the process of a historic preservation project.
The Kuster Hotel in Laramie is not named for infamous General George Custer who was very active in the west during the mid to late-19th century. The Kuster Hotel was actually named for a German family that was one of the first to settle Laramie in the 1860s. Built in 1869, the hotel was the first stone building built in the town.
Check out the interactive map below. Click on a marker and follow the link to learn more about each unique historic Wyoming place. In order to respect privacy and private property rights, locations of sites on the map are approximated.