Rock Springs Union Pacific Depot

By Katherine Kasckow

September 20, 2017

While many Wyoming towns only have one train depot, Rock Springs has two historic depots, reflecting the importance of the railroad for the community and the surrounding area. These buildings also show how much of a transportation hub that Rock Springs was in the region throughout its development. This profile will focus on the passenger depot located at Depot Park at 501 S. Main Street in downtown Rock Springs. The other depot is the freight depot, which has been renovated and reused as the offices of Rock Springs’ Main Street program.

Photo credit: Highsmith, Carol M, photographer. Train Station in downtown Rock Springs, Wyoming. Rock Springs Sweetwater County United States Wyoming, 2016. -05-22. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2017688001/. (Accessed September 14, 2017)

Photo credit: Highsmith, Carol M, photographer. Train Station in downtown Rock Springs, Wyoming. Rock Springs Sweetwater County United States Wyoming, 2016. -05-22. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2017688001/. (Accessed September 14, 2017)

The original depot in Rock Springs was built in 1900 in a the Richardsonian Romanesque style, which was used on many Union Pacific depots across the country. In the 1990s the depot’s interior and exterior were both restored. According to the City of Rock Springs’ website, the building became “the primary entrance to the rugged western town for thousands of European and Asian immigrants that came to Rock Springs seeking work in the mines or just a new life in America.” The preservation of the depot is significant not only as a part of Wyoming’s railroad history, but also as a representation of Wyoming’s labor and ethnic history that helped shape the city we see today. The depot is a contributing structure to the Downtown Rock Springs Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Front Street, downtown Rock Springs, 1919, showing the U.P. depot and the First National Bank. Wyoming Tales and Trails.

Front Street, downtown Rock Springs, 1919, showing the U.P. depot and the First National Bank. Wyoming Tales and Trails.

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