Laramie, Albany County, Wyoming

Laramie, 1908

The survey of the Town of Laramie City was made in the fall of 1867. Its location upon the banks of the Big Laramie river, with the large spring brook running through it, and in the midst of the fertile Laramie plains, the richest and most productive portion of the territory, surrounded by mountains on all sides rich in mineral and timber, furnished an aggregation of natural advantages unequalled anywhere upon the line of the great transcontinental railroad.

The following spring, on the 20th day of April, 1868, the Union Pacific Railroad company commenced the sale of town lots. Several hundred people had already located here beneath their tents and wagon covers, and were only waiting to obtain title to lots to commence erecting their future homes. Within the first week over 400 lots were sold, and in less than two weeks 200 or 300 buildings had been commenced, the material for many of which was nothing more than rough logs, or condemned ties, from which the walls were constructed, and which were covered with canvas or cotton cloth.

On the 9th of May, 1868, the rails were laid to and through the town, and on the 10th of May the first train of cars came into Laramie, loaded with freight, consisting mainly of railroad ties, plows, scrapers, tents, shanties and lumber, which had been brought from Julesburg and Cheyenne,, together with groceries, provisions, peddlers with their packs, stores, crockery, etc., wines and liquors of all kind and varieties, on top of which, riding on open flat cars was piled a motley crowd of men, women and children. Within three months from the time the rails reached Laramie, it was estimated that the population of the place aggregated five thousand souls. Half of these people were employees, directly or indirectly, of the railroad company; the other half were largely composed of adventurers, fully fifty per cent of which were made up of desperate men and disreputable women, gamblers, thieves, robbers and cut throats, who lived by preying upon the community and who depended for their success upon robbing the employees of the company.


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Source: Annals of Wyoming, Volume 15, April 1943, Wyoming Historical Department, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

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