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Ghost Town USA’s

Guide to the Ghost Towns of

WYOMING

“The Equality State”

 

 


 

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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for Wyoming

 

On December 5, 1848, President James Knox Polk stood in front of Congress and delivered the message that made it official...gold had been discovered in California. The rumors were true, and interest in the West Coast peaked into an insatiable quest to head west and get rich; except there was no easy way to get there.

 

The 1850 census showed 1.5 million people living west of the Mississippi River. They needed contact with the rest of the states. During the 1850s, Canada was talking of building a trans-Canadian railroad, and with the strong Nationalism during that time period, we couldn't let them do something we should do first! So, with that all in mind, survey parties headed west in 1853 to seek the best railroad route to California. After nearly a decade of arguments, discussions and bureaucratic haggling, President Abraham Lincoln authorized the building of a transcontinental railroad, and specified that it would be completed by July 1, 1874.

 

Since there were already railroads reaching as far as Omaha, the Union Pacific would build west from that city, while the Central Pacific would build east from Sacramento, California. They would meet somewhere in the middle. The Union Pacific broke sod in Omaha on Dec 1, 1863, but didn't lay the first track until July 10, 1865. However once that first track was spiked down, they headed west at a frenetic pace.

 

By 1867 Cheyenne was a booming, end-of-the-tracks town with 10,000 people. The Wyoming phase of railroad building had begun. A year later the graders reached Wahsatch, Utah, just west of the present Wyoming/Utah state line. With winter rapidly approaching, the Union Pacific pulled back ten miles to a place called Evanston, and wintered there due to its better location. After the spring thaw, crews raced down Echo Canyon passed through the Salt Lake Valley, and on May 10, 1869 met the Central Pacific crews at a place called Promontory, Utah.

 

Back up in southwestern Wyoming the majority of construction camps and tie cutting camps passed into history.  A few locations established themselves as railroad stations and grew.  Coal mines were established to supply the much needed fuel for the locomotives. Towns grew up around these mines, and Wyoming experienced its first real boom. Prospectors spread out through the mountains of the territory finding small quantities of gold, silver and copper. Mining camps then grew up around these mines.  Later, the cattle industry created numerous ranching centers, railroad shipping centers, and cattle boom towns to develop, mostly in the eastern half of the territory. By the early 1920s the region around Casper was the center of a booming oil producing region. Comparing a map of the 1930s with today shows hundreds of former towns that today are either nothing more than a dot on the map with less than 50 people, or have totally disappeared.

 

In contrast to the other Western states, Wyoming is usually not considered in general ghost town literature, yet the state is full of ghost towns. Most are seldom if ever visited. The vast majority of Wyoming's ghost towns were not a result of gold or silver mining rushes as Wyoming is not a major metal mining state, although gold and copper mining have contributed a number of ghosts. Most of the ghosts are a result of the railroad, coal and oil industries. Cattle, agriculture, and travel stations have contributed their share. Wyoming sits along several major pioneer trails and roads such as the Oregon Trail, Pony Express route, Overland Trail and Bozeman Trail. As a consequence the United States Army established major military posts along these pioneer travel routes, which resulted in the growth of service and "good-times towns as well.

 

The ghost towns are here, waiting to be discovered...good luck and have fun discovering Wyoming's Shadows of the past...

 

Some of our readers are searching for some info on WY ghost towns.  See the HELP page if you can assist.  Thanks.

 

 PLEASE NOTE: Where photos are indicated thusly (PHOTO!), please use your browser’s “BACK” button to return to this page.  More photos will be added over time.

 

THE GHOSTS

 

ALMOND STATION

Sweetwater Co.

Possibly at two separate locations...

·        #1...Shown on several 1950s/1960s roadmaps three or four miles northwest of Point of Rocks.  T20N, R101W

·        #2...Early name for Point of Rocks Station, in which case it appears to be located at that site.

ASPENTUNNEL

Uinta Co.

Union Pacific Railroad station a mile east of the road leading northeast from the junction of the Piedmont Road with SH 150. Located near the present community of Aspen Tunnel. (May possibly be the site of the construction camp for the tunnel?)  T14N, R118W

ATLANTIC CITY

Fremont Co.

This class D gold-mining town boomed from 1868 to 1878. It is located 2.3 miles south of SH 28 at a point 29 miles south of Lander. It once had 2000 people, but today, a handful of residents keep an eye on the couple dozen well-weathered buildings sprawling across a shallow slope overlooking Rock Creek.

BAIROIL

Sweetwater Co.

This class D company oil-town of 200 or so people is in the extreme northeast corner of the county, at the west end of SH 73, five miles west of Lamont, which is on US 287, 35 miles north of Rawlins.  T26N, R90W...elevation 6860'

BENTON

Carbon Co.

East of Rawlins on the Union Pacific Railroad and the Overland Stage Line route, Benton is a class B railroad construction camp, boomtown, and in 1868 was a “good-times town” for nearby Fort Fred Steele.

BOSLER

Albany Co.

The remains of this class D road-town lies scattered across US 30/287 about two miles north of the junction of SH 34, and about 20 miles north of Laramie.  A few folks still keep an eye out over the picturesque unoccupied buildings.   PHOTO!

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

See our BOSLER page for additional details.

BRYAN

Sweetwater Co.

A class B railroad town site along the north side of I-80 and railroad tracks 12 miles west of Green River. Established in 1868 as a railroad center and repair shops for the Union Pacific, it also was the railroad shipping point for the mines in the Atlantic City/South Pass City region. All that remains is the old cemetery.

 

·        Latitude: 41.5705166 / 41° 34’ 14” N

·        Longitude: -109.6820852 / 109° 40’ 56” W

·        SE¼ of the NW¼ Sec 2, T18N, R109W, 6PM (6th Principal Meridian)

CANTONMENT CONNER

Johnson Co.

Also known as Camp Conner and Fort Conner, this was a small military post on the west side of the Powder River, eight to ten miles northeast of Sussex, where the Bozeman Trail crosses the river, in the southeast part of the county.   T44N, R78W...

CARBON TIMBER TOWN

Carbon Co.

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 ghost was also known as East Fort Steele.

CUMMINS CITY

Albany Co.

Old gold mining town named after John Cummins. This short-lived ghost is forty miles southwest of Laramie in the Medicine National Forest.

ENCAMPMENT

Carbon Co.

This class E copper-mining town began in 1898. Currently a center of tourism and agriculture located on SH 230, 10 miles south of a point on SH 130, 71 miles west of Laramie. A museum and reconstructed complex of buildings share the history of the area.

FORT BRIDGER

Uinta Co.

A class C/F (reconstructed) frontier army post, three miles southeast of I-80 at EXIT 34, in the town of Fort Bridger.  In 1843, explorer Jim Bridger built a trading post here, and in 1854 the Mormons took over.  In 1857 the US Army grabbed the site and built their fort. In 1860 it was a stop on the Pony Express route, and was abandoned in 1878.

FORT LARAMIE

Goshen Co.

This partially restored army post is about three miles south of the town of Fort Laramie, near the confluence of the North Platte and Laramie Rivers. It was originally built in 1834, and has moved several times. It was an anchor for the army to protect emigrants heading west along the Oregon Trail.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

See our FORT LARAMIE page for additional details.

GOOD HOPE

Fremont Co.

Only rubble remains of this old gold-mining camp located about a half mile north of the site of Lewiston.

HARTVILLE

Platte Co.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

JAY-EM

Goshen Co.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

KEYLINE

Niobrara Co.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

LAMONT

Sweetwater Co.

This class C highway town boomed during the 1930s oil boom in central Wyoming. Lamont is on US 287, 35 miles north of Rawlins.

LEWISTON

Fremont Co.

An 1880s gold-mining town a dozen or so miles east of Atlantic City. A four-wheel-drive vehicle should be used to reach this site.

MANVILLE

Niobrara Co.

This class D town delights ghosttowners with its many unoccupied buildings, and a small resident population keeping an eye on them.  It is located just north of the intersection of US 18/20 and SH 270, about ten miles west of Lusk.  PHOTO!

MINERS DELIGHT

Fremont Co.

This class C gold-mining town is located five miles northeast of Atlantic City. It was one of the richest, and short lived of the several 1868 era mining camps and towns in the Sweetwater Mining District. Its spectral remains are reachable by four wheel drive or high clearance vehicles only.

PIEDMONT

Uinta Co.

A late 1800s class C railroad center and charcoal manufacturing town located on a graded dirt road 7.3 miles south of I-80 at EXIT 24 (Leroy Rd.), at a point 19 miles east of Evanston. Remains include three restored charcoal kilns and the ruins of a fourth. The town is just west of the kilns, and is behind the fence of a working ranch. It is posted KEEP OUT, but about a dozen abandoned structures can be seen easily from the gate.

PLATINUM CITY

Albany Co.

A class B 1920s era platinum-mining camp about two miles from Centennial, at the base of Centennial Ridge.  The ore was found mixed with gold and copper. Due to high costs and low yields, the camp failed.

SOUTH PASS CITY

Fremont Co.

An 1868-1873 era class D/F (restored...SHP) gold-mining town and former county seat five miles southwest of Atlantic City. Once had 4000 folks living here. 25 restored buildings at the east end of the town mark the State Historic Park. West of the restored part of town another dozen or so still occupied buildings serve the remaining populace. 

See our SOUTH PASS CITY page for additional details.

THE DUNCAN

Fremont Co.

This class C early 1900s gold-mining community was two miles southeast of Atlantic City.

WALCOTT

Carbon Co.

This 1890-1910 railroad shipping center is located a mile north of the highway town of Walcott, along the Union Pacific tracks, east of Fort Steele, and north of Encampment.

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

There are over 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America. Gary B. Speck Publications is trying to capture as many of these historical locations as possible and is currently in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of *** ™.  These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.

 

For more information on the ghost towns of WYOMING, contact us at Ghost Town USA.

 

E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:  Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to any e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line.   

 

 

Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!

IMPORTANT NOTE

 

These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in WYOMING as shown above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.

 

If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.   ALWAYS respect the rights of the landowners. 

 

When you are exploring the ghost towns of WYOMING, please abide by the

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.

 

 

 

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THIS PAGE

FIRST POSTED: January 2000

LAST UPDATED: November 17, 2012

 

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