Your Guide Book to the Pacific Railroad, 1879
Stations in Wyoming
DEER RACE WITH TRAIN ON THE U. P. R. R.
Pine Bluffs, Cheyenne to Laramie
BLUFFS (473 miles from Omaha, elevation 5,026 feet)
The little station takes its name from the stunted pines
along the bluffs. Pine timber was plenty here, but it disappeared when the road
was built. It is the great trail and crossing point for Indians passing from the
buffalo grounds on the Republican to Horse Creek an North Platte River. Was
several times attacked by Indians during construction of road, several were
killed and large amounts of stock stolen.
This is a telegraph station, with side track, cattle yards
(490 miles from Omaha, elevation 5,428 feet)
The grade is now quite heavy as we are going up on to the
divide between the Lodge Pole and Crow Creek. Burns is simply a side track where
trains occasionally meet and pass.
CHEYENNE (516 miles from Omaha, elevation 6,041 feet)
"Magic City of the Plains," Thus truly is it named, for it is the most attractive city on the entire line. Travelers will here take a dinner in comfortable style at one of the best kept hotels between the two oceans. It is a good place to rest after a tiresome journey, and it will pay to stop for a few days and enjoy the pure air and genial sun in this high altitude. The hotel is owned by the railroad company, and is 150 feet long by 36 wide, with a wing 25 feet square. it has an elegant dining-hall, around which hang the heads of antelope, deer, elk, mountain-sheep, black-tailed deer, buffalo, etc. all nicely preserved and looking very natural.
Cheyenne has had its ups and downs. Once very lively when the road was building, then it fell dead and motionless. Now it has risen again and is the largest town on the railroad between Omaha and Salt Lake City, having a population of fully 4,000 and rapidly growing.
When it was known that this was to be the winter terminus of the railroad, there was a grand hegira of roughs, gamblers and prostitutes from Julesburg and other places down the road to this point, and in the fall of '68, Cheyenne contained 6,000 inhabitants. Every nation on the globe, nearly, was represented here.
The principal pastimes were gambling, drinking villainous rot-gut whiskey, and shooting. Shooting scrapes were an everyday occurrence, Knock downs and robberies were daily and nightly amusements.
But these things had to come to an end, and their perpetrators, some of them to a rope's end. Vigilance committees were organized and "Judge Lynch" held court, from which there were neither appeals nor stay of executions. Within one year after its organization the "vigilantes" had hung and shot twelve desperadoes and sent five to the penitentiary.
(572 miles from Omaha, elevation 7,123 feet)
It is the end of a division of the Union Pacific
Railroad, one of the largest towns on the road, has large machine and repair
shops, and is destined to become from its mining and manufacturing capacities
yet undeveloped, the largest city on the road in Wyoming.
Laramie has fully 4,000 people, is the county-seat of Albany
County, has numerous churches and schools, several public buildings, brick and
stone blocks, with streets regularly laid out at right angles to the railroad.
It is called the Gem City of the Mountains.
The mineral resources of Wyoming have not been developed,
but within a radius of thirty miles of Laramie are the following named minerals:
antimony, cinnabar, gold, silver, copper, lead, plumbago, various forms of iron
and good wagon roads to all the places where these materials are found.
In April, 1868, the first town lots in Laramie were sold by
the railroad company. There was a great rush for town lots. The first week over
400 lots were sold and building began rapidly.
It is true these structures were of a peculiar character:
some were logs, some of cross-ties, others were simply four posts set into the
The Laramie Plains are a paradise for sheep.
(See the Time Table for more on Wyoming sheep raising)
Springs to Bridger