The oldest towns in Wyoming were founded starting in the 1860s and incorporated as towns from the 1880s to the 1890s. Most of the towns were founded due to the development of the railway lines. According to
Wyoming State Archives, here are some of the oldest towns in Wyoming based on their dates of incorporation and their ties to history.
Cheyenne is the capital and the most populated city in Wyoming. It was named after the regional Native American tribe. The town was built around the Union Pacific Railroad that passed through on its way to the West coast. In fact, the town grew so fast it became known as the "Magic City of the Plains". Cheyenne was founded in 1867 and incorporated as a town in 1869.
Laramie was founded along the Union Pacific Railroad line in the mid 1860s as a tent city. In fact, the railroad crosses over the Laramie River. The town was named after a French trapper who disappeared in the Laramie Mountains. The first woman to serve on a jury and the first woman to vote in a general election were from Laramie. Laramie was incorporated as a town in 1874. Pictured is the town around 1908.
Buffalo is nestled in the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains. The town was founded in 1879 and incorporated as a town in 1884. This town has historical ties to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Buffalo Bill Cody, Tom Horn, Calamity Jane, Owen Wister, and Teddy Roosevelt.
Douglas, known as the "Tent City", was founded when the Wyoming Central Railway established a railway station there. It also served as a supply point for nearby cattle ranches and is home to the World War II Internment Camp. Douglas was incorporated as a town in 1887. Pictured is the town of Douglas in the 1920's.
The town was established around 1868 during the development of the First Transcontinental Railroad. It housed a roundhouse to service locomotives. Evanston was also a major stop along the Lincoln Highway. The town of Evanston was incorporated in 1888.
6. Rock Springs
Rock Springs is known as the "Home of 56 Nationalities" due to the influx of immigrants from all over the world that came to work in the coal mines. The coal mines supplied the fuel for the steam engines of the Union Pacific Railroad. Rock Springs was incorporated as a town in 1888.
Casper is nestled at the foot of Casper Mountain and is the second largest city in Wyoming. History ties the town to Fort Caspar which started out as a trading post and later became a military post for the U.S. Army. The town was developed as a stopping point during the development of the Wyoming Central Railway. Casper was incorporated as a town in 1889.
The town of Lander was named for the transcontinental explorer, Frederick W. Lander. The town was the end of the line of the Chicago and North Western Railway. Lander was incorporated as a town in 1890.
9. Green River
Green River was incorporated twice. The first time in 1868 and then again in 1891. The town was the starting point for the famous expeditions led by John Wesley Powell. The town was also a division point of the Union Pacific Railroad.
Gillette is known as the "Energy Capital of the World". The town was a huge producer of coal, oil, and cabled methane. The town, nestled between the Big Horn Mountains and the Black Hills, was named after a surveyor for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. Gillette was incorporated as a town in 1892.
Lusk was founded in 1886 by a renowned Wyoming rancher. It was later incorporated as a town in 1898.
Kemmerer was founded in 1897 by the vice-president of Kemmerer Coal Company and named after his financial backer. Two years later, Kemmerer was incorporated as a town.