What’s in a name? A lot, or not so much, depending on how you look at it. Most of these towns in Wyoming have an associated meaning connected to it, but some towns were obviously named right off the cuff without much fore-thought. Here is a list of some towns with strange, unusual, or just plain weird names:
1. Ten Sleep
You have to admit; Ten Sleep is a pretty unusual name for a town. There was an old Sioux camp on Platte River near Casper and another one in Bridger, Montana on Clarks Fork River. Halfway between these two camps is Ten Sleep. Native Americans came up with this name because it took ten sleeps to get to each of these camps from this in-between point.
Drink much? Chugwater isn't your typical name for a town. It is said that the name stems from a bison hunt. Hunters drove bison over this particular cliff during a hunt. When the animals fell below to the stream at the base of the cliff, it was reported that a chugging sound was heard by the hunters. This area is known as "the place where the buffalo chug." Hmmm....OK.
3. Jay Em
This town's name is probably the strangest of them all. Jay Em was named after James Moore, a man who owned a ranch in this area. Jay Em is even on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located near the Nebraska border.
Another unusual name is Crowheart. The name stems from a duel between Chief Washakie of the Shoshone and Chief Big Robber of the Crow. They were fighting to see which one would win the rights to the Wind River hunting grounds. Chief Washakie won but admired his opponent so much that instead of scalping him, he cut his opponent's heart out and placed it on the end of his lance.
5. West Thumb
This town is named after a body part. West Thumb is on the west side of Yellowstone Lake. Supposedly, the bay looks a little like a thumb?
6. Medicine Bow
What does medicine, (something that heals,) have to do with a bow, )something that kills)? Medicine Bow is named after the Medicine Bow River. Native Americans made their bows using material from the river. Anything good was considered medicine to them.
Here is a lone tractor in the town of Recluse. Recluse is an unincorporated community in Campbell County. The name came about in reference to a lone and abandoned post office in western South Dakota on an Indian Reservation. Sorry, that explanation is even weird.
Meet.....what? Meeteetse is a town in Park County. The name was derived from an Indian term for "meeting place."
Let me tell you a story about a town named Story. Story is named after Charles B. Story, a rancher who established a post office in this area. It was the first building, (other than tents,) in the area.
Sheets? Um....no. Wamsutter is a town in Sweetwater County that is named after a Union Pacific bridge engineer.
Can you think of any other unusual names of towns in Wyoming? Comment below if you can.