Downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming © Postdlf
The capital of Wyoming, and its largest city, the
history of Cheyenne is intimately linked to the frontier history of
the United States as a whole. Named by the Sioux, in honour of
another Native American tribe (the Dzitsistes) that roamed the
plains of the surrounding area, early settlers in Cheyenne worked
on the Union Pacific Railroad until its completion in November
1867. Drawn by the promise of prosperity, gamblers and saloon
owners, thieves and opportunists, prostitutes and ranch-hands,
miners, transient railroad gangs, soldiers from Camp Cheyenne, and
men from Camp Carlin soon streamed in, creating possibly the most
archetypal 'Western town' imaginable, and spawning thousands of
cowboy narratives ever since.
These days, with only about 60,000 permanent
residents, Cheyenne has a very 'small town' feel to it, boasting
all the friendliness and hospitality that that epithet implies.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, most tourist attractions in Cheyenne hark
back to its glory days, with rodeos, an array of frontier museums,
farmers' markets, and Old Fashioned Melodrama (at the Atlas
Theatre) dominating the cultural fare. Eight-foot cowboy boots,
painted by local artists, are dotted around the city, and there are
a wealth of geocaches to be discovered as well. For those with even
a modicum of interest in America's frontier history, or for those
who wish to spend some time in a laid-back, relaxing capital city,
a trip to Cheyenne is highly recommended.
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