Wyoming History Fun Facts

By no means does this cover all the interesting information about my beloved state, but there are a few quirky fun things to read about here. 

We never traveled much when we were kids, (too many of us too take on the road and I think we tried mom and dad’s patience) but when we did, I was always fascinated with the background history of any place we visited. This has not changed even as I’ve gotten older. 

Of particular interest is history within my own home state, but like many people, I haven’t always paid much attention to the state I live in, other than the few facts I learned in school.

If you are interested, here are some interesting facts about Wyoming, and a little bit of hit’s history. If you would like to read further, or if you are a history buff, there are links to books at the bottom. Some of them I have read and some I will be posting reviews on at some future point.



DID YOU KNOW?   That Wyoming is THE lowest populated state in the U.S. Unfortunately I can’t give you a ‘why’ answer.  But here are some of my guesses…..

Wyoming-ites are actually quite friendly, if a bit reserved, but willing to help, willing to meet and greet new people, but they have a fierce pride and a sense of territorial stake in their state.   Traditionally they have not been open to ‘industry’ and the state, to this day, remains predominantly agriculturally based with some coal mining and oil and gas. The state barely boasts a population of 586,107 people from the 2015 census (up from the 350,000 when I was a teenager) and, in my humble opinion, probably runs neck and neck with the cattle and antelope population.

Over the years, there has been a fairly large influx of new blood from places such as Texas, Colorado, California, Arizona and even New York. Whether they stay or not is up for debate. Mainly because the largest activities are farm and ranch related.


DID YOU KNOW?  That Wyoming is also the leading producer of the coal in the United States with trains pulling out from mines in Gillette, Wyoming. In 2010, they produced over 40% of the nation’s coal, which is still used to produce electricity for the nation’s homes and businesses. Under the past Obama administration, however, coal production has been greatly reduced, jobs lost and mines are running at a negative capacity and currently Wyoming is experiencing a downturn. Since the remainder of Wyoming’s production is based on agriculture, the state will need to look to other ideas and resources to increase productivity and income.


DID YOU KNOW?  Even if you weren’t born in, or lived in 1949, I’m sure you’ve heard the history of the Blizzard of ’49. Wyoming is a wide open state, with prairies and mountains, leaving the state exposed to Mother Natures’ raw and violent elements, which it did during this blizzard. Massive winds and snow storms literally blanketed the entire state in which over 55,000 cattle, over 105,000 sheep and 17 people died from being exposed to the harshest of the winter weather. And in the fall of 2014, a sudden early freak season snow storm, affecting both Wyoming and South Dakota, killed over 25,000 cattle and over 1.7 billion dollars in damage. Untold heartbreak for many ranchers and farmers that lost and buried their livelihoods after the snows melted. And many of those losses went under reported. But people in these western states are made of sturdy stock. They picked themselves up by their bootstraps, did what needed to be done and went on….


DID YOU KNOW?  I bet you didn’t know that a man named Henry Longabaugh got a nickname from serving time from 1887 to 1889. How he got the name was from stealing a horse, a BG offence in the west, in Sundance, Wyoming. He was, thereafter, called the “Sundance Kid” but what was more interesting is that later on, he actually met Butch Cassidy and then joined the notoriously famous Wild Bunch.


DID YOU KNOW?  Our state bird is the meadowlark, the state tree is the cottonwood and state flower is the Indian Paintbrush. But do you know what Wyoming’s’ state dinosaur is? Wait! Did you even know we HAD a state dinosaur? Well, we do, and it’s the Triceratops, ( I love these dinosaurs!) and we are just one of 6 states that have a designated state dinosaur.


DID YOU KNOW?  Rock Springs Wyoming was one of the many towns that mined coal for the Union Pacific Rail Road. Many Chinese workers were imported for this job to help the local miners, at a lower pay making the cost of the operation more lucrative for the buyer. In September of 1885, many of the white coal miners, wanting to strike for better pay, rose up in anger at the Chinese. They were upset at their refusal to go along with the strike. If the group didn’t strike together there was no chance of a better deal. They attacked and killed 28 of their Chinese workers but didn’t stop there They burned the homes of another 79 people in the town of Rock Springs also wounding another 15. None of them were ever held responsible or convicted of the murders.


DID YOU KNOW?  I’ve been to Devil’s Tower. Interesting! But if you’ve seen it once, you’ll remember it forever for it’s power and beauty. The area is lovely and if I didn’t mind such short garden seasons and longer winters, I’d take a shot at living there.  In fact, President Roosevelt designated the Tower, considered a sacred area by many Plains Indian Tribes, a national monument in September 24 of 1906. In fact, it was the first national monument in the United States at the time.


DID YOU KNOW? That Wyoming became the 44th state in 1890.


DID YOU KNOW? That where Wyoming got its name and what it means is a source of confusion. Depending on who you ask, the name of “Wyoming” in languate of the Delaware Indian means either "large plains". Some say it means “mountains and valleys alternating;”  It is said that the name Wyoming comes from the Indian word that means something like “large prairie place” or possible “at the big plains.” In the Munsee language it I said that it means "at the big river flat;” or in Algonquin “a large prairie place.” Bottom line, the meanings are all similar and that really is what Wyoming is like. A land filled with prairies and as-far-as-you-can-see….and then mountains. It’s beautiful in a remote and wild kind of way. I love it 🙂


If you are interested in learning more about this intriquing state, check out these books. I'm in the middle of readingone of them and will give a review when I have a chance. Some of these are older books that have been gone through and formatted in a way for today's readers. Some of these books were writtien in the late 1800's and will make for an interesting read. The last one? Ghost History? That's for fun! Enjoy 🙂


An older, reformated  History of Wyoming-Earliest Known Discoveries



Wyoming History



Wyoming HIstory



Wyoming Range wars ,  Johnson County Wars



Ghost Towns in wyoming




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