These 3 Wyoming Ghost Towns are Just a Road Trip Away
Ghost towns are full of wonder. Why not check out what Wyoming has to offer?
I am fascinated by ghost towns. Aside from the obvious question of why is this place abandoned, I like to try to imagine what life was like when that town was booming. Was this the place to be on a Friday night? What did this town dream for itself back in the day? Maybe this stems from the fact that I'm from a tiny mining town in California that is rich in Gold Rush history.
Ghost towns can be really fun to visit.
There are quite a few ghost towns in the state of Wyoming. Wikipedia lists 44 different ones. You could easily to travel to any of them, if you're willing to commit to it. There are a few that are close to us and could probably be knocked out with just a weekend.
Sunrise was located in Platte County and began as a mining town for the the Wyoming Railway and Iron Company. The area was a hot spot for copper in the 1880's and the company owner Charles A. Guernsey (yes, that Guernsey) had his sights set on it. The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company began to lease mining rights in 1898 before purchasing the entire Sunrise Mine in 1904. Colorado Fuel and Iron began to build structures in the area like houses, depots, shops, a school and a church. The mine became the most productive for Colorado Fuel and Iron, producing 40 million tons of iron ore. After the quality of the ore from the mines and the steel market declined, the company closed the town in 1980. The district is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The area of Sherman was originally called Lone Tree Pass and Evans Pass, after James Evans. He was the one who surveyed the area in hopes of creating a shorter rout through Wyoming than the original South Pass. It was then named Sherman after William Tecumseh Sherman, who was a general in the Union Army. Sherman was at the summit of the First Transcontinental Railroad's original grade, making it the highest point of the Union Pacific Railroad. The tracks were eventually relocated and the original town subsequently ceased to exist. The Ames Monument, a large pyramid, still stands in this area.
Originally a coal town in 1907, Gebo was named after Samuel Wilford Gebo, an immigrant from Canada. He was the founder of the Owl Creek Coal Company, which established the first coal mine in the area. The mine proved to be prosperous and the town around it grew to 20,000 making it the largest town in the county at one point. Mining continued to be active through 1938 before things began to fizzle out. There are still a few buildings remaining in the area as well as the cemetery.