We continue our virtual tour of Wyoming in Laramie, home of the University of Wyoming, the Cowboys, the Snowy Range, and of course, the location of Wyoming Public Media.
“Cow Town with a College,” is the caption under a photograph found in the Images of America series depicting Laramie. Compiled by Charlie Petersen and the Laramie Plains Museum, this volume traces Laramie’s history, beginning with French Canadian trapper Jacques LaRamee, whose name –somewhat twisted! – gave this bustling town its name – Laramie. The “Cow Town with a College” photo says so much – it shows Center Street (later University Avenue) with one of the first University of Wyoming buildings. Since this 1882 photograph, the University of Wyoming grew into the Wyoming’s internationally renowned State University, families like the Ivinsons contributed to the city’s business, culture, and architecture, and nationally and internationally known individuals, like Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, Harry Truman in 1949, John F. Kennedy in 1963, and Mikhail Gorbachev in 2011, visited and walked its streets. And, of course, there was Butch Cassidy, who resided at Wyoming’ Territorial Prison – located in Laramie. This is just a slice of the history of a cow town that grew into a sophisticated university town, yet preserved its rich and colorful frontier style.
There is so much history in Laramie that has yet to be told. The American Heritage Center houses much of this tradition, and WPM hopes to add to it through multimedia productions. If you have a story to tell, or a truly “Laramie” experience to share, please post a comment below.