The big skies above lend to the western atmosphere of the town of Laramie as trains clatter through this historic railroad community. Saunter through downtown with its stereotypical pioneer stores that conjure up stories and legends. Look for the many interesting plaques around town providing historical information.
Visit Ames Monument, a 60-foot (18-meter) granite pyramid, dedicated to Oakes and Oliver Ames who were pivotal and controversial railroad figures. The transcontinental railway was finished in 1868 linking the east and west coasts. Pursue your train interests at the Laramie Railroad Depot Museum.
Journey to the Wild West by touring the prison that held the infamous Butch Cassidy and other lawless types who roamed the plains. The Wyoming Territorial Prison is now a museum with several restored areas. Re-enactments featuring some of its more notable inmates are frequently staged. The University of Wyoming used the prison until the late 1900s when the state took it over. Spend a few hours on campus at the visually dramatic UW Centennial Complex that houses the Wyoming Art Museum and American Heritage Center. Enter the structure to get an in-depth look at Wyoming’s pioneers and American Indians.
The Ivinson Mansion was built in 1893. Inside, the Laramie Plains Museum depicts regional life in the late 1800s. Satisfy your curiosity about dinosaurs at the University of Wyoming Geology Museum, which houses one of the world’s five full brontosaurus skeletons.
View the Lincoln Monument East, a 4,000-pound (2,000-kilogram) bronze sculpture of the head of American President Abraham Lincoln. It was completed in 1959 to mark the 150th year since his birth and erected beside a highway just outside Laramie.
Relive an important part of American history in Laramie for a much better understanding of the area and this former “hell-on-wheels” town. Its interesting history provides a unique form of tourism for visitors of all ages.