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Virtual Exhibits

Hell on Wheels: Union Pacific Towns in Wyoming

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Cheyenne Tent City, undated

The city of Cheyenne was laid out and planned by the Union Pacific Railroad in July of 1867. By November, when the construction train arrived, there were already 3000 residents.

Businessman Morton E. Post wrote to his wife, “...Our business opens out better than we had expected and in a short time we will have all that we can attend to. Cheyenne has improved very rapidly and is now quite a city, far ahead of anything anticipated. The RR will be completed here in about 15 days it is within 15 miles of here now. Society is very rough here about like Denver in ‘59 and 60’. We have some very cold and disagreeable weather but it is very pleasant now.”

Samuel Chittenden, a railroad survey engineer, wrote the following year, “ Cheyenne is a city of gamblers. Everybody seems to carry navy revolvers and to haul them out on every pretext.”

The city of Cheyenne served as the territorial capital, and later became the state capital of Wyoming.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Related Collections

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