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Virtual Exhibits

Hell on Wheels: Union Pacific Towns in Wyoming

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Bear River Street Scene

At Bear River City, like other locations along the rack, towns formed quickly. Samuel Chittenden wrote to his family in October of 1868. “This town has been in existence only three days still at an election for Mayor, Common Council, etc., today there were over 800 votes…there are six groceries and three clothing stores and whiskey shebangs ad infinitum.”

About the Bear River City riot, he wrote, “Three men were hanged here [the] night before last by the vigilantes…You can see by this what a fine state of society there is in Bear River City.”

This town was also the site of the burning of the Frontier Index newspaper office. This traveling paper, known as the “Press on Wheels” was edited by Legh Freeman. The newspaper moved from one end of track town to another throughout Wyoming and beyond, reporting on the progress of the railroad construction, along with local news from each location.

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

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