Union Pacific Railway (Parts 1 & 2) - Cheyenne, WY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Queens Blessing
N 41° 07.934 W 104° 48.886
13T E 515547 N 4553452
Quick Description: Cheyenne, WY figures prominently in the developement of the Transcontinental Railway.
Location: Wyoming, United States
Date Posted: 6/25/2010 9:01:12 PM
Waymark Code: WM943E
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member muddawber
Views: 29

Long Description:
These history signs provide the history of the UPRR and the Transcontinental Railway, and there importance to the developement of Cheyenne.

From this website:
(visit link)

"The second main artery to the West was the transcontinental railroad, which roared into Wyoming in 1867. The southeastern corner of Wyoming was the route of choice, this time because of "the gangplank" a geological oddity about 85 miles south of the Oregon Trail. Before the Laramie Mountains rose, this area was covered with a thick layer of sedimentary rock deposited during Wyoming's stint as an ocean floor, and topped off with a covering of volcanic debris. When mountain ranges form, the normal procedure is for the top layers of sedimentary rock to erode, leaving behind the much harder granite to serve as the mountains. At the gangplank in the Laramie range, the sedimentary layers did not erode, creating a narrow ramp to the granite summit of the range. This ramp was the answer to a mountain of engineering problems for Major General Grenville M. Dodge, the man responsible for planning the railroad's route. He established a major railroad terminal at his campsite on the plains just east of the gangplank, and named the town Cheyenne.

Cheyenne had a wild and wooly beginning. The telegraph line was one of the first aspects of civilization to arrive, but the local buffalo herds thought the line had been built primarily to provide them with scratching posts. They rubbed telegraph poles out of the ground faster than crews could put them in. Eventually the poles were spiked to make them less attractive, but the plan backfired -- within a few hours, according to Wyoming folklore, every telegraph pole between Cheyenne and Omaha had thirty buffalo standing in line waiting for their turn to scratch.

The mayhem associated with the railroad’s founding of a town was known as "hell on wheels," and Cheyenne exploded into existence with the normal amounts of violence and vice. Indians attacked while Dodge was plotting the town, killing two of his crew, so Cheyenne had a graveyard before it had a building. People of the questionable sort hurried into town in anticipation of the railroad's arrival, and when the first train pulled in on November 13, 1867, the town mushroomed to 4,000 rowdy inhabitants almost overnight. Half the town's buildings were saloons. What law and order existed was enforced by vigilantes, making it impossible to tell in many cases whether a homicide was a murder or an execution. The first mayor, Colonel Luke Murran, found governing to be such dry work that he added a twenty-five-cent surcharge to every fine he imposed to "cover the expense of the stimulants necessary to efficient administration of justice." When the one room log cabin jail became overcrowded, prisoners were simply ordered to leave town, often with a pistol or bull whip hurrying them on their way.

The railroad roared on west in a matter of months, but Cheyenne's wild and wooly atmosphere did not immediately subside. In 1868, its chagrined founder called it the "gambling center of the world." Already, however, the town had caught the vision for its future -- to become the capitol of a new territory. When the Wyoming Organic Act created Wyoming Territory in July of 1868, Cheyenne was the only contestant for territorial capitol."
Marker Name: Union Pacific Railroad

Marker Type: City

Group Responsible for Placement: City of Cheyenne

Addtional Information: Not listed

Date Dedicated: Not listed

Marker Number: Not listed

Web link(s) for additional information: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please post a photo of you OR your GPS at the marker location. Also if you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Wyoming history please include that in your log.
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