The Historic Wyoming ‘Virtual Pub Crawl’ [Photo Gallery]
If you're a history buff, the Wyoming State Archives is a free treasure chest of information and entertaiment, especially when you're looking for old photos.
Hold on to your hats, we're bellying up to the bar at some of Wyoming's most historic saloons.
This would be one of Wyoming's earliest watering holes. In the late 1860s, T.A. Kent operated this storefront from a tent on the corner of present day Lincolnway and Pioneer Street in downtown Cheyenne. Kent went on to become a banker and constructed the Kent Building on 17th and Carey where the Downtown Mall now stands.
Next up on our virtual pub crawl is the legendary Occidental Saloon in Buffalo, Wyoming, which was founded in 1880. Buffalo Bill Cody, Teddy Roosevelt, General Phil Sheridan, Callamity Jane, Tom Horn, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are among the many famous people who have graced this historic bar.
In 1882, Thomas Heaney opened his first saloon on 17th and Carey Street in Cheyenne. After Heaney left to operate the Tivoli Saloon, it became known as "Heaney's Old House". Heaney also built the Capitol Avenue Theatre and managed the Atlas Theatre.
Speaking of the Tivoli, this legendary saloon dates back to 1892 and still stands on 301 West Lincolnway. Currently unoccupied, it was recently restored and put up for sale by Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, who purchased the bulding in 2006.
The Buckhorn Bar and Parlor has been a downtown Laramie landmark since 1900. If you look closely at the old mirror behind the bar, you can even see a bullet hole from a shootout 45 years ago.
In 1906, Gus Silfvast arrived in Diamondville, Wyoming, and opened the Silfvast Saloon "Milwaukee Beer Hall". During prohibition in the 1920s, Diamondville and the nearby town of Kemmerer became the center of Wyoming's bootlegging industry.
The Virginian Hotel in Medicine Bow is one of the most legendary buildings in Wyoming. Opened in 1911, it was the biggest hotel between Salt Lake City and Denver. Locals and tourists alike would gather in the Shiloh Saloon on the main floor.
The first structure ever built in Evanston, Wyoming, was a tent saloon on Front Street. When the railroad finally reached town in late 1868, local businessman Harvey Booth opened a hotel and saloon. In the early 1900s, one of the most popular saloons was the Big Four Bar, which is pictured above.
The tenth stop on our virtual pub crawl brings us back to Cheyenne. This photo, circa 1910, depicts a typical night at the Capitol Bar on Carey Avenue (then known as Ferguson Street).
This saloon also featured a boxing ring in the back room, where eccentric owner Harry Hynds would often challenge patrons to fight.
Opened in 1890, the Capitol Bar was the first of many saloons Hynds would own across Wyoming and Utah. After standing trial for the murder of his ex-wife's lover in Salt Lake City, Hynds returned to Cheyenne,helped finance the constuction of the Historic Plains Hotel and later built the Hynds Building, which still stands on the corner of Lincolnway and Capitol Avenue.
We hope you enjoyed this trip back in time. We'll leave you with one last image from the Wyoming State Archives. The date and location of this photograph are unknown. Based on decor and the clothing of the era, it may have been taken sometime in the late 1880s or early 1890s.
If only those walls could talk. Cheers.