5 Little Known Facts about Wyoming
There are all the typical things about Wyoming that we know like the state flower is the Indian Paintbrush. We all know there will always be some combination of cold, wind and/or construction. This article is an ensemble of unusual facts about the Cowboy State. It is a wide range of oddities covering interesting monuments to outlaws and even silver screen heroes. This covers both the magnificent monuments to the macabre relics of Wyoming.
Everyone knows Wyoming gets cold. That is why the big wigs who made Rocky IV decided to film parts of the movie here. When in Russia… go to WYO! That’s right, when Rocky was training to fight Drago in the old farm in subarctic temperature, he was outside of Jackson. When Rocky arrived at the airport in Russia… Jackson Hole Airport.
Pyramids are not exclusive to Egypt. Wyoming has its own pyramid - the Ames Pyramid - although not as old as the ones in Cairo. In 1882 The Union Pacific Railroad constructed this 60 foot tall monument outside of Laramie. Originally it was a trail market on the highest point of the rail line, but now it is pillar of that bygone era. The granite structure is a memorial to Ames Brothers.
To dream the impossible dream - Dulcinea of Man of la Mancha would approve, but this is another harlot that perched herself in Lusk Wyoming. Mother Featherlegs, a known prostitute, is honored in by the town. She ran a brothel, and has a headstone with the quote engraved on stone:
Here lies Mother Featherlegs. So called, as in her ruffled pantalettes she looked like a feather-legged chicken in a high wind. She was roadhouse ma'am. An outlaw confederate, she was murdered by "Dangerous Dick Davis the Terrapin" in 1879
The headstone can be found outside of Lusk, WY
The Equality State has not always been that equal. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US was at high alert and Japanese living in Americans became suspect. In 1942 Heart Mountain Relocation Center opened its doors and then locked them tight. Over 1200 Japanese-Americans were “relocated” to this camp and detained without due-process of law. Thanks to Franklin D Eisenhower and Executive Order 9066, groups of people with Japanese heritage were packed into a train and shipped to Heart Mountain. Today Heart Mountain is a historical point of interest. They stay open to remind us how not to repeat history.
Sitting in the Carbon County Musem in Rawlings, there is a pair of old shoes that if they could talk would have told stores. The shoes were part of train robberies, lynching, and then in the governor’s office. This piece of history could have been torn from the pages of HP Lovecraft or Edgar Allen Poe.
It starts with the outlaw Big Nose George. He was in a gang who made their money by robbing trains. Like most outlaws he met his demise with an angry lynch mob. It was a brutal ending to a brutal life, but the story doesn’t end there. After the autopsy was complete, Dr. John Eugene Osborne decided to make some keepsakes from Big Nose George. The top of his skull was used as an ashtray and doorstop. His skin was tanned and made into a med kit and pair of shoes. The same shoes that sit in the museum. The story goes Osborn even wore the shoes when he was elected to Governor. Cowboy justice? You be the judge.