ROCK SPRINGS, WY
Named for a former spring that babbled through town, Rock Springs sprung from the growth and development of the area’s coal mining industry. In 1868, the coal mined here powered the steam engines of the Union Pacific Railroad, which laid hundreds of miles of track, allowing surrounding towns to thrive. The booming railroad and mining work left behind a culturally rich community that’s represented by dozens of nationalities.
The railroad’s conversion to diesel and oil power in the mid-1900s drove out many of the city’s coal mines. But today, Rock Springs thrives with trona mines and a booming oil and gas industry, keeping the city vibrant and making it a local hub for dining, shopping and attractions.
Ever since the first wagon train headed west in the 18th century, the spirit of the Wild West has been alive in Sweetwater County. And while the pioneers may be long gone, Southwest Wyoming’s history, wide-open spaces and cowboy culture still inspire visitors to this day.
- Historic Trails: No other place in the United States has more miles of still-visible pioneer trails than Sweetwater County, Wyoming. These historic trails helped shape the west as we know it today. The Pony Express, Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail and others all crossed through Rock Springs. MORE INFO
- Old West Outlaws: You may have never heard of Robert Leroy Parker, but we’re certain you’ve heard of his alias: Butch Cassidy. This notorious robber and gunslinger spent some time in and around Rock Springs, briefly working as a butcher (which is reportedly where he got the name “Butch”) and frequenting local downtown establishments. Later in his outlaw career (after a series of shootouts, horse thefts and train robberies), Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch hid out at Fort Bridger, just outside of Rock Springs. Another Old West legend, Martha Jane Cannary (famously known as sharpshooter Calamity Jane), also spent some time in Rock Springs. Although few facts about her life have been verified, rumor has it that she had a dugout on what is now M Street.
- Railroad: Rock Springs served as a stop on the Union Pacific Railway and still hosts the classic Union Pacific Rail Road depot that was built in the 1920's and restored in the 1990's. The Original depot pictured was built in 1868 just after the railroad itself came through on it race to create coast to coast transportation and stake claim to the West.It was the primary entrance to the rugged western town for thousands of European and Asian immigrants that came to Rock Springs seeking work in the mines or just a new life in America. The depot saw many historic western figures waiting on its benches or strolling the brick apron. Buffalo hunters, explorers, outlaws. Certainly Butch Cassidy and his gang came through the station.
Rock Springs is known as the Home of 56 Nationalities because of the influx of immigrants from all over the world who came to work in the coal mines that supplied the fuel to power the steam engines of the Union Pacific Railroad. This diversity still exists today, making Rock Springs a welcoming home to our players from throughout the world.