Casper, Wyoming

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Casper, Wyoming
City of Casper
Casperskyline.jpg
Overview of downtown, looking south toward Casper Mountain, with North Platte River in foreground
Nickname(s): 
"The Oil City"
Natrona County Wyoming Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Casper Highlighted 5613150.svg
Location within Natrona County
USA Wyoming location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Casper
Location within Wyoming
Usa edcp relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
Casper
Location within the United States
Coordinates: 42°51′0″N106°19′30″W / 42.85000°N 106.32500°W / 42.85000; -106.32500 Coordinates: 42°51′0″N106°19′30″W / 42.85000°N 106.32500°W / 42.85000; -106.32500
CountryFlag of the United States.svg  United States
State Flag of Wyoming.svg  Wyoming
County Flag of Natrona County, Wyoming.gif Natrona
Government
  Type Council–manager [1]
   City Manager Carter Napier [2]
Area
[3]
   City 26.88 sq mi (69.62 km2)
  Land26.55 sq mi (68.76 km2)
  Water0.33 sq mi (0.86 km2)
  Metro
5,376 sq mi sq mi (13,923 km² km2)
Elevation
5,150 ft (1,560 m)
Population
 (2010) [4]
   City 55,316
  Estimate 
(2019) [5]
57,931
  RankUS: 601st
  Density2,182.21/sq mi (842.55/km2)
   Urban
64,548 (US: 424th)
   Metro
81,624 (US: 376th)
Time zone UTC−7 (MST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
ZIP Codes
82601–82602, 82604–82605, 82609, 82615, 82630, 82638, 82646
Area code(s) 307
FIPS code 56-13150 [6]
GNIS feature ID1586424 [7]
Website www.casperwy.gov

Casper is a city in, and the county seat of, Natrona County, Wyoming, United States. [8] Casper is the second largest city in the state, with the population was estimated at 57,931 as of 2019. [9] Only Cheyenne, the state capital, is larger. Casper is nicknamed "The Oil City" and has a long history of oil boomtown and cowboy culture, dating back to the development of the nearby Salt Creek Oil Field.

Contents

Casper is located in east-central Wyoming at the foot of Casper Mountain, the north end of the Laramie Mountain Range, and along the North Platte River.

History

The city was established east of the former site of Fort Caspar, which was built during the mid-19th century mass migration of land seekers along the Oregon, California and Mormon trails. [10] The area was the location of several ferries that offered passage across the North Platte River in the early 1840s. In 1859, Louis Guinard built a bridge and trading post near the original ferry locations. [11]

Buildings at Fort Caspar Reconstructed buildings at the site of Fort Caspar museum in Casper, Wyoming.jpg
Buildings at Fort Caspar

The government soon posted a military garrison nearby to protect telegraph and mail service. It was under the command of Lieutenant Colonel William O. Collins. [10] American Indian attacks increased after the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado in 1864, bringing more troops to the post, which was by now called Platte Bridge Station. In July 1865, Lieutenant Caspar Collins (the son of Colonel Collins) was killed near the post by a group of Indian warriors. Three months later the garrison was renamed Fort Caspar after Lieutenant Collins. [10] In 1867, the troops were ordered to abandon Fort Caspar in favor of Fort Fetterman downstream on the North Platte along the Bozeman Trail.

The town of Casper itself was founded well after the fort had been closed.[ when? ] The city was founded by developers as an anticipated stopping point during the expansion of the Wyoming Central Railway; it was an early commercial rival to Bessemer and Douglas, Wyoming. The lack of a railhead doomed Bessemer in favor of Casper. Douglas, also a railhead, survives to the present day. The presence of a railhead made Casper the starting off point for the "invaders" in the Johnson County War. The special chartered train carrying the men up from Texas stopped at Casper. The town is named "Casper", instead of "Caspar", honoring the memory of Fort Caspar and Lt. Caspar Collins, due to a typo that occurred when the town's name was officially registered.

A site a few miles east was planned to be the original site of Casper, [12] where a homesteader named Joshua Stroud lived prior to a station of the Chicago and North Western Railway being built. [13] [14] [15] The site was laid out by the Pioneer Town Site Company in 1888 and was known as Strouds.

The city received a significant number of visitors during the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, due to its position along the path of totality. [16]

Geography

The waterfall at Casper's Rotary Park, at the base of Casper Mountain Rotary Park Waterfall.jpg
The waterfall at Casper's Rotary Park, at the base of Casper Mountain

Interstate 25, which approaches Casper from the north and east, is the main avenue of transportation to and from the city. The towns immediately adjacent to Casper are Mills, Evansville, and Bar Nunn. Unincorporated areas include Allendale, Dempsey Acres, Red Buttes, Indian Springs, and several others.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.24 square miles (70.55 km2), of which 26.90 square miles (69.67 km2) is land and 0.34 square miles (0.88 km2) is water. [17]

Casper, as with most of the rest of Wyoming, has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk), with long, cold, but dry winters, hot but generally dry summers, mild springs, and short and crisp autumns. Normal daily maxima range from 35 °F (1.7 °C) in January to 89 °F (31.7 °C) in July and August. Temperatures typically plummet during summer nights, with an average diurnal temperature variation approaching 35 °F (19.4 °C). Snow can fall heavily during the winter months, being the greatest in January, and usually falls in May and October, but rarely September. Precipitation is greatest in spring and early summer, but even then it is not high. Highs reach 90 °F (32.2 °C) on 31 days per year and fail to surpass freezing on 46. Lows drop to 0 °F (−17.8 °C) on an average of 18 nights annually.

Climate data for Casper, Wyoming (19812010 normals, [lower-alpha 1] extremes 1939present)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)60
(16)
68
(20)
77
(25)
84
(29)
95
(35)
102
(39)
104
(40)
102
(39)
98
(37)
87
(31)
72
(22)
65
(18)
104
(40)
Mean maximum °F (°C)51.7
(10.9)
55.9
(13.3)
67.2
(19.6)
76.9
(24.9)
85.3
(29.6)
94.5
(34.7)
99.2
(37.3)
96.9
(36.1)
91.0
(32.8)
78.8
(26.0)
65.2
(18.4)
52.0
(11.1)
99.8
(37.7)
Average high °F (°C)35.2
(1.8)
37.8
(3.2)
47.9
(8.8)
56.8
(13.8)
67.1
(19.5)
78.8
(26.0)
88.1
(31.2)
86.4
(30.2)
74.3
(23.5)
59.4
(15.2)
44.7
(7.1)
34.2
(1.2)
59.3
(15.2)
Average low °F (°C)14.3
(−9.8)
15.7
(−9.1)
22.4
(−5.3)
28.6
(−1.9)
37.2
(2.9)
45.7
(7.6)
53.0
(11.7)
51.5
(10.8)
41.4
(5.2)
31.0
(−0.6)
21.6
(−5.8)
13.5
(−10.3)
31.4
(−0.3)
Mean minimum °F (°C)−10.6
(−23.7)
−10.0
(−23.3)
3.1
(−16.1)
14.5
(−9.7)
25.0
(−3.9)
35.4
(1.9)
43.6
(6.4)
41.0
(5.0)
28.0
(−2.2)
15.5
(−9.2)
−1.8
(−18.8)
−13.6
(−25.3)
−21.5
(−29.7)
Record low °F (°C)−40
(−40)
−32
(−36)
−21
(−29)
−6
(−21)
16
(−9)
25
(−4)
30
(−1)
29
(−2)
15
(−9)
−9
(−23)
−27
(−33)
−41
(−41)
−41
(−41)
Average precipitation inches (mm)0.51
(13)
0.57
(14)
0.82
(21)
1.29
(33)
2.02
(51)
1.61
(41)
1.41
(36)
0.85
(22)
1.08
(27)
1.11
(28)
0.76
(19)
0.49
(12)
12.52
(318)
Average snowfall inches (cm)9.1
(23)
9.8
(25)
10.9
(28)
11.6
(29)
2.9
(7.4)
0.1
(0.25)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.8
(4.6)
7.4
(19)
10.3
(26)
11.0
(28)
74.9
(190)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)6.16.98.510.211.29.37.76.26.97.66.97.294.7
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)6.57.47.76.21.70000.74.26.37.748.4
Mean daily sunshine hours 6.07.08.09.09.011.011.010.09.07.06.05.08.2
Percent possible sunshine 67646769607373717564605667
Average ultraviolet index 22468910974215
Source 1: NOAA [18] [19]
Source 2: Weather Atlas [20]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1880 40
1890 5441,260.0%
1900 88362.3%
1910 2,639198.9%
1920 11,447333.8%
1930 16,61945.2%
1940 17,9648.1%
1950 23,67331.8%
1960 38,93064.4%
1970 39,3611.1%
1980 51,01629.6%
1990 46,742−8.4%
2000 49,6446.2%
2010 55,31611.4%
2019 (est.)57,931 [21] 4.7%
Source: [22] [23]

2010 census

As of the census [4] of 2010, there were 55,316 people, 22,794 households, and 14,237 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,056.4 inhabitants per square mile (794.0/km2). There were 24,536 housing units at an average density of 912.1 per square mile (352.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.3% White, 1.0% African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 2.3% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 7.4% of the population.

There were 22,794 households, of which 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.5% were non-families. Of all households 30.3% were made up of individuals, and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.95.

The median age in the city was 36 years. 23.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.7% were from 25 to 44; 26.4% were from 45 to 64; and 12.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.7% male and 50.3% female.

2000 census

As of the census [6] of 2000, there were 49,644 people, 20,343 households, and 13,141 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,073.2 people per square mile (800.3/km2). There were 21,872 housing units at an average density of 913.4 per square mile (352.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.03% White, 0.86% Black, 1.00% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.04% from other races, and 1.56% from two or more races. 5.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 20,343 households, out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.6% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. Of all households 29.1% were made up of individuals, and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 25.9% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,567, and the median income for a family was $46,267. Males had a median income of $34,905 versus $21,810 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,409. About 8.5% of families and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Casper is a regional center of banking and commerce.

Sinclair's Casper refinery in nearby Evansville Oilrefinery-evansville,wy.jpg
Sinclair's Casper refinery in nearby Evansville

After the discovery of crude oil in the region during the 1890s, Casper became the regional petroleum industry center. Oil has figured prominently in its history from nearly the outset. Oil was first discovered in the famous Salt Creek Oil Field in 1889, approximately 40 miles (64 km) north of Casper; the first refinery in Casper was built in 1895. The city has featured a refinery ever since, although various refineries have been built and closed over the years. As recently as the early 1980s, the city was near or home to three refineries. The surviving one, operated by Sinclair Oil Corporation, is located nearby in Evansville. Development of Wyoming coal and uranium fields in recent decades has helped Casper continue its role as a center in the energy industry.

Casper Wind Farm began operations near Capser in Natrona County and has 11 turbines with a generating capacity of 16.5 MW. [24] Energy Transportation Inc. is headquartered in Casper. This logistics firm transports overweight and outsized components used in the wind power industry. [25] The Casper landfill is also a disposal site for windmill blades. [26]

Education

Casper is home to Casper College, a community college that offers bachelor's degrees in sixteen areas of study from the University of Wyoming through their UW/CC Center. [27]

Public education in the city of Casper is provided by Natrona County School District #1. The district operates sixteen elementary schools, five middle schools, and three high schools in Casper. The high schools include Kelly Walsh, Natrona County, and Roosevelt High Schools. A program called CAPS is being added to Natrona County School District, which will provide more space and classrooms for juniors and seniors at the three high schools.

Casper has a public library, a branch of the Natrona County Public Library System. [28]

Media

Casper is served by two print newspapers, the Casper Star-Tribune , a daily, and the Casper Journal, published weekly. Casper is also home to WyoFile, an online publication focusing on state issues.

Sports

Sports teams based in Casper include:


Culture

Museums and historical sites

Casper is home to a number of museums and historical sites:

Performing arts and music

The Casper Troopers, part of Drum Corps International Troopers2008.jpg
The Casper Troopers, part of Drum Corps International

Casper has three locations offering theater: the Gertrude Krampert Theatre at Casper College, Stage III Community Theatre, and the Casper Events Center [45] where an annual series of touring Broadway shows, Broadway in Casper, can be seen.

Casper is home to the Troopers, [46] a drum and bugle corps in Drum Corps International, and the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra. [47] During the summer months, Casper's City Band performs free concerts Thursday evenings at Washington Park, weather permitting. [45]

Transportation

Highways

Interstate Highways:

US Routes:

Wyoming State Highways:

Airports

The city has scheduled air service at Casper/Natrona County International Airport, a former army air base built during World War II. The current airport, having been built for bombers, has large runways and replaced a prior regional airport north of Casper which later became Bar Nunn. The airport is located west of the city just off of US highway 20/26. In July 2004, the airport facilities were renovated. [48] Passenger service at the airport is offered by United Express (SkyWest Airlines and GoJet Airlines), as well as Delta Connection (SkyWest Airlines), FedEx Express and FedEx Feeder provide cargo airline service to the airport.

Public transit

Public transit in the Casper area is provided by the Casper Area Transportation Coalition. [49] They offer fixed route service called The Bus and an on request service called CATC from Monday to Saturday. [50]

Scheduled bus service

Scheduled bus service once offered by Power River Bus Lines is now offered by ExpressArrow (formerly Black Hills Stages).

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

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Natrona County is a county in the U.S. state of Wyoming. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 75,450, making it the second-most populous county in Wyoming. Its county seat is Casper.

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Alcova, Wyoming CDP in Wyoming, United States

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Wyoming Highway 220 is the principal highway connecting the city of Casper to US 287/WYO 789. WYO 220 lies in northwestern Carbon and southern Natrona counties and along the famous Oregon Trail.

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Cheyenne is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Wyoming. It is the principal city of the Cheyenne metropolitan statistical area which encompasses all of Laramie County and has about 100,000 resisdents. Local residents named the town for the Cheyenne Native American people in 1867 when it was founded in the Dakota Territory.

Wyoming Highway 258 is a 10.58-mile-long (17.03 km) state highway in Wyoming, known as Wyoming Boulevard and acts as a two-lane bypass around the western, southern, and eastern sides of the City of Casper.

Wyoming Highway 253 (WYO 253) is a 10.90-mile-long (17.54 km) state road in eastern Natrona county located southeast of Evansville, Wyoming, called Hat Six Road.

Wyoming Highway 259 (WYO 259) is an 18.00-mile-long (28.97 km) north-south state highway located in northeastern Natrona County, north of Casper, in the east-central part of the U.S. state of Wyoming. The highway is the former routing of U.S. Route 87, after that highway was relocated onto Interstate 25.

Wyoming Highway 252 (WYO 252) is a 4.37-mile-long (7.03 km) Wyoming state road in Natrona County, serving the areas just south of the City of Casper. It is locally known as Garden Creek Road from WYO 251 to the Casper city line where it becomes South Poplar Street.

Wyoming Highway 251 (WYO 251) is a 8.99-mile-long (14.47 km) north-south Wyoming state road located in Natrona County.

Wyoming Highway 257 (WYO 257) is a 7.302-mile-long (11.751 km) state highway in eastern Natrona County, Wyoming known as the Casper West Belt.

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