Center Street (city center), view to the west
"Home of the Jackalope"
Location of Douglas in Converse County, Wyoming.
|• Mayor||Rene Kemper|
|• Total||6.66 sq mi (17.25 km2)|
|• Land||6.50 sq mi (16.84 km2)|
|• Water||0.16 sq mi (0.41 km2)|
|Elevation||4,836 ft (1,474 m)|
|• Density||978.63/sq mi (377.87/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−7 (Mountain (MST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−6 (MDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1587750|
|Website||City of Douglas Wyoming|
Douglas is a city in Converse County, Wyoming, United States. The population was 6,120 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Converse Countyand the home of the Wyoming State Fair.
Its former railroad passenger depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Douglas was platted in 1886when the Wyoming Central Railway (later the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company) established a railway station; the settlement had been in existence since 1867 when Fort Fetterman was built and was first known as "Tent City" before it was officially named "Douglas", after Senator Stephen A. Douglas. It served as a supply point, warehousing and retail, for surrounding cattle ranches, as well as servicing railway crews, cowboys and the troops of the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Fetterman.
Douglas was the home of a World War II internment camp.
Douglas is located at(42.756008, -105.384555).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.76 square miles (12.33 km2), of which 4.58 square miles (11.86 km2) is land and 0.18 square miles (0.47 km2) is water.
Douglas has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk ).
|Climate data for Douglas, Wyoming|
|Record high °F (°C)||65|
|Average high °F (°C)||37.4|
|Daily mean °F (°C)||23.7|
|Average low °F (°C)||9.9|
|Record low °F (°C)||−38|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||0.38|
|Source 1: NOAA (normals, 1971–2000)|
|Source 2: The Weather Channel (Records)|
Public education in the city of Douglas is provided by Converse County School District #1. Zoned campuses include Douglas Primary School (grades k-1), Douglas Intermediate School (grades 2-3), Douglas Upper Elementary School (grades 4-5), Douglas Middle School (grades 6-8), Douglas High school (grades 9-12). Douglas is also home to the branch campus of Eastern Wyoming College, one of the state's seven community colleges.
Douglas has a public library, a branch of the Converse County Library
Douglas is located on the banks of the North Platte River, and is named for Stephen A. Douglas, U.S. Senator. The city grew after it was designated a stop on the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad. Railroads brought settlers and pioneers west; some stayed and others continued on. Douglas' location affords excellent access to nearby sights. Medicine Bow National Forest is located nearby, as is Thunder Basin National Grassland and Ayres Natural Bridge. In 1996 Douglas was listed by Norman Crampton as one of The 100 Best Small Towns in America.
The former Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad Passenger Depot in Douglas is included on the National Register of Historic Places.The Douglas Chamber of Commerce, part of the Douglas Railroad Interpretive Center is located in the depot. The free of charge exhibition outside contains eight railroad vehicles, one steam locomotive with tender and seven cars.
Since Fort Fetterman days, Douglas has been a center of American horse culture. The remains of the first winner of American racing's Triple Crown, thoroughbred Sir Barton, are buried here. Today, Douglas is the location of the Wyoming State Fair, held every summer and known for its rodeo and animal competitions. Also on the fairgrounds is the Wyoming Pioneer Memorial Museum, a collection of pioneer and Native American relics pertaining to the history of Converse County.
In 1932, the jackalope legend in the United States was attributed by The New York Times to Douglas Herrick (1920−2003) of Douglas, and thus the city was named the "Home of the Jackalope" by the state of Wyoming in 1985. Douglas has issued Jackalope Hunting licenses to tourists. The tags are good for hunting during official Jackalope season, which occurs for only one day, June 31.
According to the Douglas Chamber of Commerce, a 1930s hunting trip for jackrabbits led to the idea of a Jackalope. Herrick and his brother had studied taxidermy by mail order as teenagers. When the brothers returned from a hunting trip, Herrick tossed a jackrabbit carcass into the taxidermy shop, which rested beside a pair of deer antlers. The accidental combination of animal forms sparked Douglas Herrick's idea for a jackalope.
Each August Douglas hosts the Wyoming State Fair, not to be confused with Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo held in late July. The fair includes a carnival midway, live entertainment, and its own rodeo. On August 12, 2009, the fair hosted country music star John Anderson. The centennial fair in 2012 attracted sixty thousand persons, large by Wyoming standards; the Dierks Bentley concert was the first ever sold-out show in the fair.
The 101st fair opened in Douglas on August 10, 2013; it corresponds with the centennial of the Wyoming State 4-H Club, an active group in the annual fair. Fair performers will include country musicians Hunter Hayes and Brantley Gilbert.
Air service is available 58 miles west of Douglas at Casper/Natrona County International Airport. The airport is located west of Casper, just off of US Highway 26. Passenger flights are offered by United Express (SkyWest Airlines), Delta Connection (SkyWest Airlines), and Allegiant Airlines.
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The jackalope is a mythical animal of North American folklore described as a jackrabbit with antelope horns. The word jackalope is a portmanteau of jackrabbit and antelope. Many jackalope taxidermy mounts, including the original, are made with deer antlers.
The Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad (FE&MV), sometimes called "the Elkhorn," was a railroad established in 1869 in the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States.
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Wyoming Central Railway was a railroad in the U.S. state of Wyoming. The railroad was incorporated in October 1885 and built a line from Chadron, Nebraska through Douglas to Casper. The line was initially leased to the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad and the two railroads consolidated in 1891. The FE&MV was merged into Chicago and North Western Transportation Company in 1903 and the line was extended to Lander.
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Wyoming Highway 136 is a 42.70-mile-long (68.72 km) long east–west Wyoming State Road in Fremont County.
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The Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad Passenger Depot, also known as the Chicago and North Western Railway Passenger Depot and presently as the Douglas Railroad Interpretive Center, was built in 1886 in Douglas, Wyoming to accommodate traffic on the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad's (FE&MV) terminus at the newly built town. The depot was built as a fairly small, cautious investment in a possibly ephemeral frontier town. Immediately following the completion of the depot Douglas saw an epidemic of typhoid fever and the worst winter in a generation, and the railroad decided to push on to Casper for its terminus. The town's population declined from 1600 in 1886 to 900 in 1888. By 1891 Owen Wister reported that Douglas had a population of about 350. However, by 1910 Douglas had 2246 residents and hosted the Wyoming State Fair. The presence of the fair stimulated rail traffic, while the FE&MV merged with the Cheyenne and Northern Railway in 1903. In 1905 oil development started. In the 1950s coal mining began for the Dave Johnson Power Plant and the railway expanded its Douglas facilities to accommodate the traffic, closing the original depot and building a larger facility. The depot was acquired from the railroad's successor, the Chicago and North Western Railway, by the city in 1990.
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