Main Streets 2016: Wyoming
Named after the Cheyenne Nation, Wyoming’s largest city became known as the “Magic City of the Plains” after it grew, practically overnight, into a sizable community after construction of the Union Pacific Railroad reached here in 1867. Today, Cheyenne embraces its western charm and is praised as a small city with large attributes. It’s also a great place to work and live — in part because there are no taxes on either corporate or personal income.
Capitol Avenue is home to the iconic Wrangler building, and on the corner of 15th and Capitol you’ll find the historic Union Pacific Cheyenne Depot. Located within the building is the Cheyenne Depot Museum, which draws visitors with a brewpub and restaurant along with tourism and economic development offices. In the warmer months, Cheyenne residents can enjoy concerts and festivals, farmer’s markets and other social and cultural gatherings in the city center. And of course the Wyoming State Capitol Building and Museum offer much to see and learn.
At the avenue’s northern end is Lions Park, where the landmark Cheyenne Botanic Gardens features 27 specialty gardens plus the Paul Smith Children’s Village. On the north end of the Gardens is Old Sadie, an 1890-vintage coal-powered steam locomotive that’s a favorite for kids, history buffs and everyone who loves the romance of old trains in the Old West. Sadie is one of the oldest intact locomotives ever to run on the Union Pacific tracks.
Past and present mingle in fascinating ways in Cheyenne. Today, renewable energy is a fast-growing U.S. industry — and Cheyenne, as one of America’s windiest cities, has become a growing center for wind energy. The state capitol is also home to Cheyenne Frontier Days, the nation’s largest outdoor rodeo.
With its array of ethnic festivals, performing arts, history and culture, Capitol Avenue has a well-deserved place in Main Streets Across America.
Street photo courtesy of Richard Grant
Botanic Garden photo courstey of Botanic Gardens