20 Interesting Facts About Wyoming You've Probably Never Heard
Written by Ron Hansen
Wyoming is a special place that is filled with amazing vistas, people, opportunities and recreational activities. However, there are a lot of facts that people just don’t know about this State and here are some of those that make the 44th State one of the best!
The state reptile is the Horned Toad.
The state butterfly is the Sheridan’s Green Hairstreak Butterfly. Yep, say that five times fast!
The state amphibian is the Blotched Tiger Salamander. These little guys are pretty shy!
Wyoming has an official state soil! Yes, we have a special kind of dirt and it is famous – the Forkwood Soil is Wyoming’s official state soil.
Have you ever wondered what “Wyoming” means and how the name came to be? Well, we found out and it turns out, Wyoming is a contraction of the Native American word “mechewamiing” or “at the big plains” and was first used by the Delaware people in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Wyoming has 108,767 miles of rivers and streams in the State! That is a lot of water.
The largest 24-hour precipitation event in Wyoming’s recorded history occurred on August 1, 1985 in Cheyenne. During this 24-hour period, a total of 6.06 inches of rain fell and resulted in a terrible flood that caused massive destruction and 12 deaths.
The hottest temperature ever recorded in Wyoming is a staggering 115 degrees on August 8, 1983. The location for this record was in Basin, WY. That is hot by any measure in my book!
Conversely, the coldest temperature in Wyoming has recorded on Feb 9, 1933 in Yellowstone National Park. The mercury hit an incredible low of 66 degrees BELOW zero!
Jackson doesn’t even make the top ten for the snowiest towns in Wyoming (they are ranked 11th). Moran is the snowiest location in Wyoming with an average snowfall of 166.86 inches. Lander ranks 177th out of 246 locations in the state for snowfall per year.
Wyoming’s oldest person lived to the ripe old age of 110 years, 6 days. Fannie Barney was born in July 1873 and passed away on August 4, 1983. Think of the stories she could tell!
Lander almost became the State Capital of Wyoming in 1904 and may still request a legal run-off if it so chooses as Cheyenne never got more than the 50% of the vote as required by law. Let’s just give it to Cheyenne because housing is already too tight in Lander!
Wyoming’s state tree is the Cottonwood.
There is no official state food in Wyoming but the unofficial state food is purported to be Rocky Mountain Oysters. Now, if you don’t know what they are then the best way to break this to you is to simply say they are the testicles of male cattle. Yep, I just threw up in my mouth.
Did you know that the Turducken was invented in Wyoming? Yep, the “chicken in a duck in a turkey” food dish was invented in Sheridan in 1960 by legendary chef, Paul Prudhomme. New Orleans wants to claim it but too bad!
During the 1880s, Cheyenne was the richest city in the Country due to a booming cattle industry and the gold rush all over the State.
Newcastle, WY still has an interesting law – one cannot have sex in a store’s walk-in meat freezer. Nope, you can’t do that in Newcastle. Makes one think on just how that law came about. It also makes you think about not buying meat in Newcastle. Ewww…..
In Wyoming, it is illegal to wear a hat that obstructs people’s views in a public theatre or place of amusement. Just remember, cowboys are tough so ask nicely when you ask them to remove their hat!
The state’s oldest bar is Buckhorn Bar and Parlor in Laramie. It was established all the way back in 1900, just ten years after Wyoming became a state! It is famous far and wide for the furnishings and the “buckhorn roll”. If you have done it then you know what I am talking about. If you don’t know about the “buckhorn roll” then just go to the bar, drink as much as you possibly can and then walk down the stairs as fast as you can. The rest is up to gravity.
Robert LeRoy Parker – aka Butch Cassidy – was sentenced to prison for the purchase of a stolen horse in Lander in 1894. “Butch” visited the Lander and Dubois area often and is reported to have worked as a ranch hand in the area.
Wyoming is filled with unique history and we will showcase more of the unique facts of the State in upcoming newsletters. We hope you enjoyed this small taste of what makes Wyoming the best place in the Country!