Pine Bluffs, mile post 465.6 on the Sidney Sub.
Pine Bluffs is located in the southeastern corner of Laramie County, Wyoming, USA. First known as Rock Ranch, railroad officials changed the name to Pine Bluffs for the pines on the nearby bluffs. In 1868 Pine Bluffs consisted of a tent, a slab shack with a stone chimney, and a square shed of canvas-covered poles.
Pine Bluffs was the railroad's first stop in Wyoming's present borders, and like many end-of-the-rails towns, the railroad station gave it birth as a white settlement. The survey for this route, by Gen. Grenville M. Dodge, did not follow the more northerly Oregon Trail, but instead went directly west from Nebraska and south to be closer to Denver. This route took advantage of Wyoming coal supplies and shortened the distance. After its start as a railroad station, Pine Bluffs received a second boost as a watering hole for cattle on the Texas Trail. At the peak of the cattle drives in 1871, 6,000 cattle passed through Pine Bluffs on the trail. Later, many cattle were loaded on rail cars at Pine Bluffs for shipment to market.
The "good roads movement" route in 1912 by-passed Pine Bluffs, not considering roads east of Cheyenne. However, the 1924 Lincoln Highway guide noted that the town had a good gravel road and a population of 600, two hotels, three garages, two banks, the UP, 29 general business places, express company, telephone company, one newspaper, a Commercial Club and a free campground with water, lights and fuel.
Pine Bluffs...with its storage tanks, smudged coal chute, and houses grouped in a neat grove of trees, is set against a background of yellow-gray bluffs, bristling with stubby green spires of small pines. this was once the center of a vast hunting area, tribes. Many skirmishes between hunting parties took place in this vicinity. Fields of grain and certified seed potatoes alternate in summer with wide reaches of dry dust-gray, short grass, flecked with small islands of yellow rabbit brush and vivid green weeds.
Last Update 07/22/01
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