Downtown Rock Springs Historical Walking Tour

Explore the history of Rock Springs, WY

Downtown Rock Springs Historical Walking Tour

Rock Springs, Wyoming 82901, United States

Created By: Rock Springs Main Street/URA

Tour Information

Take a stroll back in time with the Downtown Rock Springs Historical Walking Tour. Begin your tour at the Rock Springs Historical Museum and stroll the streets of the community.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Begin your tour with a visit to the Rock Springs Historic Museum. Construction of this city hall was largely financed through the collection of liquor license fees. “Quicksand” discovered at the site necessitated a massive 14-foot found... Read more
Use the B Street exit of the museum and cross the street to the former Federal Post Office Building. The construction of the Post Office building in 1911 also required unusual techniques, as this site was directly over coal mine tunnels. Si... Read more
Before you begin walking south along B Street, look across the street at the Eagles building next to the museum. It was built in 1923 and housed the Home Furniture Company, “the finest furniture store between Omaha and Ogden.” Advertise... Read more
The Rock Springs Masonic Temple is still in use as originally designed in 1912. The floor of the ballroom warped during construction, so railroad boxcar springs were put underneath to add support. It had the reputation of being the best dan... Read more
The arched windows and door in the building across the street were three garage bays of the Wyoming Auto Transit Company (later the Western Auto Transit Company). Built in 1910, it was advertised as “Southern Wyoming’s oldest automobile... Read more
By 1916 overcrowding necessitated the building of a larger school on this site. Modern innovations (a vacuum cleaning system, indirect lighting, and a suspended track) made it one of the largest and best school facilities in the state.  Th... Read more
Cross the street and cut though the parking lot of the Community Fine Arts Center. Inside is an excellent art collection of over 400 original American works, including paintings by Norman Rockwell and Grandma Moses. This collection has been... Read more
The Italian Renaissance Revival architectural style of the Elks’ building is a reflection of the optimism of Rock Springs in the early 1920’s. The arcaded porch, balustraded deck, arched windows, and terra-cotta medallions make it one o... Read more
Cross Second Street and continue walking north. The parking lot across the street was the location of the Lincoln Highway Garage and later McCurtain Motors. Several garages and dealerships were strategically located along this portion of th... Read more
This is one of the oldest buildings in Rock Springs. It was built of cut sandstone in the 1870’s for Tim Kinney and Company. Purchased in 1907 by a group of ranchers, it became the Stockgrowers Mercantile Company. Advertisements claimed t... Read more
This was originally two frame buildings. Kellogg and Holmes Kandy House was here in the early 1900’s. Howard Kellogg later opened the popular Howard’s Café. Keith’s Clothing occupied 416 South Main in the late 1920’s and Schramm-Jo... Read more
The first bank in town, Sweetwater Country Bank, opened here in 1887. Senior bank employees in Laramie turned down the “opportunity” of opening a bank in Rock Springs after visiting and reporting that Chinese miners were, “too numerou... Read more
William O’Donnell’s Central Meat Market operated from here in 1889. O’Donnell was a pioneer citizen, first mayor, and liaison between the Chinese miners and the Union Pacific Coal Company. Otto Schnauber opened the Pacific Market at t... Read more
The architecture of this building is one of the most interesting in Rock Springs and representative of the Late Victorian Italianate style. Surprisingly, the cut sandstone is only a façade, as the building is actually constructed of brick.... Read more
Built in 1888 to house the First National Bank of Rock Springs (formerly the Sweetwater County Bank), this structure was originally cut sandstone but was remodeled after a fire in the 1800’s. The cupola and cornice were removed and some s... Read more
Cross Bank Court. Several buildings here were demolished in 1919 for construction of Bank Court and the impressive First National Bank building. While at this location, the bank became affiliated with the First Security Bank system. This bu... Read more
In 1914, a Chinese immigrant, Leo Hung, began working as a dishwasher in the Grand Cafe. He worked 16 hours a day for a daily wage of 50 cents. As a result of his service in World War I, Hung was eligible for naturalization and became a U.S... Read more
The Fountain Club was built in the 1870’s and is one of few remaining false-front wooden buildings in the city. The first dance floor in town was upstairs, as well as a meeting hall used by early civic organizations, clubs, and immigrant ... Read more
The second bank established in town was organized by Timothy Kinney. The bank name and date of construction are inscribed in the stonework on the front of the building. The contractor was H.H. Edgar who later became mayor. People coming to ... Read more
East of the vacant lot is the old Beeman and Neuber Mercantile building. During the early and mid 1900’s, it housed the Playmore Ball Room, a popular spot for wrestling, boxing, skating, bowling, and dancing to the live music of Lawrence ... Read more
Constructed at this site in 1870, and demolished in the late 1960’s, the rock Beckwith-Quinn Company store was the first permanent building in Rock Springs. Store counters doubled as a stage for community programs and aisles were used for... Read more
Cross South Main Street to the grass park. The building on your right is a 1917 Union Pacific freight station. The buildings of the UP No. 1 mine extended southeast of the freight station. No. 1 Mine opened in 1868 and was the first mine op... Read more
This depot was built in 1900 and replaced an earlier frame structure. It was the hub of travel and commerce in Rock Springs through World War II. During March of 1943, an average of 100 trains passed through Rock Springs every 24 hours. One... Read more
During World War I, the cafe in this building and the meat market at 431 North Front both changed their names in protest against the German Empire. The Vienna Café became the Western Cafe, and the Vienna Meat Market became the Crystal Mark... Read more
This was originally two separate buildings housing an early moving picture theater, candy store, and millinery. A second story was added onto the east building in 1914. Travelute Clothing was here in the thirties when a brick facade was add... Read more
This was originally a two-story, wood building constructed in 1909. Miller Pharmacy and Radio Pool Hall were early occupants. In 1929, J.C. Penney Company Dry Goods moved here from its original location down the street.
Built as a saloon, this building housed the Crystal Meat Market in 1899. The market was in business through World War II. the black and white ceramic tile façade is representative of Art Deco architecture popular in the mid- 1900’s. ...
A saloon and bottle works were the first occupants here. By the late 1890’s, the Patterson Harness and Bicycle Shop was at this location. Heitz Hardware was located here by 1925. This is one of the oldest remaining wood, commercial buildi... Read more
The first building at this location was a little rock home. In 1878 a mine cave-in occurred directly under the house. All that saved the family was the carpet securely tacked around the edges. It supported them until friends reached through... Read more
Constructed in 1909, this building housed the Chicago Meat Market and was the location of the first ice machine in the city. The second floor has been used as the I.O.O.F. hall since 1912.
This building was originally stone and housed the Golden Rule Mercantile Company by 1903. The store’s name was the owners’ public commitment to treat customers the way they would want to be treated. W.F. Partin was a partner and the pro... Read more
A barber and tailor were the first occupants of this building in the early 1890’s. The Viaduct Saloon, named because of its proximity to the pedestrian viaduct over the tracks, was located here by 1903. Another of the many saloons on Nort... Read more
A jewelry and candy store were originally housed in this 1909 building. The Lyric Theater in the rear of the building was considered the most up-to-date movie theater, as it changed performances and features nightly. Dogs caused problems by... Read more
The 1920’s building on this corner was first occupied by the Heitz Hardware Store, later Quirk Drugs, and then Parker Brother Drugs. Turn the corner and walk north on K Street. The entrance at 19 K Street was to Hudak’s Department Store... Read more
Cross Fifth Street. In 1893 with the memory of the Chinese riot and union activity fresh in his mind, Henry Bertagnolli named his new store the Union Mercantile and Supply Company. The founders hoped to draw working class customers away fro... Read more
The 1911 date of construction is on the front of this building. A group of local businessmen opened the North Side State Bank here in 1912. To accommodate the miners on Union Pacific pay days, the bank opened an additional hour from 7:30 p.... Read more
Bitter Creek used to run behind the North Side State Bank and under a wooden wagon bridge at this intersection. This is the notorious Bitter Creek referred to in cowboy ballads. Its bitter alkali water was disliked by both pioneers and fron... Read more
Cross Noble Drive. By 1930, 149 K Street housed the Amazon Club with the Amazon Rooms upstairs. In 1903, 40 percent of Rock Springs businesses were saloons and all were located on the streets you are now walking—eight on South Front, seve... Read more
In 1908, this was the location of Hodge’s Bridge Livery and Feed Stable. The second floor overhang at the rear of the old Hodge home (157 K) is unusual. A 1945 National Geographic Magazine described “winding K Street” where “you see... Read more
For many years, the Wyoming Meat Market was in the building at 623 Pilot Butte Avenue. The name and 1922 construction date of the Young Hotel are carved near the top of 631 Pilot Butte. The ground floor housed a dry goods and grocery store.... Read more
The American Market was across the street at 710 Pilot Butte. At one time, a Chinese store was at that location. Several Chinese laundries and stores were located along K Street and Pilot Butte Avenue. There were at least two Chinese druggi... Read more
In the early 1900’s, the house at 726 Pilot Butte belonged to an Italian physician, Dr. George DiGiacamo. He drew snakes in the dirt in front of his house and shot at anyone who asked questions about them. DiGiacamo experimented with new ... Read more
A corporation of Tyrolean Italians started the Miners Merc as a grocery and dry goods store in 1912. This store offered free delivery, credit, and a discount or treat (candy, cookies, or can of fruit) when the bill was paid. In 1916, the de... Read more
The Union Pacific gave this property to Max Kershisnik’s widow and four children as compensation for his death in a mining accident. The family built the hotel in 1923 and lived in the back, renting the front to a grocery store. Turn left... Read more
Looking across Bridger Avenue, you can see the Slovenski Dom social hall built by Slavic immigrants in 1913. In addition the annual grape and harvest festivals, the facility was used by other ethnic societies in Rock Springs. Immigrants rep... Read more
In this area were homes dug into the banks of Bitter Creek. All kinds of filth and debris accumulated in the creek bottom during the year. Runoff in the spring forced residents temporarily to abandon their dugouts. David Thomas (early mayor... Read more
The Park Hotel opened in 1914 and was the hub of Western Wyoming until the late 1950’s. It was the largest and most modern hotel in the city. Advertisements boasted of hot and cold water in each of its 38 rooms, “twenty of which will ha... Read more
  Cross North Front Street and walk through the pedestrian underpass. Exit the underpass to your right. A bandstand was located here in the 1920’s. Cross the street to the grass by the bank. From 1911 to 1970, the three-story Rock Spring... Read more


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