Laramie's Legacy

One hundred and 50 years ago, a Laramie resident became the first female to cast a vote. Stop in Laramie to learn about her legacy, stay at a guest ranch and eat the best cinnamon roll ever.
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Louisa Swain, first woman to cast a vote in United States from Laramie area, Wyoming

Louisa Swain

When 70-year-old Louisa Swain stepped up to the ballot box in 1870, she did something no female in the country had ever been able to do — she voted.

Her revolutionary act was made possible by a women’s suffrage bill passed by the Wyoming Territorial Legislature. It would be 50 years before women secured the right to vote on a national scale. Discover how Laramie’s progressive roots have given rise to entrepreneurial women and exciting attractions.

Wyoming House for Historic Women

Statue of Louisa Swain, the first woman to vote in the United States.

Statue of Louisa Swain, the first woman to vote in the United States, at the Wyoming House for Historic Women in Laramie, Wyo.

Why go: This downtown museum honors Louisa Swain and 12 other Wyoming women who had far-reaching impacts on society.

Trivia: Joining Swain as trailblazers in 1870 were Eliza Stewart, the first woman in the country selected to serve on a jury and Esther Hobart Morris, the nation’s first female justice of the peace. Swain cast her vote a block from this building.

Tip: Grab a bite to eat at Jeffreys Bistro, 123 E. Ivinson Ave., that serves great sandwiches, salads and entrees with gluten-free and vegan options.  

Snowy Range Scenic Byway Hwy. 130

Why go: This stunning road enables you to bypass Interstate 80, taking you past glacial lakes, granite peaks, gorgeous meadows and over the second-highest mountain pass in Wyoming. This breathtaking route reaches its high point at 10,000 feet. It’s closed mid-November to Memorial Day weekend.

Tip: On Fridays and Saturdays, stop by Golden Prairie Bakery, owned by Jennifer Small, to get fresh-baked cinnamon rolls and more. Two miles west of the airport, turn on Herrick Lane and take a right on BWJ Road. Drive .3 miles until you reach the little red building in the cow pasture.

University of Wyoming Geological Museum

Outside of the Wyoming Geological Museum, a boy recognizes "Arlo"

Outside of the Wyoming Geological Museum in Laramie, a boy recognizes "Arlo"

Why go: See a 75-foot Apatosaurus skeleton, along with other dinosaurs, in this museum. While it roamed Wyoming, a living Apatosaurus ate one ton of vegetation daily and weighed 25 tons. The museum’s hours of operation are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Trivia: Disney-Pixar’s 2015 The Good Dinosaur featured a Wyoming Apatosaurus named Arlo who meets a human friend while navigating an unfamiliar landscape.

Basecamp

Rebecca Walsh, Owner of Basecamp outdoor store in Laramie, Wyo.

Rebecca Walsh, owner of Basecamp in Laramie, Wyo.

Why go: Forgot a rain jacket or need warmer layers? Owner Rebecca Walsh founded Basecamp outdoor store to sell active clothing and gear, as well as host workshops and give trail advice. She also rents tents, water filters, backpacks and stand-up paddleboards.

Tip: Basecamp is located at 222 S. 2nd St. in Laramie.

Vee Bar Guest Ranch

Kari Kilmer, Manager of Vee Bar Guest Ranch in Laramie, Wyo.

Kari Kilmer, manager of Vee Bar Guest Ranch, driving her team

Why go: Settle into horseback riding, evening campfires and incredible food at this gorgeous guest ranch. The main lodge was built in 1891 and served as a stage coach stop and a post office in its early days.

Trivia: Ranch manager and former wrangler Kari Kilmer is the oldest granddaughter of Vee Bar co-owner Lefty Cole. She and her husband Brent Kilmer have managed the ranch since 2006.

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Learn more at the Laramie Area Visitor Center/Albany County Tourism Board, 210 E. Custer St., in Laramie or at VisitLaramie.org.

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Rebecca Walsh, Owner of Basecamp outdoor store in Laramie, Wyo.

Locals in Laramie

On your way to or from Rocky Mountain National Park or Yellowstone, stop in the Laramie area to stretch your legs. Three enterprising locals share tips on where to go in Laramie and what to do.