Rawlins, Wyoming, U.S.A.-Home on the Range

Rawlins, Carbon County, Wyoming is the County Seat of Carbon County. It is located in the South Central part of the State, along Interstate 80. It is a small town, with a small town atmosphere, where people are neighborly and friendly. The population is right around 9300 people. It sits on the Red Desert Platueau, bordered to the South by the Sierra Madre Mountains and the Medicine Bow Mountains. To the North, the Seminoe Mountains, the Haystack Mountains, the Shirley Mountains, and the Rattle Snake Mountains stand sentinal. The elevation of Rawlins is 6755 feet above sea level. The climate is semi-arid and desert like. The average mean temperature in Rawlins 42.5 degrees, with the average high temperature in the summer around 82 degrees, and the average low temperature in the winter of around 27 degrees. It rarely gets above 90 degrees, and often will dip to the minus fahrenheit temperatures in January and February. Winters can be very harsh, with strong winds, blowing snow, and sub zero wind chill factors.
The average snowfall in Rawlins is 54 inches, so for the snow mobile enthusiast, the skier, and for people who like winter sports (and driving on I-80 in the winter can be a "sport"..I-80 is affectionately called the "Snow-Chi Mihn Trail" by locals), Rawlins provides an excellent arena of winter "entertainment".

General John A. Rawlins, Founder of Rawlins, Wyoming

Rawlins was founded in 1882 by General John A. Rawlins, a decorated Civil War veteran. While guarding a work detatchment for the building of the Transcontinental railroad, he remarked that he was thirsty. A Scout Party was detatched, and found a natural spring. General Rawlins drank of the water, and declared it was the best water he had ever tasted, and that if anything was ever named after him, he hoped it was a spring of water. The Spring was immediately named Rawlins Springs, and a tiny town began to grow around the site. Rawlins was incorporated as a "city" in 1886. Below, are more pictures of General Rawlins, Founder or our little Home on the Range.

General Rawlins seated during Civil War, above, and with General Ulysses S. Grant, below.

Mule Deer, like this doe, are common sights in and around the City limits especially during the winter.
The main industry in Rawlins is the oil business. Located just six miles to the East, is the small community of Sinclair, Wyoming, home of the Sinclair Refinery..which boasts to be "The West's Most Modern Refinery", according to a sign along Interstate 80 just East of Sinclair. There are several Pipelines in the Rawlins area, most notably Amoco, Pioneer (Conoco), and CIG (Colorado Interstate Gas).
In downtown Rawlins, today, a visitor will see a mural, painted on the side of the old F.W. Woolworth Building. It was painted by an artist from Lander, Wyoming, and depicts life in Carbon County. It is a must see if you come to town. Below, is a copy of that mural.

The mural on the side of the Woolworth Building in Downtown Rawlins

Rawlins is also the home of the Wyoming State Penetentiary, located just a few miles South of town. The "new" pen was built, put into service, and occupied in 1982. Currently, work has begun to expand the Pen to house more prisoners. Prior to the New Pen being operational, prisoners were housed in what is now called the Old Frontier Prison. Built in the late 1800's, it is a magnificant structure to view and tour, but I am sure it would not have been a nice place to live. The Old Frontier Prison offers tours during the summer months, and by appointment in the off season. It is a must see if you happen through Rawlins.

The Frontier Prison in Rawlins

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