Located in Converse County, Glenrock is a fairly small town nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains along the Deer Creek Tributary System. Originally called Deer Creek Station, the town started out as a pioneer and Indian trading post and as a relay terminal for the Overland Trail in the 1850s. The station served as a vital stopping and supply point for thousands of emigrants as they traveled westward. Eventually, the telegraph came to replace the Pony Express, and relations with the local Indian tribes worsened. Deer Creek Station became a telegraph station and military outpost, but was burned to the ground in 1866 and never rebuilt. Today, the town of Glenrock is home to over 2,500 people who continue to remember and celebrate the area's old western heritage. Glenrock's proximity to Deer Creek and the North Platte rivers allow for unique outdoor recreational activities as well as the perfect place to spot some local wildlife. Along with antelope, raccoons, hawks, eagles and the occasional coyote or fox, deer are often seen enjoying the comforts of town.
Also in Converse County lies Douglas, home to over 6,000 residents. The town officially came to be in 1886, when the Wyoming Central Railway established a railway station there, named for US Senator Stephen A. Douglas. Formerly, Douglas had been the site of Fort Fetterman and was known simply as "Tent City." It served as a supply point for surrounding cattle ranches, as well as railway crews, cowboys and US Army Troops stationed at the Fort. Today, the former railroad passenger depot in Douglas is on the National Register of Historic Places. The town is the site of several other historic sites, and is also home to the Wyoming State Fair and Eastern Wyoming Community College. Proximity to Medicine Bow National Forest make Douglas a great spot for outdoor recreation, including world-class hunting, fishing and camping. And how's this for a fun fact: Douglas is known as the "Home of the Jackalope!" According to legend, local man and taxidermy enthusiast Douglas Herrick had the idea for the mythical jackalope in the 1930s, when he tossed a jackrabbit carcass next to a pair of deer antlers. Today, the town of Douglas pays homage to the famous hybrid creature with a statue in Jackalope Square. Tourists can also get Jackalope Hunting Licenses in Douglas, which are good for "Official Jackalope Hunting Season." As jackalope are rare, the season lasts for only one day a year: June 31st!
The Glenrock Paleon Museum and the adjoining Dr. Robert T. Bakker Education Center were founded in 1994 after the discovery of Stephanie, a Triceratops fossil, north of Glenrock. Stephanie is the crown jewel of the Museum, which houses a large number of other dinosaur fossils. The mission of the Paleon Museum is to find, excavate, prepare and display dinosaur fossils found in Wyoming. Visitors can get a glimpse into this process in the Museum's preparation lab, where volunteers (called Bone-Biddies) are trained to properly handle and work on fossils. Bone Biddies also offer museum tours, while the on-site Paleontologist and museum staff offer Dig Schools, Day Digs, and even week-long digs for those interested in a hands-on experience in paleontology. The Paleon Museum is a definite must-stop for dinosaur and fossil enthusiasts of all ages!
The Douglas Railroad Museum and Visitor Center is a mecca for train lovers and anyone interested in the history of the American West. Housed in a historic train depot built in 1886, the Depot is surrounded by eight rail cars, including a day coach that dates back to the 1800s, and a steam locomotive. Many of the Depot's rail cars are open to visitors, so guests here have the unique opportunity to see the inside of these historic trains. Admission is free, and exhibits in the museum include a growing collection of rail history and memorabilia. It is also a great place to find information about Douglas and the surrounding area. There's also a Jackalope statue outside, so it's hard to miss!
Every summer, the town of Glenrock gathers together to celebrate Deer Creek Days. The three-day festival includes parades, a pancake breakfast, barbecues, outdoor games and more. The event is a celebration of the town's history, it's people, and those glorious hot summer days and nights. There's plenty to do and see, with a 5K run, tractor pull, talent show. And,since no Wyoming festival would be complete without one: there's also a rodeo! For some old-fashioned, small town fun, there's nothing better than Deer Creek Days.
Located inside the historic Higgins Hotel, the Antelope Bar and Paisley Shawl Restaurant are a must when in Glenrock. Enjoy a drink from a friendly barkeep in the cozy Antelope Bar before sitting down for a meal in the elegant ambiance of the Paisley Shawl dining room. You'll feel right at home with the excellent service and delicious food options, which include everything from cheeseburgers to shrimp platters, prime rib, filet mignon and a variety of soups and salads. Save room for dessert! They have specials every evening that are sure to please!
As the name implies, The Depot Restaurant is located inside Douglas' Historic Train Depot. Here, you can enjoy the uniquely historic atmosphere alongside your delicious meal. The Depot serves up great steaks, fresh burgers, sandwiches, pastas and homemade soups. Delicious, old-fashioned desserts are also on the menu and make the perfect finish to your meal. They also offer a wide selection of beer and wine, as well as mixed drinks. Complete your day in Douglas learning about the town's train and railroad history with a dinner at the Depot!