Gillette is a small city in the northern-eastern part of Wyoming. With a population of around 30,000, it is also the county seat of Campbell County. The city calls itself the "Energy Capital of the Nation" because of the vast quantities of coal, oil and coalbed methane gas in the area. Did you know, Wyoming provides nearly 35% of the nation's coal?! That's a lot of natural energy! Back when Gillette was first founded in 1891, the town was originally called "Donkey Town" and later "Rocky Pile." Some crafty names, huh? It was later changed to Gillette, named after Edward Gillette - a surveyor for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad that ran through town. A few years later in 1895, Gillette almost saw its demise when a drastic fire ravaged the town. Only two saloons, two stores and a restaurant survived. Thank goodness it's still here! Let's explore more about this historic and interesting city.
The Rockpile Museum is a one-of-a-kind attraction in Gillette! This museum features many exhibits - both permanent and temporary. This is great, because it keeps things fresh and lively but also comfortable and predictable. The museum focuses on local and regional history with an emphasis on the culture of Campbell County. There are large collections of rifles, saddles, Native American artifacts, fossils, wagons and so much more! There is so much to see; you definitely don't want to miss a trip here. It's even free; however, they do accept donations to help keep the museum operational. Make a stop next time you're in town!
The Donkey Creek Festival is a popular event in Gillette! This festival is hosted by a non-profit group that is dedicated to organizing a weekend of music, arts, food, cars and more. There are over 10 artists that perform during the two-day period! If you're not in it for the music, you might be in it for the food. The festival features some of the best food around; the festival hosts handpick restaurants, food trucks and menus for everyone to enjoy. There even are stunning art installations that are gorgeous! You don't want to miss this year's festival which will take place on June 26th - June 27th!
Touted as "Gillette's Ultimate Dining Experience," the Prime Rib Restaurant and Wine Cellar is a must-eat restaurant! They have been successful ever since they first began in 1983. They note on their website that they are proud of the "impeccable service, consistent food, fair prices, and fresh ingredients" that they present. Their menu includes steak, seafood, prime rib, pasta, chicken and many other entrees. Recently added in 2008, they also offer a wide selection of premium wines. If try a wine you absolutely love, you can also take the bottle to-go! This restaurant is simply wonderful; if you haven't ate here yet, you need to!
My favorite thing about Gillette and all of Campbell County has to be the people. It doesn’t seem to matter if you are a part of a Centennial Ranch family with deep roots in the area or if you just moved here last week, the people in this community are amazing and they rally around those in need like no community I have ever seen. I am very proud to call Gillette my home.