Featured City Friday highlights fun and interesting features of our agents’ cities across the mountain west region. To kick things off, we’re featuring the town where our company was founded over 70 years ago in 1948…
There’s a lot of history in Laramie, Wyoming: Not only is it the place where Mountain West Farm Bureau was founded in 1948; it was also an iconic “Wild West” town for much of it’s early history. Established in the mid-1860s along the Union Pacific Railroad and named for a famous French fur-trapper, Laramie in those days was the site of several shoot-outs and public hangings as the local sheriffs struggled to maintain law and order. The historic Territorial Prison located on the west side of town even housed the famous outlaw Butch Cassidy from 1894-1896.
Soon after Wyoming became the first US Territory to allow women the right to vote in 1869, five Laramie residents became the first women in the world to serve on a jury. Laramie resident Louisa Swain became the first woman in the United States to cast a legal vote in a general election in 1870. A statue in historic Downtown Laramie pays tribute to Ms. Swain and highlights the city’s role in the women’s suffrage movement.
Laramie is home to the University of Wyoming, the state’s only four-year institution. The university brings with it a constant influx of arts and culture. Laramie residents and fans from all over the state enjoy attending University of Wyoming Cowboy and Cowgirl sporting events, including everything from football and basketball to volleyball and tennis. On campus, the Geological Museum houses more than 50,000 mineral, rock and fossil specimens, including Big Al, the most complete Allosaurus fossil ever found. The Planetarium is open to the public for astronomy presentations and laser shows, while the Fine Arts Concert Hall presents frequent concerts and recitals throughout the year.
When it comes to outdoor activities, Laramie’s proximity to the Snowy Range and Laramie Range mountains presents a plethora of opportunities for hiking, fishing, hunting, camping and skiing. The Vedauwoo rock formations just 16 miles east of town offer a unique spot for rock climbing and are full of scenic trails and picnic spots. The Laramie River, which cuts through town before wandering out into the valley, is a popular spot for fishing and rafting.
Laramie Jubilee Days is a citywide, week-long celebration of Wyoming’s statehood centered in Laramie’s historic downtown. Launching after the 4th of July every year, Jubilee Days features exciting rodeo events, a carnival, street fair, concerts, and a parade. Beginning in July and lasting through September, the Laramie Farmer’s Market is held on Fridays and is a hub of fresh produce, handmade goods and delicious food and drink. Also in July is the Laramie Brewfest, a fundraising event for Downtown Laramie filled with hundreds of samples of specialty beers and live music.
Altitude Chophouse & Brewery
Altitude is a local favorite located in the heart of downtown Laramie. Serving up unique dishes like lobster tempura alongside classic favorites like prime rib, Altitude’s menu reflects the diversity of this college town. Altitude also brews a variety of award-winning beers to wash it all down, including the Tumblewheat and High Plains pale ale. The owners of this fine establishment pride themselves on “sophisticated food and drink choices set in a laid-back Rocky Mountain atmosphere.”
Sweet Melissa Vegetarian Cafe
You might be surprised to find a vegetarian restaurant nestled in the heart of beef country, especially one as popular as Sweet Melissa’s. But meat-eaters and herbivores alike flock to this little downtown cafe facing the railroad tracks. The menu features fan-favorites like cashew queso, the sweet potato and black bean burrito and the cauliflower po’ boy. If you save room for dessert, the deep-fried banana bread and vegan chocolate cake are out of this world. If you’re looking for creative cocktails, Front Street Tavern on the other side of the building is a favorite local spot.
Our Laramie Agents:
Mark Pajak, LUTCF
I am so fortunate to live in such a great community. The people here make it a great place to work and raise a family. Couldn’t imagine being anywhere else! – Justin Jeffers
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Thanks for traveling with us!
Your friends at Mountain West