Planning begins for 150th anniversary

(Photo by William Wise) The Johnson Hotel on the corner of Grand and Front Street was constructed 116 years ago during the early days of development for Laramie.

Albany county and the City of Laramie will celebrate their 150th anniversary beginning May 4, next year.

“The first scheduled event is on May 4 and it will be held at the Territorial Prison and there will be a reception,” Tim Viner, Historian, retired navy officer and a volunteer for the Laramie Plains Museum, said. “We hope the Governor of Wyoming will join us too. It is a very significant milestone because it’s 150 years. We don’t celebrate it every year.”

As the Union Pacific Railroad laid track in Laramie, Wyoming in May 1868, it marked its founding. The railroad coming to Laramie changed the community from a gathering of tents and temporary settlement to the building of permanent homes. The City of Laramie was officially founded in May of 1868 and Albany county was created in December of 1868.

“It’s important to look back on where you have started and where you have gone to and this is a great chance to honor and respect the hard work of the people of the past,” Todd Feezer, the Director of Park and Recreation, said.

The City Council and the county Commissioners will begin planning events to celebrate the anniversary as well as to help bring the rich history of Laramie and Albany County to its residents.

“There will be number of events throughout the summer,” Viner said. “For instance, Laramie plain museum will have an open house on 4 and 5 of May. Also, Laramie Main Street organization encourages individual business to display pictures of the way their buildings used to look like.”

Albany County Commissioner Chairman Tim Chesnut said, “We are trying to look into the history of Albany County and how to honor that. I think we will be working a lot with the Laramie Plains Museum and other historical areas especially the Train Depot and things like that.”

Albany County and the City of Laramie wants the celebrations to include the significance of the railroad as well as the University of Wyoming. They also hope to tie in the anniversary to the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, which also takes place in 2018.

“The anniversary celebrations will take place throughout the year and will most likely culminate with the Laramie Jubilee Days Celebration,” Chesnut said.

Because this is an anniversary for the community of Laramie, the Laramie City Council has recognized and openly invited the Laramie community stakeholders to join the City of Laramie in planning and celebration efforts for 2018.

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