Two-Day Guide Through Weston County History
From the Black Hills Gold Rush in the late 1800s to the coal mines in Cambria, Weston County is very rich in history. Want to get a full understanding of Weston County came to be and how it thrives today? Here’s a guide to a two-day trip around Weston County to learn what shaped the county to be what it is today!
Day 1: Newcastle, Wyoming
Your first stop takes you to the Anna Miller Museum in Newcastle, part of the Weston County Museum District. Built between 1933 and 1936 as an effort to employ men during the Great Depression as a part of the Works Project Administration Program, the building and site help to tell the story of Newcastle’s beginnings and tell the tales of the pioneers and innovators of the county. Check out the main building, originally used the 115 Calvary National Guard as a Stable, as well as many different cabins, mountain schoolhouse, stone building, all with many artifacts that tells the story of Weston County.
Next, you’ll take an 8.6 mile drive North to the Flying V Lodge, the last remaining piece of Weston County’s origin. The Flying V Lodge was built as a small resort in 1928 as an expansion to the once booming coal town of Cambria. This once “casino” (in no relation to gambling), was constructed the same year the mine closed in Cambria, in one of the fastest desertions of a town in Wyoming history. The Flying V Lodge still operates today, while remnants of the once booming village can be seen today.
To conclude your day in Newcastle, check in to your stay at the Antler’s Hotel. The hotel was completed in 1890, making it the first building constructed in the town. Originally built and used as Newcastle’s courthouse from 1890-1892, the building was renovated into a hotel in 1895. Over the years, the historic building has seen many different uses, but now features an Italian deli, bakery, soda shop, coffee shop and Arianna’s, the Bed and Breakfast you will be staying at. Grab a bite to eat and rest before your second day in Upton.
Day 2: Upton, Wyoming
Rise and shine! It’s time to head northwest 30 miles to Upton, Wyoming, the town formed around the sheep business in the late 1880s. Your first two stops will give you a taste of Upton’s history, at Old Town. Old Town now hosts the Red Onion Museum, named after Walter K. “Jarmo” Poulson’s Red Onion Saloon prior to Prohibition. At the Red Onion Museum, you can find many different artifacts and collections from the area, putting you in touch with ways of life during Upton’s history.
Old Town is Upton’s interactive museum built of historic cabins and buildings from Upton’s past. Started as a historical project in 1994, residents began donating old buildings from the area to tell Upton’s story. Old Town now services as an educational site to give visitors a taste of life from the beginning, to take a living step back into the history of early Upton. Your next stop is the Weston County Gazette first, the oldest business in Weston County. Started by Upton settler and promoter Frank Burdick in 1909, the Weston County Gazette has been a driving force in shaping Upton’s history since its inception. Upton’s slogan “Best Town on Earth” was created by Burdick, which brings pride to those who have shaped Upton. The Weston County Gazette has been operated by the Clearance and Elsie Woodard family since 1976, providing news to Upton and Weston County still, 114 years later.
To cap of your day in Upton, head out to the Cedar Pines Golf Course for a round of golf and dinner. The golf course built and operated by volunteers since it was built in 1984. A group of prominent figures in Upton formed the Upton Golf Association in 1980, with the intent to build the course. The formation of the organization was successful, and construction was completed four years later. Head out to the course for nine holes of golf, capped off with a drink and meal in the clubhouse.