“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Thermopolis in Hot Springs County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)

Broad Streets of Thermopiles

Broad Streets of Thermopiles Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 4, 2016
1. Broad Streets of Thermopiles Marker
Captions: (upper left) A very early photo of "Sixteen Mule Team" Johnson's rig, which included there large freight wagons, plus his "cooster," or mobile home.; (upper right) Labor Day parade, 1917. View to west from East Broadway, showing the extraordinary width of the main street.
“Make it a good street. Make it wide enough to turn this damn team of mules around in.” (Henry “Sixteen Mule Team” Johnson)
Thermopolis was named for the nearby hot springs by combining the Greek words thermo (hot) and polis (city). In 1896, the Shoshone and Arapaho sold a ten-mile square of land at the northeast corner of their reservation. These lands included the hot mineral springs (Bah-gue-wana), reportedly the largest in the world, and the site of today’s town. When the treaty was ratified the next year, settlers from the nearby small towns of Andersonville and Old Thermopolis promptly picked up and moved to their new townsite.
Freight teams transported all goods in and out of the isolated town from distant railheads. As soon as freighter Henry Johnson learned of the new town, he requested a street wide enough to turn his team of sixteen mules. The town founders and surveyors honored his request, and the unique street of Broadway was laid out 150 feet wide. A treacherous stage road connected the young town to the railhead at Casper by way of Copper Mountain over Birdseye
Broad Streets of Thermopiles Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 4, 2016
2. Broad Streets of Thermopiles Marker
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Pass. But when the first Burlington engine steamed into town from the north in 1910, the freighting era was gone forever.
Historic photos of West Broadway from the 1920s show a landscaped median gracing the middle of the street with room for parking and two lanes of traffic on both sides, but by the 1930s the center strip was graveled and used for parking. In the early 1950s, a portion of Broadway once again featured a median with grass and trees. In 1983, the Downtown Thermopolis Historic District (on the east side of Sixth Street) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Erected by Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1896.
Location. 43° 38.782′ N, 108° 12.802′ W. Marker is in Thermopolis, Wyoming, in Hot Springs County. Marker is on Broadway Street near North 7th Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 698 Broadway Street, Thermopolis WY 82443, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Thermopolis Downtown Historic District (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Plaza Hotel (approx. 0.7 miles away); Bah Guewana (approx. ¾ mile away); Tepee Fountain
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(approx. ¾ mile away); Walter Manly Haynes (approx. 0.8 miles away); World's Largest Mineral Hot Springs (approx. 0.8 miles away); Ancient Red Rocks (approx. one mile away); Some Like It Hot! (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Thermopolis.
More about this marker. This marker is next to the Hot Springs County Museum.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 13, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 13, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 318 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 13, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Jan. 31, 2023