Worland Area Chamber of Commerce

102 N 10th St • Worland, WY 82401
Phone: 307-347-3226 • Fax: 307-347-3025
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  The Heart of the Big Horn Basin, Worland (pop. 4,930) depends on a mixture of agriculture (primarily malt barley and sugar beets), sheep and cattle ranching, oil production, and manufacturing. Admiral Beverage Company a PEPSI bottling plant producing 12 million units a year and the Wyoming Sugar Company's plant producing more than 10,000 acres in beets and there is a major aluminum can factory that produces an average of three million cans per day providing a stable economy. The town has a pleasant western feel, with nightly baseball games throughout the summer, tree-bordered streets. The Bighorn River winds along the edge of Worland, but just a few miles to the west or east is painted desert country with dry rocky buttes, sagebrush, and sheep.

 

HISTORY

Worland is named for Charlie "Dad" Worland, one of the first homesteaders in this part of the Bighorn Basin and the manager of a stage station and saloon built along the old Bridger Trail in 1900. It wasn't much to look at a doug out attached to a cave dug into the riverbank, with log walls out front. His bar quickly acquired the nickname "The Hole-in-the-Wall." A cigar box just behind the bar served as the local bank, and anyone needing money could borrow it and leave behind an IOU. Other folks settled around Dad Worland, and A. G. Rupp added a general store nearby, also built into the side of the riverbank to save precious timber. Ray Pendergraft in Washakie: A Wyoming County History relates the following story about early Worland: Once a compactly-built man rode into the settlement, refreshed himself at Worland's saloon, then went on to Rupps for some supplies. On one wall of the store was a poster, complete with a picture. It read, "$5,000 Reward, Dead or Alive Robert Leroy Parker, alias Butch Cassidy." The visitor examined it. "It's not a very good likeness," he told Rupp. Rupp examined the poster, looked at the man, and readily agreed. "You don't want it up there do you, Mr. Rupp?" the man politely asked. "No, I don't," replied Mr. Rupp. "I'll take it down for you," the man said, did so and went on about his selection of supplies.

 

Originally located on the western side of the Bighorn River, Worland moved to the other side after the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad announced plans to build along the east bank. The nucleus of Worland, 10 buildings, was slid across the river on the ice during the winter of 1905 -1906. The following year, construction was finished on the 54-mile-long Big Horn irrigation canal, opening some 30,000 acres to agriculture. It had been begun almost 20 years earlier. A new sugar beet processing plant in 1917 attracted more farmers and workers from the Midwest and many Germans and Ukrainians. The discovery of oil in the Hidden Dome field in that same year brought boom times as speculators flooded the area. Oil and agriculture, especially sugar beets, have remained important ever since, although oil production has declined natural gas production has been on the increase.

Annual Events

 

Culturefest & the Cloud Peak Freedom Run each year on the second weekend in June area folks bring their heritages out and celebrate their culture. The morning starts with a 5k/10k run walk that is the beginning wondrous day. From that point on it is music, singing, dancing and food from the many cultures that diverge in this small community.

 

The second weekend in August Worland plays host to the Moonrock Equestrian Event, this English riding event is not often seen in this part of the country and has a terrific cross country course. Next weekend is the Wyoming State Championship BBQ & Blue Grass Music Fest; this event attracts folks from all around the region for great food, fun competition and fine music.

 

The Washakie County Fair is towards the end of July and fist of August, with every thing you expect in an old fashioned western fair. Horse shows, livestock judging, art, photography, food and music.

 

As summer rolls into fall watch for the orange hats and vests to spring upon our area, as hunting season arrives in October we gather wild game and information for your convenience at Hunterfest November 13, with giveaways that include a new Hunting rifle and wild game burgers.

 

•For more information call (307) 347-3226 or see www.worlandchamber.com or www.tensleepworlandwyoming.com

 

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