Casper was a central hub during the great westward migration of the 19th Century. The Oregon
, Pony Express
trails all converged in Casper. More than half a million settlers took the arduous trek on these trails, dreaming of a better life. Some carved their names into Independence Rock
, an important historical landmark less than an hour from Casper off Highway 220. Many died along the way, but some stayed, put down roots, and what began as a cluster of crude shacks grew into a small town. After the ruff and tumble cowboy days, Casper’s population grew by more than 600 percent in just 20 years following the boom of oil business that began around 1910.
“…ground zero for history buffs…”
The area quickly became a hot spot for energy development with a major refinery built just outside of town. Hard times hit after the Great Depression, but Casper experienced a major boost during WWII when the Casper Army Air Field housed 16,000 soldiers who trained at more than 400 buildings. Since, Casper has flourished as a retail, medical and energy-industry service hub for Wyoming and the region. As ground zero for history buffs who want to learn about the gritty lore and legends of the Old West, the development of the energy sector, WWII or more, Casper’s rich history has fascinating stories to tell.