Wyoming, a Guide to Its History, Highways, and People

By Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Wyoming | Go to book overview
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Tour 2A

Cheyenne--Pole Mountain Game Refuge--Junction with US 30; 40.6 m., Happy Jack Road.

Dirt road, partly graveled. No accommodations.

The Happy Jack Road is an alternate route between Cheyenne and Laramie, with side roads to the Fort Warren Military Reservation and to picnic areas. It was named for 'Happy Jack' Hollingsworth, who took up a ranch near the foothills of the Laramie Range in 1884. Hollingsworth built a small adobe house and, for many years, hauled wood from the mountains to sell in Cheyenne. He always sang at his work. Later, he left Cheyenne for the San Juan country, where he was killed by Mexicans during a brawl. This route through Cheyenne Pass was much used in the early days.

The Happy Jack Road goes north from US 30 (seeTOUR 2a) in CHEYENNE, 0 m., then swings L. on 19th Street. It crosses Crow Creek, 0.9 m., and underpasses the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, 1.2 m.

The Happy Jack Road curves westward over grassy hills. The webbed steel radio towers of Fort Warren are outlined (R) against the sky. Small, not too prosperous, farm tracts are scattered along the road.

The Cox RANCH (R), 5 m., with large barns and neat sheds and dwelling, is one of the largest race-horse breeding ranches west of the Mississippi Valley. The horses are especially well known in racing circles on the Pacific Coast. Meadows of native hay are carpets of color in spring, when shooting stars, lady's-slippers, yellow sweet peas, blue- bells, wild mustard, and other wild flowers bloom.

At 13.1 m. is the junction with a dirt road.

Right on this road to the SILVER CROWN HILLS, 1 m., where a gold- mining boom in 1885 set men to digging prospect holes. When Professor Aughey announced that a prospect called Carbonate Belle was possibly the greatest bonanza since the Comstock lode, Cheyenne businessmen agreed to put $500,000 into development work, if the assays were satisfactory. The professor managed to salt the assays, but another professor, Wilbur C. Knight of the University of Wyoming, exposed the fraud.

On October 7, 1935, a major air disaster occurred here, when 12 persons were killed in the crash of a transport plane. The cause of the accident was never determined.

At 15.9 m. is the junction with a graveled road.

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