National Register of Historic Places

Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad Passenger Depot


Date Added to Register

Wednesday, August 03, 1994

Smithsonian Number


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The Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad (FE&MV) Passenger Depot is a one-story wood structure constructed in 1886. The depot stands in the rail yards which bound the western end of the principal business section of Douglas. The design of the passenger depot was a standardized plan developed by the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad (C&NW), of which the FE&MV was a part. In the summer of 1886, Douglas owed its existence to the coming of the railroad, and the city's continued life and economic stability depended on this transportation network. When the end-of-the-line moved west to Casper in 1888, the little community nearly folded, but it continued to grow steadily as the area's resources found markets in the East, first cattle, then sheep, then coal, then oil, then electric power, each made marketable by the railroad and its ability to bring in and take out the materials and services necessary for economic success. Even Douglas's major yearly event, the Wyoming State Fair, owes its origins to the C&NW, which donated the land for the fairgrounds in 1905. As the little-changed, physical representation of the most powerful force in the history of Converse County during the period 1886-1960, the FE&MV/C&NW Depot is a significant representation of the locality's history.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources