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Laramie City ~ Union Pacific Railroad ~ Health Resort

County Seat of Albany County- Court-House

Laramie City is the county seat of Albany County, and in the year A.D. 1871, erected a courthouse and jail; a splendid structure, built of cut sandstone and brick; dimensions, 44x72 feet, and walls, including basement, sixty feet high, with cupola twenty-five feet high. The basement story is occupied as a jail. The first story above the basement is cut up into offices for the county officers and jury rooms; also, splendid vaults of iron and masonry, for preserving the archives. The upper story, comprising one large court room, 40x60 feet and twenty feet high, with two small counsel or ante-rooms. The building is constructed with taste, and in the finest style of modern architecture. Cost, twenty-nine thousand five hundred dollars, and would be an ornament to any city.

The Territorial penitentiary is also located at this place, one wing of which was built in the year A. D. 1872; the outside walls being limestone, rubble masonry, containing three tiers of cells, of fourteen each J making forty-two cells, made of brick and iron, together with other buildings thereunto belonging. Cost, forty thousand dollars.

U. P. R. R.

Laramie City is the end and headquarters of a division of the Union Pacific Railroad, and all trains stop here for meals. Here are located a round house, with twenty stalls for engines, and the most extensive machine shops, car shops, and blacksmith shops on the road west of Omaha, which give employment to over two hundred men. These buildings are immense stone structures, built in the most approved style, and very durable; and together with the Laramie Hotel, U. P. Hospital, Superintendent's residence. Master Mechanic's residence, several other dwellings, telegraph, express, and other offices, and depot, furnish quite an ornament to a tax list.

Union Pacific Railroad Rolling Mills

For a description of this magnificent structure and enterprise, which has furnished a crowning impetus to Laramie City in establishing her permanent growth and future greatness, we will here insert the official report of Division Engineer, William Cleburne, to the General Superintendent of the company:

Laramie City,
February 12, 1875.

S. H, H. Clark, General Superintend eat U. P. M. R:

I beg leave to submit the following report on the progress and condition of the rolling mills at Laramie:

The work of staking out the foundation of mill and putting down the track for the delivery of building material, commenced on the 16th of September last. The laying of the stone work, however, did not begin until September 21st, and the walls were ready for the roof in twenty seven working days from the commencement. The building is one hundred and seven feet wide and two hundred and thirty-one and one-half feet long, inside. The walls are three feet thick above the foundation, and are built of rubble masonry. The roof is supported by a double system of purline trusses, which run lengthways. These trusses are fifty-nine feet apart, and rest on two rows of cast iron columns, except at the ends, which bear on the walls. The purline trusses carry upon their lower chords a series of lintel trusses, which extend across from the purline trusses to the walls and upon their upper chords, the trusses which support the higher portion of the roof and ventilator. The roof is covered with Vermont slates, which are fastened with copper nails. For the proper work of the mills, nine furnaces have been built, with their nine stacks.

These furnaces are three door furnaces, and are capable of taking in nine piles to a turn. One of them is an old rail furnace with a six and one-half feet bottom. Above each of these, supported partly by iron columns, is place i a boiler thirty feet long and forty-eight inches in diameter. The flame from the furnace, after heating the rail piles, passes upward, then underneath the boiler, and the heat, which would be otherwise wasted, is thus employed in generating steam. These nine boilers supply steam to the main engine and five small engines. The main engine which is designed for working the roll-train, has a thirty-six-inch cylinder and a thirty-six-inch stroke, and is of 875 (eight hundred and seventy-five) nominal horse power It rests on a foundation of masonry twelve feet deep, laid with heavy Rawlins stone, and the engine is bedded in sulphur. It has a balance wheel which weighs independent of its shaft twenty-five tons. The roll-train consists of four sets of twenty-inch rolls, three high, and is fitted with a number of ingenious contrivances to facilitate the setting of the rolls.

The second size engine, for driving the blower, lathe, and doing the work of the machine shop, is a very fine engine of sixty horse power. It is supplied with steam by two tubular boilers fifteen feet long and forty-eight inches diameter, also a stack seventy-five feet high for the furnaces of this engine. In addition to the machinery already mentioned, are the following: The cold shears, for cutting old rails in suitable lengths for the piles; the double hot shears, for cutting the flat bars from the rolls into proper lengths for the second piling; the straightener; the punch and slotter combined; the double swinging saws, which saw off the completed rail, still hot, to the required length; a six ton iron post crane for lifting the rolls to the lathe. Each of these machines are worked by an engine immediately connected with it. These are all now in place and rest on foundations of solid stone-work. Two Earle pumps, which supply the boilers, are now in position and the proper attachments made for the supply from the reservoir. The steam piping will soon be finished. The painting of the wood -work has commenced, and the building is being cleared of rubbish.

Water Supply. It would be improper to omit some account of the means for water supply. The water, which is taken from a distant spring, is conveyed from the spring a distance of 12,728 feet through twelve inch pipe, into the town of Laramie City. This pipe has on it one eight inch branch, one six inch branch, and sixteen four inch branches. These branches are short, merely sufficient to permit the citizens of Laramie, for whose benefit so large a pipe was laid, to connect lines of water pipe, for town and domestic purposes, with those branches. In addition there have been laid two six inch branch pipes and 3,132 feet in length. These pipes have nine four inch branches for town accommodation, and two four inch branches, with 190 feet of four inch pipe, to the rolling-mill. The mill, when worked, to its full capacity, is capable of turning out four hundred and eighty rails, equivalent to about one hundred and twenty-five tons per day, and, will employ one hundred and sixty men.

In conclusion, I feel called upon to add that the machinery has been set up by F. M. demons, the Superintendent of the Birmingham Iron Foundry, Birmingham, Conn., who has exhibited great energy in the discharge of his peculiar duties, and afforded me valuable advice and assistance during the prosecution of the work.

The water pipe has been laid under the immediate charge of A. P. Stevens, Civil Engineer, who has had to contend with many difficulties arising from the season and the weather. I am, respectfully,

Wm. Cleburne, Div, Engineer.

Iron Foundry

April 1st, 1875.

Mr, Joseph Richardson, one of the directors of the U. P. R. R. Company, has just arrived in Laramie City for the purpose of putting the rolling mill in operation, and has brought with him the cupola and fixtures and machinery for a large iron foundry. Work commences immediately for the erection of the building, which will be of stone, uniform with, and connected to the rolling mill building, with cupola five feet in diameter, and a capacity to turn out ten tons of castings per day; and we are assured that the foundry will be in operation within sixty days. This furnace will be for casting everything wanted in that line by the U. P. Company, from a car wheel to a door handle or a stove door. It will also furnish all kinds of castings wanted by the public, from a stove griddle to an iron front for a brick block. This furnace will also furnish a market, and pay cash for, all the old iron lying loose around the country; and the company will in a short time commence the development of our immense iron mines, which lay in such close proximity to Laramie City, and manufacture their own iron. The water pipes have been tested, as well as the machinery for the rolling mill (which is now all in its place), and everything found perfect and satisfactory. The mill will be running in a few days, and the foundry in a few weeks.

Joseph Richardson, one of the directors, has kept the whole under constant and watchful supervision.

City Water Works

Our City Council has ordered the necessary pipes laid and attachment made, as described in Mr. Cleburne's report, and have ordered hydrants placed on each of the principal Street corners throughout our city; also the purchase of hose for the same.

As these immense springs from which said pipe is laid are one hundred and twenty feet higher than the town, we will undoubtedly have the finest and cheapest (almost natural) water works of any city in the United States.

Laramie City As A Health Resort

Our city, in common with all this mountain region, possesses a fine and healthful atmosphere. Our average temperature is about fifty, our average rain and snow fall about ten inches, with an altitude, as before stated in this work, of about seven thousand feet. Owing: to the dryness of the air, a temperature of twenty or thirty degrees below zero is not so unpleasantly felt as ten below in the states east of the Missouri.

Malarious diseases are almost unknown, and always amenable to proper treatment. Continued fevers are rare, and seldom fatal. Cholera infantum, the scourge of childhood in our eastern cities, only proves fatal in a very small proportion of cases. Infantile diseases generally are mild. Rheumatism, neuralgia, and acute diseases of the pulmonary organs, are not uncommon, but are mostly produced or aggravated by unnecessary exposure. Chronic diseases of the liver, stomach, spleen, or kidneys, are always benefited by a residence here. Invalids suffering with consumption in an advanced stage, or organic diseases of the heart or blood vessels, should not come to this high mountain region, as it will only hasten their death. Persons pre-disposed to consumption or asthma (where there is no organic disease of the heart or lungs), and persons debilitated by long residence in malarious countries, may come here and be assured of bettering their health. To all persons in search of health, other than those herein proscribed, Laramie City offers peculiar facilities. Good hotels, moderate rates of living, its proximity to the mountains, its attractions in the way of curiosities, scenery, the opportunity for recreation, amusement, or instruction in the way of hunting, fishing, botanizing, or mineralogizing, are all abundant and convenient.

There is not, probably, a single feeble, dyspeptic, or over worked denizen of the East who could not add years of pleasurable existence to his life by spending a few summer months here on the Laramie Plains, and among the adjacent mountains. To get the benefit of the climate, however, he should not shut himself up in the room of hi" hotel or boarding house, but should go out into the open plains or into the mountains and parks, hunt deer, elk, bear and antelope, which are in abundance, catch the speckled trout from the brooks with his own hands, and broil and eat them by his own camp fire, bathe in our pure waters, and thus put himself in direct contact with Nature's healing remedies in her own laboratory.

 

Source: History and Directory of Laramie City, Wyoming Territory, By J. H. Triggs, Laramie City: Daily Sentinel Print, 1875.

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