Step back in time!
Learn about Laramie’s flora, fauna, geology, and the history of the area’s first prisons, railroads and pioneering women at interactive exhibits in over a dozen local museums.
American Heritage Center
Location: 2111 Willet Drive, Laramie
The American Heritage Center hosts the University of Wyoming’s archival collection of rare books, historical manuscripts and research materials on American history and culture. One of the largest non-governmental repositories in the nation, internationally acclaimed for it’s fine holdings, the AHC is open to the public.
The Ames Monument
The highest point on the original Transcontinental Railroad is marked by a 60 ft tall granite pyramid, erected in 1882 and now a popular tourist attraction. The Ames brothers are credited with the completion of the tracks that linked the coasts and are commemorated with two nine-foot tall bas relief portraits near the top of the stone structure. The monument is open year-round, weather permitting.
Location: Take I-80 east from Laramie, then take Exit 328 to County Road 234 (Monument Road) and drive two miles south. (Look up mileage)
University of Wyoming Anthropology Museum
Location: 12th and Lewis Streets, Laramie
(307) 766-2208 or (307) 766-5136
Centrally located on the University of Wyoming campus in the Anthropology building, this fine museum offers varied exhibits that will delight every visitor, from the armchair enthusiast to the specialist. Display topics include archeology, ancient languages and cultural anthropology and feature the recent work of students and faculty as well as internationally acclaimed experts.
University of Wyoming Art Museum
Location: 2111 Willet Drive, Laramie
One of Wyoming’s finest collections of art can be fund in the award winning Centennial Building, in the Art Museum of the University of Wyoming. The varied collection features some familiar work as well as newer work destined to become classic! Explore the works of celebrated masters as well as up and coming artists through a rotating schedule of exhibits.
University of Wyoming Geological Museum
Location: S. H. Knight Geology Building
The University’s Geological Museum, Wyoming’s oldest museum, was recently renovated to showcase fossils, rocks and minerals of the state. If y want to explore the truly ancient history of this incredible state, this is the place! Academic programs and research rare also featured at this museum, which is open to the public.
Wyoming Territorial Prison
Location: State Historic Site 975 Snowy Range Road, Laramie
Wyoming’s territorial days and early statehood were a time of Wild West outlaw behavior, and the Territorial Prison held over a thousand violent and desperate criminals, including the notorious Butch Cassidy. Listed on the National Register of Historic Sites, this imposing stone structure was built in 1872 and is now a popular tourist attraction.
Laramie Plains Museum
Location: 603 Ivinson Street, Laramie
Set on the property of the magnificent 1892 Ivinson Mansion, the Laramie Plains Museum features one of the region’s finest historic homes. The splendor of the Victorian Queen Anne style is on display throughout its 23 rooms. The history of Laramie and the surrounding area is also showcased with displays on cowboys, Indians, sheep ranching, and other changing exhibits. Thousands of visitors from around the country and the world, along with hundreds of regional school children, view and learn from its collections each year. Located on a full city block between 6th and 7th Streets, it is a must-see when visiting Laramie.
Tours last about an hour and are guided by senior and junior docents. Reasonable rates include discounts
for seniors, students, and families. Call for hours, as times vary with the seasons. Generally, the museum and gift shop are open Tuesday through Saturday afternoons. During the summer season, hours are extended to full days and Sundays. It is closed on Mondays, but there is no charge for visitors to stroll the Victorian gardens, sit on the benches, and enjoy
Location: 1st and Sheridan
If you’ve ever wondered how trains navigated Wyoming’s massive annual snowfall, the Snow Train, located right downtown, will answer your questions! Featuring a steam engine dating back to 1903, a bunk car built in 1929, a caboose from 1951 and a wedge-shaped rail snowplow built in 1953, this monument is dedicated to the men and women of Wyoming who cleared snow from the rails so passenger and freight cars could operate through the tough winter months.
Nici Self Historical Museum
Location: 2734 Highway 130, Centennial
The windswept ranches of Wyoming’s high plains play an important role in the development of this state. For a glimpse into the history of that ranching life, step into the Nici Self Historical Museum. The depot building that houses most of the museum’s collection was built in 1907 by the Laramie Hahns Peak & Pacific Railway.
Laramie Railroad Depot Museum
Location: 1st and Kearney Streets, Laramie
The railroad connected Wyoming citizens to the rest of the country and brought eager settlers and prized goods previously unavailable to the territory. The Laramie Depot, which served as the Union Pacific depot until 1971, and as an Amtrak station until 1997, preserves the railroad heritage of the Laramie area in an attractive museum.
University of Wyoming Insect Gallery
Location:Room 4018, Agricultural Building, Laramie
The University Insect Gallery will satisfy the curiosity of the most passionate insect enthusiast and spark your interest even if you didn’t know you love bugs. With displays of insects, a small zoo with living creepy crawlers, an interactive discovery cabinet and a browsing library of bug books for kids, this section of the Insect Museum has something for everyone.
University of Wyoming Planetarium
Location: Physical Sciences Building Basement
(307) 766-2613 or (307) 766-6150
The planetarium at the University of Wyoming offer displays and classes for kindergarten kids, college students, community groups as well as the general public. Equipped with a Spitz star ball projector and affiliated with the Department of Physics and Astronomy, this place will take you on a journey to outer space without leaving your seat.
University of Wyoming Louis O. and Terua P. Williams Conservatory
Location: Aven Nelson Building 9th Street and University Avenue
Even in the chill of Wyoming’s dark winters, you can always find something in bloom at the Williams Conservatory. The foyer features orchids and a variety of tropical plants. This Conservatory is open year round and is a soothing stop on any campus stroll.
Wyoming Women’s History House
Location: 317 South 2nd Street, Laramie
On September 6, 1870, Louisa Ann Gardner Swain became the first woman in the world to cast a ballot, right here in Laramie, Wyoming. The 1869 Wyoming Suffrage Act was the first in the world to grant women the right to vote and full civil equality with men. The Wyoming Women’s History House was constructed in 2003 to honor the extraordinary events and women who gave Wyoming the nickname “the Equality State”.
Albany County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 2182, Laramie, WY 82073
The Albany County Genealogical Society helps people interested in researching and writing their family histories. Free meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 7 PM at the First United Methodist Church on the corner of 13th and Harney Street. At these meetings members of the Society will help visitors learn to use historical records to trace their own genealogy and connect with others seeking their ancestors.
Albany County Historical Society
P.O. Box 2303, Laramie, WY 82073
For a glimpse into the history of the Laramie area, join the Albany County Historical Society at one of their free public meetings. Every third Tuesday between September and May they give a free presentation on a historical topic of interest. Meetings are held at the Alice Hardie Stevens Center at the Laramie Plains Museum at 603 Ivinson Ave.
Wyoming State Historical Society
P.O. Box 247, Wheatland, WY 82201
For a broader sense of the history of Wyoming, check in with the state wide Historical Society. In addition to local gatherings, like the monthly presentations given by the Albany County Historical Society, the state wide organization features several yearly get togethers, including popular history treks.