Walcott, Wyoming

Walcott Hotel, 1922

University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Lora Webb Nichols Papers, Accession Number 01005, Box 6, #4680

The Town of Walcott was not added to The Complete Official Road Guide to the Lincoln Highway until its 3rd edition in 1918. This may be due to the fact that the highway never directly passed through the town.

The post office was established in 1900 as the Wolcott Post Office. The name change occured two years later in 1902. Ten years later in 1910, the Rawlins Republican referred to the town as one of those “sturdy, prosperous, steady going country towns of which little can be said aside from the fact that it is a good business town and trading point.”[15] Despite the lackluster introduction, the paper goes on to introduce the small but growing town as being home for “about three hundred souls.”[15] Advertisements for the Walcott Hotel can be found from as early as 1901 until 1919 claiming to be “The best place to stop when going to Saratoga and Encampment.”[16]

While the 1918 Lincoln Highway Road Guides lists a population of 100, the fluctuation may be accounted for by the industry taking place in Walcott. The Rawlins Republican notes Walcott as being a major shipping destination for large numbers of sheep who are sheared there. [15] While tourist and miners may have only seen Walcott as a terminus while traveling south to Encampment and Saratoga, the newspaper remain optimistic of the town. The paper states, “there are rumors of a bright future for this little place, when an irrigation project is completed and many ares of land adjoining the Walcott are brought under irrigation.”[15]

Rawlins Republican February 01, 1910, page 21. Wyoming Newspaper Project

While the bustling future that the Rawlins Republican predicted may have not come true, Walcott junction remains a prominent place for current travelers on Interstate 80. In John Waggener’s book, Snow Chi Minh Trail: This History of Interstate 80 Between Laramie and Walcott Junction, Walcott sets one the boundary lines for the controversial placement of Interstate 80. Furthermore, the junction provides access to the towns and remaining sections of the Lincoln Highway.

Today, the town of Walcott is nearly nonexistent. A road leading to the town from Highway 30 is not well maintained, and sections appear to be located on Union Pacific Property.

Walcott, 2020

Walcott, 2020