5 Inches by 5 inches
(12.6 cm x 12.6 cm)
Green River, Wyoming, United States
In many ways the 1897 photograph of Green River, Wyoming depicts many of the hallmarks of a frontier western town - false fronted buildings and an iconic sandstone butte of Castle
Rock - reminiscent of so many classic John Ford Westerns - in the background.
Green River was founded in 1868 and was already established when the new transcontinental railroad arrived. Although not as well known as other western town like Dodge City,
Abilene, Deadwood or Tombstone, Green River none the less was none the less - in addtion to be a way station of the transcontinental railroad - the host to several notable events in the
saga of the Old West. On May 29, 1869 Major John Wesley Powell would begin his famous expedition at Green River that would take him down the gorge by the same name and
eventually through the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. Famed Western artist Thomas Moran would first glimpse the majesty of the Western landscape when he stepped off the Union
Pacific train at Green River in 1871.
Based on other photographs and postcards of the same scene, several of the buildings can be positively identified. The large building at the center of the view just to the left of the
bandstand was the Wyoming a restaurant and saloon under the proprietorship of "Young & Estes". Perhaps catering to train passengers the building sported a sign that read "Tourist
Lunches a Specialty". A small unidentified building is next followed by a drugstore/post office. Next door the false fronted building with two dark upper floor widows was the Owl Bar.
Geen River also lay in the area frequented by outlaw gangs such as those led by Butch Cassidy and Black Jack Ketchum.