Annual Festivals: Trail Days, Summer Rodeos
The first community reached in Wyoming on Interstate-80, Pine Bluffs is on the old Texas Cattle Trail and at one time, about 1884, was the largest cattle shipping point on the Union Pacific Railroad. Visit the Pine Bluffs Rest Area and Wildlife Area, featuring an archeological site, interpretive center and a wildlife habitat trail. Just a short drive from the interpretive center is the Lab and Visitors Center, home to artifacts taken directly fromth dig site. Other attractions include the largest statue of the Virgin Mary in the US, Our Lady of Peace Shrine, the Texas Trail Museum, or enjoy a round of golf or a day at the pool.
First known as Rock Ranch, Pine Bluffs is a small town rich in amazing historical heritage. The name was changed by railroad officials for the pines on the nearby bluffs. In 1868 Pine Bluffs consisted of a tent, a slab shack with a stone chimney, and a square shed of canvas-covered poles. Cattle herds moved up the Texas Trail which ran through Pine Bluffs and became the largest cattle shipping point on the UP Railroad around 1884. A few years later, in 1898, Mr. C.W. Johnson opened up one of Pine Bluffs’ oldest stores. It was a proven success from the beginning, and remained opened until the latter half of the 20th century.
By the early 1900’s Pine Bluffs was a very well-known little town. It was once know as the best lighted city of it size in the entire United States. The Pine Bluffs Lighting Company was organized in September of 1909. This company used gas produced by a new process, giving the light more brilliance. Along with a growing town economy, agricultural endeavors were also booming around Pine Bluffs. In 1909 the local farmers got a chance to show off their hard work and dedication to the land. A unique but successful fair called the “Harvest Festival” was put on to showcase the vegetable and dry-farming section variety in the town. The main feature of the fair was the Grain Palace. Built entirely of different grain crops, this magnificent building covered 24×36 feet and 14 feet to the eaves. The Grain Palace was filled with exhibits of area artwork made from home-grown products. Before the cowboys and cattle arrived, the area was home to numerous Indian tribes. Artifacts from these early inhabitants are being uncovered at the Archaeological Dig Site during summer months.