Founded on the Union Pacific Railroad line, Rawlins was historically a major passenger and freight station stop along the Transcontinental Railroad route. The town has played a large part in Wyoming history as state officials, outlaws (like Butch Cassidy and Big Nose George), lawmen, scientists (like Thomas Edison), and pioneering physicians have all spent time here. With statehood, the Wyoming Frontier Prison added to Rawlins’ industry, employing many within the community.

Rawlins’ history places it squarely within the history of the United States. Native American Indians, wagon trains, railroads, and the Old West can all be found here.