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The History of Cheyenne Frontier Days

Cheyenne Frontier Days Train
Drew Jacksich, Flickr.com

Cheyenne Frontier Days is coming up. It’s another one of those wonderful celebrations of the West that we all live in and love. (If you don’t have tickets yet, get them here.)

They have a pretty solid line-up of concerts and artists performing this year, if that is your thing. This year (2013) is the 117th year that the Frontier Days has been helping to celebrate the west, but do you know how it all got started?

Cheyenne

53rd Consecutive Cheyenne Frontier Days
The history of Cheyenne is a sensible one. During the time when cowboys roamed the country and herded cattle across the nation, Cheyenne Wyoming became a thing. The city was officially founded in 1867, at the same time the Union Pacific Railroad was coming through on it’s way to the Pacific Ocean. As it turns out, Cheyenne ended up being a pretty important stop along the tracks as the railroad headed West.

The railroad is partially responsible for the city existing at all. And being a country town, it has its country ways. When the cowboys would come back from moving cattle across the country, they had some free time. They would spend this free time riding bulls or bucking broncos or whatever was available. Now – 117 years later – we see the repercussions of that hobby through the PBR competitions and other rodeo-like activities.

Denver Post Train

Cheyenne Frontier Days Train
Drew Jacksich, Flickr.com

The Denver Post train started running from Denver up the Cheyenne during the hey-day of Cheyenne Frontier Days. Historically, according to this website, the train was used to ferry (train puns are hard to come by) the editors and writers of the Denver Post up to Cheyenne for a day or two away from the desk and away from work.

The tradition started in 1908 and went in and out of style during the 1940s and 50s, and was finally retired in 1970. It’s final trip consisted of 27 cars and 1,127 guests. Then in 1992, there was another trip to celebrate the Denver Post’s 100 year anniversary. Since 1994, the trip has been a continuing and revived tradition from Denver to Cheyenne each year.

Two train engines are now used, the 3985 and 844. Engine 844 was built in 1944, and was the last steam engine ever constructed, according to the Denver Post. Today, and for the foreseeable future, you can buy tickets to ride the train up to Frontier Days. See if you can get tickets here.

Check out the Frontier Days Rodeo Schedule

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