Nearly 150 years ago, Laramie’s first mayor quit after just a few weeks on the job, which helped put Laramie on the map, Laramie Plains Museum Historian Kim Viner said.
“In May of 1868, two things happened that really made Laramie a town,” Viner said. “A provisional government was elected, and the railroad tracks arrived in Laramie.”
In June 1868, the mayor quit because “the other guys were incompetent” according to the local newspaper at the time, he said. By December 1868, Albany County was created in the Wyoming Territory, which was still under the jurisdiction of the Dakota Territory, Viner said.
While Wyoming wouldn’t officially be organized as a territory for another year and the Wyoming Territory Legislative Assembly didn’t incorporate Laramie as a municipality until Dec. 3, 1873, the Laramie City Council and Albany County Commission are slated to discuss how best to celebrate the city and county’s founding.
“We’re going to have a general discussion about some ideas of how we want to celebrate next year,” Mayor Andi Summerville said. “I don’t think the city has any specific ideas formed yet. One idea that has been mentioned is we would like this to be a yearlong event instead of just one celebration.”
Summerville said while some specific events could take place during the spring, the council might discuss the possibility of using the 150th anniversary to bolster other events around the city and county.
“The other discussion is this is not just a city celebration — this is a community event,” Summerville said. “We’d like to encourage businesses and organizations to take on the 150th anniversary and make it their own next year.”
During the joint meeting with the commissioners, she said discussions could include ideas for collaborative celebrations between the city and county.
“We also want to see how many people can say sesquicentennial,” Summerville joked about the word used to describe a 150th anniversary. “It takes some practice.”
The economical benefits of aviation are also on the joint meeting agenda, Commissioner Heber Richardson said.
“Laramie is really attractive in schools and quality of life,” Richardson said. “But I think the challenge for businesses is whether the highway will be closed or whether we have good air service.”
While some Wyoming municipalities struggle with providing their residents quality air service, Laramie is not among them, he said. By discussing the benefits provided to Laramie by the Laramie Regional Airport, Richardson said he hoped the commission, council and Laramie Regional Airport board could get on the same page about how best to move forward.
The Laramie City Council regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. today at City Hall, 406 Ivinson Ave.