Established in 1897, incorporated in January of 1899, and located in southwest Wyoming, Kemmerer has been a coal-mining community for over 100 years. Kemmerer became the county seat for Lincoln County in 1911 when Uinta County, one of Wyoming's original five counties, was divided. James Cash Penney opened the first J. C. Penney store in Kemmerer on April 12, 1902. During the 1920s, the Kemmerer area became a large center for moonshining and a large supplier of liquor for Chicago and the Midwest. This ended when Prohibition was repealed in 1933. The rich deposits of fossils in the area have long been a point of interest for paleontologists and geologists, amateur and professional, giving Kemmerer the title "Fossil Fish Capital of the World."
About the Author
Judy Julian has chosen images from the Fossil Country Museum archives, where she is the museum director. The building was purchased in 1988 from the Latter-day Saints Church with a farm loan grant. On June 1, 1989, the Fossil Country Museum was dedicated by state officials. The museum archives and gallery exhibits have grown over the last 20 years and include a replica underground coal mine, mining equipment, a bootlegging display, and a J. C. Penney exhibit. All photographs were donated to the museum from area families.
Table of Contents
1 Beginnings 11
2 Kemmerer Coal Company and Frontier 17
3 Maturing Community 35
4 Moonshining 55
5 Schools, Churches, and Businesses 65
6 People, Events, and Places 83
7 Fossil Country Museum 123