Visit Historical Downtown Thermopolis

Thermopolis was named for the nearby hot springs by combining the Greek words thermo (hot) and polis (city). The town was first settled in the 1880s near the mouth of Owl Creek, just outside the reservation boundaries of the time and downstream from the town’s present-day site. It provided better quarters for visitors than the pole-and-brush “Hotel de Sagebrush” near the hot springs, and offered stores and other businesses to serve the ranchers and homesteaders on Owl Creek and along the river.
The current site was founded in 1897 after a treaty with the Shoshone and Arapaho opened up the area closer to the hot springs for settlers.
Today, you can still visit many of the old buildings in downtown Thermopolis. The saloons that were once frequented by outlaws such as Butch Cassidy, Elsy Lay, the Sundance Kid and early western movie star, Tim McCoy, have been replaced with bakeries, breweries, coffee shops, restaurants and Wyoming themed stores.
You can stroll down Broadway which has its own unique story. Back in the day, freight teams transported all goods in and out of the isolated town from distant railheads. As soon as one freighter learned of the new town, he requested a street wide enough to turn his large mule team.
Henry “Sixteen Mule Team” Johnson was reported to say, “Make it a good street. Make it wide enough to turn this darn team of mules around in.”
The town founders and surveyors honored his request, and the unique street of Broadway was laid out 150 feet wide. A treacherous stage road connected the young town to the railhead at Casper by way of Copper Mountain over Birdseye Pass. But when the first Burlington engine steamed into town from the north in 1910, the freighting era was gone forever.
In 1983, the Downtown Thermopolis Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Come visit us today!