Fort Laramie Three-Mile Hog Ranch

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Fort Laramie Three-Mile Hog Ranch
Fort Laramie Three-Mile Hog Ranch is located in Wyoming
Fort Laramie Three-Mile Hog Ranch
Nearest city Fort Laramie, Wyoming
Coordinates 42°11′49″N 104°37′20″W / 42.19694°N 104.62222°W / 42.19694; -104.62222Coordinates: 42°11′49″N 104°37′20″W / 42.19694°N 104.62222°W / 42.19694; -104.62222
Built 1873
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 75001901
Added to NRHP April 23, 1975[1]

The Fort Laramie Three-Mile Hog Ranch was built to serve Fort Laramie, in eastern Wyoming, as a social center away from the soldiers' post. It became notorious as a place to gamble, drink, and as a center for prostitution, with at least ten prostitutes always in residence. The location is notable as an example of one of only a few military bordellos still standing in the United States by 1974, the time of its nomination to the National Register of Historic Places[2] The Fort Laramie site was one of a number of so-called "hog ranches" that appeared along trails in Wyoming.[3]

Located about 3 miles (4.8 km) from Fort Laramie, the ranch was established in 1873 by Jules Ecoffey and Adolph Cuny as a trading post and saloon. The next year prostitution was added as a further attraction.[3] One of the young prostitutes was said to be Martha Jane Cannary, more popularly known in later years as Calamity Jane.[4] Both Ecoffey and Cuny were dead by 1877. The site was important as a social, commercial and transportation center, the nearest town of any size being 85 miles (137 km) away. The Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage Company operated a hotel for stage passengers, which apparently coexisted with the bordello, both operating until the stage line was abandoned in 1887.[5]

The ranch was described by U.S. Army Lieutenant John Gregory Bourke:[3]

... tenanted by as hardened and depraved set of witches as could be found on the face of the globe. It [was] a rum mill of the worst kind [with] half a dozen Cyprians, virgins whose lamps were always burning brightly in expectancy of the coming of the bridegroom, and who lured to destruction the soldiers of the garrison. In all my experience I have never seen a lower, more beastly set of people of both sexes.

Two structures remain. A U-shaped lime-grout building housed the bar, several rooms, and a cellar, along with a wooden barn. Lime-grout was used as an early form of concrete. Other buildings, now vanished, included a barn with loopholes for defense, eight "cribs" or two-room cabins for prostitutes,[3] shops and a pool hall.[5]

The Fort Laramie Three-Mile Hog Ranch was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ "Fort Laramie Three-Mile Hog Ranch". Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  3. ^ a b c d DeArment, Robert K. (2007). "John Owens". Deadly Dozen 2: Forgotten Gunfighters of the Old West. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-8061-3863-3. 
  4. ^ Griske, Michael (2005). The Diaries of John Hunton. Heritage Books. p. 85. ISBN 0-7884-3804-2. 
  5. ^ a b Hedren, Paul L. (December 8, 1974). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Fort Laramie Three -mile Hog Ranch". National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 

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