Dubois

Pop. 1,100, Elev. 6,917


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At the head of the Absaroka and Wind River Mountains, and surrounded by the varigated Badlands, is the town of Dubois. A peaceful yet bustling hamlet surrounded by many natural wonders, Dubois was not always the calm, pastoral place it has become. Situated in the upper valley of the Wind River, a gathering place for wildlife, the area of Dubois was once a battleground for Crow, Shoshone, and Blackfeet Indians, disputing hunting rights. In 1811, the Astorians passed through, and not far behind were trappers Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, and others looking for beaver and game.

The most famous Indian battle was the Crowheart Butte Battle of 1866. That same year, the first homesteaders arrived and settled just up the river. As more people arrived, a saloon opened up, and the town grew around it. Finally, in 1886, the community applied for a post office, but postal officials considered the name they wanted (Never Sweat, for the ease of life there) too improper. Instead, they proposed naming the town after Idaho Senator Dubois, who was a proponent of homesteader rights. The townsfolk found this agreeable, and the name stuck.

In many ways, Dubois hasn’t changed much since then. You can still spot ranch folk tying their horses to a rail on the main street, Rams Horn, which has a wooden sidewalk. Cattle drives and wildlife can also be seen in the middle of town. Locals can’t feel too far removed from nature with bears and moose wandering into their backyards.

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