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Just outside the canyon of the Uinta Mountains near the Utah line of Wyoming lies Opal –a half dozen log houses, a saloon, and many corrals. For several years, 10,000 cattle and sheep were shipped annually to Chicago from this once bustling town. As with many towns of southern Wyoming, Opal sprang up as a result of the railroad boom. The rails of the Union Pacific spread west from Cheyenne in the 1860s, and along those tracks, Opal proved to be somewhat of an oasis for weary travelers.

Opal witnessed the discovery of petroleum, and soon after during the 1860s and 1870s, oil-well drilling was done in Uinta County.

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