Rawlins, WY
Pop. 9,006 Elev. 6,775

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General John A. Rawlins aided General Grenville Dodge with protection of workers laying the Union Pacific Railroad in 1868. When Dodge discovered a spring here, Rawlins said he’d like to have a spring named for him, because they were so refreshing. Dodge obliged him then and there, and the town took the name of Rawlins Springs when it was established. It was later shortened to Rawlins, to avoid confusion with nearby Rock Springs.

In 1889, after the Wyoming Territorial Prison had burned down in Laramie, it was officially moved to Rawlins. The soon-to-be State Penitentiary (Wyoming achieved statehood in 1890) was not completed until 1901. During that time, the town had grown, and the prison ended up being in the middle of it. In 1981, a new prison site was established south of town, where inmates are housed today. The old Frontier Prison is now a museum and historic site.

Rawlins is also known for being the site of an iron oxide deposit mined for paint pigment. "Rawlins Red" paint is still used on barns and houses across America, and was the original paint chosen for the Brooklyn Bridge, which was approved by General Rawlins himself, then Secretary of War for the U.S. Government.

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