Chugwater
Pop. 244 Elev. 5,288

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Nearby Chug Springs, at the head of Chugwater Creek, was once the site of an Indian buffalo jump. According to legend, chasing buffalo off a cliff, instead of hunting them, was the idea of a young chieftain. He was known as "The Dreamer," because he was a man of thought, not action. Derived from the sound the buffalo made when they fell into the water, the Indians called the place "water where the buffalo chug." Immigrants shortened this to Chugwater, and so it remains to this day. Today Chugwater is best known for Chugwater Chili which was created by local residents and is now sold and famous worldwide.

A lively place for such a small town, Chugwater was once the central headquarters for the Swan Land and Cattle Company, the biggest Wyoming cattle concern for many years, covering over 500,000 acres. It was also an important stop for the Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage. John "Portugee" Phillips, of Fetterman Fight fame, became the first postmaster here, and opened the Chugwater Ranch in 1876.

Chugwater is also the source of an important geologic term: Chugwater Formation. This is a telltale combination of red gypsum and shale discovered here which gives a specific Triassic dating to the rock wherever it’s found.

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