The history of Cheyenne is intimately linked to the frontier history of the United States as a whole. Named after a Native American tribe that roamed the area, early settlers in Cheyenne worked on the Union Pacific Railroad until its completion in November 1867. Drawn by the promise of prosperity, gamblers and saloon owners, thieves and opportunists, prostitutes and ranch-hands, miners, transient railroad gangs, soldiers from Camp Cheyenne, and men from Camp Carlin soon streamed in, creating possibly the most archetypal 'Western town' imaginable, and spawning thousands of cowboy narratives ever since.
These days, Cheyenne is the capital of Wyoming and its largest city, though only about 60,000 permanent residents call it home. For this reason, it has a very 'small town' feel to it, boasting all the friendliness and hospitality that that epithet implies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most tourist attractions in Cheyenne hark back to its glory days, with rodeos, an array of frontier museums, farmers' markets, and Old Fashioned Melodrama (at the Atlas Theatre) dominating the cultural fare. Eight-foot cowboy boots, painted by local artists, are dotted around the city, and there are a number of geocaches to be discovered as well. For those with even a modicum of interest in America's frontier history, or for those who wish to spend some time in a laid-back, relaxing capital city, a trip to Cheyenne is highly recommended.