Douglas is best known for two things: the Wyoming State Fair, which has been held here annually since 1905, and the jackalope. A local taxidermist assembled the first example of the mythical cross between a jackrabbit and an antelope for display in a local hotel. There’s an 8-foot-tall concrete jackalope statue in Jackalope Square in downtown Douglas, and many businesses sell jackalope figures and merchandise.
Surveyors plotted the
town of Douglas (named for Stephen A. Douglas, the presidential candidate who lost to Abe Lincoln) in 1886, in preparation for the construction of the Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley Railroad. The railroad, which owned the town site, prohibited settlement before the rails arrived. Eager to take up residence, a few enterprising souls built shelters on Antelope Creek, outside the official boundaries. When the railroad arrived on August 22, they put their structures on wheels and moved them into town.