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Compass American Guides: Wyoming, 5th Edition
South Pass City State Historic Site
South Pass City State Historic Site Review
South Pass City, 2 mi west of Atlantic City, was established in 1867 after gold was discovered in a creek called Sweetwater in 1842. In its heyday, by various accounts, before the gold thinned out in the 1870s, there were between 1,500 and 4,000 residents. After Sioux and Cheyenne raids, over settlers hunting indigenous game herds and miners poisoning their drinking water, the town still boomed until going bust and dropping to double digits by 1872. Its well-preserved remains are now the South Pass City State Historic Site. You can tour many of the original surviving buildings that have been restored, and you can even try your hand at gold panning. With artifacts and photographs of the town at its peak, the small museum here gives an overview of the South Pass gold district.
South Pass City has another claim to fame. Julia Bright and Esther Hobart Morris are two of the women from the community who firmly believed that women should have the right to vote. It is suspected that they encouraged Bright's husband, Representative William Bright, to introduce a bill for women's suffrage in the Wyoming Territorial Legislature. He did so, the bill was ratified, and South Pass went down in history as the birthplace of women's suffrage in Wyoming. In 1870 Morris became the first female justice of the peace in the nation, serving South Pass City.
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