Talk about the first day of school. In 1852, Wyoming Territory’s first recorded school taught the children of officers at Fort Laramie. Technically not the first public school, at a military outpost, it was in a building later made into the laundry.

Judge W.A. Carter established Wyoming’s second school at Fort Bridger in 1860. The Carter schoolhouse still exists and is part of the Fort Bridger National Historic District (photo above).

One civilian school was soon in Cheyenne, then just an end-of-tracks area, as the Transcontinental Railroad was arriving. The first buildings were actually tents, dismantled and re-erected at what would be a boom town.

A lot on 19th Street was acquired, for a 24 x 40 foot wood frame. Like most structures then, it went up quick, costing $2,235, and was finally dedicated in 1868. As the first school in Wyoming open to all children tuition-free, it was the closest thing to a public school. 112 pupils vied for space, so from the start, there was overcrowding.