Downtown Chugwater, Wyoming
Chugwater is a small town in southern Platte County, Wyoming and is almost famous these days as the home of Chugwater Chili. Chugwater Chili started as a business in June, 1986, when 5 local families pooled their money and bought the Wyoming State Championship Chili Recipe. Starting in a ranch bunkhouse, the company has toured many state fairs and western shows, etc., slowly building their business one customer at a time until now they are probably the largest business in Chugwater other than ranching and farming.
Chugwater itself got the name from an old Indian legend about a warrior who didn't like hunting bison the old fashioned way. He came up with the idea of stampeding a herd of bison over the edges of the brick-red cliffs that the town is bordered by on the north and west. This is the origin of the "Buffalo Jumps." The trap's name in the local native tongue means "water at the place where the buffalo chug" (from the sounds they made as they died in the creek at the foot of the cliffs). Later, white settlers adopted the translated name, hence: Chugwater. For a while, Chugwater was a stage stop on the Cheyenne-to-Deadwood stage route. This area was also home to the Swan Land and Cattle Company and a place where Tom Horn (an infamous gunslinger) liked to hang out.
The Chugwater Formation, a siltstone or very fine-grained sandstone lying beneath the Morrison Formation, got its name from those cliffs around Chugwater. It's a very hard rock that tends to be brick-red in color because of the high content of oxidized iron minerals. The formation also shows bluish-gray streaks and spots of reduced iron content. Overlaying the Chugwater Formation is a layer of soft, high quality gypsum, and over the millenia since the harder rock was laid down (Triassic period), that gypsum has precipitated through a lot of the formation, interrupting the red rock with white veins and floaters. Being beneath the much-studied Morrison Formation and being also essentially devoid of fossils, the Chugwater Formation gets very little attention from geologists and paleontologists.
High School or Higher: 92.4%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 17.4%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 0.7%
2011 Cost of Living Index for Chugwater: 80.5
Median Resident Age: 34.3 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $30,600
Estimated Median Home Value: $84,500
Population Density: 76 People per Square Mile
Construction, Lodging & Food Services, Agriculture, Professional Services, Government, Educational Services, Finance & Insurance Services, Social Services, Arts & Entertainment, Nonmetallic Minerals
Unemployed (March 2011): 6.4%
Population Demographics: 2010
|Population by Age|
|18 & over||159|
|65 & over||43|
|Population by Ethnicity|
|Hispanic or Latino||12|
|Non Hispanic or Latino||200|
|Population by Race|
|Hawaiian or Pacific Islander||0|
|Two or more||2|