Enterprise Newsletter • Community support for Jackalope Days 2018 was IMPRESSIVE!
Douglas' new Railroad Museum unveiled during Jackalope Days 2018 kick-off events
"Jack," Douglas' own Jackalope, was among those joining in excitement June 7 as Douglas historic train depot was unveiled as the new Railroad Museum.
Even Jack the Jackalope was excited early June when the Railroad Museum, housed at the Converse County Tourism & Visitor Center, officially opened. City officials, local dignitaries and community members gathered to celebrate the occasion.

The Depot, built in 1887, was one of Douglas' first buildings and central to much of the community's history. It's the perfect location to talk about progression of the rail, and the trials and the tribulations that accompanied our nation's westward expansion.

Immediately following the completion of the depot Douglas saw an epidemic of  typhoid fever  and the worst winter in a generation, and the railroad decided to push on to  Casper  for its terminus. The town's population declined from 1600 in 1886 to 900 in 1888. By 1891  Owen Wister  reported that Douglas had a population of about 350. However, by 1910 Douglas had 2,246 residents and hosted the  Wyoming State Fair .

The Railroad Museum is surrounded by Locomotive Park, home to a collection of historic railcars.

"No other community has anything like this," says Enterprise Executive Director Cindy Porter. "We see this effort as an opportunity to entice more visitors into Converse County and the Douglas community, and to continually improve and enhance our downtown area."
Improving the Depot and its exhibits, according to Porter, was an initial step. She would like to see money invested in restoring the historic rail cars and marketing Douglas as a wonderful destination to explore railroad history. The historic steam locomotive is a rare item and something train enthusiasts welcome the opportunity to view.

"There are a lot of ways we as a community can utilize this project to preserve our own history, grow our economy and enhance our local culture," says Porter.

During the summer months the Railroad Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Douglas community applauded for pulling together for Jackalope Days 2018
Early in the year Douglas leaders decided that they wanted Jackalope Days 2018, the 50th celebration, to be bigger and better than ever before. Accomplishing that goal was going to require local non-profits, businesses and citizens to participate and volunteer at a level greater than ever before.

"That's exactly what happened," says Cindy Porter, Executive Director of The Enterprise. "We facilitated the conversations and organized the marketing, but it was the local people who truly made this year's event special."

For the first time in recent history, Jack the Jackalope made the rounds during the festivities. From riding the mechanical bull at the College Inn during the First Thursday festivities to greeting attendees throughout the weekend, he truly seemed to enjoy the celebration held in his honor.
"I hope this is the beginning of a new era for Jackalope Days," says Porter. "Collectively, our community hosted the kind of event that people will travel to attend. As a community, it feels really great to come together, celebrate and enjoy the summer. It's also nice to welcome guests and travelers into our community and share with them why Douglas is such a special place and a great community."
Cemetery has new informational kiosk
Visitors to Douglas Park Cemetery have a new informational tool thanks to the work of local volunteers and donations from across the community. The electronic kiosk is designed to help cemetery visitors locate graves. Biographies, photographs and short videos may even be included in the available information.

As one of the final events at Jackalope Days 2018, former cemetery sexton and Douglas Historic Preservation Commission member Kenney Simonton cut a ribbon, announcing the new addition to the community. Simonton was a leader among those members of the Commission who helped raise money for the project.

A more complete article on the kiosk appeared in the Douglas Budget.
Douglas Mayor Bruce Jones, center, shows Jack Morton and Charla Morton the features of the newly-installed kiosk at Douglas Park Cemetery. Photo courtesy of the Douglas Budget
Thank you to our Corporate Members!
Happy 50th Anniversary Jackalope Days!
The Enterprise | 307.358.2000 | CPorter@candoWyoming.com | SeeWhatConverseCANDO.com