Latitude / Longitude:
42°29′26″N 107°49′42″W / 42.49056°N 107.82833°W / 42.49056
6,335 ft (1,931 m)
Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
Jeffrey City is a census-designated place (CDP) and former uranium mining boomtown located in Fremont County, in the central part of the U.S. state of Wyoming. The town is famous in Wyoming and the American West as symbol of a boomtown that went “bust” very quickly, as the mine was shut down in 1982 and over 95% of the inhabitants left the town within 3 years. The population was 58 at the 2010 census, far lower than its onetime population of several thousand people.
Jeffrey City began in 1931 as “Home on the Range”, the 640-acre (2.6 km2) homestead of a Nebraska couple named the Petersons, who relocated because Mr. Peterson was sick after having been gassed in World War I. Mrs. Beulah Peterson (later Walker) opened two gas pumps when the highway came through, and began cooking for those who stopped. The post office at Split Rock, 14 miles (23 km) away, closed in 1943, and Mrs. Peterson took up the task of handling the ranchers’ mail. She canceled the letters with “Home on the Range”. She retired her post office cancellation stamp in 1957 when Home on the Range became Jeffrey City. Her family members are currently restoring the old Home on the Range post office site.
Today, few institutions remain: the First (Southern) Baptist Church (which is still doing well thanks to the area ranchers who attend), a restaurant and bar called the Split Rock Café that caters to the few local residents and those passing through on the highway, and Monkingbird Pottery, a pottery studio. The Green Mountain Motel provides perhaps the only lodging along the 122-mile (196 km) route between Rawlins and Riverton.
Home on the Range became Jeffrey City when those who came to mine uranium sought to honor Dr. C. W. Jeffrey, a wealthy doctor from Rawlins, Wyoming, who initially financed the costs for prospector and businessman Bob Adams to start the Western Nuclear Corporation mining firm and open a uranium mine near the area in 1957, during the Cold War and the height of uranium demand.