Goshen County is located in southeastern Wyoming, and it is home to many unique and interesting events in history. Here are seven facts about Goshen County's past that you may not have known.
1. Goshen County was established in 1911, making it one of the newer counties in Wyoming. Prior to its creation, the area was part of Laramie County.
2. The Oregon Trail passed through Goshen County, and many pioneers traveled through the area on their way to the West Coast. Some of their wagon ruts can still be seen today, and there are markers along the trail to commemorate its importance in American history.
3. Goshen County was once a prominent area for farming and ranching. In the early 20th century, the county was known for its sugar beet crops, which were processed at a local sugar factory in Torrington. The sugar beet industry declined over time, but ranching remains an important part of the local economy.
4. During World War II, Goshen County was home to a Japanese-American internment camp. The Heart Mountain Relocation Center housed over 10,000 people of Japanese descent who were forcibly removed from their homes and businesses on the West Coast. Today, the site remains a stark reminder of a dark chapter in American history.
5. Goshen County is home to one of the smallest incorporated towns in the United States. The town of Yoder has a population of just over 150 people, and it is known for its annual Fourth of July celebration. The town also has a popular restaurant called the Yoder Café, which serves up classic American diner fare.
6. Goshen County has been the site of many UFO sightings over the years. The area is famous for the "Torrington UFO sighting" of 1976, which was witnessed by dozens of people and even captured on film. While many of these sightings can be explained as natural phenomena or aircraft, they continue to be a source of fascination for UFO enthusiasts.
7. Finally, Goshen County is the birthplace of several notable individuals, including former Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer and Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner. Gardner, a wrestler, famously defeated Russian wrestler Alexander Karelin in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, ending Karelin's 13-year undefeated streak.
Overall, Goshen County has a rich and varied history that is worth exploring. From pioneering settlers to Japanese-American internment to UFO sightings, this area has played a unique role in shaping American history.
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