Youtuber Explores “Worst Town In Wyoming”, Are They Right?
Deciding what is the worst community in Wyoming to live in is subjective.
But we can pick a few criteria and maybe make an argument for one place or another.
YouTuber Nick Johnson had heard that the town of Rawlins, Wyoming was the worst - EVER!
So, he went there to find out.
You haven't seen a side of Wyoming like this before.
I traveled to the small city of Rawlins to report back on how life is in what Wyoming people say is a bad place to live. (Said Nick).
Here is his video assessment.
He did find some problems.
A higher crime rate, for Wyoming.
A higher level of drug usage than seen in the rest of the state.
Yet, if you look at this town compared to some of the worst places in the nation, Rawlins would be a great place to live.
Wyoming is known for its economic boom and bust cycles.
Rawlins has been through some of the biggest booms and biggest busts in the state.
You're getting rich one day, dead broke the next.
Currently, Rawlins is in a bust.
There is a long list of not-bad-looking homes in town that have sold for $50K or less.
Still, despite these problems, this is a much better place to live than some of the worst places in the nation.
Downtown Rawlins is still nice looking and it's safe to walk the streets.
I think Mr. Nick Johson nailed it on this one.
Yes, we can complain that some parts of Wyoming have the most crime, drugs, or poverty.
But, really, do you want to see what REALLY BAD looks like?
You won't find it here.
You'll have to leave Wyoming to see that.
What about ALMOST DEAD TOWNS?
If I say "A DEAD TOWN" I don't necessarily mean a "GHOST TOWN."
Many of the towns on this list still have people living in them, and maybe even a small business or two.
But, mostly, the town is about DONE!
Jeffery City is a former uranium mining boomtown located in Fremont County, in the central part of the U.S. state of Wyoming. The town went BOOM - BUST, very quickly when the mine shut down. At one point over 3000 people lived there. Now, about 23 remain.
Jay Em is an unincorporated community in northern Goshen County, Wyoming, just below the headwaters of the Rawhide Creek, on the old Texas Trail. You'll find what's left of it along U.S. Route 85, 35 miles north of the city of Torrington. The site of the town was a watering hole. The land around the watering hole was claimed by Jim Moore in the 1860s. By 1869, Moore had the second-largest cattle ranch in the Wyoming Territory. Population, 24.
Town Of Fort Laramie is a town in Goshen County, Wyoming. The population was 230 at the 2010 census. The town is named after historic Fort Laramie, an important stop on the Oregon, California, and Mormon trails, as well as a staging point for various military excursions and treaty signings. The town has tried to capture the tourist that travel to old Fort Laramie, without much success.
Kirby is a town in Hot Springs County, Wyoming. It was a coal town in 1907 alongside the nearby camps of Crosby and Gebo. The population was 76 at the 2020 census. But there is new hope for Kirby. The town is home to Wyoming Whiskey, the state's first whiskey distillery.
Lost Springs is a town in Converse County, Wyoming. As of the 2020 census, the population was 1. Lost Springs was first inhabited in the 1880s when it received its name from railroad workers who could not find the springs shown on survey maps of the area. The town originally had 200 residents. The coal mine closed around 1930, and the population of Lost Springs steadily declined.
I'm sure you can think of other towns to mention.
Look for another list, coming soon.
According to the latest census, some of the bigger Wyoming towns added population. But small towns in Wyoming lost numbers.
In general, rural America lost its population during the past 10 years. Cities have lost a lot of people too. Most everyone is moving to middle-sized towns and cities.
For Wyoming and other states that need workers on farms and ranches, there are a lot of unfilled jobs.
Back in town, it's been a problem finding anyone to work for local businesses. Labor is hard to find and when it is found it is hard to keep.
Wyoming has always rolled with a boom-bust economy. Look at any old map and you'll find many small towns that are simply not around anymore.
People go where the jobs are. An area might boom in the beginning, and maybe once or twice more while the town still has something worth producing. But most small western towns have faded into the landscape a long time ago because the reason that everyone moved there in the first place has been exhausted.
If you drive around Wyoming you are sure to find a few towns that will make you wonder how there is anyone still living there at all. Jeffery City, Wyoming is one of them. It's mostly an abandoned town.
Some years ago I had a chat with the librarian of Jeffery City. I had to ask why she and anyone else was still there.
While it is frustrating to see towns come and go it is never the end of the world. It is just what happens when opportunity dries up in one area and springs up in another.