It started as a "man camp" and was called White City because of all the white tents people lived in at the time.

Then, as terminate structures were built the name was changed.

Superior was known as Reliance until July 14, 1906.

Superior exploded to 3,000 people who came in to work underground coal mines.

At one time Superior could boast of two banks, one laundry, a skating rink, a bowling alley, two Post Offices, and a blacksmith shop.

During that time there was a melting pot of races, religions, nationalities, cultures, and music.

Back in 1936, thirty-three nationalities were on the payroll of the Union Pacific Coal Company.

Americans (white), Austrians, Italians, English, Finlanders, Slovenians, Greeks Scots, Croatians, Tyrolese, American (colored), Dalmatians, Japanese, Russians, Swedes, Germans, Irish, Polish, Serbians, Mexicans, Hungarians, Welsh, Canadians, Belgians, French, Bulgarians, Danes, Spanish, Holland, Romanians, Australians, Montenegro and Chinese.

During the silent movie days, the town even supported an opera house and movie theater, with someone playing the piano to add texture to the silent screen.

Today, 336 folks are left in a living ghost town.

attachment-Superior Wyoming

It is worth visiting Superior.

You can take part in “treasure hunting” in what's left of the old town site.

The town is high, at around 7000 feet above sea level.

They enjoy cool summers but cold winters.

Star gazing out there is spectacular.

A partial building left standing is the Union Hall. This place was once a dance hall and state, saloon, grocery store, bowling alley, doctor, and dentist office.

Be sure to visit the nearby Horse Thief Canyon. That place was named because, well, horse thieves hid their stolen horses there.

What is left of Superior is worth visiting to see what is left of a once-bustling town. Another almost Wyoming Ghost Town.

That's not the only one, obviously.

These two Wyoming towns are battling it out to see who can hang on the longest.


When folks in big cities visit Wyoming they have no idea how people out here can live in such wide-open nothingness.

It seems strange to them.

But imagine how people in Wyoming see big cities.

For example, the Wyoming town of Shawnee has a population of 5.

Just up the road is the town of Lost Springs, population 6.

Both towns are on Highway 20 just west of Lusk, Wyoming.

The people of Shawnee have NO IDEA how the people of Lost Springs deal with all that congestion.

Old house in Shawnee
Old house in Shawnee

Shawnee Post Office was established on February 7, 1887 with Frank S. Macomber as postmaster It was discontinued on July 9, 1888 but re-established on February 28, 1911. (Wyoming Post Office)

Shawnee is near producing coal mines, and drilling is carried on in the Shawnee Oil Field northwest of town. (Wyoming Guide).

They had a school once that took care of a good part of that side of the county.

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 only store in Shawnee and it's closed.
The only store in Shawnee and it's closed.

The town was incorporated in 1911, and it originally had 200 residents, most of whom worked at the nearby Rosin coal mine.

After the coal mine closed around 1930, the population of Lost Springs steadily declined.

At one point Lost Springs had a population of 1.

But then some people moved in and the town BOOMED to 6.

Lost Springs is now such a thriving metropolis that they get their own highway sign announcing their population. The town of Shawnee has never been honored with such a sign.


Both towns have a park.

Shawnee boasts that their park has a playground for the kids.

Lost Springs brags that their town has PUBLIC TOILETS.

It also has a shelter with picnic tables. Though, they never really use it for anything.

Shawnee wants to know why their park would need public toilets when the only kid in town can just walk a few yards and he's home.

Why have a shelter and picnic tables when there is absolutely no one there to use them?

Who is taking care of the public toilets in Lost Springs? Out of the 6 people who live there does one of them have the job of checking on it to see if it needs cleaning and new toilet paper?


Sure, you can go on a brag that you have such a fancy park, but what's the point?

One resident of Shawnee figured that if he lived in Lost Springs he might feel obligated to use that public toilet now and then.

His taxes are paying for it. He might as well get some use out of it.

Lost Springs wants to know what Shawnee plans to do if someone is playing in the park and needs to answer the call of nature.

The 5 people of Shawnee laughed, because nobody ever plays in their park, except that one kid, and he just walks a few yards home.

Lost Springs public toilets
Lost Springs public toilets

There is quite a rivalry between the two towns.

Big city folk will never understand it.

One fellow in Shawnee said he would move far away if his little town boomed to a population of 6.

"Did you see that fancy sign Lost Springs put up on the highway? It's OBSCENE!" said one Shawnee resident.



Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

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