photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Dave Walsh 6 Jan ’16
This Wonder was a vast cattle ranching empire, covering nearly a million acres. It was among the most famous of all cattle operations back when it all began in 1883.
This Wonder was established by two brothers, Alexander and Thomas, and funded by Scottish investors, who would spend nearly 2 million pounds, over the first few years. At its peak it would span nearly a million acres, covering more than 30 different ranches, from its headquarters on Chugwater Creek westward for 120 miles to the North Platte River near Rawlins. More than 110-thousand head of cattle ranged here, on the Swan Land and Cattle Company.
Tough times would hit the massive operation early on. Alexander Swan was accused of fraud in 1886, and a severe winter that same year killed thousands of the firm’s cows and calves, pushing the company to the brink of bankruptcy. But the Swan Land and Cattle Company would re-organize, and turn to raising sheep in 1903, and would survive until 1950 when the operation was liquidated.
The Swan Land and Cattle Company, a Wonder of Wyoming.