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City Hall Mall - TravelStorys

WY Tour Gillette

Location Trip Time Travel Type
Wyoming 30 minutes

City Hall Mall

This City Hall was built during the Depression. It was built entirely with City funds at a time when that was unprecedented. Most communities needed additional funds from the federal government for projects like this, but Gillette always tried to accomplish as much as possible without taking a handout or going into debt. The building was originally to be shared with the County but the County changed its mind about spending that much money during tough times. A $30,000 expenditure by a city the size of Gillette was comparable to a 30-million-dollar expenditure by a city like New York. The building of this City Hall represented the growing optimism on the frontier of our growth and evolution from a rowdy Western town to a more modern city. Between 1910 and 1920, the population of Gillette more than doubled. Part of this growth can be attributed to the increase in homesteading in the area making Gillette the hub of an area with a radius of twenty to fifty miles. The earliest records show the Lincoln Land Company as owner of this lot (and actually most of the lots in our little town). John Daly, who you will hear a lot about in this tour, bought much of the land in the central retail and government district of the newly formed Gillette, including the site of the future City Hall. In 1935 John Daly sold this site to the Town of Gillette. It stayed city property until 1984 when it was sold to a private developer. You can hear the story of Gillette's first City Hall located in the 200 block of Gillette Avenue. The 1911 jail was located behind it. In 1936, City government moved into its new quarters right here at 4th Street and Gillette Avenue. In a newspaper article about the new building, it was described as "beautiful but plain brick building on the exterior lighted by plain candles on either side of the front entrance and a single lamp over the fire station doors." The jail section was referred to as "the city bastille equipped with steel cages." One of our notable residents of this old City Hall was Michael Enzi, currently a senator from Wyoming. Senator Enzi served as May of Gillette for 8 years. He was only 30 years old when he began his first term as Mayor, providing leadership as the city—once again—more than doubled in size. Senator Enzi still returns to Gillette when his schedule allows and he still calls Gillette home. Two doors south is the red brick George Amos Memorial Building. It was built as a library and named for the ranch foreman who left his estate to build it. It was the main library until 1983 when a larger library was built away from the downtown area.

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