Wind River Basin


From Wyoming Tales and Trails

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This page: Dubois continued, the Branding Iron.

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Table of Contents
About This Site

Dubois, 1930's, looking east.

In addition to the Rustic Pine Tavern another of the principal early watering holes was the Branding Iron constructed in 1934. It was originally owned by Leslie Edwin Wright and Tom Hulett visible in the above photo past the Frontier Cafe.

Dubois, looking west, 1933.

Dubois, Looking east approx. 1952. Branding Iron on left.

Branding Iron Saloon, Dubois

As can be seen in the next photo, The Branding Iron was divided into two section, the bar and a dance hall.

Interior, Branding Iron, Dubois

Note the device in far room, also note slot machine near end of bar. In 1985, Earl Easterday and his wife recalled that on Saturday nights

"there was just standing room only in the bars because they could gamble * * *. They had more people on Saturday night than they got in two weeks in the bars * * *. They had slot machines and gambling, poker games, crap tables and everthing else going full blast."

In town, other establishments such as Alice Lyons' "Smokehouse" and a facility operated by Mabel McFarland, known locally as the "Snake Farm," also provided entertainment for lonely tie hacks.

Sign on the Front of the Branding Iron.

One version of the origin of the Bucking Horse and Rider logo on Wyoming license plates is that it was originated by Les Wright who drew it as a logo for his bar (note sign on the Branding Iron) and later presented the drawing to then Secretary of State Lester C. Hunt. Hunt denied this version and contended that he sketched the logo out, and paid Littleton, Colo. artist Allen T. True $75.00 for a finished logo. The purpose of the logo was to make it more difficult to counterfeit license plates. Thus, Wyoming became one of the first states to feature a logo on its license plates. True is also noted as the artist for murals in the Capitol Building in Cheyenne. The Bucking Horse and Rider has appeared, PETA notwithstanding, on Wyoming License Plates since 1936.

The bar portion of the building burned in 1948. The dance hall was saved and reopened as a saloon. The building was again gutted by fire in 1984 and was restored. The facility is now operated as the "Whiskey Creek Saloon." The name "Branding Iron" is now used on a motel, the Branding Iron Inn on the curve past Welty's.

Branding Iron Inn, 2006.

Next Page: Dubois continued.