WALKING TOUR

The Town of Elk Mountain has several historic buildings that whisper to us from days gone by.  Take a short walk down Bridge Street and across the bridge to see some of Elk Mountain's original buildings.

1. Elk Mountain Community Church

In 1905 Andrew Olson furnished the land for the residents of Elk Mountain and the surrounding area to build a church. It was named the Peoples Church of Elk Mountain. It was established as non-denominational and could never be changed. In 1948 The Quealys deeded the ground the church sits on to the town.  It was a vital part of life in Elk Mountain.

3. Town Hall / Senior Center

In the early 1940’s, a man named Mr. Howard built a meat locker. After a couple of years, he sold it to Lee and Lola Shannon. They added on to it. Eventually it consisted of the meat locker, a small café, living quarters and the telephone switchboard. Since that time, it has been used for the school hot lunch program, as a bar, a square dance club, and in 1980 the town bought it and remodeled it into the Town Hall / Senior Center.

5. Bruce House

While the contractor that built Andrew Olson’s home was in Elk Mountain, he was hired to build this house for Andrew’s sister Hannah and her husband Philip Bruce. This house was built in 1906.

7. Finn Swim Sauna

The Sauna was built by Salo Maki and was in service for many years .It used a hot fire to create the sauna.   It was a regular stop on Saturday nights for timber workers, ranchers, hay crews and town people. The women did their steaming in the afternoon

9. Elk Mountain Trading Company

On December 7, 1931, the Elk Mountain Mercantile burned down. The Hansens built a new building in 1932, renaming it the Elk Mountain Trading Company. The new store was also home to the U.S. Post Office, located in a small room in the west corner

11. Historic Elk Mountain Hotel

In 1880, John S. Jones built a big building on the east side of the river. It was a store, a hotel, and a saloon. Further down in the trees, he built a dance hall. In 1903, John and Mary Evans bought the land and the buildings, shortly thereafter, the big building burned down. In 1905 they built a new building and named it the Mountain View Hotel.

Overland Trail

The trail was integral in the development of the West and the Town of Elk Mountain.  A marker was constructed by the State of Wyoming in 1914.  This marker can be found on the hill above the town along County Road 3

2. The Old Barn

In the early 1900’s during the spring thaws, Swedes working in the timber couldn’t work, so they would build barns during this time. Andrew Olson had this one in town, built in 1906.

4. The Crossing Station

Within the center of this home is the original “Crossing Station”(circa 1860’s) The cabin was used to collect fees for the river crossing when The Overland Trail was in use. During the Civil War gold was transported to pay Union Soldiers.  It was brought by way of The Overland Trail.  Many Pioneers paid a $1.00 fee to cross.  Sometimes goods were exchanged instead of cash.  The 2-story portion was added between 1870 and 1884 with a later addition in 1975.  The home was owned by two prominent ranching families – The Quealys and the Palms during its heyday.  This grand old lady as well as her barns (circa 1885) are a testament to the old west and all the pioneers that passed through here. 

6. The Old Trading Post

This cabin was built in 1891 as a trading post to take care of the timber workers. In later years, it was a café. It has been used as rental for family living for many years since.

8. The Post Office

After 43 years as the postmaster working out of the Elk Mountain Trading Company, Phyllis Wakkuri retired in 1980. The Hansen and Wakkuri families built a new post office on the corner of Bridge and Spruce.  To this day it remains a vital part of Elk Mountain’s daily life.

10. Elk Mountain Public Library

In 1944, Leroy Hansen got an International Dealership and one of the stipulations was he had to have a shop and a mechanic. So, the shop was built in 1945. In 1980 he sold the shop to the town where it was first used as the Fire House, then it was used as the public works building, then in 2017, it was remodeled once again and became the Elk Mountain Public Library.

12. The Garden Spot Pavilion

In 1926, John Evans and his 3 sons built a new dance hall, connecting it to the old one. The old one was turned into a concession area, a ticket office and a bathroom for the ladies. Big name bands, Lawrence Welk, Tommy Dorsey, Hank Thompson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Louis Armstrong, Wanda Jackson, T Texas Tyler and many more played at the famous Garden Spot Pavilion. Now torn down, it was about 30 feet west of the Foot Bridge.

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