This blog isn’t really about the Carbon County Library System (Wyoming) since we missed the opening hours of all three above libraries. We did peek into the windows of the Sinclair Library (more about the town of Sinclair below) and saw a neat and welcoming library, open to the public Tuesday, 3-5 pm and Thursday, 3-6 pm. This may not seem like a lot of hours but when one considers that Sinclair is a town of 400+ people and only 13 miles from the Rawlins Public Library, it is a wonderful thing this library exists and is supported by the county.
Sinclair itself is a town worthy of a visit and some description. From a distance, the town looks like something out of Mad Max, since much of the town consists of the Sinclair oil refinery. It also includes a historic downtown, constructed according to the design of Frank Kistler, the founder of the Producers and Refiners Oil Company (PARCO), in 1925. PARCO was the original name of the town until Sinclair Oil took over the refinery in 1942 and changed the town name. The PARCO Historic District is truly original, featuring the PARCO Inn, built in Spanish Colonial style with 66 rooms. The fact that we saw almost no people this rainy Sunday morning added to my fascination for this unique combination of active oil refinery, company town, and past-glory historical district.
But the really interesting attractions were in Rawlins--interesting if you enjoy the macabre. We arrived Sunday morning in a cold rain. After eating our third breakfast, we headed out to Rawlins’ two museums: the Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum and the Carbon County Museum. The Frontier Prison features many photos of past inmates, descriptions of their crimes, and a miniature working model of the gallows (including doomed prisoner). There were photos of the prison baseball team and concert band, plus dates of execution for some of the more notorious team/band members.
But the really eerie stuff was at the Carbon County Museum. I won’t write about it here, but I’ll just leave this link for the curious: OMG that is some weird 19th century stuff.