Vanishing Wyoming: Part of downtown Shoshoni set for demolition

The east side of Main Street in Shoshoni is seen on Sept. 8, 2018. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

The abandoned and dilapidated string of historic buildings in downtown Shoshoni have been a curiosity for Wyoming travelers along U.S. Highway 20-26 for decades.

While for many years the once popular Yellowstone Malt Shop once bustled with tourists on their way to Yellowstone during the summer months, just across the street on the east side of Main Street the tourists were met with what seemed like a ghost town.

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The malt shop is now gone and the historic corner is now occupied by artist Ryan Tinnelli and his “House of Wonder”.  The tourists no longer stop in sizable numbers.

Shoshoni mayor Scott Peters ran on a promise to clean up the blight, and so far he’s following through.

The block of buildings were purchased from a deceased owner’s estate in 2015, according to reports from County 10. The buildings, which once housed Gambles Store and a hotel among other business, have been empty and deteriorating since a fire broke out in 1979.

Preparations for the block’s demolition have been made, but the actual demolition has been put on hold as heavy equipment needed by other county municipalities was recalled before the work could be finished.

According to County 10, demolition could start later in the fall when the heavy equipment is again available to complete the project.

In the meantime, now might be a good time to make a weekend trip from Casper to Shoshoni and take in the fascinating ruins of an old Wyoming town.

Shoshoni’s Main Street is seen on Sept. 8, 2018. The east side of the block, at right, is slated for demolition sometime this year. The historic buildings have been empty since a fire damaged them in 1979. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

A ghost sign gives a sense of what once was in an abandoned building in downtown Shoshoni. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

A look inside one of the abandoned buildings in downtown Shoshoni. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)