Water – essential to all life. Wheatland, Wyoming, was put on the map because of water, and that is such an important component in the history of the area it can’t be overlooked. A vision of what water could do for this vast rangeland is what brought the town of Wheatland into existence in the late 1870s. The town became the county seat for Platte County because of the establishment of the largest privately owned water companies in the United States. The irrigation project brought in many new settlers who stayed and developed the area into an agricultural mecca. Scottish cattle barons, who were buying up vast amounts of rangeland, came to the county at about the same time and saw the virtue of the large irrigation system that provided the life blood to this community.
The Western way of life is still alive and well in Wheatland, and water is still a prevalent resource in its economy, along with a coal-fired power plant and the many area streams and lakes for recreational use. The abundance of wildlife and fish are in part due to the accessibility of water in this corner of a rather arid region. Opportunities for hiking, hunting, fishing, photography, boating, rock climbing and sightseeing abound within a short scenic car ride. Wheatland has a history rich in agriculture, entrepreneurship and western ways that are apparent still in this bustling community. A vibrant, historic downtown, community festivals throughout the year, beautiful city parks, walking and biking trails, a museum, active businesses throughout the town, eye-catching murals, and a welcoming attitude among the residents make Wheatland a perfect stopping point for some great day trips to explore all the facets of this Western town and Platte County.