Guernsey, located on the banks of the North Platte River, is a town steeped in history and proud of its heritage. The community is an economic success story, despite the closing of the CF&I iron ore mine in the 1970's. The business district is healthy despite the fact that much larger towns are just minutes away.
So, what is it about Guernsey that its residents are most proud of?
Whenever the locals talk to "out of towners" about Guernsey's economy, three driving forces usually dominate the conversation. Camp Guernsey, the headquarters for the Wyoming National Guard, is usually number one, but the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad and the rock quarry on the edge of town are also important to the economic welfare of Guernsey and Hartville to the north.
Tourism has a huge impact on the town during the summer months. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day boaters, swimmers, water skiers, and campers come from all over the region to vacation on the shores of Guernsey Lake, the jewel of the Wyoming State Park system.
If you should ask residents about the schools, they will tell you how proud they are of the academic excellence offered at all levels, the junior and senior high sports program and the extracurricular activities offered to the students of the Guernsey school system. In 2008 a county-wide election approved funding to build a new swimming pool.
But it's when you ask them about the history of their community that they can keep you occupied for hours. Within just a few miles of Guernsey you can witness actual covered wagon ruts left over from the mid 1800's when hundreds of thousands of immigrants moved west through this very spot on their way to Oregon Territory, the California gold rush, or Utah.
A sandstone cliff sits just across the North Platte River from Guernsey where dozens of authentic signatures, with dates from the 1800's have been etched into the face of what today is called Register Cliff by those determined pioneers.
A trip down U.S. Highway 26 a few minutes east to Ft. Laramie National Historic Site is a "must," anyone will tell you. Here was the last military installation westbound travellers along the Oregon Trail would find before crossing the high plains, rugged mountains, and dry basins of the western U.S. It was also one of the few places where some last minute shopping could be done before continuing the slow, dangerous journey westward.
By now you should be convinced that Guernsey is worth "looking into" either as a stop on your next vacation west or as a great place to call home.