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State of Wyoming

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NR By County Test

Kemmerer

 

Brian Beadles
Historic Preservation Specialist
(307) 777-8594

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  • J. C. Penney Historic District National Historic Landmark

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    The J. C. Penney Historic District is situated near the eastern edge of Kemmerer, Wyoming's business section. James Cash Penney opened his first store, which he named the ''Golden Rule'' in Kemmerer in 1902. By following rigid economies and selling for cash, Penney made substantial profits and eventually established a chain of such stores, which by 1913 were known collectively as the J. C. Penney Company. By 1928, Penney's firm was operating 1, 023 stores and doing an annual business of $176,695,989.14. The secret of Penney's rapid success was the fact the he confined his stores to small communities, refrained from expensive locations, had no fancy fixtures and handled only merchandise that created a general demand. Penney's success in turn spawned a host of imitators. Although several buildings and residences associated with Penney and his company are extant in Utah, Missouri, and New York, the Kemmerer structures are more significant not only because they show the humble origins of the Penney Company, but because it was here that Penney formulated the merchandising ideas which enabled him to create the first truly nationwide department store chain.

    Picture on file at the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, June 02, 1978
     
    Location:
    Kemmerer
     
    County:
    Lincoln County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48LN218  

     

  • J. C. Penney House

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    The J. C. Penney Home in Kemmerer is a rectangular, barely two story, gable roof, clapboard building. It is thought that it was already in existence when in 1903 or 1904 the Penney family first occupied it.. It originally was located toward the back of a long and narrow lot of the original townsite of Kemmerer in the commercial district. In the 1970s when the Town acquired a suitable piece of property as a gift from the Union Pacific Railroad Company, the house was moved to a prominent location on the downtown triangle. The house was Penney's home from about 1904 to 1909, the years when the basic organization of his nation-wide store system was formulated.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Friday, June 18, 1976
     
    Location:
    Kemmerer
     
    County:
    Lincoln County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48LN41  

     

  • Kemmerer Main Post Office

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    This thematic study includes twelve post offices owned and administered by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) throughout the State of Wyoming. These include the Basin, Greybull, Douglas, Lander, Torrington, Thermopolis, Buffalo, Kemmerer, Powell, Yellowstone, Evanston, and Newcastle Main Post Offices. The buildings represent a continuum of federally constructed post offices allocated to the state between the turn of the century and 1941. The buildings exhibit a variety of styles and sizes but maintain a common demeanor representative of the federal presence. All of the buildings were constructed from standardized plans developed from guidelines provided by the Office of the Supervising Architect in the Treasury Department. Variations in design styles reflect both the transition in the design philosophies of the Supervising Architect and the requirements developed in response to the Depression. These variations in design, as well as functions are also somewhat related to the communities in which they were placed and reflect the economic, political, and governmental context of those communities.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Tuesday, May 19, 1987
     
    Location:
    Kemmerer
     
    County:
    Lincoln County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48LN660  

     

  • Lincoln County Courthouse

     

     
     

    Read All About It:

    The Lincoln County Courthouse is one of the architectural landmarks within the town of Kemmerer, Wyoming. Constructed in 1925, the Salt Lake City architectural firm of Headlund and Watkins designed the building. Compared with other historic Wyoming courthouses, Lincoln County's structure is unique because of its distinctive neoclassical facade. The mixture of classical detailing, such as the dome and entablature, with the large brick parapet walls is an unusual combination of architectural elements. The Courthouse embodies the distinctive characteristics of Classic Revival construction as adapted to a small western community's tastes and budget. The building is associated with coal development in southwestern Wyoming and the mineral investments which ignited economic growth in the region leading to the eventual establishment of the county seat in Kemmerer.

     
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    Date Added to Register:
    Thursday, November 08, 1984
     
    Location:
    Kemmerer
     
    County:
    Lincoln County
     
    Smithsonian Number: 
    48LN988  

     

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