ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Wyoming Ghost Town.... Jay Em a town all but forgotten on the Wyoming prairie.

Updated on July 17, 2015
A
Jay Em Wyoming:
Jay Em, WY 82219, USA

get directions

Jay Em Wyoming Ghost town

Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography
Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography

Cheyenne Wyoming to Jay Em Wyoming

If you are traveling from Cheyenne Wyoming to Jay Em Wyoming this is the shortest route.

1. Merge onto I-25 North US-85 North US-87, North toward Torrington / Casper and follow 4.3 miles

2. Merge onto US-85 North via EXIT 17 toward Torrington and follow 76.5 miles

3. Turn left onto West Valley Road US-85 and North US-26, Continue to follow US-85 North for 34.0 miles

4. Turn left onto County Road 8 and head 0.2 miles

5. Welcome to Jay Em Wyoming

Wyoming Pronghorn Antelope

Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography
Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography

While on Highway 85 you will probably see some of Wyoming antelope.

More than likely while traveling to Jay Em, Wyoming you will see some of the state most common residents the pronghorn antelope grazing along the highway off in the distance.

Around the turn of the 20th century the Boone and Crockett Club who are wildlife conservation group thought that the extinction of the pronghorn was more of a probability than a possibility. The pronghorn population across the western United States was rapidly diminishing and stood at around 13,000.

Through the efforts of wildlife conservation clubs such as Boone and Crockett Club and the National Audubon Society they were able to put pressure on President Hoover and then later President Franklin Roosevelt to set aside tracts of government land for the preservation of the species.

In 1936 President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order creating a 549,000-acre tract; this was the true beginning of pronghorn recovery in North America.

Today the population of the pronghorn antelope is between 500,000 and 1,000,000.

Lumberyard in Jay Em

Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography
Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography

Brief History of Jay Em

Jay Em, Wyoming was founded in or around 1905 by a man named Lake Harris. Jay Em got its name from the initials of a local prosperous and famous rancher named Jim Moore. Jim was an ex-pony express rider that was somewhat famous during the short lived days of the pony express.

The streets were never paved or graveled in Jay Em and the town was a simple affair that barely met the necessities of the local ranching community. There has never been a town hall or community center built, but the town did have a bank, a repair shop, gas station, a water tower, a general store, lumber yard and post office, and a few full time residences.

Jay Em began to falter and decline in or around the late 1930s with the improvement of transportation, highways and roads in southeast Wyoming. The spread of the automobile and improvement of roads enabled area residents to travel to larger commercial centers like Lusk, Lingle, and Torrington. Slowly, one by one the town business went bust and the town dried up. Today there are a few full time residents, but mostly it is a town forgotten to the wind and the dust of the Wyoming prairie.


What remains of the Jay Em water tower

Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography
Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography

Jay Em most famous resident ex-pony express rider James Moore

In the early 1860's a short lived mail service was established called the Pony Express. This service was tasked in delivering messages, newspapers, mail, and small packages from Saint Joseph, Missouri across the Great Plains , over the Rocky Mountains, and the Sierra Nevada to Sacramento, by horseback, using a series of relay stations, young fast riders and even faster horses. The Pony express became the West's most direct means of east-west communication before the telegraph was established and was vital for tying the new state of California with the rest of the United States. The Pony Express only lasted 19 months.

When a young man James Moore was one of the daring riders for the pony express. Here is his story to fame.

Jim Moore made a ride which may well lay claim to be one of the most remarkable on record. He was at Midway Station, in Western Nebraska, on June 8, 1860, when a very important government dispatch for the Pacific coast arrived. Mounting his pony, he sped on to Julesburg, one hundred and forty miles away, and he got every inch of speed out of his mounts. At Julesburg he met another important government dispatch in Washington. The rider who should have carried the dispatch east had been killed the day before. After a rest of only seven minutes and without eating a meal, Moore started for Midway, and he made the round trip, two hundred and eighty miles, in fourteen hours and forty-six minutes. The westbound dispatch reached Sacramento from St. Joseph in eight days, nine hours, and forty minutes.

The town of Jay Em was named after James Moore's JM Ranch.


Buffalo Bill

Did you know that William Cody better known as Buffalo Bill was a pony express rider?

See results

Hardware and grocery store in Jay Em

Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography
Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography

Wyoming's native wildflowers are a must see

Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography
Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography

Keep an eye out for the wildflowers

Depending on the time of year and drought conditions as you travel on Highway 85 you will encounter numerous types of wildflower just along the highway. Some types you may encounter are Prickly Pear, the cactus flower pictured above. But you will also see Bachelor’s Button Bluebottle Centaurea cyanus, Jacob’s Ladder Polemonium pulcherrimum, Spotted Trumpet weed Eutrochium maculatum, Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta,, Angel Slipper Calypso bulbosa, Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria, Common Wild Rose Rosa woodsii, : Bull Thistle Cirsium vulgare and the Small flower Woodland-star Lithophragma parviflorum too just name a few.

More wildflowers around Jay Em

Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography
Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography

Another well preserved building in Jay Em

Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography
Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography

The old gas station and blacksmith shop in Jay Em

Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography
Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography

An old house in Jay Em Wyoming

Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography
Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography

On the south side of the main street in Jay Em

Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography
Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography

Street view of Jay Em Wyoming

Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography
Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography

On my trip to this magpie kept me company as I walked the dusty abandon streets of Jay Em

Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography
Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography

Winter on the Wyoming Plains

Winter on the eastern Wyoming plains and Highway 85 can be extremely hazardous. Bitter cold and blowing snow on the highway and local county roads can be and will be very dangerous. It is advisable to carry a winter survival kit in your car. It also would be advisable to carry chains if you do not own a four wheel drive.

A list of a few items to carry in you winter survival kit. And always keep the fuel tank topped off near full. It could save you and your love ones life.

  • windshield scraper and small broom
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • battery powered radio
  • water
  • snack food including energy bars
  • raisins and mini candy bars
  • matches and small candles
  • extra hats, socks and mittens
  • First aid kit with pocket knife
  • Necessary medications
  • blankets or sleeping bag
  • tow chain or rope
  • road salt, sand, or cat litter for traction
  • booster cables
  • emergency flares and reflectors
  • fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention
  • Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • battery powered radio
  • water
  • snack food including energy bars
  • raisins and mini candy bars
  • matches and small candles
  • extra hats, socks and mittens
  • First aid kit with pocket knife
  • Necessary medications
  • blankets or sleeping bag
  • tow chain or rope
  • road salt, sand, or cat litter for traction
  • booster cables
  • emergency flares and reflectors
  • fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention
  • Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter
  • a shovel

More pronghorn antelope across the highway from Jay Em Wyoming

Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography
Kurt Reifschneider of MidnightWind Photography

Put Jay Em Wyoming in your bucket list

If you find yourself traveling the lonely highways of eastern Wyoming take a few minutes out of your trip to visit this very unique ghost town. If you are heading to historic Deadwood or Rapid City South Dakota from Denver, Colorado make it an adventure and get off of Interstate 25 at Cheyenne Wyoming and head north on Highway 85 to Jay Em.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Sam Montana profile image

      Sam Montana 

      3 years ago

      I love articles like this about the ghost towns of the high plains. There is so much history on the high plains that is just fading away. Next time I go up to Wyoming, I am going to take a trip to Jay Em.

    • profile image

      Jason Ridenour 

      3 years ago

      Very cool. A lot of interesting information for those looking for a neat little random road trip.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)