Welcome to Gillette!
In the late 1800s “Donkey Town,” aka Gillette, was homesteaded by cattle ranchers. In August of 1891, the Burlington and Missouri Railroad company pulled the first train into Gillette. Edward Gillette, a surveyor for Burlington and Missouri Railroad, suggested building the railroad route through the community of “Donkey Town”—a suggestion that saved the railroad thousands of dollars, and Edward’s reward was to have the town named after him. This also opened new markets to ranches in the rich Powder River Basin.
Gillette was incorporated on January 6, 1892, less than two years after Wyoming became a state. Small coal mines sprung up around Gillette in 1909. The first major coal mine built was Wyodak, east of Gillette. During the 1970s, more companies opened larger surface mines in Campbell County, and currently there are 14 mines in the county. Wyoming coal is shipped to 36 states where 99.99 percent of it is used to generate electricity. Today, an average of 85 coal trains daily snake their way along the railroad tracks. The main reason Powder River Basin coal is in high demand is because it is low in sulfur, which equates to very low emissions.
In the 1940s, oil exploration began in the Gillette area, and the first commercial oil field discovery was 1948. Then, in 1956, the first oil boom in Gillette began with other oil and gas discoveries in the 1960s and 1970s.
The city boasts excellent parks, golf courses, recreational facilities and the state’s premier multi-use facility, CAM-PLEX. Residents rarely mutter the phrase, “There’s nothing to do!” as there are a variety of events offered throughout the year—from rodeos to fairs to concerts and theatrical productions to hockey games and music festivals. And, if you’re wild about wildlife, nearly 77,000 pronghorn call this region home, along with a multitude of mule deer, turkey, sage grouse and more wild animals.
For statistics about the area, please visit our Just the Facts page.
(Photo courtesy of the City of Gillette.)
Gillette is the largest city in Campbell County, situated between the Big Horn Mountains to the west and the Black Hills to the east, in the Powder River Basin. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.4 square miles (34.7 km²), of which, 13.4 square miles (34.6 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.15%) is water.
The Campbell County Chamber’s more than 670 member companies can provide all of the relocation services you need—from realtors and employment agencies to physicians and neighborhood grocery stores to stylists and movie theaters. We’ve listed some of the most commonly requested services below. If you’re looking for others, please visit the Business Directory.
Want more information?
Our growing economy makes Campbell County a wonderful and exciting place to live. The Chamber has partnered with Journal Communications, Inc. to produce the dynamic publication, Images Gillette-Campbell County magazine. View the digital version of this publication.
The Chamber’s map, produced by Spring Hill Press, includes detailed maps of Campbell County and the cities of Gillette, Hulett, Moorcroft and Wright, Wyoming. View the online version of the map.
To receive a relocation packet, contact Teresa Lunbery at (307) 682-3673 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campbell County in Action
Don’t just take our word for it – see for yourself how wonderful Campbell County is in our online Photo Gallery. There are images of business ventures, Chamber events and ribbon cuttings, cityscapes, local wildlife, recreation, stunning landscapes, and so much more! View Photo Gallery.