Where The Heck Is Jay Em Wyoming?
Just when a person thinks that they have explored every corner of Wyoming a name pops up that make them wonder - where is that? Is it even a real town? Was there once a town there and now it's gone?
This week I received a friend request on FaceBook from a lady in Jay Em. I assumed that to be the name of a town that had long since faded into the landscape and was now nothing more then a mention on a map.
I found it, easily, on Google Maps. There are still a few people living there. Street view shows that it even has old buildings from what was once a downtown.
Jay Em is located East of Guernsey, on highway 85, almost exactly between Lusk and Lingle.
According to the website Legends Of America "Jay Em, Wyoming began along a watering hole on the old Texas Trail that ran north-south through Goshen County. The land around the townsite was originally claimed by James Moore, a former Pony Express rider and rancher in the 1860s. By 1869, Moore had the second largest cattle ranch in Wyoming Territory, under the brand “J Rolling M”. A small stream was on his land was named Jay Em Creek. Moore died in 1873, but his brand continued to live on."
According to the story, there was a post office there which established the town, but a dispute ran the post master off. Some time later a request was put in to bring the post office back and now they have one again.
They even had a newspaper once: the weekly Jay Em Sentinel and Fort Laramie News (circulation 300) ran from 1917 to 1921.
The center of the original community is included in the Jay Em Historic District, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.