POINTS OF INTEREST EXTERIOR
The dome of the Capitol is made of copper. It tarnishes so badly that in 1900 gold leaf started being used on the exterior of the dome. The 24-carat gold leaf dome is visible from all roads entering the city. It has been gilded five times, first in 1900 and most recently in 2010. A highly skilled person is needed, because if the gold leaf is touched by fingers in handling, it will disintegrate. The peak of the dome is 146 feet high and the base is 50 feet in diameter.
Commanding a prominent position in front of the Capitol are the statues of Chief Washakie and Esther Hobart Morris. Replicas of both stand in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. Chief Washakie was Chief of the Shoshoni Tribe for more than 60 years. He died in 1900 at the age of 102 and was buried with full military honors. He was well-liked and respected.
Esther Hobart Morris
Esther Hobart Morris played a role in granting women's rights in Wyoming. The Act to grant women the right to vote was introduced November 27, 1969 during the First Territorial Assembly and was signed by governor John Campbell on December 10, 1869. Wyoming was the first government in the world to grant women's suffrage and was thus named the "Equality State". Esther Hobart Morris went on to be the first women Justice of the Peace in 1870.
The State Seal
The Great Seal of the State of Wyoming was adopted in its present design by the second State Legislature in 1893. The original design was submitted in 1891, but the main objection to the seal was that the figure of the woman was unclothed. For two years the state was without an official state seal. The two dates on the seal, 1869 and 1890, commemorate the organization of the Territorial Government and State Government. Upon a five-point star the number "44" appears, signifying that Wyoming was the 44th state to be admitted in the union. The draped figure in the center symbolized the political status woman have always enjoyed in the state. The male figures typify the livestock and mining industries of Wyoming.
Wyoming State Flag
The Wyoming State Flag was designed by Verna Keyes, of Casper and was adopted by the 14th Legislature on January 31, 1917. The original sketch is in the possession of the Wyoming States Archives. The state seal is in the heart of the flag. On the bison the seal represents the custom of branding. The colors of the flag are the same as those of the U.S. Flag. The red border represents the Indians, as well as the blood the pioneers shed in giving their lives to claim the soil. White is the emblem of purity and uprightness of Wyoming. Blue, the color of the sky and mountains, is symbolic of fidelity, justice and virility.
The Wyoming State Flag was designed by Verna Keyes.
On the east lawn of the Capitol grounds stands a bronze bison statue. It was a gift to the state made possible by donations from Wyoming citizens. The handsome statue is the work of Cheyenne native Dan Ostermiller.
Spirit of Wyoming
On the west lawn of the Capitol grounds stands a bronze statue called "The Spirit of Wyoming". Conceived as a symbol to represent Wyoming's people, it depicts a cowboy and his horse at odds with nature and its elements. It's the work of international award winning sculptor and artist Edward J. Fraughton. The statue weighs nearly 4,500 pounds and stands on a five foot, precast base for a combined height of over 18 feet.
A replica of the Liberty Bell stands on the Capitol grounds at the corner of 24th Street and Carey Avenue. In 1950 the U.S. Treasury Department cast 55 replicas of the bell and sent them to each of the states and territories.
Spanish American War
On the Capitol grounds at the opposite corner at 24th Street and Central Avenue stands a statue dedicated to those who served in the Spanish American war.
Mrs. Nannie Steel reported that in 1876, nine years after the town of Cheyenne was established, there were only 12 trees in Cheyenne. The next year, however, Major John Talbot ordered 20,000 young trees and willow cuttings from Nebraska for planting in the vicinity of Cheyenne. The Wyoming State Forestry Division created a guide to the specimens around the Capitol grounds. The guide is located in the Capitol Rotunda near the information desk.