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How Medicine Bow Got Its Name

(Courtesy of US Forest Serice)
(Courtesy of US Forest Serice)
Medicine Bow National Forest dates back to May of 1902, thanks to President Theodore Roosevelt, but the legendary origin of the name goes back before then.
The Native American tribes of southeastern Wyoming found mahogany of great quality. Friendly tribes would assemble and construct weapon bows, and powwow about cures of diseases. That was shared in hybrid speech between them and early settlers. It was called making medicine, but eventually settlers used the term with making bow, and the result was Medicine Bow.
The story of the town of Medicine Bow started as another bustling transcontinental stop west of Cheyenne. The population, though, decreased in the post Lincoln Highway era, when I-80 went around it. The 2010 census population was less than 300.

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