DescriptionAlcova lies in a small valley rimmed by rocky hills. In 1891 a group of Easterners bought a nearby site where hot springs flowed from the walls of a canyon. An analysis of the water showed a high concentration of minerals, but the $250,000 the syndicate planned to spend on improvements never materialized.
The water that finally proved important to the town is that impounded by Alcova Dam, 4 miles south of town off SR 220. The dam stretches 700 feet in length and rises 800 feet from the canyon riverbed. Reservoirs created by Alcova and nearby Pathfinder dams provide popular recreation sites for residents of Casper and other communities.
One of the more colorful local legends involves Ella “Cattle Kate” Watson, unpopular with townsfolk because of her freewheeling lifestyle and skill at raising cattle. She secretly married rancher Jim Averill so they could double their herd while she retained her homestead in her own name. Other ranchers demanded that both leave town, but before they could make their getaway the two were hanged unceremoniously from a scrub pine. Cattle Kate's 1889 lynching made her the only woman to suffer this fate in Wyoming.
Things to SeeIndependence Rock State Historic Site