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Reader Requested Short Review of Sheridan, Wyoming
Sheridan (population 18,000) sits on a rolling prairie along I-90 in north central Wyoming. Here in the authentic American West, Sheridan is a place that started as cattle hub and got is name from a Civil War commander. It definitely plays up its Western heritage for tourists, but a more practical, down-to-earth town is hard to find.
The cost of living meets the national average. Nearly 40% of the population is age 45 or better, and residents overwhelmingly lean to the right politically. Thirty-two percent of locals have a college degree. Racial diversity is minimal. The crime rate is well below the national average, so much so that many residents do not lock their doors at night.
The median home price is $265,000, and many homes are ranch ramblers. The Powder Horn is a golf community with elegant homes and beautiful views.
Sheridan has a reputation as a nice place. Drivers are courteous. Roads are not crowded. The night skies glisten with stars. Individualism, traditional values and hard work are longstanding tenets.
The town's historic core is its main draw, evoking a time when cattle barons were kings. Today, there are more than 30 historic structures and landmarks. Old-fashioned antique stores, hotels, saddle retailers, boot shops, cowboy hat stores and restaurants with dark wood and tin ceilings add to the Old West feeling.
The annual Sheridan Rodeo, one of the country's largest, brings tourists and far-away neighbors to town for a parade, pancake breakfasts, shootout re-enactments, riding events and more. The Wild West Wine Fest is a yearly event to raise money to purchase the 225 flower baskets that hang from Main Street's historic street lamps. The Christmas Stroll features trolley rides, live entertainers, a lighting contest and fireworks.
Every third Thursday residents come out for a food and music celebration. The farmers' market happens every Thursday in June, July and August and features live music. Sheridan College (2,050 students) has symphony orchestra and theater presentations.
The rugged Big Horn Mountains, just five miles away and often topped with snow even in summer, are always open for camping, hiking, fishing, skiing, snow shoeing and wildlife viewing. Stunning Yellowstone National Park is just four hours away, as are South Dakota's Black Hills.
Sheridan has a Walmart, a Shipton's and some other box stores, but many shopping and dining options cater to tourists. Many locals drive 90 minutes to Billings, Montana for more selection.
Memorial Hospital is a 72-bed facility with a specialty in intensive care. It is accredited by the Joint Commission and accepts Medicare patients.
Senior services for people age 60 or better are provided by the Sheridan Senior Center. Meals, a mini-bus that offers door to door services and a variety of social activities are Center highlights.
The elevation is 3,800 feet above sea level, so winters are cold with daytime temperatures in the teens and 20s, and summers are cool with temperatures in the 60s and 70s. On average, the area receives 14 inches of rain and 70 inches of snow per year (a four wheel drive vehicle is a good idea). And because this is Wyoming, the wind is ever present. People say, though, that Sheridan is not as windy as southern Wyoming where 200-ton locomotives are occasionally blown off the rails (or so they say).
Sheridan has a few drawbacks. It is a remote place, and once tourist season ends, it can feel a little lonely, particularly when the sky turns gray, the tumbleweeds skip across the road and the prairie just outside of town stretches as far as the eye can see. Cultural amenities are few, and there is no public transportation.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes | Is Wyoming Tax-Friendly for Retirement? Yes
A remote location and long winters might be considered drawbacks, but safe neighborhoods, a fun Western heritage and bountiful outdoor recreation make Sheridan a place to consider if thinking about a Western retirement.
Wyoming's territorial legislature granted women the right to vote in 1869. It was the first government entity in the world to recognize "female sufferage." The Equality State entered the Union about 21 years later on July 10, 1890.
The 10th largest state by area, Wyoming is one of the country's smallest by population. The mean elevation is 6,700 feet above above sea level. The state can be divided by three distinct land areas. The Great Plains to the east are characterized by short grass, cottonwoods, and shrubs. Devils Tower National Monument rises out of this prairie. Ranges within Wyomings include the Big Horns and the Tetons. Ranges are separated by high plateaus known as the Intermontane Basins.
Depending on elevation, Wyoming can have cold winters and warm summers. Rain is rare. Snowfall in some mountain areas piles up to 200 inches or more per year. The southeastern portion of the state sees late spring thunderstorms and early summer tornados.
Tourism, energy, and agriculture contribute to the state's coffers. More than six million people visit Wyoming's national parks and monuments per year. Half of those visitors come to see stunning Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.
An important part of Wyoming's cowboy culture, farms and ranches are leading producers of beef, hay, sugar beets, and wool. A major source of coal, coalbed methane, and crude oil, the state also has rich reserves of trona and natural gas.
Nellie Tayloe Ross became the country's first female governor in 1925. No other woman has served as Wyoming governor since.
Population - 585,501
Persons 65 years old and over - 15%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 92%
Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 26%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 10%
White persons, not Hispanic - 86%
Median household income - $59,113
Median home value - $199,900
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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