How Little America Began
Back in the 1890s when Little America's founder was a young man herding sheep in a dreary section of Wyoming, he became lost in a raging Northeast blizzard and was forced to camp out all night at the place where the original Little America now stands. On that long January night, in a terrible storm, with 50 mile-per-hour winds and 40-below temperatures, he longed for a warm fire, something to eat and wool blankets. He thought what a blessing it would be if some good soul would build a house or shelter at that desolate spot. Many times in his heart he dreamed of a haven for travelers with a crackling fire, a warm bed and delicious food. In the 1930s when he saw Admiral Byrd's picture of "Little America" in Antarctica and his isolation so many miles from his base camp, it reminded the founder of his experience in the Wyoming blizzard. The thought came back to fulfill his dream, to erect a haven of refuge on the spot of his harrowing experience. The name, of course, was a natural, "Little America." From its beginning on Wyoming's south-western desert, Little America has grown to include properties throughout the Western United States.
Why the Penguin?
Little America Cheyenne has one of two emperor Penguins presented to Little America in the 1930s by Captain Lystadt, a member of Admiral Byrd’s expedition to the South Pole. The other Penguin resides at the original Little America in Western Wyoming. It was intended that they would arrive in this country alive but the climatic change was too severe and the penguins died en route. The Emperor Penguin stands over 3 feet in height and weighs 140 pounds.