Amenities found at the Friendly Store in Centennial. (Rose Curtis)

As a photographer, Rose Curtis shoots the things that catch her eye. In southeast Wyoming where she lives, that often means signs.

Johnson’s Hotel in historic downtown Laramie under the glow of a nearby wildfire. (Rose Curtis)

Signs, Curtis says, make statements about history and aesthetics and culture. And in a rapidly changing world, she said, they are valuable artifacts.

GEM Automotive Service on a snowy day in Laramie. (Rose Curtis)

“These little pieces of our towns are wasting away. It’s kind of fun to snap the picture for history’s take,” Curtis said. “To know the story behind it is even better.”

Grab a six pack while your game gets processed in Rock River. (Rose Curtis)

What began as a side interest has grown into a sizable collection of images chronicling interesting, quirky or historic signs in the broader Laramie region.

Hetch Creek Ranch in Albany County advertises Wyoming beef. (Rose Curtis)

She has shot images in Centennial, Rock River and Albany County, and hopes to expand her scope farther through Wyoming once the pandemic allows for more travel, she said.

The Old Buckhorn Bar and Parlor in Laramie. (Rose Curtis)

Curtis has made and posted images of old diners, humorous advertisements and old-timey building signs on Instagram under the hashtag #wyomingsignageseries.

Daylight Donut in Laramie. (Rose Curtis)

People who have left Wyoming, Curtis said, seem to particularly love the jolt of nostalgia the pictures bring.

“It’s just like a little taste of home for them,” she said.

The Friendly Store and Hotel in Centennial. (Rose Curtis)

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Katie Klingsporn

Katie Klingsporn is WyoFile's managing editor. She is a journalist and word geek who has been writing about life in the West for 15 years. Her pieces have appeared in Adventure Journal, National Geographic...

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  1. What a terrific way to give readers a chance to think about these often seen but not always appreciated elements of our landscape. Love it and thank you~~