Tag Archives: Jewish

This Day in Wyoming History… Dedication of Wyoming’s First Synagogue

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the dedication of Wyoming’s first synagogue – Mt. Sinai in Cheyenne.

In October 1915, photographer Joseph Shimitz documented the dedication of Mount Sinai Synagogue, Wyoming first synagogue.  The Mt. Sinai Congregation was incorporated in December 1910, and six years later a $20,000 [1] building was constructed at 1921 Pioneer Avenue.

This drawing of the completed Mt. Sinai Synagogue accompanied the newspaper coverage of the dedication ceremony. (WSA Cheyenne State Leader, October , 1915)

This drawing of the completed Mt. Sinai Synagogue accompanied the newspaper coverage of the dedication ceremony.
(WSA Cheyenne State Leader, October 26, 1915)

Before the building was constructed an impressive dedication service was held on Sunday, October 24, 1915.  The Cheyenne State Leader reported a large attendance at the ceremony.  Among the speakers were Mayor Robert n. LaFontaine and former Governor Joseph M. Carey.

Senator Joseph M. Carey speaking at the dedication. (WSA Meyers Neg 4342)

Senator Joseph M. Carey speaking at the dedication.
(WSA Meyers Neg 4342, photo by Shimitz)

The synagogue served the congregation for many years until 1951 when the present synagogue at 2610 Pioneer was constructed. A plaque marks the site of the first building, now part of the City and County Building. 

The cornerstone for the synagogue. (WSA Meyers Neg 4317)

The cornerstone for the synagogue.
(WSA Meyers Neg 4317, photo by Shimitz)

 

Interior of the Synagogue after completion. (WSA Meyers Neg 1243, photo by Joe Shimitz)

Interior of the Synagogue after completion.
(WSA Meyers Neg 1243, photo by Shimitz)

— Carl Hallberg, Reference Archivist

 


 

1. Accounting for inflation, the building would have cost over $460,000 today.

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On This Day In Wyoming History… 1894: Wyoming’s First Jewish Wedding

Mazzal tov to the happy couple! On September 5, 1894, the first Jewish wedding in Wyoming as officiated in Cheyenne, making today the couple’s 120th anniversary. Louis D. Jacobs married Miss Sylvia Adamsky at her parent’s home. The ceremony was officiated by Rabbi H. Saft of St. Louis, Missouri, who was also Louis’ uncle.

Louis and Sylvia had met in Cheyenne, where she had grown up. Louis’ family had briefly lived in Cheyenne before moving to Deadwood. They had both attended Cheyenne High School and Sylvia had graduated from there in 1888 with a stellar academic record. She was well-known around Cheyenne as a stellar speaker and musician. Louis was a budding salesman in South Dakota.

The event was auspicious enough to be described in detail in both Cheyenne newspapers. The chuppa, or ceremonial wedding tent, was held by four young men, two of whom also served as official witnesses, and the service was conducted in a mix of Hebrew and English.

Jacobs Adamsky wedding, 1st Jewish in WY, CDL 9-6-1894 p3

The newspaper accounts of the wedding included a short introduction of the couple, a description of the ceremony as well as a list of the wedding presents received by the bride and groom.
(WSA Cheyenne Daily Leader September 6, 1894 p3)

After the ceremony, the couple honeymooned in Illinois before settling in Deadwood, South Dakota. Their happiness was unfortunately short-lived. Louis died in 1903 from pneumonia, leaving Silvia to care for their 2 small boys, Ralph and Morris.

The Laramie County Clerk's records include a copy of the couple's marriage license.  (WSA Laramie County Clerk Marriages, Book 4 Page 179)

The Laramie County Clerk’s records include a copy of the couple’s marriage license.
(WSA Laramie County Clerk Marriages, Book 4 Page 179)

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