Readers of Campbell County and northeast Wyoming, welcome to 82717! You have undoubtedly noticed that just like a piece of coal can be ignited to create a burst of steam, our old Homes & More brand has been lit up and transformed in 82717. County 17 is Campbell County’s place for fast, free, and locally relevant news, and 82717 is our desire to deliver a quality lifestyle magazine to the people of Gillette, Wright, Rozet, Savageton, and Recluse.
Each month 82717 will deliver pieces with a unique focus on our readers and help to tell stories you may not know. We want to focus on unique people, unique families, and unique things happening in Campbell County. We recognize our place in this community and want to make sure our writing focuses on the positives going on and the people that make Campbell County a great place to live. As we all know, there are many communities and many counties that have been blessed by natural resources, but Campbell County is something special because its people and its leaders have decided to turn this small community in northeast Wyoming into something more.
You may ask why this publication is titled 82717, as opposed to 82716, which was Gillette’s original zip code. As you likely know, 82717 is the zip code for post office boxes and therefore that zip code is available to everyone in Campbell County, regardless of which town or which side of the Interstate you live. Additionally, since Campbell County is also known as County 17, and we own and operate the County 17 news stream, it’s shameless promotion to tie the two together!
If you’re wondering how this amazing imagery came together and the thoughts behind it, let me explain. For years, I have envied the Christmas cards of an engineer we regularly use, who’s photos and themes were incredible. 2017 was the year that our company was going to step up our Christmas card to make sure it’s the top card in everybody’s pile. As we were considering themes for this year’s shoot, we happened to be rethinking the direction of our Homes & More publication. We had settled on a hyper-focused community magazine, but we needed that magazine to have a theme and some “cool factor”.
We searched, different staff brought forward ideas, but nothing seemed quite right. As luck would have it, I was flipping through my Facebook feed and noticed some steampunk themed posts. That was it! It was the perfect look for 82717 because it was whimsical, but also harkened back to our community’s rail and coal roots, but did it in a way that was cool. Our staff jumped on board and about one month later we shot the photos for this publication and our 2017 Christmas card.
Credit for the photography goes to our staff photographer, Jeffery Miller, who took my vision and combined it with my wife, Erika’s, talent for costume, to create something incredible. Thank you to our awesome staff, all 11 people who participated (which is everybody but our construction/development department and out of town reporters), for making this remarkable.
If you’re impressed by these images, reach out to us. Our staff is incredible with branding, identity, and media. This came together in weeks…we can do amazing things for you and your business. And for those wondering, yes, there will be a new Christmas card shoot next year. I’m not sure if we’ll be fighting a super-villain or you’ll see us harkening back to the ‘80s, flying at Mach 1 and dripping sweat in a volleyball game…but you’ll have to wait and see…
On a more serious note, this month’s edition of 82717 includes an incredible examination of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and FDR’s Coal Army. This article coincides with an exhibit at the Campbell County Rockpile Museum that you may want to take in and we appreciate the great photos that the museum provided to give this piece its character.
We also highlight 17 Things To Do in County 17; discuss more than just the economics, but instead the science behind Campbell County Coal and how we all ended up being so fortunate it was deposited here; the local VIP Flu Shot Program and information on why you should get your child a flu shot; and lastly, an artisanal Thanksgiving or Christmas, full of locally sourced and inspired foods.
If you have ideas for great stories or great events that we should cover, please reach out to our staff. You can call our office at 307.686.5121 or reach out at facebook. com/82717life. Please enjoy 82717.
Mark A. Christensen