(Sheridan, Wyo) The first time you walk or bike the community path through Hume Draw, you could be surprised to find such a lush, inviting environment tucked away in practically the middle of town. It is Sheridan’s largest natural area, and it runs between the recycling pick-up area on Highland Avenue near the Sheridan Memorial Hospital and Mavrakis Pond on West 8th Street.
Once upon a time, the land was owned by the Sheridan Heights Ranch. The details are scant, but it seems that in the 1930’s the irrigation ponds were sold to Holly Sugar, as part of an expansion of operations including growing and processing of a large amount of sugar beets.
In the 1980s, fortunes swung the other way for Holly Sugar in Sheridan, and they sought to sell off some of the acreage and focused on breeding research instead of beet farming. Sometime soon thereafter the city gained ownership and the Sheridan City Council approved development of the Sam Mavrakis Fishing Pond in 1993.
Mavrakis Pond and the pond at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds Rotary Park are the only fishing lakes in city limits. Mavrakis Pond in particular has had some exciting fish stocked there in the past. In the fall Game and Fish stocked the pond with 330 fall rainbow, which is a normal plant, but that wasn’t the only trout that were planted. On Oct. 26 Game and Fish planted 274 golden trout that averaged 12 ½ inches long, plus 21 lake trout that were brood culls. The lake trout averaged 21 inches long.
The park honors lifelong Sheridan resident Sam Mavrakis, 1918 -2008. Mavrakis, owner of Ritz sporting goods, was a legend in his own time, and will continue to live in Sheridan lore for many years to come. Click here for the full obituary.