Teapot Rock

Teapot Rock, also known as Teapot Dome, is a distinctive sedimentary rock formation in Natrona County, Wyoming that lent its name to a nearby oil field that became notorious as the focus of the Teapot Dome scandal, a bribery scandal during the presidential administration of Warren G. Harding. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.[1]

Teapot Rock
Teapot Rock in 2017
Teapot Rock is located in Wyoming
Teapot Rock
Teapot Rock is located in the United States
Teapot Rock
LocationNatrona County, Wyoming, US
Nearest cityMidwest, Wyoming
Coordinates43°14′0″N 106°18′40″W / 43.23333°N 106.31111°W / 43.23333; -106.31111Coordinates: 43°14′0″N 106°18′40″W / 43.23333°N 106.31111°W / 43.23333; -106.31111
NRHP reference No.74002028[1]
Added to NRHPDecember 30, 1974


The eroded sandstone formation stands about 75 feet (25 m) tall and is about 300 feet (90 m) in circumference. It is located a few hundred yards east of Wyoming Highway 259, about 19 miles (30 km) north of Casper, Wyoming in the Powder River Basin near Teapot Creek, a tributary of Salt Creek.[2]

Teapot Rock on an old postcard

The outline of the rock once resembled a teapot and gave its name to several man-made and natural features, including a geologic structural uplift known as the Teapot Dome, and an oil field about 6 miles (10 km) east.[1] Over time, the features that gave the formation its name have been eroded by windstorms; the "handle" disappeared in 1930 and the "spout" in 1962.[3]


In 1915, the Teapot Dome Oil Field was designated Naval Petroleum Reserve Number Three as part of a program to ensure that the U.S. Navy, which was converting to oil-fired boilers at the time, would have sufficient fuel reserves in an emergency.[2][4] It was one of several related fields in the area, the largest of which was the Salt Creek Oil Field. By comparison with the Salt Creek Field's peak production of 35,301,608 barrels (5,612,507.2 m3) of 1923, the Teapot Dome field had about 64 wells, with a few producing more than 150 barrels per day (24 m3/d).[2]

In February 2015, the field was sold by the Department of Energy.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b c "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c Junge, Mark (June 1974). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Teapot Rock". National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
  3. ^ Brooke, James (September 18, 1998). "Site of Earlier Scandal Frets Over Faded Luster". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "Teapot Rock (Dome)". Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
  5. ^ Ryssdal, Kai (February 2, 2015). "Moving on from Teapot Dome, 90-plus years later". Marketplace.
  6. ^ Guillén, Alex (January 30, 2015). "Government sells Teapot Dome – on the level, this time". Politico.

External linksEdit