Lynn Johnson Houze

Lynn Houze served as assistant curator at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center until she retired early in 2013, and before that as assistant curator of the Park County Historical Society Archives, from 1992 to 1999. Her books include two pictorial histories for Arcadia Publishing: Images of America: Cody (2008), and Cody, Then and Now (2011), and she is a coauthor of Buffalo Bill’s Town in the Rockies: a pictorial history of Cody’s first 100 years (Virginia Beach, Va.: Donning Company, 1996).

Park County, Wyo., was officially formed in 1909, but settlers began arriving in the area much earlier and creating several communities that are well-known today. Cody, the county seat, was named for Col. William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody of Wild West fame, who promoted nearby Yellowstone National Park—founded in 1872—as a “Wonderland.” The Pitchfork Ranch near Meeteetse, one of the oldest ranches in the region, was founded in 1879. Dude ranching began in the early 1900s, early oil discoveries came soon afterward, and tourism and oil and gas continue as mainstays today. In the mid-1940s, the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp, where many Japanese-American families were interned during World War II, was located between Cody and Powell.

Cody, Wyoming, was founded in 1896 by investors including Buffalo Bill Cody who had high hopes for prosperity thanks to local irrigation, great scenery, and nearby Yellowstone National Park. Prosperity finally arrived early in the 20th century with the Burlington Railroad and, eight miles away, the federally financed Buffalo Bill Dam. Cody remains one of Wyoming’s premier tourist towns.