The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Poetry and Parkitecture

Poetry and Parkitecture

April 2019

Beginning at the turn of the last century, the rustic structures created for Yellowstone National Park fit the natural surroundings, but also ushered in a new style of casual architecture soon adopted in other parks. This month, we feature a new article about this design element, as well as paying tribute to a beloved poet laureate who wrote novels, stories and poems steeped in the land and lives of Wyoming’s people.

A new architectural style

In 1904, when the Old Faithful Inn opened in Yellowstone National Park, it was seen as a treasure: rustic and luxurious, breathtaking yet casual. It came to be a Yellowstone symbol, and its building style, called parkitecture, spread quickly to other national parks, dude ranches, state parks and small museums. Read more in author John Clayton’s article Wyoming Parkitecture.

Honoring the late Robert Roripaugh

April is poetry month, a good time to remember the life and work of Robert Roripaugh, Wyoming poet laureate from 1995-2002, who died Jan. 2 of this year. Much of his clear, quiet fiction and poetry was informed by his youth on his family’s ranch near Lander. In the early 1950s, he earned degrees from the University of Wyoming before spending two years with the U.S. Army in Japan, where he met and married his wife, Yoshiko. In 1958, the Atlantic Monthly published a short story; Roripaugh soon joined the UW English faculty and retired as a full professor in 1993.

To learn more about his life and work, read author John Nesbitt’s 2011 article, Robert Roripaugh, Wyoming Poet Laureate 1995-2002.

Links to more articles featuring Wyoming poets:

Peggy Simson Curry, Wyoming’s First Poet Laureate
June Downey: Scientist, Scholar and Poet
Stephen Downey
Casper Author Charlotte Babcock

Wyoming History Day April 14-15, 2019—judges needed!

Jessica Flock, Wyoming History Day state coordinator, seeks volunteers to judge this year’s state competition, which will be held at the University of Wyoming Conference Center, American Heritage Center and Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center. The theme for the 2018-2019 competition is “Triumph and Tragedy in History.” The Wyoming History Day contest will be held April 14-15, 2019. 

Flock says, “We anticipate hosting over 200 in-depth research projects from about 275 students and we'll need about 80 judges to evaluate them based on historical quality, clarity of presentation and connection to theme.”

Judges are needed for both morning and afternoon sessions, or all day, if possible. The morning session runs from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and the afternoon session runs from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Continental breakfast and lunch are provided.

Flock explains, “It's a wonderful opportunity to witness thought provoking interdisciplinary projects associated with ‘Triumph and Tragedy in History.’ Both students and teachers throughout the state would be grateful for your participation and feedback.”

Judges can register at the following link, https://wy.nhd.org. On the homepage of the registration site is a "Create Account" button on the long bar near the top of the page. Choose "Judge" and proceed. 

The National History Day competition is slated for June 9-13, 2019.

Teachers, students and others interested in the Wyoming History Day contest can find more information--including contest dates and links and Wyoming History Sample Topics--by clicking on the “History Day” tab on the orange bar on the WyoHistory.org home page or by visiting  https://www.wyohistory.org/wyoming-history-day.