The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Transportation Away from the Railroad

Transportation Away from the Railroad

August 2021

This month, we feature the stage roads that ran north from the Union Pacific line.

Primitive conditions for passengers

Freight, mail and stagecoach passengers endured the rough, dangerous road from Rawlins on the Union Pacific through Lander to the Shoshone reservation for 27 years. “God bless the old stage line; she is doomed,” one postmaster wrote in 1906, when a railroad first reached Lander, “but it beat walking.” Read more in Tom Davis and WyoHistory.org’s article “Freight, Stage and Mail: The Rawlins-Fort Washakie Road.

A talented woman photographer

Encampment, Wyoming: Selections from the Lora Webb Nichols Archive, 1899-1948, by Nancy F. Anderson and Nicole Jean Hill. FW Books, Amsterdam, 2021, 208 pages. $65.00 hardbound. From more than 75 years ago, a compelling collection of everyday scenes from a woman’s camera. See many of the photos and read Nate Martin’s blog post about Nichols’s remarkable achievements here.

Wyoming ranch lore

Homesteading and Ranching in the Upper Green River Valley,  by Ann Chambers Noble and Jonita Sommers. Laguna Wilderness Press, Laguna Beach, Calif., 202, 329 pages. $55.00 hardbound. The authors chronicle the lives of ranch families in the upper Green River drainages, and have included many historical photos. See our blog post about the book here.

National Historic Trails Interpretive Center events and activities

The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper has packed its August calendar with events. For more information on the center and all these events, visit the NHTIC web page.

August 7, Pony Express History: At 1 p.m. join in with members of the National Pony Express Association for a special presentation. Come find out how you can become a member of the NPEA and preserve history!

August 7 and 8, Pioneer Living History Weekend with the Merchant Family: Watch as 19th century period reenactors portray a pioneer encampment with all the pioneer necessities for travel along the trails. Live period music will be performed on August 8 at 1 p.m.

August 14, Empire: The Pioneer Legacy of an American Ranch Family: Award-winning author Jefferson Glass highlights a new book showcasing the story of the Martin Gothberg family and other early settlers of central Wyoming. Presentation at 1 p.m. with a book signing to follow.

August 15, patio talk: At 1 p.m. (inside) Independence Rock Fun Facts with Mike Bardgett.

August 21 and 22, 1864 Military Camp with Pioneer Cooking: Join us as period reenactors portray an 1864 Military Camp, while living historians share all the essential basics of Dutch Oven Cooking and how fun and easy it can be.

August 28, Storytelling Along the Oregon Trail: Pioneer Song. Using monologues, music and actual accounts of pioneer women who made the trek, Omar and Lori Hansen from the Great Bear Folk Theatre, Rexburg, Idaho, will recreate the journey of the Oregon Trail in a uniquely personal way.  

August 28, trail trek: Seminoe Cutoff
A major branch of the Oregon Trail, the Seminoe Cutoff allowed pioneers to avoid several crossings of the Sweetwater River, as well the difficult climb up Rocky Ridge. Trek departs at 8 a.m. from the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center parking lot, 1501 North Poplar, Casper, WY - unless otherwise noted.

For the trek, please bring sack lunches, drinks, sunscreen, and wear appropriate clothing and apparel. Be prepared for inclement weather throughout the day. Transportation to these sites will not be provided and carpooling is encouraged! Four-wheel drive and high clearance vehicles are recommended. For more information and/or to register for any trail trek, please contact Jason Vlcan at 307-261-7783.

August 29, patio talk: At 1 p.m. (inside) Partial Collapse of the 1866 Fort Laramie Treaty with Daniel Mattern

Laramie Plains Museum events and activities

August 21, 2021, Evening at Ivinsons: Signature Garden Celebration, "The Unexpected Company."

Small vignettes and musical interludes at the museum's August 21st Gala!

For more information, see the museum's home page.

Green River Valley Museum events and activities

In August, the museum will be hosting two movie nights: Friday the 6th, Rango, and Friday the 13th, Tom Horn. Both will start at 7 p.m. For more information, see the museum's home page

Fort Caspar Museum events and activities

August 14, Archaeology Day: Be an archaeologist for the day! Help uncover stories about Fort Caspar's past. This is a free, drop-in event; all are welcome and no reservations necessary. For more information, see the museum's home page.

Trail End Museum events and activities

Friday and Saturday, August 13 and 14, Murder at the Mansion at the Trail End Museum, Sheridan, Wyo.: Join us for our third annual murder mystery party, where everyone has a part to play! This is a 21-and-over-event and a fundraiser for the Trail End Guilds. It's the 1920s all over again, and you've been invited to the mansion of a known millionaire for the reading of his will ... if you're brave enough! You're hoping to gain an inheritance from him, but his killer is still on the loose and may strike again. Tickets will go on sale July 6th at the mansion! For more information, see the museum's home page.

Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum events and activities

Free Admission Day: Fair and Rodeo Parade, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Gatchell Museum in Buffalo, Wyo., will be offering free admission all day on Saturday, August 7 in celebration of the Johnson County Fair and Rodeo parade. The museum will open at 12 p.m. instead of 9 a.m. Enjoy the Kiwanis pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the museum parking lot before the parade.

Echoes of the Past Cemetery Tours Day: See Buffalo’s past come alive at Willow Grove Cemetery. Tour at night and hear spirits talk about their lives. Bring a chair for your comfort. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by phone (307-684-9331) or in person. Because space is limited payment is required at reservation. This tour is one of our non-walking tours and starts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday August 11, 2021, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Willow Grove Cemetery, Cemetery Road and South Burritt Ave., Buffalo, Wyo.

For more information on the events above, visit the museum's home page.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West events and activities

Sensory Adventure Kids Workshop: In this workshop for kids ages 4 and 5, we will use ALL of our senses as we explore the natural world around us. With active play and lots of games, students will start to appreciate the plants, insects and habitats that are all around us. August 12 and 18, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

Buffalo Bill Center of the West, 720 Sheridan Avenue, Cody, Wyo.

The cost is $5 for Buffalo Bill Center of the West members; $10 for non-members.

For more information on summer programming, as well as on available scholarships, contact Emily Buckles at emilyb@centerofthewest.org or 307-578-4110. See the center’s events page for details on these events and more.

Meeteetse Museums events and activities

Don’t miss the museum’s annual tour Saturday August 7 to the old mining town of Kirwin in the Absaroka Range 38 miles west, and an astronomy night Friday August 13 to view the Perseid meteor shower from the Lower Sunshine Reservoir. Both events are free. See the museum’s calendar page for details.