This month, adding to our ongoing series on the history and culture of native people (see below), we offer a look at past boarding schools for tribal children both on and off Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation. And with Wyoming’s Capitol due to open soon after a years-long remodel, we offer a history of that magnificent building.
Indian boarding schools
A century ago there were hundreds of boarding schools for American Indian children. Many were on reservations, and many were run by religious orders; there were three on what’s now the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Others were intentionally built far from tribal homelands to separate children from their languages, lands and families. Learn more in Geoffrey O’Gara’s article “From Wind River to Carlisle: Indian Boarding Schools in Wyoming and the Nation.”
Authorized by the territorial legislature in 1886 and designed initially by architects from Ohio, the Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne has been expanded twice and, since late in 2015, is undergoing a total renovation. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973, it is among the best of Wyoming’s historic buildings. Read more in Starley Talbott’s and Linda Graves Fabian’s article “A History of the Wyoming Capitol.”
WyoHistory.org Featured Articles:
Indigenous People in Wyoming and the West
In March 2017 the Wyoming Legislature passed and Gov. Matt Mead signed a new law directing our public schools to offer more about the history and culture of the Eastern Shoshone, Northern Arapaho and other tribes of the region. With the help of scholars, tribal elders and educators on the Wind River Reservation, we began adding more content about American Indians, and educators on the reservation have begun helping us develop classroom materials to accompany these articles. For more information on the classroom materials—digital toolkits of Wyoming history, we call them—visit our Education page. These efforts are possible with generous support from the Wyoming Humanities Council, the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, the Ellbogen Family Foundation, a steadily growing list of Wyoming school districts—and the tribal members who consulted on the content. Special thanks to all. For a selection of the articles, see more under “Featured Articles” just below the thumbnail photographs section on our home page at https://www.wyohistory.org.
Rockpile Museum features dry farming programs
“Too Short to Bind: Dry Farming at Rawhide Butte, 1910-1923,” will be presented Friday, June 14, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the Campbell County Rockpile Museumin Gillette. This presentation focuses on thirty-four people who came from Iowa and settled in Gillette in the 1910s, becoming dry farmers. A separate program, “Finding the Story,” will be held June 15, 2019 at 10 a.m. Speaker Bob Henry is a descendant of people who settled at Rawhide Butte north of Gillette and comes from a coal-mining family. Henry will discuss dry farming “up around the butte.” Campbell County Rockpile Museum Education Coordinator Penny Schroder says that there is “minimal duplication in the two programs.” For more information contact Schroder at (307) 682-5723 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on dry farming in Wyoming see Carl V. Hallberg’s WyoHistory.org article “Dry Farming in Wyoming.”
Gema Pearl to perform at Saratoga Museum fundraiser
On Wednesday, June 19, 2019, vocalist Gema Pearl will perform at the Platte Valley Community Center in Saratoga in a fundraiser for the Saratoga Museum. Pearl has earned six Grammy nominations for her style that blends blues, rock and new country. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $25 per person, VIP “Meet and Greet” tickets are $50 per person and include appetizers and an open bar from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit https://saratoga-museum.com/gema-pearl.html
The Wyoming Capitol is currently closed for a years-long, $300 million renovation and restoration project, but plans are underway for a July 10, 2019, Wyoming Statehood Day celebration that will possibly include remarks from Gov. Mark Gordon as well as historical presentations, special music and Native American festivities. Construction on the capitol is expected to be completed in time for the celebration, but work will continue on the Herschler West building and the new annex. Wyoming’s capitol is one of only 20 state capitols designated as a National Historic Landmark. See more about the renovations at the Wyoming Capitol Square Project.
The Wyoming State Museum also has a special exhibit about the capitol. While the “Planning Your Class Visit to Cheyenne” section focuses on the needs of teachers and their students, others can learn more about the capitol through the information provided on the website and about the features of the special exhibit. Read more at http://wyospcr.state.wy.us/CapitolComplex/wyomingStateCapitol.html.
Women Suffrage Events throughout 2019
The Wyoming Office of Tourism (WOT) designated 2019 as “The Year of Wyoming Women,” to celebrate the 150thanniversary Territorial Governor John Campbell’s signing into law the measure giving women the right to vote on Dec. 10, 1869. See more at “Wyoming: Home of the Women’s Vote,” at https://www.travelwyoming.com/wyoming-womens-suffrage.
Learn more about Wyoming’s women suffrage in these, and other, WyoHistory.org articles:
Right Choice, Wrong Reasons: Wyoming Women Win the Right to Vote
“Those Damn Women”: Louise Graf and Women on Wyoming Juries
Amalia Post, Defender of Women’s Rights
‘Noted Beauty Coming’: Suffragist Campaigns Across Wyoming