The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Wyoming’s Named Highways

Wyoming’s Named Highways

June 2021

This month, we feature more on the early days of auto travel across the West.

Before the roads were numbered

In the early days of motorcars, promoters gave names to auto routes to boost tourist travel. Several named highways crossed significant portions of Wyoming, with Yellowstone Park a prime attraction. But by the mid-1920s the system had become chaotic. The government began numbering routes instead—gaining efficiency and sacrificing romance. Read more in John Clayton’s new article, “Before the Numbers: Naming Wyoming’s Highways.”

Riverton Museum sponsors Yellowstone archeology talk

On June 2 at 6:00 p.m., the Riverton Museum will host Doug MacDonald, University of Montana professor of anthropology, presenting “Before Yellowstone: Native American Archeology in the National Park.” Working with archaeologists from Yellowstone National Park, MacDonald has led an effort to understand the Native American history and prehistory of the area. Free and open to the public. For more information, click here.

National Historic Trails Interpretive Center packed with summer events

The center, at 1501 North Poplar in Casper, plans the following events in June and early July:

June 5: Trail Trek to Rocky Ridge 
An important area along the pioneer trail noted by many trail diarists Rocky Ridge was difficult to ascend and layered with rocky outcrop formations. In 1856, a rescue party reached the Willie Handcart Company near here in blinding snow. Trek departs at 8:00 a.m. from the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center parking lot. Please bring sack lunches, drinks, sunscreen, and wear appropriate clothing and apparel. Be prepared for inclement weather throughout the day. Transportation will not be provided; carpooling is encouraged! 4wheel drive and high clearance vehicles are recommended. For more information contact Jason Vlcan at 307-261-7783.

June 5 & 6, Pioneer Living History Weekend
David Osmundsen fires up his forge and demonstrates blacksmithing, and a Merchant family pioneer encampment takes us back in time with games and live music.

June 12 & 13, Fur Trade Living History Weekend
Living historians and reenactors Nic Skalicky and Russ Gilroy will showcase in period costume the skills and tools needed to survive during the Fur Trade Era in Wyoming.

June 19, 1st Annual Trailblazin’ 5K
Sponsored by the National Historic Trails Center Foundation, the run-walk 5K will start at the Trails Center and follow the Platte River Trail, with living history reenactors performing for walkers and runners along the route.

June 20, patio talk, Tom Rea, The Flight of the Utes Across Wyoming, 1906 - 1pm(Inside).

June 25 & 26, Summer Adventure Days on Muddy Mountain
Located at the Bureau of Land Management Muddy Mountain Environmental Education area, this two-day event will feature a wide variety of family fun activities in an outdoor setting.

June 27,  Patio Talk, Independence Rock Fun Facts with Mike Bardgett - 1pm (Inside)

July 3, Native American Artist Demonstration and Live Pioneer Music
Gerald Cournoyer, member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and accomplished painter, will demonstrate his art and Hank Cramer will provide live period banjo, guitar and vocal music.

July 4, Patio Talk, Daniel Mathern, the History of Company I - 1pm (Inside)
For more information on the center and all these events, visit the  NHTIC web page.

Grand Encampment Museum history slates history symposium

The History Symposium returns June 11 and 12 to the Grand Encampment Museum, 807 Barnett Ave. in Encampment. This year’s theme is True West and features Bob Boze Bell, Johnny D. Boggs, WyoHistory.org writers Ann Noble and Tom Rea and other writers, historians and experts of western history. Click here for more information.

Gatchell Museum hosts migration talk, living history day

The first of a series of three talks on third Thursdays this summer begins at 6 p.m. June 16 at the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum, 100 Fort St. in Buffalo. The series is titled “Wine About History: Connecting the Past, Present and Future through Big Game Migration,” with Emily Reed, Associate Research Scientist, Wyoming Migration Initiative and Carrie Kyle, master’s student with the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in the Zoology and Physiology Department at the University of Wyoming. Click here for more information.

Fourth of July Fort Fetterman Days features free burritos 

Fort Fetterman Days runs Sunday July 4, 2021 at the Fort Fetterman State Historic Site north of Douglas at 752 Wyoming Highway 93, with free, individually wrapped breakfast burritos and free events throughout the parade ground all day. Click here for more information.