The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Driving across the nation in 1913, and closing an episode with some Oglala Lakota Sioux

Driving across the nation in 1913, and closing an episode with some Oglala Lakota Sioux

May 2021

This month, we feature the Lincoln Highway and a reburial ceremony according to Native procedure.

A coast-to-coast auto route

In 1913, the nation’s first transcontinental highway—initially more idea than road—followed Wyoming’s southern rail corridor. After its life as a named highway ended, the route lived on as U.S. 30. Since I-80 was finished in 1970, the Lincoln Highway has become a nostalgic touchstone for a friendlier, more easygoing way to drive. Read much more in John Clayton’s article “The Lincoln Highway in Wyoming.”

Re-interring Black Kettle

In October 1903, six Oglala Lakota Sioux and two white men died in a tragically unnecessary armed confrontation on Lightning Creek, northeast of Douglas, Wyo. But 35 years later, both sides made an effort at a public reconciliation. Read more in Rebecca Hein’s article “Black Kettle, Black Elk and the Wyoming State Fair.

Calendar Events

National Historic Trails Interpretive Center sponsors two treks on historic trails
Saturday May 29: County Roads 308/319 from Casper to Prospect Hill (Oregon Trail Road). The trek will focus on trail preservation to coincide with Wyoming’s Historic Preservation month. Spencer Pelton, Wyoming State archeologist, will present after the trek at 1:00 p.m. at the NHTIC on current trail preservation.
Saturday June 5: Rocky Ridge. Many trail diarists mentioned this trail, difficult to ascend and layered with rocky outcrop formations. In 1856, a rescue party reached the Willie Handcart Company in blinding snow.
Treks depart at 8 a.m. from the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center parking lot, 1501 North Poplar, Casper, Wyo.
These are just two of five treks scheduled for Saturdays in summer 2021. For dates and details on the rest, see “Summer 2021 Trail Treks” at the NHTIC web page
Wyoming outlaws and Lander walking tour
The Lander Pioneer Museum, 1443 Main Street, Lander, Wyo. 82520, will host historian Ray Maple on May 13th at 7:00 p.m. Maple, historian and re-enactor, will present tales of Butch Cassidy, Tom O’Day and other Wyoming bad men, with more on what life was like on the Wyoming Frontier. Also, take a historic walking tour of Lander May 15 at 7:00 p.m. For more information, see the Fremont County Museum events page.

Riverton Museum sponsors tour and presentation
On May 22 at 2:00 p.m. the Riverton Museum walking tour will visit historic buildings and homes in Riverton to learn more about the stories of the people who lived and worked there. Admission is $5, with the tour lasting approximately two hours; the museum is at 700 East Park Ave. in Riverton. To reserve a place, call the museum at 307-856-2665. For more details, click here.

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.
Dubois Museum sponsors two Mason Draw expeditions and a presentation
On May 18, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the Dubois Museum, 909 West Ramshorn in Dubois, Wyo., will host an adults’ trek to Mason Draw, and another for children on June 2 at 9:00 a.m. Mason Draw is full of interesting geology, as well as birds, plants and animals. For reservations, call the museum at 307-455-2284, and for further details, see the Dubois Museum web page.

Via Zoom, interdisciplinary researcher Dr. Alison L. Goodrum will present “Buckskins and Ballgowns: A History of Fashion and Dress ‘Out West,’ 1920-1940,” on May 27 at 7:00 p.m. Free and open to the public. For further details on all Dubois Museum events, visit their web page.
Annual Living History Days at the Museum of the Mountain Man
From May 11-13, the Museum of the Mountain Man, 700 East Hennick in Pinedale, Wyo., will host talks and demonstrations on black powder firearms, Native American sign language, beaver skinning, constructing tipis and shelters, trade goods and much more! Free and open to the public. Learn more at the museum’s web page.