Trapper, ferryman, hunting guide and Mexican War veteran Beaver Dick Leigh lived an active and colorful life on both sides of the Tetons in the mid and late 19th century. Leigh, Jenny and Beaver Dick—now String—lakes in Jackson Hole are named for him and for his first wife, an Eastern Shoshone from Washakie’s band.
Wealthy artist, hunter and conservationist A.A. Anderson was named superintendent of the new Yellowstone Forest Reserve in 1902. His love for wildlife habitat clashed with local timber and grazing interests, however, and, after much controversy, he lost his job. Wyoming and the nation might have benefitted if he’d found a way to bridge that gap.
No logging, no grazing—even no trespassing? The Yellowstone Timber Land Reserve, the first land to be set aside in what evolved into today’s National Forest system, had a distinctly different character from its successors. Here’s why.
Owen Wister’s enormously popular novel, The Virginian, published in 1902, was set in Wyoming and established the cowboy in American literature as the noble, competent, humorous, laconic hero still familiar today. Wister, a Philadelphian, first came to Wyoming in 1885, looking for stories and better health. He visited the state 14 more times between then and 1900, writing and publishing western stories and books of stories before The Virginian made him famous and rich, and set a pattern for thousands of western novels and films to come.
Devils Tower, a basalt column rising 1,267 feet above the nearby Belle Fourche River, was the nation’s first National Monument and remains important to tourists and the many tribes that hold it sacred.