Wyoming Stories

Wyoming Stories captures history through the memories of those who live here.

Listen to Wyoming Public Media's collection of Wyoming Stories below. Subscribe to the Wyoming Stories podcast here.

And explore additional Wyoming oral histories by visiting these sites:

Supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, a program of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.

Visit historical organizations across the state featured on Best of Wyoming.
For more information contact Diana Denison at ddenison@uwyo.edu or 307-766-4240.

Micah Schweizer

Murray "Murf" Self grew up in Centennial where his father Pat ran the Old Corral Hotel & Steakhouse. When Pat was eighteen years old, he started receiving a money from the VA on account of his own father’s death in World War I. This windfall marked the beginning of Pat Self’s tumultuous life with fancy cars.

Have you ever wondered why so many small towns have turned their old train depots into museums? In a story about his mother’s quest to open an interpretive center in Centennial, Self explains how.

Andy Carpenean/Laramie Boomerang

Becky and Aaron Maddox own the Snowy Range Ski Area west of Laramie.  Becky is a fourth generation Laramie resident, and Aaron grew up in Steamboat Springs. 

The couple grew up skiing, and their love for the sport motivated them to invest their lives in Snowy Range.  Becky and Aaron describe how the ski area is not only their business, but is their passion, their family, and their life.

Bill and Martha Saunders are long-time Jackson residents. The couple was instrumental in founding the Jackson Hole Ski Club, and their family was also central in Wyoming's rodeo scene. Bill and Martha share memories of their rodeo experiences, including Martha's tour with the Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry.

StoryCorps

This summer, StoryCorps set up a booth in Cheyenne to record Wyomingites interviewing one another and sharing their stories.

Today, we hear from two members of one of Wyoming’s most famous families.  Milward Simpson, the grandson of former Governor and U.S. Senator Milward Simpson, interviews his father Pete Simpson, a noted historian, educator, Republican nominee for Governor, and former legislator.  They begin their conversation talking about Pete’s parents.  

Phil Round is a guitarist and singer from Jackson Hole.  He’s a member of the fabled Stagecoach Band, which holds down a weekly Sunday night gig and dance at the Stagecoach Bar in Wilson. Phil shares some early memories from the bar with his son, Wilden.

Stories from Jackson Hole about historic skiing, an indestructible skirt, and overcoming obstacles.

Subscribe to the Wyoming Stories podcast here.

Powder Magazine

Bill Briggs, a Dartmouth graduate from Maine, moved to Jackson Hole and became North America’s “father of extreme skiing.” In Jackson he worked as a climbing and ski guide for many years, driven by his own passion and encouraged by the supportive outdoor community to surmount the insurmountable. In 1971, Briggs was the first person ever to descend the Grand Teton on skis, a feat most considered to be impossible.  His friend Spark M asks him to describe the experience.

Jennifer Tennican

Dail Barbour was twenty-four-years-old when she moved to Jackson Hole. She worked at the Wort Hotel, a historic inn in the heart of the city, where she was issued a remarkable uniform. 

Dail Barbour arrived in Wyoming the summer she graduated from high school, 1964. She and a few friends bicycled across the country. They spent a week in Yellowstone and Barbour swore she would return. Six years later, she moved to Teton County permanently, settling for some time in Wilson where she spent many days and nights at the legendary Stagecoach Bar.

Micah Schweizer

Jackson resident Charlie Thomas recounts a local raft tour company owner's against-all-odds attempts to deliver 'float-o-graphs' to his rafting customers.

Summer 2014 Community Recordings Schedule

Jan 24, 2014

Laramie: July 13 & 14 - Jubilee Days – Laramie Plains Museum

(To record your Wyoming Story in Laramie, click here.)

Micah Schweizer

Bert Raynes, a distinguished naturalist in Jackson Hole, tells the story of how he became interested in wildlife. Bert has published many books about nature, and he continues to write a column titled “Far Afield” in the Jackson Hole News and Guide newspaper. Fellow Jackson resident Rebecca Huntington interviews him.

Micah Schweizer

Teffany Fegler coordinates the University of Wyoming’s  Student Educational Opportunity Center in Ethete, WY. The daughter of two educators, she continues her family's legacy by helping students achieve the dream of going to college.

Micah Schweizer

Donna Robeson’s great grandmother came to South Pass in 1868.  She was a converted Mormon from Scotland and married English immigrant Richard Sherlock.  They heard there was going to be a big gold strike, so they came to seek their fortunes in mining.  This dream didn’t quite pan out.  Instead, the family started hotel and ranching businesses to earn a living.  Donna tells historian Susan Layman what she remembers from her childhood, at the ranch and with her aunt and uncle in the hotel.

Micah Schweizer

Pam Spencer-Hockett was one of Wyoming's first woman architects. The cabin she built with her husband in Atlantic City ties into her family's pioneer heritage.

Wyoming Stories Community Recordings in Jackson

Dec 23, 2013

Jackson Listeners... Wyoming Public Media would like to record your Wyoming Story at the Teton County Library on Friday, January 3 rd.

To reserve a recording time, visit the registration siteJackson Wyoming Stories Registration .

Viktor Vasnetsov

This holiday season, the Wyoming Public Radio news team is sharing stories about memories and traditions that stand out to them. Reporter Irina Zhorov’s family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, but there’s still a tree and a Santa, sort of. She writes about her family’s tradition of celebrating the New Year the way they did in the Soviet Union.

This holiday season, the Wyoming Public Radio news team is sharing stories about memories and traditions that stand out to them. In this piece, news director Bob Beck tells us about a lonely Christmas in college.

It was 1981 and I was a junior at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.   Earlier that year my parents ended their 20 plus year marriage and my visit home after receiving that news was slightly uncomfortable.

Alexandra Gutierrez

This holiday season, the Wyoming Public Radio news team is sharing stories about  memories and traditions that stand out to them. In this piece, energy reporter Stephanie Joyce tells us about overcoming the challenge of spending Christmas on a treeless island in Alaska.

Around the country, families spend their December nights trekking to nearby forests or tree farms to cut down big, bushy evergreens for their living rooms, and pulling out Christmas decorations to adorn their branches. Houses fill up with the tangy smell of sap and the sharp bite of pine needles.

Chelsea Biondolillo

    

This holiday season, the Wyoming Public Radio news team is sharing stories about memories and traditions that stand out to them. In this piece, reporter Chelsea Biondolillo tells us about her family's tradition of welcoming those without anywhere else to go.

CHELSEA BIONDOLILLO: My family lives in Phoenix AZ, where a balmy 55 degrees is expected on Christmas Day. But our traditions started in Oregon, where my sister and I were born.

Willow Belden

This holiday season, the Wyoming Public Radio news team is sharing stories about  memories and traditions that stand out to them. In this piece, reporter Willow Belden tells us about her family's tradition of trimming the Christmas tree.

It’s the week before Christmas. Carols are playing, boxes of ornaments are strewn around the house waiting to be unpacked, and I stand in the living room, holding a pair of garden shears and scrutinizing the tree.

My uncle grasps a branch and holds it to the side. “How would it look if we got rid of this one?” he asks.

The Wyoming Public Radio news team offers some holiday memories.

Subscribe to the Wyoming Stories podcast here.

P. Solomon Banda, Associated Press

Sergio Maldonado is a Mexican-Arapaho who grew up on the Wind River Indian Reservation outside of Lander, Wyoming.  He now teaches at Central Wyoming College in Riverton.  In these two stories, Sergio talks about his experience with the Arapaho and Shoshone tribes.  His personal history informs his understanding of Native identity.

Micah Schweizer

Tom Duncan grew up in Lander.  He comes from a family of Scottish immigrants that settled in Wyoming in the 1880s.  In 1900, Duncan’s grandfather trailed 5000 sheep to Fremont County, where he began a ranch along the western border of the Wind River Indian Reservation.  Duncan tells the family story of their Native American neighbor, Togwotee, for whom Togwotee Pass is named.

In honor of Veterans Day, stories from the Vietnam and Iraq Wars.

Subscribe to the Wyoming Stories podcast here.

Wyoming Stories: Community Recordings in Cheyenne

Nov 25, 2013

Listeners in Cheyenne! Wyoming Public Media will be at the Laramie County Library on December 9th to capture your Wyoming Story or favorite Holiday Memory.

To reserve a recording time, visit the registration site: Wyoming Public Media: Wyoming Stories - Cheyenne 

Micah Schweizer

Jason Williams is an Iraq War veteran from Lander. In 2004, he was part of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed to Najaf.

Micah Schweizer

Following World War I, veterans were offered land in Wyoming. Laurie Quade's grandfather was one of the veterans who started a Wyoming homestead. Now living in Cody, Laurie remembers the home her grandfather built in Torrington.

Micah Schweizer

Steve Gyorvary first came to South Pass, Wyoming in 1978. Ever since, he’s been working as a geologist and hard rock gold miner. He tells how he got into gold mining and acquired his own mine.

StoryCorps

For Veteran’s Day we have a StoryCorps segment of veteran Ted Gostas telling his wife Jody Gostas about being taken as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War and his years in solitary confinement. Gostas remained a P-O-W for 5 years, 5 months, and 15 days. Of those captured in Northern Vietnam, he was one of only four POWs to stay in solitary confinement for more than four years. 

Micah Schweizer

Ruth Michels lives in Cody, but she grew up in Laramie. Here, she remembers a childhood encounter with a black bear at Yellowstone National Park.

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