Lorin and Mary Ann Moench work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at Martin’s Cove Historic site. This spot in south-central Wyoming marks an important point along the Mormon trail. European converts sailed to the East Coast of the U.S., purchased supplies and handcarts, and traveled with handcart companies to Salt Lake City. In 1856 two handcart companies began their journey late, causing them to face unforgiving Wyoming storms.
Joan Paige’s family has lived in the Equality State for almost as long as it’s existed. In 1889, her grandfather, John Mahoney, was stationed just outside of Rawlins at Fort Steele. In this story, she tells of circumstances that brought him west, and the dubious nature of late-19th century frontier towns.
UW Professor of history Phil Roberts tells the story of how Thomas Boylan—the late owner and operator of The Fossil Cabin outside of Medicine Bow—protected the identity of local Japanese Americans from relocation officers during World War II.
Racial diversity is not one of the things for which Wyoming is best known. According to census data, only one-point-five percent of the state’s population is African American. Now, a class at the University of Wyoming is documenting the largely untold history of black people in the West. The class is confronting black invisibility—real and perceived.
Mark Soldier Wolf is a Northern Arapaho tribal elder. He grew up on the Wind River Indian Reservation, outside of Riverton. For him, the past is forever inscribed on the present, a sentiment he shares in this lesser known version of the Battle at Little Bighorn.
When Soldier Wolf returned to Wyoming from the Korean War, there were very few resources for veterans. In this story, he describes how he got his life back together, and the atmosphere of Riverton during wartime.
A noted historian says that cross dressing was common in the historic old West.
Washington State University Professor Peter Boag spoke on sexuality and gender issues of the American West at the University of Wyoming. Boag says it was a man’s world in the 19th century, so it was not unusual to find that some women dressed like men.
By 1840, the Fur Trade Era, with its keen competition for beaver pelts, its raucous reputation for rendezvous, and its solid association with all that was wild and untamed in the Rocky Mountain West, was drawing its last breath. Mountain men who had survived the rigors of the wilderness were forced to seek new methods of employment. Two of those men, Jim Bridger and Louis Vasquez, teamed up to operate a trading post in order to provide much needed services for the rapidly increasing number of settlers passing through on the way to their promised lands.
Located in the shadow of the Bighorn Mountains, the Sheridan County Museum interprets a regional perspective on the history of the American West. The Museum’s exhibits investigate the culture, industry, communities, agriculture, and geography that shaped the region’s rich historic and cultural heritage. Throughout the Museum’s exhibit gallery, visitors have the opportunity to experience history through artifacts, historic photographs, maps, and interactive exhibits.