Pioneer Museum Sheep Shearing Day — A Wonderful Woolly Day!
text & images courtesy Pioneer Museum, Lander
On the prettiest day of the spring so far, over 300 people came out to Lander’s Pioneer Museum to celebrate the history and heritage of the sheep industry in Fremont County and have fun.
It was the third annual Sheep Shearing Day, which has been a popular spring event at the museum. Designed to recognize the long history of the sheep industry in the area, there were shearing demonstrations, crafts for kids, a petting zoo, horseback rides and talks on the history of sheep. Sponsored by the Lander and Riverton McDonalds, it was the first Kids Exploration program of the summer.
A new addition this year were lamb burgers grilled up by the Fremont County Pioneer Association. The lamb was provided by the Wyoming Wool Growers Association (WWGA), and was a huge hit with people.
Amy Hendricks of the WWGA said one of their missions was to get people more aware of how important the sheep industry still is to Wyoming’s economy. The fresh lamb is just one product produced in the state by the industry.
John Farr of Encampment did several talks on the history of the sheep business from the time of Christ to the present. “What a wonderful event,” he said. “It’s a great way to get young people involved in our history.”
According to Museum Curator Randy Wise, Sheep Shearing Day will be back. “We are always adding new things and making it a bigger, better event.” Wise said that there are many events throughout the summer at the museum, from Treks and Speakers to kids exploration programs. Two upcoming events for kids are Kids Gold Panning Day May 11, and Pioneer Arts and Crafts June 10.
Call the museum to sign up (space in the two kid’s program is limited) or check the museum website www.fremontcountymuseums.com for more information.
Check out the Dayton Art Loop Studio Tour — Saturday, November 19, from 10-4 in beautiful Dayton, WY.
An annual showcase of the many artists and artisans in beautiful & quaint Dayton, Wyoming!
Raffle for a basket of items donated by participants (proceeds benefit our local art scholarship), as well as a door price drawn from people who visit each stop on the map.
New to this year’s tour will be David & Donna McDougall’s new gallery — Painted Skull Studio — located at the historical Hans Kleiber residence in Dayton.
Noted local artist Alice Fuller is also back in the tour. She’ll be showing in her studio just outside Dayton. Don’t miss this stop!
Gallery on Main will host a variety of local artists as well as sweet treats, lunch and beverages, and Tongue River Valley Community Center will host lunch and a bazaar, as well as Iris Sorensen’s award-winning Lakota dolls and dance sticks. Iris’ husband Kevin will show his woodwork there as well. Barb Sellar will have new items at Dog Paw Pottery.
The Art Loop is a perfect place to pick up unique gifts by local artists!
Sonja Caywood will be celebrating her brand new studio addition, at 317 2nd Ave W! “More than 4 people will fit inside my studio now,” Sonja adds. “So bring a friend!”
Watch for signs and pick up a map to enter in the door prize drawing.
I was up in Laramie, Wyoming last weekend visiting my grandparents with my sister. We came up to visit them for two weeks when we were kids and wanted to relive some of the memories. Saw a mama moose and two babies right off a trail in Vedauwoo and caught the beautiful scenery in the Snowy Range Mountains.
A Trip Down Memory Lane in Sheridan plus Buffalo and Two Mountain Passes
By Bill Sniffin
As readers of this column know, I am no fan of the “new” JC Penney Company.
It is my contention that old James Cash Penney (whose first store was right here in Wyoming, in Kemmerer), is spinning in his grave as how his successors have managed to ruin that company.
But I loved the old Penney’s and I took a trip down memory lane at that company’s long-time store on Main Street of Sheridan recently. There, smack in the heart of the town, is an old-fashioned Penney Store, complete with a basement, a half upstairs and, well, the only edifices missing were the pneumatic tubes sending sales tickets flying around the store.
My first Penney store experience was in Oelwein, Iowa, and it was a scene right out of the movie, A Christmas Story. And that store 60 years ago looked just like the one there in Sheridan today.
Here in Lander, when I first came to work at the Journal, one of our biggest advertisers was the JC Penney Store, again, right in the heart of our downtown. And yes, it had a half upstairs and it had a basement. I think tubes were still there which would whistle sales tickets from the various cash registers back to the bookkeeping department. Even by today’s standards, these tubes were space age. Amazing. They provided a way to quickly move information around prior to the age of computers.
On this trip, we took two different scenic drives on our way to and from Sheridan.
First, we traveled to Greybull so we could take US 16 up Shell Canyon and over the mountain. The weather was beautiful and we even stopped and checked out the Dinosaur tracks outside of Shell. Also, took a photo of the canyons there at the Big Horn Mountains that seem to form a “W” and a “Y” — is that there or was I just imagining it?
Near Burgess Junction I ran into Ed Kingston at the Elk View Inn. First met Ed 15 years ago. He has done well and aged better than me. The lodge is beautiful. It and Bear Lodge plus a few other lodges make that area a snowmobile and ATV mecca.
We encountered terrible fog descending into Dayton and on our way to Sheridan and settled into a rainy trip.
Bob Grammens and Kim Love had me on the radio for a couple of mornings and that was sure fun. Radio appears to be struggling in some communities, but not Sheridan. Lots going on in that area. Don’t touch that dial!
Although energy is a big deal in the Sheridan area, you would not notice it by how the Main Street feels. It is certainly lively including a new store started by a 13-year old boy. Amazing. His name is Luke Knudsen and he started a store called The Old General Store, which features antiques.
Another neat store is the Best Out West store owned by Christy Love, Kim’s sister.
The remodeled Sheridan Inn is a real treat. The old strucure originally built by Buffalo Bill Cody is now a true modern classic.
One of the premier craft breweries in the state is the Black Tooth establishment, which exists in an old auto garage. Great beer and a great location.
Our trip was designed as loop drive so we headed south to Buffalo and were impressed by how busy the Sports Lure store was there in the main business district. Small towns are lucky to have local-owned stores like it and the Office to cater to local needs.
It is hard not to love Buffalo’s Occidental Hotel. What a beautiful job its owners have done to restore it.
This is the heart of Longmire country but despite looking for them, none of the characters were to be seen on this day. Longmire is the name of a popular TV series based on books by Craig Johnson of Ucross.
While in Buffalo, I also looked for the infamous “Bench Sitters,” made popular by the Sagebrush Sven columns in the Buffalo Bulletin. It was the wrong time of day to see them, too, I guess.
Heading home, we headed up into the cloudy Big Horn Mountains over Tensleep Pass. Ran into fog, rain, slush, snow and wind but got through it. Lots of highway construction on the very top. The flag people were dressed like Eskimos.
Worland and Thermopolis were both quiet on this wet Friday evening, although it was sure tempting to take a dip into a hot thermal pool on a cold, wet shivery night. But we kept on going.
Got home just as the sun was going down, which was our goal. Hate that driving at night in a storm.
What a great loop drive it was, though. The passes were full of amazing color. I am sure the rain and snow pretty much wiped out most of those pretty leaves, which impressed us at the time. This all occurred during the fall solstice, which here in Wyoming, truly marks a real change of seasons.
click on the image above for a full list of Big Horn Basin Folk Festival Events & Details!
“Hear Me Now” — Wyoming Storytellers Take Spotlight
By Ellen Sue Blakely
Images provided by Hot Springs Greater Learning Foundation
For a full schedule of presenters during “Hear Me Now” Storytelling Circle, August 6-7, see www.wyomingfolkfestival.com. Other weekend events include the Gift of the Waters Pageant Days, Kiwanis Craft Fair and the Big Horn Basin Folk Festival, with music performances all day, demonstrators, workshops, food vendors, juried art show & sale and kid-friendly activities.
When we were kids and all the cousins gathered for the annual Fourth of July ice cream and watermelon feast, our great aunt Kate kept all of us in line by expounding on a “haint” she called “Rawhide and bloody bones.” For years, we assumed Aunt Kate had made up this scary haunt of a creature.
It turns out that Kate had borrowed and adapted “Rawhide” from an Irish tale — probably one she had heard as a child from her grandparents who had come from the Emerald Isle. Aunt Kate is long gone; but, to this day, her scary rendition still brings chills and laughter to the now-aging cousins.
That’s the power of story. If you have ever sat around a campfire and told (or listened to) ghost stories or tall tales, you know its spell. Those who study stories as an art form say telling stories is the oldest art form; and from it grew poetry — rhyming was a way of remembering a longer story.
Although there has not been an organized effort at preserving Wyoming’s stories in recent years, our people have always been inveterate storytellers. Mountain men told plenty of whoppers when they gathered at the fur-trading rendezvous. Music and storytelling were common in the Native American tipis, cowboy bunkhouses, farmhand shacks and homestead cabins. It still is. Given half a chance, today’s outfitters, hunters and fishermen will regale listeners with tales about the “ones that got away.”
This year, Wyoming is taking a step to share our long-standing storytelling tradition at “Hear Me Now,” the state’s first organized Storytelling Circle. (The concept of a “storytelling circle” harks back to those days of campfires and tipis.) The event is part of the Big Horn Basin Festival, August 6-7, 2016, in Hot Springs State Park, Thermopolis. “Hear Me Now” is sponsored by Hot Springs Greater Learning Foundation with a ThinkWyoming grant from the Wyoming Humanities Council. Additional support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund and Wyoming Arts Council.
“Hear Me Now” will be moderated by Spencer Bohren, nationally known musician and storyteller. Although Bohren now lives in New Orleans, Wyomingites still claim him as their own since he grew up in Casper, and his family still lives and plays music there. Bohren maintains strong ties with the state, presenting educational programs in the schools and public performances in Wyoming communities throughout the year.
Professional storytellers telling tales throughout the day are Michelle King, Basin; Catherine Ringler, Powell; Marilyn Braaten, Thermopolis, and Jennisen Lucas, Cody. The group recently formed the Big Horn Basin Storytelling Guild to promote the art of storytelling.
Echo Klaproth, Shoshoni, former Wyoming poet laureate, and Dick Hall, Thermopolis, cowboy poet, will bring poetry into the tent. Mike Hurwitz, who will be performing at the Big Horn Basin Folk Festival during the weekend, will drop by with his own brand of Western stories. Karl Milner, who specializes in mountain man skills, will add a story or two from the mountain man era. Annie Hatch, Wyoming Arts Council folk arts specialist, will give a bit of historical perspective on the art of Wyoming storytelling. Miss V, sometimes called “The Gypsy Cowbelle,” will talk about her adventures homesteading in Wyoming.
As a special feature, Spencer Bohren will perform his nationally acclaimed “Down the Dirt Road Blues,” 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Sunday, August 7, in the Storytelling Tent. Bohren uses historic music instruments as he tells how one song moved from its African roots to blues to rock and roll.
“Hear Me Now” is free and of interest to all ages. Visitors can “come sit a spell” and — if you are so inclined — you can even add your own tales — true or otherwise — during the open microphone opportunities.
After all, if you don’t tell your favorite story, who will?
Ellen Sue Blakey of Thermopolis is a textile artist, rug braider, author, musician and occasional storyteller. You can hear and see her story about rug braiding and Depression-era women on youtube. If you attend the Storytelling Circle, look her up, say the magic words “Uncle Charlie”; she may just tell you the story of Charlie, the sheriff’s hat, a blackberry pie, and how he came to Wyoming.
Out & About around Southeast Wyoming today (July 16)?
Check out Laramie’s The Bent & Rusty Cotton Company‘s Barn Sale! “The Bent & Rusty Barn Sale is open early. 10% OFF your entire purchase. Located at 4733 West End Road. Head South out of Laramie on US HWY 287 for 1.5 miles and follow the colorful flags and Barn Sale signs. Call 307-760-4139 for questions.” They have really fun & unique items & decor!
Visit their Downtown Laramie store at 117 E Grand Ave!
Check out their Jennifer Casebeer’s Pop Up Art Gallery, July 21-23!
“Bring your old barn door, gate, rusty corrugated tin, rusty tractor fender and have Jennifer Casebeer paint cowboy boots, cattle, roosters and more on it. Talented acrylic paint artist that brings life to your favorite western art with the relics of the past as her canvas. Mark your calendar!!”
It’s a big time of year across Wyoming – JULY!! Green River Rendezvous in Pinedale, Wyo Rodeo in Sheridan, Laramie Jubilee Days, Cheyenne Frontier Days, county rodeos, OH MY! So much fun! Excited to help promote it all … Check out the images for both the Meet Me on the Green Pageant & Parade (part of Green River Rendezvous in Pinedale), and Laramie Jubilee Days’ schedule of events …
We really dig shopping at the Curiosity Shoppe, a treasure trove of Laramie gifts. The location is a long-time Laramie staple, a Hallmark store that does so much more and today has evolved into a hip locale to find your favorite people a kickin’ gift. New owners Alec & Jodi Shea bring their passion and community drive to the store, and it shows when you walk in the door. Alec knows his customers, their families, their careers, their hobbies … and if he’s out hitting some awesome Wyoming water way or coaching a Little League game (yup, he’s multi-talented), the lovely Kristen is a wealth of information and help.
The store carries Alex and Ani, as well as a wide variety of Wyoming-made products and Pandora jewelry and home decor. Just a sampling of what they have to offer follows … along with a new giveaway shared June 15 …
On April 1, Levi & I were treated to a night at the Mountain View Hotel, a historic establishment in Centennial, just about 30 miles west of Laramie on US Highway 130. Due to our crazy lifestyle with our businesses, we weren’t able to make it until later that Friday evening. However, the owners, Kat & Mike, were kind to us and showed us around, regardless of the hour – part of that Wyoming hospitality that they literally offer around the clock.
Fine hospitality at the Mountain View Hotel isn’t a new phenomenon, but it is something Kat & Mike are proud to continue. Opened in time for the June 4, 1907 arrival of the Laramie Plains, Hahn’s Peak Railroad opening, the establishment was dedicated in a “golden spike” ceremony. Painted white with black trim and built at a cost of $8,000 at the time, it boasted 20 guest rooms, a dining room and a “most improved system of plumbing” – never mind that the bathrooms ended up in the stables. Today, you can find the historic register books and china in the nearby Nici Self Museum.
The hotel has received a lovely face lift by Kat & Mike, and its rooms and suites include a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch, coffee roaster and espresso bar. Kat & Mike showed us the suites that make a great stay for a small group, and work well for snowmobilers, hunters, summer vacationers… We discussed how the hotel also makes a great stay for wedding parties getting married in the Snowies – many groups rent the entire hotel for their wedding party to enjoy historic accommodations prior to the big day.
Our room was the Mountain Sage Room, a comfy space with two queen beds and a beautiful en suite bathroom. I had to grab many pictures of the eye-catching antiqued ceiling. We settled in with snacks and a late night Myth Busters marathon, and ended the night soaking in the peaceful silence that I remembered from nighttimes of living in the Snowies as a kid.
In the morning, the room had a lovely sunlight glow and still remained peacefully quiet. I prefer to wake up to a good book, especially on the weekends, so I grabbed my Doris Kearns Goodwin The Bully Pulpit (a great read if you like presidential – or just Victorian – history like I do!) and waited for Levi to wake up. Meandering downstairs, the smell of freshly roasted coffee greeted us and Levi, our family java hound, made a beeline for the espresso bar while I thanked Kat for a great & peaceful night’s stay. Families of snowmobilers were enjoying breakfast in the quaint restaurant, and since we had to rush back as we had a full day of parties with our Laramie bounce house business, I eyed their plates greedily and noticed everyone was having a good meal. There were lots of options for Levi when it came to his coffee, and he went for black with a little extra milk to go. The early spring sunshine was bright and there were still hints of snow – winter season adventure may have been winding down, but you wouldn’t have known it to see the cars with skis and snowmobiles go swishing by through Centennial on their way to the Snowies and Snowy Range Ski Area.
If you’re heading to Laramie or Saratoga to partake in the beauty of the Snowies or enjoy Laramie Jubilee Days, you must make a stay at Mountain View Hotel high on your priority list. After all, if you’re right there and adventuring, you’ll want to fall into a comfy bed that’s nearby and enjoy fresh Joe in the morning. Why not do all that with a little history besides? And when you’re there, be sure to take the hop, skip and jump across the highway to the Nici Self Museum and learn the history of the area. Gold star for those who can email us and let us know where the village got its start and its intriguing name …
We’d love to share your Wyoming adventure! Whether it’s a trip, an annual adventure, if you’re from out of state or a Wyoming native, we want to share! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or message our Facebook page to share your adventure for our blog series!
What’s Your Wyoming Adventure?
from Tyler Halford
Star Valley native now living in Kentucky
Our annual camping trips consists of five Star Valley High graduates, one from 2000, one from 2001, and three from 2002, all five now married with children. To date, it has just been the 5 of us who attend, no children or wives (sounds mean but it just wouldn’t be the same!). It started in the summer of 2007 but we didn’t have intentions then of making it an annual event. Our first annual was in Star Valley and hardly consisted of “camping,” though we did sit around a fire. In 2008 we again met in Star Valley, though again it was mostly just sitting around a camp fire in town. Even though none of us live in Star Valley anymore, we all five have commuted back each year. I’ve come as far as Kansas for two annuals and Kentucky for four of them! We decided for the 3rd annual we’d make it more of a camping trip — so for the 3rd and 4th annuals we camped in Swift Creek campground just outside Afton. The 5th-9th annuals were all legitimately remote camping, all up Grey’s River, staying mostly at Forest Service guard stations.
Our activities primarily entail hunting ground squirrels, fishing, and hiking to various lakes along the Grey’s Range. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to see a wolf on one occasion and two wolverines on another occasion — most Wyoming natives have lived around but never seen wolverines.
These camping trips are beyond memorable and cherished. As I mentioned, living in Kansas and Kentucky for a combined six years didn’t stop me from making them happen. They’re the most memorable experiences I’ve had outside of raising a family.
Best of Both Worlds… County property w/NO Covenants, surrounded by the beautiful Riverton Golf Course.
If you desire graceful living among beautiful surroundings, you must see this exceptionally gracious home. You’ll have the best seat in the house for mountain and golf course views on this 1.72 acre county lot w/NO Covenants! This home offers a 3 car attached garage, cathedral ceilings, walk-in closets, exquisite mountain views and marble, slate & parquet finishes throughout. Come experience what over 6,000 sq. ft. of wall to wall spaciousness feels like…
Lacee & Shaun Sims are good, kind people that are part of the family owned & operated Sims Sheep Company of Evanston & Lyman — Lacee is also a photographer who owns Leather-n-Lace Photography in Evanston. For a National Ag Day shout out (which we just barely missed on March 15!), we wanted to share a few glimpses into their everyday life ….
About the Sims Sheep Company … Within this company, you’ll find the most prolific and hardy range sheep in North America. Among the breeds found on the ranch are Purebred Targhee and Targhee-Fin Cross Rams. Sims Sheep Company raises Feeder Lambs, Ewe Lambs, and Range Sheep. The Ranch embodies a conservationist spirit, using sustainable farming and grazing methods. The land hosts a variety of animal species which provides excellent Elk, Deer, Antelope, and Game Fowl hunting. The ranch is family owned and operated and boasts a heritage of over 100 years of family ranching.
The Sagebrush Community Arts Center is pleased to present the “Invitational Print Exhibition,” an exhibition comprised of nine local and out of state printmaking artists curated by Brittney Denham Whisonant. The exhibit will be open from March 15th to April 12th at the Sagebrush Community Art Center, located at 201 E. 5th Street, in Sheridan, Wyoming. There will be an opening reception Thursday, March 17th, 5-7 PM.
The exhibit is comprised of 30 works by Meagan Moore, Saegan Moran, Marty Azevedo, Keith Garubba, Alison Denyar, Jason Clark, Nancy Steele Makasci, Joel Oslind, and Steve Heil that display an array of processes and subject matter demonstrating the versatility in which printmaking as a medium can be utilized. From traditional techniques like intaglio, lithography, and silkscreen to digital printing, watercolor, and collage, the show as a whole serves as an overarching survey of printmaking.
For further information please contact the gallery at 307-674-1970.