Thursday, June 17, 2010

Old Trail Town and a Little Girl

One of our temporary neighbors in Yuma this past winter was from the Cody area and when I asked him what was a "must see" in town he told me we had to see the Old Trail Town museum.  The brainchild of Bob Edgar, a local man with a passion for Wyoming history and architecture, Old Trail Town consists of a series of log cabins and buildings that Mr. Edgar salvaged from different parts of Wyoming, tearing them down and then rebuilding them on the edge of what Buffalo Bill wanted to be "Cody City".  Each individual building, be it school house or livery stable or saloon or homestead is filled with artifacts, furniture, clothing, coats, pictures and other memorabilia from the late 1800s and early 1900s which is the time period of all these buildings.  Most notable is the cabin that was used by the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid along with the rest of the "Hole in the Wall" gang as well as a saloon they and other assorted bandits and bad guys frequented.
 The Hole in the Wall gang's hideout.

 The River Saloon, frequented by Butch Cassidy, where you can see the bullet holes in the door.  Also in this shot is the obligatory German tourist.

What is evident here is Bob Edgar's love not only for the buildings he so carefully brought here but for the people who lived life so fully back then.  Mr. Edgar wanted people to learn about those pioneer spirits who lived, fought and died here, so he also created a memorial cemetery to the free spirits who were a part of the wild West; Jeremiah Johnson who was a hunter, trapper, scout and war veteran, Jim White, a prolific buffalo hunter thought to have killed thousands of buffalo for their hides, W.A. Gallagher and Blind Bill, two cowboys killed over a woman and Belle Drewry--the woman who loved outlaws who was herself murdered.  Bob Edgar actually located the gravesites of these people and had them reburied here at Old Trail Town.
As always, I enjoyed the history, the artifacts, the pictures and the amount of work involved in creating a town of treasures like this, but this day I also found a great deal of pleasure in following a three generational family from building to building.  Since the cabins were small, you couldn't help but overhear the conversations and at one point we looked in a closed off building to see an oddity that was inside--a two headed calf.  The grandfather in the group told the granddaughter that he had seen the calf years ago so then he brought his daughter (her mother) to see it and now he was bringing her, his granddaughter to see it also as a family tradition.  Unfortunately, the young lady who was perhaps eight or nine years old turned out to be very afraid of mounted animals and there were a lot of dead animals in the complex.  A lot!
The two headed calf had been real and not something pieced together by a taxidermist.

Certainly there was a lot to see and read about at Old Trail Town and we really learned a lot about life in Wyoming in the late 1800s but my favorite part of the whole shebang was at the end of the displays where they had set up a small roping area with a pretend steer and lariat for children to use to try to lasso a cow.  The little girl with the family group was trying to toss the lariat without success so Denny stepped in to give her a hand.

What I didn't catch here is that on her second attempt after Denny showed her the proper way to enlarge the loop and hold the lariat near the knot for better control, the young lady lassoed that critter and hauled it right over.

It was a fun way to finish off our day trip.


SkippyMom said...

What a sweetheart Denny is.

Putting this on our list of places to see when we finally get on the road. Looks neat.

Even the weather looked good ;D

vert word: thypo

Oops - I hopth I don'th make a thypo. [hey, I try]

Linda in New Mexico said...

great find on ya'lls part. How sweet is Denny?
Bright sunshine??? yay for you.

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