Category Archives: Western history

Joseph S. Palen: Cheyenne Frontier Days Chronicler

If you’re interested in the history of Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD), a great place to start is the J. S. Palen papers at the American Heritage Center. Born in 1912 in Salina, Kansas, Palen became fascinated with cowboy culture at … Continue reading

Posted in Agricultural history, Current events, popular culture, Ranch history, Rodeo history, Uncategorized, Western history, Wyoming history | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

The Good Kind of Desert Dust

If you’ve spent any time driving through Wyoming, you’ve probably seen huge herds of wild horses on the roadside. These beautiful animals are an icon of the American West, and Frank “Wild Horse” Robbins spent his whole life working with … Continue reading

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65 Years Ago: Ellis Armstrong and America’s Interstate Highway System

Described as the largest public works project in the history of the world, the monumental Federal-Aid Highway Act that finally made possible the building of a planned super highway system was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on June 29, … Continue reading

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Opening Chutes and Closets – Gay Rodeo

The chute flies open and out comes a bucking bronc, with a rugged cowboy astraddle, trying their best to stay mounted – this iconic image is associated with rodeos across the West. And since 1975, a similar scene has played … Continue reading

Posted in Agricultural history, LGBTQIA+, Out West in the Rockies, Sports and Recreation, Uncategorized, Western history | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mail Must Go Through!

A rider and his horse thunder into view over the desert horizon, barreling towards the way-station where water and a fresh horse await. As the rider leaps off his horse and onto another, his mail bag swinging from his hand, … Continue reading

Posted in 19th century, Transportation history, Uncategorized, Western history, Wyoming history | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cheyenne Women of the Ku Klux Klan

In 1924 Denver residents Laurena H. Senter, Metta L. Gremmels, and Dr. Esther B. Hunt incorporated a chapter of the Women of the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado. Senter was a pillar of the Denver KKK community as well as … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, Western history, women's history, Wyoming history | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Amigos de la Comunidad of Torrington, Wyoming

In box 9 of the Lawrence Cardoso papers housed at the American Heritage Center is a booklet dating to the mid-1970s titled “Amigos de la Comunidad.” I was leafing through that particular box searching for something totally unrelated. But the … Continue reading

Posted in Agricultural history, community collections, Immigration, Latin American history, Local history, Mexican-American history, Uncategorized, Western history, Wyoming history | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Men of Mystery: Tom Horn, William A. Pinkerton, and Frank Canton

Tom Horn’s enduring reputation rests on the moment in 1903 when he was hanged in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for the murder of fourteen-year-old Willie Nickell. It was, in some ways, an ironic end, for Horn was not an “outlaw” like Jesse James … Continue reading

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The Searchlight Club: Elevating Cheyenne’s African American Women

August 26 marks the date in 1920 when American women were enfranchised equally with their male counterparts. Nonetheless, African American women continued facing barriers to voting for decades, as well as negative stereotypes, harassment, and unequal access to jobs, housing, … Continue reading

Posted in African American history, Uncategorized, Western history, Women -- suffrage, Wyoming, Wyoming history | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Sharpshooter Annie Oakley Aimed at the High Mark

“Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, nor the second, and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting, for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you’ll … Continue reading

Posted in Hollywood history, Motion picture actors and actresses, popular culture, Uncategorized, Western history, women's history | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment