Honey in the Riverton Valley
Prior to the Wind River Honey Company, the community of Riverton had a hobby honey manufacturers. None was as popular as Dr. Ralph J. Inman’s honey that came from his bees. Dr. Inman was one of the first dentists to practice in Riverton, arriving some time in 1915. He opened shop in the Tonkin Building on Main Street, across the hall from Dr. Tonkin. Because Dr. Inman was physically unable to participate in other forms of outdoor activities, he found joy in the hobby of beekeeping and honey production. Dr. Inman purchased his hive of bees and equipment from Riverton residents B.M. Caraway and Chet Archibald. From the bees and the equipment Dr. Inman would go on to become the largest honey producer I the state of Wyoming. Dr. Inman had about 1000 colonies of bees, which amounted to 75 to 100 tons of honey.
Dr. Inman was passionate about his beekeeping and wrote an article about the success of the Riverton valley area for raising bees and producing honey. Dr. Inman said in the magazine supplement for the Riverton Review, February 12, 1926 that Fremont County became a leader in the production of honey, averaging two hundred pounds a year, whereas the national average was forty pounds. The Riverton Valley was noted for its advantage of natural climate that help support the bee industry. These advantages were the lower winds in comparison to the rest of the state, which allowed the bees to fly unrestrained, and the abundant and unfailing supply of water from the irrigation ditches that watered the large areas of sweet clove and alfalfa fields. These fields were the only honey bearing plants in the valley which made the honey of superior quality. The honey produced in the Riverton Valley was noted for its white color, body, and fine flavor.
Identified in this photograph is Chet Archibald in the driver seat. The man in the passenger seat could be his business partner B.M. Caraway. Circa 1920.
Re-discover the Winds by visiting the Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander or the Riverton Museum. Log onto www.fremontcountymuseums.com for a complete schedule of events, latest newsletter and the latest Wind River Mountaineer.
Next up for the Fremont County Museums
May 13th at the Pioneer Museum, “Kids Gold Panning” McDonald’s Children’s Exploration Series
May 13th at the Riverton Museum, “Rabbit Hide Painting” with Karina Bryant, McDonald’s Children’s Exploration Series.
May 17th at the Dubois Museum, “How to Make an Arrow” with Tom Lucas, McDonald’s Children’s Exploration Series
May 20th at the Riverton Museum, “Shoshoni Cemetery Adventure Trek” Wind River Visitors Council Adventure Trek
May 20th at the Dubois Museum, “Beginning Photography” with Ellen Jungck, Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series
May 20th at the Pioneer Museum “Lander Historic Walking Tour” with Randy Wise, Wind River Visitors Council Adventure Trek