#Lookback: Wyoming Roads

A County 10 series in partnership with the Fremont County Museum System
where we take a #Lookback at the stories and history of our community and
presented by Mick Pryor, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones.

Ever drive through Wyoming and stop to think about why the road you are driving on is located where it is? While there are many engineering considerations to take into account when constructing roads, many of the state’s highways like US Highway 14 and 14A, Interstate 25, and even the loop through Yellowstone National Park are all following routes of Native American trails. Wyoming’s geography and early trails were all well-known and descriptively named by Native Americans. Crow Chief Arapooish told US Army officer Robert Campbell in the 1830s about the varied routes traveled by his people as they followed migratory game like elk, deer, antelope, and bighorn sheep from the plains of northern Wyoming and southern Montana to winter shelters along the Wind River.

Famed explorer James “Jim” Bridger followed native trails when he first guided Army Captain William Raynold’s Expedition (1859-1860) through the Wind River Range and again when he laid out a trail through the Big Horn Basin. And when Shoshone guide Togwotee led Army Captain William Jones on an exploration of Wyoming Territory in 1873 he was following a complex system of trails and passes which had long been in use to hunt game, harvest plant materials, engage in trade or war, and to visit extended family members. For example, some of the trails used by the Tukedeka, or Sheepeater Indians, which connect the Wind River, Shoshone, and Yellowstone River watersheds follow exactly along elk migration corridors mapped out by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Similarly, important trails were later incorporated into major Euro-American transportation routes like the Oregon Trail, the Bozeman Trail, Sylvan Pass in Yellowstone, or Togwotee Pass in the Wind River Mountains. Still today many of Wyoming’s highways roughly parallel the routes established hundreds of years ago.

Next up for the Fremont County Museum

December 3, 9-5 pm at the Dubois Museum, Pioneer Museum in Lander & the Riverton Museum

              “First Fridays” Lander State Farm – Riverton State Farm

December 4, 11-4 pm at the Dubois Museum, “Christmas Open House”

December 11, 1-4 pm at the Riverton Museum, “Christmas Open House”

December 11, 1-4 pm at the Riverton Museum, “Toy Building”

              Bailey Tire/Pit Stop Children’s Exploration Series

December 17, 6:30 pm at the Dubois Museum, “Christmas Caroling at the Museum”

              Bailey Tire/Pit Stop Children’s Exploration Series

December 18, 5-7 pm at the Pioneer Museum, “Old Fashioned Christmas Open House”

              Bailey Tire/Pit Stop Children’s Exploration Series

Thru December 30, 9-5 pm at the Pioneer Museum, “The Arapaho Way” By Sara Wiles

              Photography on exhibit in the Western Gallery through December

Thru October 2022, 9-5 pm Monday-Saturday, at the Pioneer Museum, “Hurrah for The Cowboy: Men of the Open Range” Art Exhibition

The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander, and the Riverton Museum need your financial support. In the current economic environment, the museums are more reliant than ever on donations from the private sector to continue to provide the quality programs, collections management, exhibits, and services that have become their hallmark over the last four years. Please make your tax-deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support. 

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