From the President`s Pen - the Wyoming State Museum



From the President`s Pen - the Wyoming State Museum
From the President’s Pen
Carolyn Turbiville, President, Museum Volunteers
October 2010
Fall Greetings to All:
Fall is definitely in the air, with cooler nights, harvesting about done, leaves
beginning to change and many other signs. Addie and I will soon be back
to classrooms, where children will be reading to Addie. We love that job!
We just completed the revisit to the Lakeview Historic Homes, which proved very successful. In spite
of the weather, we had a very successful revist for the Historic Homes Walk on Saturday, September
18. We had 88 walkers compared to 83 in May. Everyone enjoyed the walk and information. We
even had a few repeat walkers.
Our next big event is the Fall luncheon and meeting, Wednesday October 13, 12 noon in the Museum
multipurpose room. Main dish, drinks, plates, cups, and silverware will all be provided. The calling
committee will be contacting you about October 5 to suggest what you might bring and also
determining if you are planning to attend. We will be voting on the By-law change to change the name
of our organization to Wyoming State Museum Volunteers. If you cannot be present at the meeting,
you may vote absentee with an email to Carolyn [email protected] or stop by the museum and pick
up a ballot from Sarah Ligocki. We will have Peggy Hutchins from RSVP speaking to us about that
organization. Also, all the clothing that has been designed by Linda Rogers and sewn by Linda and
Judy Binger will be on display. This is where some SMV money was spent on a very worthwhile
I am off to Ireland for about 10 days soon. I am looking forward to the trip and meeting up with a
group of friends whom I have traveled with on four other trips.
There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer. The clothing committee is looking for seamstresses to
help with additional clothing to be made. The library committee needs help with computer input. The
34th Annual Arts and Crafts Show and Sale will be August 13, 2010. If you would like to chair or cochair the event, please let Carolyn know. Also, LaVaughn would be willing to share the
responsibilities of registration chairman with someone and if you would like the job, please let her
know. Things are pretty much in order for both jobs, so the transition would be easy and you would
be working with lots of great people.
A report on a young museum volunteer, Lauren Furtney, who has been working at the information
desk and also with Sarah. She is now in Namibia, Africa with the Peace Corps. She is in training for
8 weeks, learning two languages. Lauren is living with a host family. She will be teaching English as
the primary language to 5th and 6th graders.
A kind word will keep someone warm for years.
Your Prez, Carolyn
Pris Golden, an Historic Homes Walk Committee
member, is ready to register the next walker.
Phil, Sarah, Elizabeth & Ellen Stump “walk” the 6 Historic Homes Walk
Revist as a family.
Museum Staff Member, Heyward Schrock, pauses for refreshment before heading out on the walk. Little did he know
his donut had been sitting around for over a week getting stale. It was all in good fun & a freshly made donut was
quickly produced to replace this petrified one!
Introducing State Museum Member Carolyn Turbiville’s
Therapy Dog, Addie
by Mitty Nation
Addie was rescued from the Cheyenne Animal
Shelter, when she was about a year old. Right
away, Carolyn knew she was a “born” therapy
dog, as she loved people and she loved being
petted. Carolyn had previously had a therapy
dog and recognized the traits.
In order to be registered with Therapy Dogs,
Inc., Addie and Carolyn were tested and
observed as a team. Being a registered
therapy dog, she visits hospitals, nursing
homes, assisted livings, library, and schools
and anywhere else she is invited to visit.
Addie in costume as a Halloween pumpkin!
Carolyn, being a retired teacher, and Addie’s
love of children inspired the initiation of therapy
dogs visiting classrooms in Cheyenne. Last
year, Addie visited 3 classes at Dildine, two at Davis and a class at Central High. She
and Carolyn are planning to continue this school year.
Addie encourages the students when they are reading because she seems to be
listening. The children are more excited about reading as they stroke Addie’s soft fur.
The boys and girls feel they speak more clearly so they can be heard and read more
fluently from reading to Addie.
A paraprofessional who works at Dildine school in the primary
Resource Room, commented that the children were excited knowing the day when
Addie was coming. She felt that when Addie entered the room, their little faces lit up.
Addie has a good buddy, Kohl, who visits with her. Kohl
belongs to SMV member Marj Woods and is also a therapy
(Photos provided by Carolyn Turbiville)
At right: Addie’s buddy… Kohl.
A reminder about how this works. Every month
we publish a What’s IT? photo. We may even
provide a suggestion or two as to what it might
be. Look it over, apply your knowledge and
decide on your answer. The correct answer will
be found in the same month’s issue in the
Upcoming Events column. Thanks to Manny
Vigil, Museum Director, and his Collections Staff
for their support and assistance with What’s IT?
Photo by: Collections Staff
This month’s What’s IT? is primarily
metal with a wooden handle. It measures
approximately 20-inches in length. Is this
an early American pumpkin carving tool
or a tool to be used in grabbing
something just out of reach? Or,
something else entirely? Have fun!
Tour of the Messenger Museum
Attention Museum Volunteers! I have arranged a tour for all Archives and Museum Volunteers to
Cheyenne’s Messenger Museum. The tour is scheduled for Tuesday October 19 at 1:00. We will
meet at the museum at 12:30 and carpool from there. Please let me know if you plan to attend.
Thanks to Cara Baber for this great suggestion!
Sarah Ligocki
Curator of Education
State Museum Volunteer Profiles
a continuing series of interviews
by Gil Gianetti
Pat Becker
Pat told me that she came into the museum about six and a half years ago and quickly realized that it
was a volunteer job that she would like to do, so she inquired then and there about becoming a
She said that she really likes meeting the visitors and finding out where they call home. Pat said so
many of the museum visitors are amazed that there is no admission fee to tour the museum, but any
chance she gets she mentions that donations are welcome.
Pat, like all of the other volunteers I have interviewed to date, said that the friendly and helpful staff
are a real bonus to the volunteer’s job.
I asked her if she volunteered for other organizations and she said she used to volunteer in the
pharmacy at the Veterans Administration Hospital, a job she liked with friendly, helpful people but it
did not have the flexibility that the museum job has. After a leg injury she found it harder to work in
the pharmacy, so she gave it up and just does the museum work twice a month. She is always
amazed by how fast her shift goes by during the summer months when the museum has a high visitor
count. The day I interviewed her in mid-September it was a bit slow by her estimate, with 51 visitors
by 1 p.m.
Pat maintains a pet sitting service, taking care of family pets when the rest of their family leaves town.
Because of this continuing service she doesn’t consider herself retired.
She and her husband Paul are Wisconsin natives and moved to Wyoming in 1984 when Paul’s job as
a system analyst for Blue Cross Blue Shield brought the couple here. In 1990, they moved to
Albuquerque, New Mexico and returned to Cheyenne in 1996 when Paul retired. Pat said that after
experiencing life in Wyoming they can’t imagine living anywhere else.
I asked her about hobbies and she told me she used to do downhill skiing and belonged to the Ski
Patrol and also did extensive cross country skiing. However, a hamstring injury has put that hobby in
the past tense. She and Paul are Audubon Society members and really like birding. Pat added that
her pet boarding business could be considered a hobby since she loves taking care of the animals.
The couple has three cats that were strays, but are now indoor-only cats – Barney, Pepe and Holly.
In looking over the October calendar you will note a number of welcome desk shifts
are not covered. Please contact Sarah at 777-7021 if you are willing to sign up for any
of these openings. Thanks so much for any additional help you might be able to give,
it is sincerely appreciated.
Upcoming Halloween Event
Halloween is approaching, and once again I am looking for volunteers to help out with the third
annual “Night at the Museum” Halloween event. Like last year, I am hoping to have volunteers
stationed throughout the museum portraying characters from Wyoming’s past. Children will be
given an activity guide that will require them to visit each character and find out why they are
important to Wyoming’s history. Upon completion of the activity guide, guests will receive a
Halloween treat bag. The event was quite successful last year with four hundred visitors! I am
hoping that we will draw an even larger crowd this year. The event will be held from 12:00 to
3:00 p.m. on Saturday October 30.
If you are interested in portraying a character from Wyoming’s past, please contact me at 7777021. (As a side note, I would like the list of Wyoming characters portrayed this year to be
different from last year as I want the experience to be a new one for repeat visitors.) I have
provided a list of some possible characters below. Unfortunately, volunteers must provide their
own costume/clothing, but I will help with choosing characters, period correct clothing, and
providing a summary of the character’s life and significance to Wyoming’s history.
I will also need three or four volunteers to help with distributing activity guides and treat bags at
the event. Please let me know if you are interested.
Finally, I am asking for donations of bags of candy to fill around 500 treat bags. You may drop
off bags at my office throughout October. I greatly appreciate the help!
Possible Characters:
Prehistoric Woolly Mammoth Hunter
Present Day Fisherman
Paleontologists Othniel Marsh or Edward Cope
Dr./Governor Amos Barber
Chief Washakie
Fur Trader William Ashley
General Grenville Dodge (chose railroad’s southern route across Wyo.)
Photographer J.E. Stimson
Frontier Army Laundress
Clara McGee (female rodeo star)
F.E. Warren
Tom Horn
Butch Cassidy
Esther Hobart Morris
Estelle Reel
Railroad worker
Merchant (turn of the century)
Dentist (19th century)
Owen Wister (author of The Virginian)
~ Sarah Ligocki
Curator of Education
President: Carolyn Turbiville
Vice President: Bill Yannaccone
Tracy Stefanik-Berg
Linda Rogers
Vaquero Editor: Beth F. Gianetti
About the Organization
From the inception in 1974, the
State Museum Volunteers have
been instrumental in assisting
the art and education programs
of the Wyoming State Museum.
Their tie to these programming
sections of the museum remains
strong today. Volunteers at the
Wyoming State Museum are an
important link between the
museum’s professional services
and the public it serves. In
human terms, they represent the
museum’s mission to the public.
The Volunteer Vaquero. . .
is published monthly for
members of the State
Museum Volunteers,
Wyoming State Museum,
Barrett Building, 2301
Central Avenue, Cheyenne,
WY 82002. Newsletter
deadline is the 20th of each
Upcoming Events:
October 13 – 12 noon – Fall General
Meeting. In the multipurpose room. Meeting to
follow pot luck luncheon.
October 14 – 7 p.m. – Wyoming State
Museum Lecture Series - “The Evolution of
Gold Recovery Processes at the Carissa Mine”
Jon Lane, Assistant Supt, South Pass City, WY.
October 19 – 1 p.m. Tour of the Messenger
Museum. Meet at 12:30 p.m. at WY State
Museum to carpool.
October 20 – 1 p.m. Board Meeting - State
Museum Vounteers Inc. Multi-purpose room.
October 2010 What’s It? Answer:
A Sugar Beet Topping Knife
11 – Sharon Collier
18 – Beverly Goodman
21 – Kay Thomas
23 – Bill Yannaccone
MILK CAN DINNER – 08/28/10
Hummingbirds everywhere…enjoying their migration picnic.
Everything’s loaded in the milk can & now it is
under Bill Yannaccone’s careful supervision.
Carolyn Turbiville checks veggies for tenderness. Suzi Taylor holds the cover.
Rolling is the best way to stir the contents. Suzi & Tom give it a go.
Tom Berg carefully lifts off the milk can’s lid.
Jenny says: “Let’s eat!”
Take a look inside!!
Pouring the dinner into a serving dish, watching
out for that built-up steam.
The picture perfect site for the Milk Can Dinner, Beverly Goodman’s lovely country home in Buford.
Bill & Mary Fietz relax on the swing, awaiting the dinner bell.
A Milk Can Dinner circa 1915! These dinners are a longstanding WY tradition as you can see. (Meyers
Collection photo courtesy of the Wyoming State
Chow line forms as a shower passes overhead. L-R:
1 row: Mary Wilson, Mitty Nation, Larry Gunton,
Tom Berg. 2 row from left: Ann Bell, Ken Barrows,
Judy Binger.
Observations regarding our milk can dinner at Beverly
Goodman’s lovely mountain home
by Mitty Nation
State Museum Volunteer
- Driving in and seeing the canopies set up & SMVs enjoying
themselves. IT was great!
- A little rain never hurts anybody
Hearing about the preparations for our milk can dinner:
1. Finding a milk can
2. Preparation of ingredients
3. The delicious aroma and WOW!! the food was delicious
All made for a very enjoyable Saturday afternoon.
Jim Allison’s job title is Supervisor of Collections, a job that is shared with his wife,
Jennifer Alexander.
He began working for the museum full time in 1995, having done volunteer and
contract work for the Museum prior to that. When he was hired his title was
Supervisor of Interpretation. Jennifer was already working at the Museum in
collections. They got married in 1998, and when their first son was born they
decided that a parent at home was a good idea, if at all possible. The couple
looked into sharing one job, since they were both qualified.
Jim said that there is an option in the personnel rules about sharing a job, so they
petitioned the Governor with the request and were given the go-ahead.
He said it works well in their case, but they did have to plan carefully, going from two salaries down to
one. They made it work since it was something they really wanted.
Prior to joining the Wyoming State Museum Jim worked as an archeologist for about 10 years in
Wyoming, Nevada and Illinois for a subcontractor who did work for companies drilling for oil, natural
gas and gold. These jobs were during the summer while winters were spent in Europe in work
primarily through universities that were involved in archeological digs. There was a job in a French
museum, two in Great Britain and various university placements in Europe.
He said at age 30 it dawned on him that the work he loved so much was not actually paying the bills
and a career path change was in order. So he went for his Master’s degree while in England, with the
idea of getting away from digging for items and turning to analyzing the found items.
While in pursuit of the Master’s in archeology an opportunity came up to also get a Master’s degree in
Jim’s average day can be full of surprises with no two days being the same. He most recently has
found himself venturing into technical areas of the museum that are not collections-related, such as a
re-design of the museum web site, and learning the computer controlled lighting system recently
installed in the museum. He regularly responds to artifact inquiries from the public. When an attic is
being cleaned out items are found and people want to know: what is it? is it rare? how do I care for it?
Jim said this service is interesting because you never know what will come through the door. He
finds people very appreciative of being able to sit down one on one to have their item analyzed.
His favorite part of work is creating exhibits that people can learn from, such as the Governor
Campbell exhibit now on display.
Jim’s hobbies include astronomy, jewelry-making and interactive time with two sons, Alexander, age
10 and Zachary, age 7.
Jim is a Cheyenne native with family members putting down roots in Wyoming as early as 1869.
Jim’s sister and mother live in California and his father lives in Cheyenne.
He reports directly to Museum Director, Manny Vigil.
Artifact of the Month
by Jim Allison, Supervisor of Collections
Embroidery of Heart Mountain, Wyoming
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive
Order 9066 on February 19, 1942 authorizing the
creation of “military zones” along the west coast
of the United States. On March 2, 1942, General
John DeWitt issued “Instructions to All Persons of
Japanese Ancestry” stating they should report
with their belongings for relocation to internment
camps away from the west coast military zones.
At the foot of Heart Mountain in northern
Wyoming, a camp was built in sixty days by two
thousand workers.
From August, 1942 to
September, 1945, roughly 13,997 internees
passed through the Heart Mountain internment
camp. Many stayed within its barbed wire the
entire time. At its peak, the camp population was
Embroidery is a traditional Japanese art and many people interned in relocation centers during World
War II worked on embroidered artwork to pass the time. It is believed that more embroidery was
created at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming than at any of the ten other relocation
centers in the United States.
One of the men interned in Wyoming’s Heart Mountain camp was seventy-five year old Mr.
Nagahama. He had been a teacher of embroidery in California before the war. After arriving in
Wyoming, Mr. Nagahama asked the relocation center authorities if he could teach an embroidery
class. After two denials, he was finally granted permission to teach a class, but no materials were
To provide his students something to work with, Mr. Nagahama took a piece of cloth he had brought
from California and divided it into a dozen small pieces. He also shared his supply of silk thread.
Enthusiasm for Mr. Nagahama’s embroidery class was soon overwhelming; at one time over 650
pupils from the camp were enrolled. Special exhibitions of needlework became a celebrated part of
camp life.
Unfortunately, the artist who made this piece at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center is not known.
It was acquired at a bazaar in the 1940s. The Museum received it as a donation in 1985.
Frontier Army Forts of Wyoming
By Heyward Schrock
Education/Interpretation Supervisor, Wyoming State Museum
The United States Army became interested in the
region that would one day become Wyoming during the
overland migration of settlers to the Pacific coast in
1842. In that year, Lieutenant John C. Fremont of the
Topographical Engineers took a small detachment over
the emigrant trail to the South Pass area. In his report
of the trip, he suggested that the U.S. Army place a
garrison in the area of Wyoming by writing:
Fort Laramie, circa 1858
“If it is in contemplation to keep open the
communications with Oregon Territory, a show of
military force in this country is absolutely necessary
and a combination of advantages renders the
neighborhood of Ft. Laramie the most suitable place,
on the line of the Platte, for the establishment of a
military fort.”
By 1849, settlers were not only bound for the Oregon country, Mormon caravans traveled to the Great
Salt Lake Valley, and waves of miners rushed through Wyoming on their way to the gold fields of
California. The travel corridor that followed the Platte and Sweetwater Rivers, and over South Pass
became a matter of national interest. The Federal government purchased Fort Laramie from the
American Fur Company in 1849, turning the
old fur trading post into a military fort. The
primary reason for stationing troops at Fort
Laramie began a military presence in
Wyoming that continues today with F.E.
Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne. For
sixty years the army established posts
ranging from crude cabins for a handful of
men to sprawling complexes of more than a
hundred buildings.
Fort Laramie, circa 1870
After the Civil War the army protected the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad from forts placed
strategically along the rail line. The succession of wars with the Northern Cheyenne and Lakota
(Sioux) tribes dictated the establishment of more posts. Most were nothing more than a collection of
buildings huddled together on the high plains, with barracks for the enlisted men facing other
buildings for officers, and a structure for the commander. Those buildings along with stables,
warehouses, powder magazine, hospital, sutler’s store, guard house, and post headquarters were
grouped around a parade ground. It was rare for walls or defensive works to be built around frontier
forts. As decades passed those forts which remained in active use, such as Fort D.A. Russell,
became more sophisticated and better built. Many of the small forts were hardly improved before
they were finally abandoned.
What’s In A Name?
Most army posts were named after army officers. All
ranks from lieutenant to general were represented.
Several kept the name used when the site was a
trading-post. Wyoming has the distinction of having a
fort named after Shoshone leader Chief Washakie.
One was named for Yellowstone National Park.
Fort Bridger – (1842-1890) This fort began as the
trading post of famous mountain man Jim Bridger. It
later became an important army post along the
Oregon/California/Mormon Trails.
Fort Bridger Commissary.
Fort Caspar - (1862-1867) Troops were assigned to this post
during the Civil War to guard a 1,000 foot bridge across the North
Platte River. The fort was named for Lieutenant Caspar Collins,
who was killed by Lakota (Sioux) and Northern Cheyenne warriors
during the Battle of Platte Bridge.
Fort D.A. Russell – (1867-1948) This major fort was built to
protect the Union Pacific Railroad from Indian attacks. It is still in
Fort Bridger Officer Row.
use today as an important Air Force missile base. Named for
General David A. Russell, who was killed during the Civil War, the fort was renamed Fort Francis E.
Warren by Congress in 1930. In 1948 the U.S. Air Force officially took command from the U.S. Army
of what is now called F.E. Warren Air Force Base.
Fort Fetterman – (1867-1882) Fort Fetterman is located at the junction of the Bozeman Trail and
Oregon/California/Mormon Trails. General George Crook led his expedition north from here to fight
the Lakota (Sioux) in 1876. The post was named for Captain William J. Fetterman, who was killed by
the Lakota in 1866.
Fort Fred Steele – (1868-86) Located only a few feet from the railroad tracks, Fort Steele was built to
protect the Union Pacific Railroad. The fort was named for General Fred Steele, who was killed
during the Civil War.
Fort Laramie – (1834-1890) This fort originated as one of the leading trading posts on the frontier.
Despite officially being named Fort William and later Fort John,
the name Fort Laramie was used because of the fort’s location
on the Laramie River. This post was a critical military fort
during the Indian Wars, and was the scene of treaty
negotiations and military expeditions. Thousands of civilians
passed the fort on their way west.
Fort Phil Kearny – (1866-1868) Built as the headquarters post
along the Bozeman Trail, Fort Phil Kearny was under a virtual
siege by Chief Red Cloud and the Lakota during its two years of
Infantry Officers, Fort Laramie 1868.
existence. The Wagon Box Fight and the Fetterman Fight were
fought only a few miles from the fort. This fort was named for General Philip Kearny, who was killed
during the Civil War.
Fort Mackenzie – (1899-1918) Established at the end of the 19th century, Fort MacKenzie was fully
garrisoned by 1905. Named for General Ranald Mackenzie, a Civil War general and later a cavalry
commander during the Indian War period, the fort serves as a Veterans’ Affairs hospital today.
Fort McKinney – (1877-1894) Fort McKinney was built as a base-of-operations to fight the Lakota
(Sioux) in the Powder River Basin. It was named after First Lieutenant John A. McKinney, who was
killed by the Northern Cheyenne in 1876. Today, the post is used as the Wyoming Soldiers and
Sailors Home.
Fort Sanders – (1866-1882) Built to protect
the Union Pacific Railroad, originally named
Camp Brown, Fort Sanders was renamed in
1878 for General William Sanders who was
killed during the Civil War. Today the fort is
part of the city of Laramie.
Fort Washakie – (1871-1909) A rarity, this
fort was named in honor of a Native
Washakie. It was built to protect the
Shoshone Indians Wind River Reservation
from their traditional enemy the Lakota.
Today, many of the buildings from the post
are used by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and
tribal government.
U.S. Grant at Ft. Sanders.
Fort Yellowstone – (1892-1918) Fort Yellowstone was constructed to protect the natural resources
of Yellowstone National Park before the organization of the National Park Service. Many former army
buildings are still in use today by the NPS.
Location, Location, Location
Below: Fort Bridger, c. 1889.
Strategic and tactical factors were major reasons in
determining where many military posts were built. But other
considerations influenced fort locations as well. Water was
essential, and without exception frontier forts were built close
to what was considered a dependable water source, stream,
lake or spring. A supply of suitable building material nearby
was necessary. Local stone, timber, and earth were all used
by early forts. Some forts had usable coal deposits near, although most posts depended upon wood,
sometimes brought from a considerable distance. Lumber was desired for many purposes, but was
often in short supply or unavailable locally. It often had to be transported miles from a source.
Forage for animals was another necessity and was amply available near most forts. Despite the
consideration taken in choosing a site, more than one post was relocated or abandoned because the
water supply proved unsatisfactory; the location was considered poor from a defensive point of view,
or because of the prevalence of disease.
As Indian hostilities declined on the frontier, the role of the army changed and the importance of
having numerous forts disappeared. By the late 19th century troops were concentrated at large posts
like Ft. Russell and Ft. Mackenzie. In an emergency troops could be rushed, by railway, to a crisis
like the Ute uprising in northern Colorado, or to assist in civil law enforcement during labor troubles at
coal mining towns in Western Wyoming and even as far away as Chicago. As the need for forts
declined, post after post was phased out, leaving only one active military fort in Wyoming by the end
of the 20th century. Fort Francis E. Warren was transferred from the Army to the Air Force in 1948.
Known today as F.E. Warren AFB, it is home to the 90th Space Wing.
Photographs courtesy of the Wyoming State Archives.

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