Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wednesday in Wyoming -- December 13, 2017

It's the time of the year when people decorate the exterior of their houses with lights, inflatable snowmen, and other holiday-related decorations, but how many decorate whole hillsides with lighted reindeer?

I don't know about you, but the sight of that herd makes me smile and reminds me that Christmas isn't far away.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday in Wyoming -- December 6, 2017

Today's St. Nicholas Day, the perfect day to start my holiday-themed blog posts.  This year I'm going to focus on decorations in Cheyenne.

One of the most beautiful Christmas displays in the city is at the Historic Governors' Mansion. Each year they feature "Tinsel Through Time," an exhibit that showcases the differences in tree trimmings over the years.  But there's more than trees on display -- much more. Even the kitchen and laundry chute are decorated.

If you've ever toured Tinsel Through Time, you understand why it takes literally months to decorate the entire mansion. What incredible attention to detail!

This room features an early twentieth century tree, complete with boxes of animal crackers used as ornaments. I like the old-fashioned sled and wicker chair, and of course the idea of oranges being a special treat reminds me of how much has changed in a hundred years.

But some things haven't changed, including the love that makes this such a special season.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wednesday in Wyoming -- November 29, 2017

We're going to end this month's tour of Fort Caspar with some history. This is the original sign that detailed the fort's history.  Unfortunately, it wasn't totally accurate.

As you can see from the following explanation, several important facts were misstated.
Regardless of the earlier inaccuracies, the fort is an interesting example of nineteenth century military life in Wyoming and a dramatic contrast to Fort Laramie. I encourage you to visit both if you're ever in Wyoming.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wednesday in Wyoming -- November 22, 2017

Can you guess what this is? After showing you how officers and enlisted men lived at Fort Caspar, I couldn't resist letting you see how the horses fared. Yes, this is the stable.

Each of the stalls has a bin for hay and a basin for water. Judging from this, it appears that the horses had more privacy than enlisted men. Hmmm... What does that tell you?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday in Wyoming -- November 15, 2017

Last week we saw an officer's quarters at Fort Caspar. Today you'll see how different life was in the enlisted men's barracks.

One large room served as sleeping, eating, and recreational space for many men. And, if you're thinking that the beds look reasonably sized, it's because each of them was designed to sleep two.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wednesday in Wyoming -- November 8, 2017

Officers who were stationed at Fort Caspar had relatively comfortable lives, including private rooms with large fireplaces (a definite necessity in the cold Wyoming winters), writing desks, and warm rugs.

What surprised me was that they stored their saddles in their rooms.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Wednesday in Wyoming -- November 1, 2017

Welcome to Fort Caspar! Located near Casper, Wyoming (yes, it's spelled differently), this fort celebrates military life in the mid-nineteenth century.

The actual fort was dismantled and its buildings used in the construction of Fort Fetterman, but the site was of enough importance that the buildings were reconstructed as a WPA project during the Depression.

Although the WPA used historically accurate building techniques, one decidedly non-historic element has been added: an electric meter.