a product message image
{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade

Page 1


Features

10

CAPTURING THE WEST

22

CROW LANGUAGE

14

WYOMING IN PROFILE

26

INDUSTRIAL CHANGES

18

DESIRE FOR PUBLIC LANDS

30

COMPUTER SCIENCE

34

PIONEERING WOMEN OF WYOMING

Visitors, residents portray lure of wyoming Authors interpret contemporary West Officials work to preserve valuable spaces

A living resource Flume ushered First business boom students undertake cutting-edge venture Past, present, future

A mountain view from U.S. Highway 87 between Story and Big Horn.. 4

I

DEST INAT IO N SH ER IDA N - BY T HE SHER IDA N PRE S S

FA L L / W I N TE R 2019- 2020


A SPECIAL EDITION OF

VOLUME 8 | NUMBER 4

56

PIONEERING SPIRIT

Sheridan stalwart’s impact lives on

44

WHO IS A WYOMING ARTIST

50

RANCHING TRADITIONS

56

CARBON CAPTURE

creators share inspiration, artistic mission our future, our past

Wyoming leads research, development

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2019 Destination Sheridan is a lifestyle and tourism magazine dedicated to serving the greater Sheridan area. Its circulation reaches into visitor centers, places of hospitality, local businesses and other establishments in greater northern Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana and Colorado, in addition to home delivery customers of The Sheridan Press. The magazine is also available online at thesheridanpress.com and destinationsheridan.com. All photos in Destination Sheridan are by Matthew Gaston or are file photos from The Sheridan Press archives unless otherwise noted. Copyright Sheridan Newspapers, Inc. All uncredited stories are from The Sheridan Press staff reports.

CONTRIBUTORS Kristen Czaban Publisher

Deb McLain Graphic designer

Chad Riegler Operations manager

Matthew Gaston Photojournalist

Becky Martini Office manager Caitlin Addlesperger Director of special projects

Ashleigh Snoozy Editor Michael Illiano Journalist

Janea LaMeres Lead marketing specialist

Joel Moline Journalist

Mandi Hicks Marketing specialist

Allayana Darrow Journalist

Thomas Snooks Marketing specialist

Carrie Haderlie Journalist

Jon Cates Art director

Tracee Davis Journalist

ON THE COVER A cowgirl looks over pasture land during a September sunset.

A PRODUCT OF

WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

5


6

I

DEST INAT IO N SH ER IDA N - BY T HE SHER IDA N PRE S S

FA L L / W I N TE R 2019- 2020


WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

7


PUBLISHER’S

NOTE

The legends and pioneers who roamed the foothills and mountains have always understood something special about the West — the romance, the opportunity and the possibility of adventure. Some sought fame and fortune, while others pursued freedom and peace. Those moving to and living in Wyoming today often do so for similar reasons. As places like Sheridan County continue to grow, it’s important to look back and learn from those who experienced the West before us. They had different tools but often faced challenges similar to those we face today. The vast open spaces we cherish also pose challenges in connectivity, infrastructure and travel. The beauty of our surroundings, while home to the animals and landscapes we love and rely on, also prove dangerous at times. The fierce independence and solitude we seek also makes it harder to reach out for help, battle mental health issues and, at times, work together. With that in mind, this fall and winter, as we all huddle indoors and await signs of spring, the team at The Press wanted to both pay tribute to those who came before us and recognize those among us carving new trails. Wyoming — and Sheridan County in particular — has been home to some infamous characters — Buffalo Bill Cody, Ernest Hemingway, Butch Cassidy and others. We also boast more than one legend, such as the story of Devil’s Tower, the Death Ship of the Platte River, Big Nose George, Miss Kate and more. And while our past is something we speak of proudly, I’m more excited for our state’s future. Wyoming sits at a crossroads in many ways. We have the opportunity to create and grow new industries, set the tone for educational achievement nationally and offer examples of how to manage public lands. The best part? We can do all this while honoring the values and the heritage that run so deep here. We know what those values are, spelled out so many times and ways. They include courage, pride in one’s work, keeping your word, finishing what you start and respect for others. But they also include an entrepreneurial spirit, a willingness to take on challenges others shy away from and a recognition that, albeit small in population, our state has proven mighty time and time again.

The sunrise greets the snow-covered Bighorn Mountains south of Sheridan. 8

I

DEST INAT IO N SH ER IDA N - BY T HE SHER IDA N PRE S S

Kristen Czaban

kristen.czaban@thesheridanpress.com FA L L / W I N TE R 2019- 2020


WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

9


Before acquiring this printing press, artist Hans Kleiber used an old laundry mangle to create prints. Later in his career, Kleiber replaced this press with one he had built by Sheridan Iron Works.

10

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


CAPTURING

THE WEST Visitors, residents portray lure of wyoming By Joel Moline

S

heridan County rests along the eastern edge of the Bighorn Mountains, with communities based on ranching, western culture and the love of nature. Capturing the tradition and preserving what life was like throughout the history of Sheridan County is no easy task. Yet those who lived in the area captured what they saw in their daily lives and shared it with the world, providing a snapshot. During the turn of 20th century, most people outside of the American West had perceptions of western culture influenced by Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show, which traveled throughout America and Europe. The acts in his carnival-style show came from all around the West, and to choose the acts, Cody hosted auditions on the porch of the Sheridan Inn located on Fifth and Broadway streets in Sheridan, where it still stands today. Cody and his performances dazzled audiences, and the curiosity of what the West held drew in many. Cody’s show offered a look at a way of life developed in the American West. With land offered and new natural resources to be utilized, the West promised more than just the wild adventure seen in Cody’s shows. It offered a chance to pioneer one’s own path. As people traveled to Sheridan looking to experience the West for themselves, many stayed at the Sheridan Inn. Upon their stay at the Sheridan Inn, they might have met Catherine Arnold, known as Miss Kate. Miss Kate started working at the Sheridan Inn in 1901 and remained an employee of the inn until its closure in 1965, said Michael Dykhorst, a local historian. Miss Kate started as a seamstress at the inn and helped in other capacities. The inn was built in 1893, Miss Kate said in her memoir.

For the majority of the inn’s existence, Miss Kate greeted those checking in while on trips to visit area. Legend has it that Miss Kate, now a ghost, continues to greet Sheridan Inn visitors today. Another person drawn to the West was Hans Kleiber, who was born in Germany in 1887 and grew up in Austria. Kleiber and his family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1900, local artist Sonja Caywood said. There his father found work in textile manufacturing. Caywood, who is also a tour guide at the Hans Kleiber Studio Museum in Dayton, said Kleiber was unimpressed with life in Massachusetts.

Hans Kleiber also helped plot roads and trails in the Bighorns, some of which are still used today. He shaped the way people experienced the Bighorns, laying the foundation for the modern U.S. Forest Service. “It was not the American frontier that he read about,” Caywood said. “He was kinda disappointed with it.” Kleiber became an artist known for his watercolor paintings of the Bighorn Mountains, prints — especially of waterfowl — and poetry. Kleiber was self-taught, learning primarily from his friends, books or practicing on his own. He taught himself how to etch photos on copper and zinc plates, yielding a chance to sell more of his artwork.

WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

11


Elsa Spear Byron took this photograph of the Bighorn Mountains while on a pack trip circa 1924. Byron added the color by hand.

Byron took this photograph of the Spear ranch house south of Big Horn circa 1924. The house was later moved to Montana. Byron added the color by hand.

Byron took this photograph of the Bighorn Mountains while on a pack trip featuring her father Willis ‘Papa’ Spear circa 1924. Byron added the color by hand.

Photos courtesy of Elsa Collection, Big Horn City Historical Society and The Wyoming Room, Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library

Kleiber came to Sheridan County in 1906 to be a tie hack on the Tongue River tie flume, which fed lumber for railroad ties from the Bighorn Mountains to the Tongue River. The ties were used by the Burlington and Missouri railroad that went through Sheridan. Kleiber became a U.S. Forest Service forest ranger after earning citizenship, living the rest of his life in Dayton. He oversaw the tie flume until the operation stopped in 1913. Caywood said Kleiber was a fire chief for the USFS, too. Kleiber helped plot the roads and trails in the Bighorns, some of which are still used today. He shaped the way people experienced the mountains, laying the foundation for the modern USFS. His extensive time in the Bighorns inspired his artwork and writings, capturing the world he saw as a member of the USFS. The access and availability granted to him as a ranger gave Kleiber the opportunity to capture the natural beauty of the mountains and their creatures, allowing him to be one of the first artists to share what that world looked like to those not in the area. Sharing his work in exhibits on the East Coast helped drive interest to the Bighorn Mountains, drawing more people into

Many of the tools Hans Kleiber used to create his prints were hand made. Pictured here are the etching tools Kleiber made to complete his prints.

12

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

Sheridan and surrounding areas. While Kleiber was taking care of the Bighorns, capturing the natural beauty of the area, Elsa Spear Byron, a native of Big Horn, captured the lifestyle of those working on the ranches in the area. Byron, born in 1896, grew up on a working ranch near Big Horn and received her first camera when she was 7. Byron’s first camera was a box camera that took glass negatives. She started taking photos of the area and of the people working on the ranch, Dykhorst said. Byron’s father Willis M. Spear operated a dude ranch, giving people the chance not only to see western life but experience it. Spear guided packing trips through the Bighorns, said Judy Slack, a local historian. It was during these backpacking trips that Byron and her sister took photos. The subjects included people from the East, those working on the mule trains and the natural landscape of the Bighorns. Byron’s photos became well known after their use in advertisements. Some were used in pamphlets made to promote the dude ranch her father owned, others she sold to railroad companies to hang in windows, advertising trips to the West. For the advertisements for the railroad companies, Byron enlarged her photos, making some 2 feet tall and 4 feet wide. The printing machine was purchased from Eastman-Kodak, Dykhorst said. Byron received the machine in 1929, just a few weeks before the stock market crashed, Slack said. The size of photos Byron produced were not as common during the time and very few people in the West had access to an enlarger; even fewer had one let alone having on in their own kitchen like Byron did. She had a hole cut out in her ceiling, letting in sunlight needed to properly expose the photograph. Because of the size, the chemical wash part of developing the photo was done in her bathtub. Byron used her photographs to entice people from the East to come experience life in the West, sometimes giving them a firsthand experience. These historic figures helped shape the west we know today. Buffalo Bill presented the West for an audience; Kleiber and Byron captured images of its culture and nature, documenting it for the world to see, and Miss Kate welcomed those who came to Sheridan County to see it all for themselves. s

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

13


WYOMING

IN PROFILE Authors interpret the contemporary WesT By Allayana Darrow

W

yoming has influenced dozens of well-known authors, including Ernest Hemingway, who spent time at ranches across northern Wyoming and the Sheridan Inn, according to the Wyoming State Historical Society. His short story, “Wine of Wyoming” is set in Sheridan. Finishing the first draft of “A Farewell to Arms,” Hemingway wrote about 600 pages of the classic piece in Wyoming during the summer of 1928. Each author who writes in Wyoming digests the wildlife, cowboy culture and striking landscape in a different way, bringing his or her own goals, history and perspective to a largely undeveloped space.

14

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


Planting roots Author Craig Johnson first came to northern Wyoming as a young man to deliver horses from Montana in the 1980s. “I loved it the first time I met it,” he said. He lived in other places around the country, but something about the town of Ucross kept calling him back. He kept himself apprised of available property and changes to the town over the years. When Johnson raised enough money to return, buy a ranch and build his own 24- by 32-foot log cabin, the space and privacy of Wyoming turned out to be everything he hoped for. When people ask in awe, “The closest town to your ranch only has 25 people?” He replies there are really only 19 people. They just haven’t changed the sign in a while. Johnson is the author of the Walt Longmire crime fiction series, now a popular Netflix drama. The series is based on the environment, law enforcement and culture of northern Wyoming. While his books are set in a fictional county, Johnson said that readers from Wyoming can identify real landmarks in his novels. Certain icons and trails are recognizable. Johnson used his familiarity with Wyoming culture to create something different from the high-tech crime novels that turn pages by raising the body count. He chose to focus on character development and writing from a sense of place, which he said produces the best writing. Johnson said the culture in this region is complex and difficult to portray, but he aims to offer readers all over the world a touch of honesty about the West through his novels. He said Wyoming is a geographic and emotional frontier. “It’s not just cowboys and Indians,” Johnson added. Some readers pick up a Western crime fiction book with certain preconceived notions, but like Walt Longmire, Johnson likes to challenge expectations about cowboys with the real-world experiences that compose his literary world. Understanding Western culture happens in layers, but Wyoming can have an impact on people who simply see the landscape from a plane, he said. From people who stay for a brief visit to those to plant their roots in the Powder River Basin, the incomparable landscape makes a mark on each person. Johnson said he is wary of allowing mountains and geography to become commonplace, losing their majesty and magic. “I always remind myself: Look at those mountains, get up in those mountains,” he said. Johnson enjoys finding an honest balance in his writing, without demonizing a culture or being too simplistic and idealistic.

Making ghosts, shifting perspective When Juan Alvarado Valdivia returned from a late-night visit to the bathroom and closed the door to his room, he imagined the shadow of two legs standing outside his door. A thin strip of light oozed under the doorway from the hall of the Kocur Writing Studio at the Ucross Foundation, where Alvarado Valdivia worked during a two-week residency in late August after receiving support from an Amazon Literary PartLEFT | Juan Alvarado Valdivia’s work station during a two- week residency at Ucross allowed him time to work on a short story and novel. Photo by Allayana Darrow

Author Craig Johnson sits on the back of a 1964 Ford Bronc waiting to greet fans at Longmire Days.

nership Grant that Ucross was awarded in 2019. A resident of Hayward, California, Alvarado Valdivia said sleeping alone at Ucross could be frightening. As he looked out across spaces where Native Americans used to live, heard stories from other residents at dinner and recalled the film “Poltergeist,” Alvarado Valdivia was inspired to write a ghost story. “It’s startling to come out to a place where it’s extremely dark,” he said. Sophie He, the other recipient of the Literary Partnership Grant, said that as she rode her bike along the highway in complete darkness and silence, her flashlight was the only light. “The only thing I could do was pedal forward and hope for the best,” she said. He was born in Shanghai. She spent most of her life in Los Angeles, California, and is currently finishing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Saint Louis, Missouri. Rather than the “creep-factor,” He felt more uneasy about being a person of color in a place where she could count the people of color she encountered on one hand. While it didn’t hinder her creative focus at Ucross because she’s accustomed to feeling different, He said she was acutely aware of her difference when she visited Sheridan and Buffalo, which made her reluctant to explore. WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

15


He said it’s important for emerging writers of color to visit the American West and contribute to the ideas and myths that shape Wyoming. Ucross is mindful of including a variety of voices and identities with artist residencies, she added. The best way to avoid tokenizing a particular identity group is to keep including more voices, she said. Working with people of color at Ucross made her feel more comfortable than in town. He applied to Ucross because she hoped being surrounded by unfamiliar terrain would unlock something new in her writing — ­ which it did. The weather, mosquitos and landscape were starkly different from anything she’d experienced before. Most of her work focuses on finding new ways of seeing, including a story she finished at Ucross about L.A.’s Chinatown, 1930s film and LASIK eye surgery. She said it was helpful to be far away from the place about which she was writing. Being away from familiar things removed the commonality of day-to-day life and conjured new ways of thinking about spaces and ideas. Stepping outside one’s comfort zone and enjoying real, “visceral” freedom is beneficial to the writing process, she said. Valdivia said quiet and solitude are especially conducive to being productive and brainstorming new ideas but can also be eerie and unnerving. “Wyoming is just absolutely beautiful,” he said. “It’s obscenely beautiful.” The short story Alvaredo Valdivia worked on at Ucross is also set in California, in the Bay area. His time at Ucross led the story to come together in an unexpected way. He said she wasn’t raised surrounded by Americana like many people in Wyoming, but identity and place are themes in her recent work. She was struck by the iconography in images and artifacts from Wyoming’s history. Exposure to the geography of Wyoming caused her to notice more details about landscapes and spaces in other places around the country. Rabbits, birds, wildlife, undeveloped land, panoramas, plains and a big, open sky were especially prominent to Alvarado Valdivia during his time at Ucross. While he can write anywhere, the devoted time and captivating environment lent themselves to focus and creativity.

Sophie He chats with a fellow artist while completing her residency at Ucross. Photo by Allayana Darrow

“I always remind myself: Look at those mountains, get up in those mountains.” ­— Craig Johnson Author

Spending time working in a Wyoming summer was particularly special. One night, when the clouds parted while the residents warmed themselves around a fire, Alvarado Valdivia said he’d never seen so many stars. “There’s this unique synergy, and sometimes if the group works out well, there’s this great alchemy and energy and inspiration that I can get from just being around them,” he said. “Many of them are just really good human beings...that’s also good for my spirit.” From 1928 to 2019, artists and writers have found themselves in the wide open corners of Wyoming; uncovering history and making their own. Some plant permanent roots, and others visit for a breath of fresh air and the space to do their work. s 16

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

Juan Alvarado Valdivia looks out over the landscape behind the Kucor Studio at Ucross. Photo by Allayana Darrow FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

17


DESIRE FOR

PUBLIC LANDS Officials work to preserve valuable spaces By Joel Moline

Red Grade Trails offer miles and miles of hiking and biking paths.

18

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


S

heridan offers immediate access to outdoor adventures, whether through local parks, trails or easy access to the Bighorn Mountains. Being outside is one of the reasons many people visit or choose to live in the Sheridan area, and local leaders are pioneering opportunities for fun in the great outdoors. Chris Vrba, director of marketing and development for Sheridan Community Land Trust, said residents of Sheridan County are looking for expansion in the ways they enjoy the outdoors. Vrba said a survey conducted by the Sheridan Recreation District in April revealed that two-thirds of respondents want more hiking and biking trail options in Sheridan. SCLT maintains the Soldier Ridge trails and the Red Grade Trails System, looking to expand both areas while also maintaining current attractions. Vrba said with Sheridan being close to the Bighorns, there is an amazing opportunity to enjoy the mountains. The Red Grade Trails are on Wyoming state land and lands owned by Bureau of Land Management, with recently approved expansion into the Bighorn National Forest. For the trails to be available for use, SCLT needs to ensure trails are properly maintained and kept safe. Vrba said SCLT is partnering with local businesses to help maintain trails, something Vrba does not see happening in other communities in the state. He gave the example of receiving a mini excavator from EMIT Technologies, a local manufacturing company, during the summer of 2019. The excavator will be used to help groom, maintain and build trails under SCLT’s control during the summer and will help with slope maintenance at Antelope Butte Mountain Recreation Area in the winter. Collaboration with key stakeholders allows SCLT to provide the best service for those using trails under their control and build for the future, making sure the same opportunities will be available. Making sure a resource lasts can be a difficult job, especially when that resource is a national forest that covers 1.8 million acres of land.

Wooden markers like this one inform outdoor enthusiasts how long each trail is and what it is specifically used for at Red Grade Trails.

WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

19


Being outside is one of the reasons many people visit or choose to live in the Sheridan area.

Signs at the trailhead provide hikers and cyclists with detailed maps of the available trails.

Since the creation of the U.S. Forest Service by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905, the roles of the government organization have changed. Originally, USFS oversaw water management and timber production in the national forests. As times changed, responsibilities of the USFS expanded to include regulations such as camping and maintaining natural land and trail maintenance, including climbing trails. To meet the responsibilities, USFS employees find new ways of addressing issues within the Bighorn Mountains, most of which require collaborating and working with other groups with similar interests. Bighorn National Forest employees look to maintain trails used by the public. Tensleep Canyon is a popular destination for climbers not just from Wyoming but from around the nation, said Traci Weaver, district ranger of the Powder River Ranger District. Climbing trails are used by many visitors. Weaver said most enjoy the challenge of trying to find the best foot or hand hold in natural rock, understanding that some areas will be difficult or even unclimbable. Many of the routes have bolted-in anchors to provide a place for rope to be attached. These are very popular routes. Within the last year, Bighorn National Forest personnel prohibited construction of new routes after an issue arose involving heavily-manufactured routes. These routes have multiple holes drilled next to each other in the rocks, creating unnatural foot and hand holds. Adhesive materials are added to the rocks to create handholes, making for an easier climb.

20

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN

Many climbers take issue using manufactured routes not approved by forest personnel. Padlocks placed on routes by other climbers shut them down, causing conflict in the climbing community. Weaver said forest personnel are working with the Bighorn Climbers Association to create a management plan for the area to prevent heavily-manufactured routes and to ensure the area can be used for climbers in the future. Creating open communication with interested parties has been key, Weaver said. To help bridge the gap between climbers and the USFS, Weaver hired a climbing ranger. This is the first climbing ranger to be utilized by the Bighorn National Forest and possibly by the USFS, Weaver said. She has a background in the National Parks Service that utilized climbing rangers to help manage routes in national parks. With consistent increases in climbing’s popularity, the ranger will help build relationships between the Powder River Ranger District and the climbing community. The climbing community and other national forest service offices have been watching the ways events unfold in the Bighorns, Weaver said. With climbing route maintenance being an issue nationwide, the way this situation is handled can help guide other districts through the process. The goal is to create a sustainable plan that allows for the protection of the forest and to allow use of the forest for future generations. Staff with the Bighorn National Forest aim to bring new techniques to management of public lands. For example, public information officer Sara Evans Kirol said riparian areas have shrunk over the years.

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


Riparian areas are the vegetation on the edge of waterways. A healthy riparian zone helps a wide variety of organisms, improves water quality and keeps soil in place, preventing erosion and loss of habitat. In late July, forest employees teamed up with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to build 10 beaver analogue dams. These dams were built along the Grommund and Sourdough creeks. Naturally occurring materials were used to construct manmade dams that mimic the effects of beaver dams. Lodgepole pine posts were driven into the ground a few feet apart, cutting across the stream and stretching out to a few yards on either side. Freshly cut willow branches were woven between the posts, making a wall. Sod and mud from the surrounding area were used to finish sealing the barrier. This resulted in a semi-permeable barrier and introduced small ponds into the area, Kirol said. This was done to improve the ecosystem, creating a better habitat for water-loving plants, such as willows. The structure will attract animals that like to feed on these plants, such as moose. With the water quality improving, more fish will be in the area, along with amphibious creatures such as frogs. Kirol said these dams are much smaller than actual beaver dams, but the hope is beavers will either move into the area since a good habitat has been started or beavers can be transplanted into the area. This was a new technique used by the Bighorn National Forest, and now all that is left to do is wait to see how it works out. Pioneers of the outdoor economy continue to create a lasting environment for ecosystems to thrive and humans to enjoy for years to come. s

WWW.DESTINATIONSHERIDAN.COM

I

21


CROW

LANGUAGE A LIVING RESOURCE By Carrie Haderlie

22

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


O

ne hundred years ago, storytelling was an art. No digital recorders existed, neither did television and radio was a novelty. It was into this world that Mardell Plainfeather’s mother, Lillian Bullshows Hogan, was born, in 1905. Hogan grew up on the Crow Reservation, went to boarding school and later did preservation work on Crow as a first language. “My mother was a great storyteller,” said Plainfeather, who herself has been a resource for cultural preservation over the decades. “I used to sit and be mesmerized by some of her stories. She had a fantastic memory. I always wondered how she maintained such a good memory even into her 70s and early 80s. We asked her about that one time, and she said that they didn’t have any recorders in her youth, and people like her, with no writing skills, would rely on their memories.” Plainfeather is a retired National Park Service ranger who also worked at the Little Big Horn National Monument in her hometown of Crow Agency. She penned “The Woman Who Loved Mankind: The Life of a Twentieth-Century Crow Elder” about her mother, published in 2012. “We thought about what my mother said and realized that if you rely on your memory and use those memory cells in your brain, they become stronger,” Plainfeather said. “I appreciate a computer and I appreciate writing skills, but my mother’s mind just ticked all the time.” Plainfeather tried to write down as many of her mother’s stories as she could, but she has forgotten some. She remembers, though, that her mother didn’t have a shy bone in her body. Plainfeather was different. She didn’t want to be a public speaker because English was her second language to Crow. Sentences are transposed between Crow and English, she explained. She was never concerned about losing the Crow language — imperative to preserving Crow culture — until recent years. Others across the Crow Reservation are actively involved in language preservation, and several Crow women were involved in writing a Crow dictionary. Plainfeather is worried, though, about conversational Crow. She hopes to use technology to preserve it. “Just recently, I told my grandson who doesn’t speak Crow that I would record … how to speak in Crow from morning until night. I will begin with, ‘It is morning, you must wake up. What would you like for breakfast?’ and ‘You better hurry, you might be late for school,’ all the way until … ‘You should get ready for bed,’” Plainfeather said. She hopes to partner with Little Big Horn College to turn such a recording into an app, she said, but the work won’t end with language preservation.

Once, in Buffalo, my little girl was dressed up and she danced for a classroom. After she answered questions, she said, ‘Mom, can I go change clothes?’ She was in her dancing clothes, her buckskin dress and her braids and moccasins. I said sure. She went and put on her jeans and sneakers, and she wore a Mickey Mouse shirt. She had her hair in a ponytail. She came out and the classroom of kids, instead of listening to me, they all turned and gasped. I asked, ‘What is it?’ And they said, ‘She’s just like us.’ That really made an impact on me. About 15 to 20 years later, a woman told me she was in that classroom that day. She said, ‘Mrs. Plainfeather, you don’t know how much that changed our lives.’ That is my goal. That connection, my payment, educating people outside the reservation about who we are and what we are … We are modern people. We have a lot of struggles, but we have a lot of things to celebrate, too. Things like that are my reward.

LEFT | Mardell Hogan Plainfeather, right, visits with conference attendees before her talk at the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation conference at the DoubleTree Inn in Billings, Montana. Photo courtesy of Casey Page, The Billings Gazette

— Mardell Plainfeather

WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

23


“Whether they are in English or Crow, we use our stories in the classroom. We’re preserving history that is happening now, and history from the past,” she said. Sheridan College has been working to better serve Native American students. According to Walter Tribley, president of the Northern Wyoming Community College District, this means both serving an increased number of students and helping students succeed. “We are taking concrete steps to make sure we have a welcoming, supportive environment for students,” Tribley said. “We are listening to the experts and to our students. We will continue to work toward becoming the institution of choice for the people of all the communities we serve.” This fall, the college opened a multicultural center which serves as a home for the Native American Student Club. In addition, the college welcomed historian and author Donovin Sprague as a visiting professor. Sprague is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe and will spend a year on campus teaching a variety of classes including the History of North America Indians. In addition to teaching, he will also work with students in the multicultural center. During the 20th Century American Indian Urban Relocation Program through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, people were relo-

cated to cities for training and jobs, and were expected to remain in place permanently. “Quite a few of them came home — I did. I was on the shirttail of the program,” Plainfeather said. She trained in medical stenography in Butte, Montana, but used her skills at the Crow hospital. Others stayed away for many years, and that situation is not known to contemporary students. Many of the people who left tell about discrimination of American Indian people similar to what the Little Rock Nine faced in 1957 — discrimination present until students were moved to a reservation high school. Stories give the younger generations a sense of pride. “A lot of our students really appreciate learning these things. They say, ‘Wow, I didn’t know that,’” Plainfeather said. “They are used in the classroom, and our students are learning about the political arena, too.” According to Tim Bernardis, the librarian at Little Big Horn College, these stories end up in the Crow Indian Historical Collection in the college’s Crow Indian Archives, where the stories are updated and posted online for student use. The Crow Oral Literature collection includes stories from “Old Man Coyote at the Beginning,” “Old Man Coyote Makes the World” and “Myths and Traditions of the Crow Indians.” Also found in the library archives is the Apsáalooke writing tribal histories project, where students can learn the Apsáalooke alphabet, composed of 27 characters: a aa b ch d e ee h i ii ia k l m n o q p s sh t u uu ua w x and ?. Plainfeather’s father was one of many to attend an East Coast boarding school with the philosophy to “kill the Indian but save the man” during the 19th and 20th centuries. “My father was educated under that idea, and they wouldn’t allow the students to speak their language,” Plainfeather said. Her father became a strict Baptist, but he would not let go of his language. Plainfeather’s father came home, similar to Plainfeather today who, like others in the community, will continue to share and preserve Native American culture and her people’s rich heritage. s

LEFT | Members of the Crow Language Club, pictured from left , are Janice Little Light-Hudetz, Crow name Baanashchi Koowisse, meaning Forever Beads; Jennifer Jefferson, Crow name Baapiishe Let Baaxpe, meaning Follows God; Sandra Bird, Crow name Biiluuppaaxpaash meaning, Two Medicine Rocks; Mardell Plainfeather, Crow name Baa Hinnaché, meaning Always Working; Dinah Black Eagle, Crow name Ishchiliineetasesh, meaning Fortunate; and Leia Brien, age 11, Crow name Bi Ma X Ba, meaning Holy Water. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Noble, The Billings Gazette

24

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


“When the railroad arrived in Sheridan and the tie flume industry got going, the businesses here paid off $30,000 in debt. That’s the modern-day equivalent of $840,000 in monetary debt. It was an economic boom for sure.” — Mikayla Larrow

Executive director, Sheridan County Historical Society and Museum

26

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


INDUSTRIAL

CHANGES FLUME USHERED FIRST SHERIDAN COUNTY BUSINESS BOOM By Tracee Davis

I

ndustrial adaptation has proven a key to long-term economic survival. In Sheridan County, the tradition goes back to the first generation of pioneers. Sheridan County was a natural pathway for what would become the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. The line construction reached Sheridan County in 1892 and sparked an industry the area was prime to accommodate: timber ties to lay the tracks. One year after the arrival of the railroad, two men from Omaha contracted to provide 1.6 million ties for tracks to be laid north into Montana. To transport the ties from the Bighorn Mountains to the intended path of the railway, a flume was constructed along the Tongue River. The V-shaped trough with running water used to transport the ties originally started at Sheep Creek. Loggers continually needed to move up the mountain and establish more camps to maintain an adequate supply of large timber. Sheridan County Historical Society and Museum Executive Director Mikayla Larrow explained the collective impact the railroad and timber industry had on the local market. “When the railroad arrived in Sheridan and the tie flume industry got going, the businesses here paid off $30,000 in debt. That’s the modern-day equivalent of $840,000 in monetary debt,” she said. “It was an economic boom for sure.” In the late summer of 1909, as many as 400 men worked for the thriving Big Horn Timber Company. The dangerous work was periodically interrupted by fires. One such fire destroyed most of a sawmill at Woodrock. Company officials had decided to use that transitional time to move the location of their sawmill to a location 3 miles down the mountain. LEFT | A historic photo taken by K.D. Swan in 1935 shows the tie flume in the Woodrock Area. Photo courtesy of Bighorn National Forest Service RIGHT | The keyhole rock rises above the road in the Tongue River Canyon.


A coal train sits outside the Spring Creek Mine near Decker, Montana.

Loggers began moving salvageable parts of the mill to the new location, but the boiler had been too badly damaged, which necessitated bringing a new boiler up the mountain. Before starting the trip, the boiler was weighed on an industrial scale but was too heavy to register a weight. Therefore, it was more than 20,000 pounds, according to the museum exhibit, “Twenty years of Timbermen: The story of the Tongue River Tie Flume.” While navigating the narrow mountain road with the new boiler on a wagon pulled by a 40-horse jerkline, the wagon often sank in mud. On one treacherous turn, the boiler fell off the wagon. Unable to reset the heavy boiler onto the wagon, the load was ultimately lifted up using jacks, and a sleigh was then built underneath to complete the journey. The remaining traveling was slow. Workers had to shovel snow onto exposed mud to allow the sleigh to pass. The approximately 3-mile trip ultimately took a few days with 50 horses and 100 men. At the same time, BHTC had entered an agreement with Sheridan County to help pay for a road up the mountain near where Highway 14 exists today. The total cost of the road was to be $16,000. Of that, the timber company would pay half, the county would pay $2,000 and the Dayton Booster Club would raise the other $6,000. However, it became apparent the new road would be narrow, sometimes have a grade as much as 15% and include one passage with 23 switchbacks. After realizing the road was likely not suited for much of the industrial traffic necessary for the business and likely still reeling from the harrowing trip up the mountain with the boiler, BHTC defected on $3,000 of the payment for the new road. Sheridan County took the company to court and won on all counts. The county then put a lien on the new Sucker Creek Mill and quickly found a new operator in May 1913. In September of that same year, another fire in Ranchester engulfed another mill. Those damages were covered by insurance, but the mill was never rebuilt to what it was, as tie orders from the railroad were starting to dry up. Given the losses at the mill and a canceled order for 600,000 ties, the logging business in Sheridan County came to an end. There is still a pile of logs on the mountain from the winter of 1912 and 1913 to stand as testament to the anticipation of

28

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

more business but the ultimate transition out of the tie industry. In the end, the Bighorn Mountains provided approximately 2 million ties to the railroad via the 20-year Tongue River Tie Flume industry. Though the timbermen cleared out of the mountains in Sheridan County, their legacy lives on in a few remaining fragments of the flume, rusty piles of sled runners and can dumps from long-gone cookhouses and blacksmith shops. The railroad itself is still a pillar of the local economy, though these days, railroad infrastructure exists for coal. BNSF Railway Public Affairs Director Mia LaSalle said last year, BNSF delivered 188 million tons of coal from the Powder River Basin to coal plants in 26 states. Peak employment in Sheridan County was in 2014, when the railroad employed 226 people locally. However, demand for coal is on the decline, and thus, railroad traffic has decreased over the years. LaSalle said last year, BNSF averaged 38.2 coal trains per day through Sheridan County. So far this year, the line averages 30 trains per day and employs 160. “Industries go up and down, and they come and go,” said Jodi Hartley, Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce director of marketing and communications. “For any community, it’s important to have a diverse economy.” Keeping Sheridan’s economy diverse has been a focal point of community leaders. Local resources geared toward recruiting and sustaining businesses include the Wyoming Technology Business Center Incubator, the WTBC Sheridan Start-Up Challenge, high-tech business parks and the Next Generation Manufacturing Partnership. Hartley said these programs exist to foster entrepreneurship, and so far, it’s working. “Especially compared to other Wyoming communities, Sheridan is doing a fantastic job as far as diversity,” Hartley said. “We do a better job at weathering the booms and busts than some other communities.” With the changing times, the people of Sheridan County have shown a willingness to roll up their sleeves and do what is needed to carry the community into the future. The tools and faces change with each generation, but the pioneer spirit is alive and well in Sheridan County industry. s

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

29


COMPUTER

SCIENCE STUDENTS UNDERTAKE CUTTING-EDGE VENTURE By Tracee Davis

Computer basics students, from left, Janae Redinger, Caitlyn Brown and Jake Harmon work on a timed exercise at Sheridan Junior High School.

30

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


Sheridan Junior High School students, from left, Marra Donahue, Kenna Bush and Abby Venn work on an assignment in Craig Blackwell’s computer basics class.

T

hey have hardware, software and fiber-optic cable line. They have laptops, Chromebooks and iPads. They have connectivity and bandwidth, and it’s wireless. Now, Sheridan County students become more than simply users of technology. They undertake the endeavor of computer science and all it encom-

passes. “Education, as a whole, is definitely in a transition as to how we, as educators, interface with our resources and how our kids interface with resources,” said Sheridan County School District 2 Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Assessment Mitch Craft. While it’s true that technology didn’t appear overnight, SCSD2 Technology Director Ryan Schasteen said he definitely remembers a before and after time in regard to the district’s implementation of tech into everyday learning. The delineating event, for him, was when the school board fully funded the Professional Learning Communities program. “Teachers started working together and sharing information, and in order to facilitate that, we had to start adopting resources into classrooms,” he said. “As a technology department, we have followed that lead and done what we can to support that in schools.” Schasteen said the district started somewhat slowly but that may have been a prudent path to incorporate new tools. “What we hear from teachers that go to other districts or come here from other districts is that what we have going on with technology in our classrooms is something unique,”

Schasteen said. He said in years past, the district lagged a little bit, but it was because they let learning lead. Other schools would jump in and give every child a computer but the teaching and learning part wasn’t ready for that. With those districts, technology led learning, causing a continued struggle with technology integration. Leadership at SCSD2 helped its programming future. “It’s a different age of pioneers,” Schasteen said. “Now that technology is ubiquitous and invisible, it becomes a question of focusing on content.” Sheridan County School District 3 Superintendent Charles Auzqui said his school has utilized online learning for years via the Sheridan County School District 1-sponsored Wyoming Virtual Academy for students needing credit recovery or looking to earn college credit while in high school. This year, online learning improved to fill the need of a foreign language teacher. “I’m a solid believer teachers are our best resources,” he said. “Having teachers in front of our core courses is key, but these online courses provide outside opportunities we would never experience otherwise.” There’s no doubt students growing up in the digital age are exposed to technology and resources unimagined by most of their parents. Now, the Wyoming Department of Education is aiming to put students in fluent command of their technology by adopting statewide computer science standards to be implemented by the fall of 2022. University of Wyoming School of Teacher Education Associate Professor Andrea Burrows served on the new standards development committee.

WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

31


Students in Craig Blackwell’s computer basics class are given an introduction to typing and programming at Sheridan Junior High School.

“There has been a general trend and push to be 24th-century literate and that now includes computer science skills.” — Andrea Burrows Associate professor University of Wyoming

“There has been a general trend and push to be 24th-century literate,” Burrows explained. “And that now includes computer science skills.” What these aspirations mean is students will not simply apply technology where available or appropriate but act as creators and directors. “The use of technology means using a cellphone or setting up an email address and using what’s available to us,” Burrows said. “As consumers, we interact with those devices in a way that was set up to be user friendly for us. That is a very different space than computer science.” Burrows said computer science has many facets, all of which are grounded in problem solving. The computer science standards for Wyoming involve things like computing systems, networking, data analysis, algorithms and impacts of computing. Computer science encompasses all of those different domains, and it’s more than using something. It’s understanding how it works, problem solving, creating new things and interacting in a way beyond utilizing it. The adjustment from traditional to technical education lies in allowing processes for something like an algorithm to look like traditional learning. Burrows said they’re making instruction explicit and letting students know they’re solving tech or engineering problems with traditional methods. “It’s heavy lifting for teachers and districts to figure out how to do it, but students are dabbling in it and doing it already,” Burrows said. “(Students) have already been doing things that are similar. We just want to give them the opportunity to showcase how brilliant they are.” Burrows said UW is providing multiple resources for teachers preparing to implement the new standards, including professional development sessions during the summer and online support during the school year. While technology integration and education may seem daunting, educators and administrators in Sheridan County are slowly and effectively integrating it into school systems. s 32

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

33


PIONEERING WOMEN

OF WYOMING Past, present and future

Lindsay Linton Buk, right, photographs Marilyn Kite, Wyoming’s first female Supreme Court Justice and Chief Justice. Kite was featured in the first chapter of “Women in Wyoming,” Linton Buk’s statewide multimedia project that tells the inspiring stories of contemporary Wyoming women. Photo courtesy of Linton Productions 34

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


By Caitlin Addlesperger

O

n Dec. 10, 1869, Wyoming Territory passed a groundbreaking law. A first for any governmental body in the world, the legislation explicitly recognized women’s right to vote and hold public office. The next year, Wyoming women were the first of their gender to vote in a general election, serve on a jury and be appointed a Justice of the Peace. The progressive movement almost hit a snag in 1890, when Wyoming sought statehood. Congress declared that the territory must first revoke women’s suffrage. The Wyoming Legislature retorted: “We will remain out of the Union one hundred years rather than come in without the women.” Congress relented. Wyoming became the 44th state, the “Equality State.” Finally, in 1920 — 50 years after Wyoming — Congress passed the 19th Amendment, granting women’s suffrage. In 1924, Wyoming’s own Nellie Tayloe Ross was the first woman to be elected governor. “Wyoming has a very, very important role in the movement of the women’s vote,” said Diane Shober, executive director of the Wyoming Office of Tourism. “...It put (women) on the same playing field as men. Can you imagine 150 years ago what that might have meant?” Celebrating the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage, WOT declared 2019 the “Year of Wyoming Women.”

Slowed progress The historic achievements of pioneering women deserve celebration. However, Wyoming did not maintain its leadership position in the advancement of women’s equality. By the late 1920s, the early momentum had already slowed. To this day, Wyoming has only had one female governor.

Continued on page 37

WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

35


The Sheridan Press hosts women’s events 150th suffrage anniversary celebration

The Sheridan Press will present a free celebration of the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Wyoming at The Brinton Museum on Dec. 10 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The evening will center around the northern Wyoming premiere of “State of Equality,” a WyomingPBS documentary that explores how the territory passed the first law in United States history recognizing women’s right to vote and hold office on Dec. 10, 1869. “Colorful frontier characters, a volatile mix of motives and the caprice of history drive this story of a neglected chapter in America’s past,” promises WyomingPBS. The documentary will be simulcast with the public screening in Cheyenne, the location of the historic suffrage law. Following the screening, a panel of Wyoming experts will discuss the past, present and future of women in the state. Guests of honor will include several of the women featured in The Press’ “Year of Wyoming Women,” which profiled inspiring women from across the state, as well as the writer behind the series, Carrie Haderlie. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be offered alongside a cash bar throughout the evening.

36

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

This event is free and open to all, courtesy of Jacomien Mars. Seating will be limited, however; complimentary tickets are available at thesheridanpress.com.

FAB Women’s Conference 2020

Celebrated spoken-word poet Sarah Kay will headline the eighth annual FAB Women’s Conference on April 3, 2020. Presented by The Sheridan Press at Sheridan College, the event recognizes and empowers women with a slate of speeches, seminars and workshops presented by nationally acclaimed speakers and regional experts. FAB speaks to all ages and walks of life, covering personal and professional topics. In other words: it’s a day for women, about women, by women. Kay, as this year’s keynote speaker, will use the power of spoken word to inspire creativity and self-empowerment. Known for her famous TED talks, poems and books, Kay is an author, a documentary filmmaker, a playwright, a singer, a songwriter, a photographer, an editor. Also a teacher, she is the founder and co-director of Project V.O.I.C.E., an education organization that celebrates and inspires self-expression in youth through spoken-word poetry. For more information on FAB 2020 — including sponsorship opportunities — visit thesheridanpress.com/fab.

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


Continued From page 35

“While the rest of the nation was still catching up to Wyoming when it came to voting and women in public office, there was also a tremendous amount of pushback that happened,” noted Wyoming State Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie. Women still had the right to vote, but other freedoms were taken away. Laws privileged men over women. Women were not allowed to work in certain occupations — primarily the well-paying professions. Society dictated that the “fairer sex” belonged in the kitchen. Today, American women in the workforce legally can no longer be discriminated against on account of gender, thanks to the Civil Rights Act amendment of Title VII. But the “Equality State” holds one of the largest gender wage gaps in the nation, according to a 2018 study by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. On average, Wyoming women earn 68 cents for every dollar men earn, compared to the national average of 79 cents. Wyoming women of color face an even more dire wage gap. The gender wage gap is a complicated issue that is “bigger than simply a choice about a particular occupation,” explained Connolly, who presented bills on wage transparency, equal-pay violation penalties and state study and promotion of pay equity in the 2018 Wyoming Legislative session. Only the bill furthering penalties for equal-pay violations was passed. “For too many people, their answer to the wage gap is that women should just move into jobs that men do,” Connolly continued. “If you want to get paid that much, just go do it. The problem with that is it devalues the work that women do. We can’t all be oil field workers.” Society holds different values for work that is typically performed by a woman. “The reality is that jobs that employ predominantly men pay at or above national wages,” Connolly said. “And jobs that employ predominantly women pay at or below national wages.”

Women’s future in Wyoming Wyoming is full of pioneering women and men who would welcome them to the table. Discrimination is rare on an individual level. So, why are more women not in leadership positions?

Wyoming State Sen. Affie Ellis, Cheyenne, famously tells the story of the occasion that inspired her to run for public office. On a trip to Cheyenne, her young daughter looked around the state capitol and asked, “Mom, do they let girls serve in the Senate?” “Study after study indicates that little boys and girls are interested in and have aptitudes for all sorts of things, but as time goes on — it’s fairly invisible — there’s steering that happens, expectations that happen,” Connolly said. “And when you look at who’s in the oil fields versus who’s in the elementary school or who’s waiting tables versus who’s doing lawn care — you want to recognize yourself.” “Visibility is so powerful, especially for women,” agreed Lindsay Linton Buk, who has dedicated her life to sharing the stories of inspirational female leaders. A fifth-generation Wyoming native, Linton Buk moved home after years in New York and L.A. to work on her statewide multimedia project, “Women in Wyoming.” From artists to ranchers to politicians (including Ellis), Linton Buk’s subjects run the gamut — an intentional choice. “To see examples of someone like yourself doing amazing things in the world is important,” Linton Buk continued. She recognizes that “there’s a lot of work to be done” in the state and in the nation. “We’re not at that point of true equality,” Linton Buk said. “...Women throughout history — and especially Wyoming’s history — have defied the odds and proven that, in times that were much less equal than they are now, they could still forge and carve a path for themselves. “My hope is that sharing these stories of what is possible will inspire action for more women and girls to rise up and pursue their ambitions in life.” Wyoming’s pioneering women of today are those who inspire action. The “Year of Wyoming Women” is a part of this movement, using the economic drive of tourism to encourage communities across the state to highlight strong women. “Celebrate the women of yesterday, the women of today and the women of tomorrow,” Shober said. “The more we draw attention to women in Wyoming, the more we raise awareness in people who can affect that kind of change.” So what can Wyomingites — men and women — do to make the original pioneering women proud? Exercise their right to vote, and support legislators who aim to make an institutional difference. Share the stories of strong women. Lead. s

WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

37


PIONEERING

SPIRIT Sheridan stalwart’s impact lives on By Michael Illiano

I

n 1882, John Loucks purchased the claim to the territory that would become Sheridan and the lone building on that land — a post office operating out of a tiny cabin on Goose Creek — for $50, which amounts to roughly $1,200 by today’s standards. While the cabin’s owner saw an opportunity to move on, Loucks saw a chance to build a home. Sheridan’s development has historically relied on its stakeholders’ abilities to, like Loucks, create their own opportunities. Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library’s Kim Ostermyer, who manages The Wyoming Room, said Sheridan’s evolution has always necessitated a mix of hard work and creativity. “I think Sheridan has always had to be adaptive, and I think for the most part it’s done pretty well,” Ostermyer said. Phil Roberts, a University of Wyoming Professor of History Emeritus who specializes in the history of Wyoming and the American West, said Sheridan County’s proximity to trails leading to gold fields in Montana made it a natural gathering center for livestock ranchers. Sheridan’s location also played a big role in attracting the Burlington Railroad — it fell along the most direct route Burlington could use to extend its existing tracks into an intercontinental line — but some well-connected citizens helped seal the deal.

38

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


The Historic Sheridan Inn stands as a marker for historical depth and economic growth in Sheridan. Photo by Michael Illiano

WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

39


Originally, Burlington planned to build the railroad through Big Horn. But Edward Gillette, who was the surveyor for Burlington Railroad, was courting Sheridan Mayor Henry Coffeen’s daughter, Hallie, at the time. Through that relationship he was able to persuade — or at least strike a back-room deal with — Gillette to reroute the railroad through Sheridan. That victory helped establish Sheridan as a regional center, an advantage the city built on through the rest of its history. “That’s why Big Horn never grew like Sheridan has,” Ostermyer said. “The railroad became the central marketplace.” The Sheridan railroad stop boosted several of the city’s industries and helped accelerate its expansion. Cattle ranchers in Sheridan were able to use the railroad to expand their businesses by allowing them to transport their cattle to outof-state stockyards. And the railroad transported building materials into the city that spurred the construction of some of the buildings that now make up Sheridan’s downtown, Ostermyer said.

Railroad maintenance also created new demands, which led to the emergence of new industries in Sheridan. Lumber businesses popped up to supply Burlington with railroad ties and, most significantly, privately-owned coal mining towns began emerging in Sheridan County to provide fuel for Burlington’s steam-powered locomotives. Those mining settlements brought an influx of immigrants to Sheridan, Roberts said, many of whom arrived from Europe. Those immigrants provided mines with an industrious workforce that cost less than American labor, according to Ostermyer. “A lot of those people came from places in Europe that were known for hardworking people,” Ostermyer said. “And there was actually a lot of advertising done in Western Europe to get people to come here to work in the mines.” Immigrants who came to Sheridan also settled into small, tight-knit communities with their compatriots that let them live in their respective languages and cultures.

This dated photo shows a gold mine above Lake Geneva in the Bighorn Mountains. Photo courtesy of The Wyoming Room

40

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


TURNED ANTIQUES etc Thanksgiving & Christmas inspiration awaits!

OPENING WEEKEND

FRI&SAT

November 1st & 2nd

1 LOWER PINEY ROAD, BANNER, WY H W Y 14 East out of Sheridan 20 miles 307.737.2606 | turnedantiquesetc.com /TurnedAntiquesEtc

WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

41


Sheridan County’s coal settlements didn’t last — the local demand for coal disappeared when railroads transitioned away from steam-powered engines and into diesel engines — but many of the communities that grew from those settlements put down roots. “There’s a tremendous legacy from those people being here,” Ostermyer said. “Every year there’s what’s called the ‘Underground Miners Picnic,’ where descendants from these miners still meet every summer.” The loss of coal dealt a serious blow to Sheridan’s economy, but the city managed to recover, in part because its community stuck around. And its population proved to be a foundation it could build on. Without a flagship industry, Sheridan’s economy expanded in several directions, spurred on by a broad entrepreneurial spirit. “There were an awful lot of people who came to Sheridan who were — I don’t know if it’s an accurate term to call them risk-takers — but there were a lot of people who weren’t afraid to try new industries and try new businesses,” Roberts said. “It’s people like that who opted to put a lot of money back into the economy that were really important. And that’s not always the case in a lot of Wyoming towns — a lot of people made their money and hauled it off to somewhere else.” Ostermyer said Sheridan managed to develop a relatively diverse economy thanks to entrepreneurs who pursued a diverse range of opportunities, often simultaneously. “These (people who helped build Sheridan) were not single-skill people,” Ostermyer said. “…They wore all these different hats and were able to do all of these different things, they were always trying to figure out how to make money here.” He cited former-Sheridanite Horace Alger as an example. Alger worked as a banker, purchased real-estate and engaged in local

“A lot of those people came from places in Europe that were known for hardworking people, and there was actually a lot of advertising done in Western Europe to get people to come here to work in the mines.” ­­— Kim Ostermyer politics, eventually serving as Sheridan’s mayor. He also pointed to businessman and politician Cornelius Grinnell, who worked on the board of directors of the town’s first bank, founded local fuel and stone companies and purchased several thousand acres of land in what became northeast Sheridan. Sheridan entrepreneurs’ ventures were diverse enough that they did not always pan out. For example, Ostermyer said somewhere between 500 and 600 mining sites appeared in the Bighorn Mountains hoping to strike gold, but none of them produced significant returns. When Sheridan entrepreneurs did succeed, though, they often reinvested their profits into the community. Philanthropic endowments by past Sheridan residents, like John B. Kendrick and Edward A. Whitney, have persisted and still contribute to the city’s growth. Shawn Reese, the chief executive officer of the Wyoming Business Council — the state’s economic development agency — said while economic diversification efforts throughout the state have been hit-or-miss, Sheridan has managed to grow steadily. “What I see in Sheridan is exciting momentum that is the result of a lot of hard work and partnership in the community,” Reese said. “Throw in a bunch of entrepreneurs, industries that want to work together and grow the economy and grow their businesses, it’s the perfect combination.” s LEFT | Dudes stop for a photo at Eaton’s Ranch in Wolf. BOTTOM LEFT | Coal miners stand near the Monarch coal mine, shortly after the mine opened in 1911. BELOW | Early day miners head back out on the trail near Lookout Mountain in the Bighorn Mountains c. 1895. Photos courtesy of The Wyoming Room

42

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

43


Artist and teacher Brittany Denham talks about how motherhood has greatly impacted her art in her studio at the Whitney Center for the Arts.

44

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


WHO IS A

WYOMING ARTIST Creators share inspirations, artistic missions By Allayana Darrow

S

ome may imagine that artists always look to push boundaries, create the unexpected or challenge expectations in their chosen media. These Sheridan-based artists shared how authenticity is more important than novelty. From visual artists to jazz musicians, these artists say originality comes from connecting with individual talent, and unique work is the product of time, dedication and practice.

Making blue houses: Exploring motherhood with cyanotype Brittney Denham mixes a vat of chemicals in a trash can, dunks fabric in the mixture and hangs it to dry on clothing lines, all in a dark room. She folds the dry fabric and seals it in black trash bags. She straps her 13-month-old son into a hiking backpack and lays the fabric out in the sun. She lays geometric shapes on the fabric and sprays it with a garden hose. When the fabric is dry again, she’ll cut it and transform deep blue squares of fabric into quilts that hang on the walls of her studio at Sheridan College. Denham said cyanotype fabric and paper quilts are part of a new journey in her artwork. When she became pregnant with her son, she started exploring the idea of the body as a home for a growing child and what it means to create a home in her work.

Emotionally, physically and artistically, Denham said motherhood opened a realm of discovery for her. Prior to becoming a mother, Denham made art using substances she didn’t want around her infant son, so she turned to cyanotypes. “I can’t really strap my baby onto my back and take him into a toxic environment or a dark room with silver baths and fixers,” she said. “When he’s with me and I’m still making, I started turning to something that’s a little more safe.”

“Being a maker in Wyoming, just allows you this period, this point of breath to just make.” — Brittney Denham

Artist

Before motherhood, Denham created art about encounters and myths of the West, including “Western Vestge,” 1,001 photographs about Western tourism and national parks. “Instead of seeing with our eyes, we see through a lens and we photograph it, photograph ourselves with it, we photograph our friends with it but we don’t actually stop and bask in its glory,” she said. Denham, originally from Gillette, said Wyoming offers a unique working space that is free from the distractions of a big city.

WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

45


ABOVE | Sonja Caywood points out the subdued golden colors in her painting. Caywood said she sees bright, unusual colors in the landscapes she paints. Photo by Allayana Darrow

“Being a maker in Wyoming just allows you this period, this point of breath to just make,” she said. Motherhood can be a taboo subject in the art world. While Denham pushed herself to try different art subjects besides motherhood, she felt compelled to create work that was authentic and true to the present moment. She wondered if she’d still be considered a serious artist if she made work about a universal experience like motherhood, but couldn’t help but delve into notions of tradition, community and home in her work. One of the quilts hanging in her studio is naturally dyed pale pink and deep blue using avocado and red onion for color. Denham said besides being taboo, motherhood is

46

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

sometimes exhibited via the male gaze, through a Madonna and Child motif or motherhood as interpreted by men. However, she sees a shift happening today with more representation of and openness to work about motherhood in galleries and art shows. Denham said she was particularly inspired by Lisa Lofgren, who spoke to Denham’s printmaking class about being an artist and mother. “I was just flooded,” she said. “[I felt she was] speaking about my experience…I feel completely seen in this moment.” Denham doesn’t make art to challenge taboos or expectations, she creates art about what she knows and is exploring right now: tradition, home, and the day-today surprises of being a new mom.

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


Painting cows, connecting to God Sonja Caywood was driving to work one day in 2012 thinking to herself, “Would I ever quit my job if my art started selling?” The same day, she found out after 17 years, she wouldn’t have a job at Sheridan County School District 1 the following year. Since then, her full-time job has been experimenting with colors, depicting cow personalities and connecting to herself and God through her artwork. Caywood grew up on a ranch in southern Montana and came to Wyoming as an adolescent. She said it’s easy to give cows and horses personalities in her paintings because she knew them growing up. Like writing, it’s important to paint what you know, she said. Caywood initially focused on landscapes, but when she was commissioned to paint a series of cows, she fell in love with the subject matter. “I really started to love it because it brought back my life as a cowgirl,” she said. One challenge she’s encountered as an artist is staying true to her own style while surrounded by others’ expectations of Wyoming artists. Caywood said some organizations in Wyoming seek to counteract stereotypes about Western art and push for the avant-garde, the abstract or the unexpected. While she appreciates all forms of art, including abstract and photorealistic work, semi-realistic art like hers has its place, too, she said. Caywood has seen many young artists lose their natural style as they become professionals, making work that they think people expect of them rather than what is authentic. “There’s art that easily sells and then there’s the art that’s really inside you,” she said. “It’s great when it’s the same thing, but when it’s not, you have to stay true to what’s inside you.” Lately, Caywood has been reconnecting with the reason she paints: to express who she is, a cowgirl from the West, and share her own style.

True vs. new: Finding truth through jazz Sheridan College is one of few academic institutions with a resident big band. Since its inception in fall 2017, the Whitney Center Jazz Orchestra has brought professional musicians from across the West together in Sheridan. The group recorded its first live studio album Aug. 4, which should be released by the end of the year, said Eric Richards, director of bands and jazz studies at Sheridan College. As a conductor, trombonist and teacher, Richards said he has seen too much of the focus in music and the arts be on what’s new. WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

47


Sheridan citizens watch a live musical performance at Sheridan College. Courtesy photo

“I’m more concerned about true,” he said. “I tell my students: focus on the true and the new will take care of itself.” Jazz allows musicians to create something new within the structure of a piece of music through improvisation. But solely focusing on pushing boundaries to become a big name in the art world can neglect true forms of expression — from music to the visual arts, Richards said. Expressing one’s true artistic voice is more important than novelty, despite the constant academic fascination with what’s new, he said. “Probably the most powerful and intimate form of truth is the honest expression of one’s individuality,” he said. “If it’s all about the new, why should anyone play another blues? Or why should anyone paint another painting? Or why should anyone even express themselves? The element of truth is what you bring to it.”

Real Western romance Adam Jahiel started a photography project on the Padlock Ranch in Sheridan County in 1989. He’s traveled the world and lived in other cities in the U.S., but he fell in love with Sheridan and decided to plant roots here in 1992. “Suddenly, I just felt like, for the first time in my life, I actually want to live somewhere,” he said. Unlike other places in Wyoming, Sheridan County’s landscape, light and community are magical, he said. Yet what he sees as the magic and romance of cowboy culture isn’t the same as what’s peddled in calendars, Hollywood movies and contemporary country music. “When I look around, I see the advertisements, I see the Marlboro man…If I see one more picture of a cowboy or a cowboy and cowgirl with the sun setting behind them silhouetted on their horses I’m going to throw up,” he said. Having spent years on ranches around cowboys, Jahiel said

48

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

the real magic comes from a reliance on and relationship with the land, and a distance from contemporary distractions like technology. While he photographs cowboys and Western life, Jahiel generally dislikes “Western art” because it can be cliché and overdone. Originality comes from an artist’s distinct style and perspective, he said. “I don’t think of myself as a Western photographer, I think of myself as a photographer who lives in the West and documents the West,” Jahiel said. Certain clichés sell well, but recording the same subjects doesn’t uncover authentic, wholesome moments, he said. It’s important for artists to make something original through their work. “There’s some bones out there with meat on them,” Jahiel said. However, the conundrum for artists is finding something original without looking for it, because setting out to be unique can lead to gimmicky work. “It’s almost like there’s a lot of people who want to talk but have nothing to say,” he said. Over 40 years as a photographer, he hasn’t found the connection to his subjects that he finds on ranches anywhere else. His goal is to document what he sees and what matters; taking visual notes of life. “The longer I photograph, the less I feel like I really have any kind of control over what I see,” Jahiel said. “It’s almost like it controls me. I look at my subject and the subject dictates how I should approach it.” Sheridan attracts artists from traditional craftspeople to abstract expressionists, architects to skilled musicians. A sense of camaraderie supports artistic growth around here, he said. The honest images of this region — fields and phone poles, the Crow Reservation, houses and front yards — are constantly inspiring to Jahiel and other local artists looking to represent truth, change and culture in their art. s

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

49


“The ironic thing is that when people homesteaded in the 1880s or 1890s, they had to be self-sufficient. They had to have their own cattle for meat, they had to have their own veggies and chickens. There was no traveling to town to go to Walmart to get toilet paper. Anything you wanted, you had to produce yourself.” — Heather Westkott

Five Diamond Ranch

50

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


RANCHING

HISTORY OUR FUTURE, OUR PAST By Carrie Haderlie

R

anching undoubtedly represents a part of Wyoming’s history — but it’s also the future. The Wyoming Business Council has aimed a spotlight on the Wyoming cattle industry, studying how to value-add opportunities, while the State Historic Preservation Office’s Centennial Farm and Ranch program, which honors families that have lived and worked on their family agricultural operations for at least 100 years, honored 20 families this summer. Two Sheridan County families made the list: the Kimble family of the Five Diamond Ranch, established in 1883, and the Miller family of the Miller & Son Ranch, established in 1919. “Our older ranches hold a lot of history, and that is important to us,” Renee Bovee of SHPO said. “This is a way of opening the doors and the dialogue with them.”

Kim Kimble, the owner of the Five Diamond Ranch, inspects the alfalfa that remains to be cut in his field.

WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

51


ABOVE | Kim Kimble calls a friend to help him move a trailer from one of his fields at the Five Diamond Ranch.

ABOVE | At the Five Diamond Ranch barns, gates and fences often need to be remodeled to accommodate the size of the much larger modern-day ranching equipment such as this tractor.

ABOVE | A cowboy moves cattle on the Miller & Son Ranch in Sheridan County. Photo courtesy of Cathryn Kerns 52

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

Wyoming’s ranching future is also important, and as such, the Centennial Ranch program partners with the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. According to Jim Magagna, executive vice president of the WYSGA, agriculture is the third largest industry in the state behind energy and tourism. While Wyoming faces a decline in the energy industry and looks for economic diversification opportunities, it must also honor its heritage, he said. “We want to strengthen our economy at the same time as we maintain our culture and our lifestyle,” Magagna said. “We need to focus more on bringing value added to the industries that we have, like ranching.” Magagna pointed out that tourism in Wyoming is also largely based on wide open spaces, which draw from the state’s ranching culture. If the state loses its ranches, it loses a lot of the open space and becomes something other than what it is today. To be a Centennial Ranch, the same family must have lived on and worked the land for 100 years or more, and a piece of the original property claim must remain in place today. C.W. “Charles” Miller recorded the deed for the Miller & Son Ranch on July 2, 1919, and ran approximately 400 head of Hereford cattle under the S Cross brand. He had three children, and the ranch ended up with his grandson Everett Miller, who worked side by side with his dad and grandfather. In 1987, Everett Miller married Robin Arndt, and they raised two children, Tyler and Paige. Everett, Robin, Tyler and Paige currently own and operate Miller & Son. Everett and Tyler have lived their entire lives on the Miller & Son Ranch. “The family has always felt it is important to keep the ranch within the family,” Robin Arndt Miller said. “Unfortunately, in this day and age, each of us has found it necessary to have full-time jobs outside of the ranch.” Miller & Son produces approximately 500 ton of grass hay annually. While the family is no longer involved in cattle production, ranch pastures are leased to Double Rafter Ranch where livestock are raised on the 1,100 acre ranch. Technology has made hay production less time intensive and requires less manual labor, Miller said. The ranch has progressed from small square bales, which required significant manpower, to hay that can be swathed, baled and stacked by a single person with the advent of the round baler and quick attachments. Heather Westkott, whose parents run the Five Diamond Ranch, said the original homesteader of their family ranch was a man named Al Williams. Williams came to Wyoming in 1876, where he and his older brother ran a cattle operation in Cheyenne.

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

53


“For the first several years, Al Williams, my three-times great grandfather, brought cows up to Ucross for his brother’s cattle operation. In 1883, he took out the first homestead deed on that acreage,” Westkott said. “We have 136 years of history. If we can make it four more years, we will be at 140 years.” The ranch has changed, but the family has found creative ways to keep it alive. “The ironic thing is that when people homesteaded in the 1880s or 1890s, they had to be self-sufficient,” Westkott said. “They had to have their own cattle for meat, they had to have their own veggies and chickens. There was no traveling to town to go to Walmart to get toilet paper. Anything you wanted, you had to produce yourself.” Westkott said she sees that history as the future of ranching in Wyoming. Diversity beyond cattle is one of the solutions. Haying and renting property — which she does on her family’s ranch — are ways to survive. Westkott and her husband made the choice to raise their children on the family ranch. “Growing up out there, I was the kid that never wanted

to be a ranch kid. I rodeoed and rode horses when I was little, and as soon as I hit teenage years, I was like, ‘I’m out,’” she remembered. “But when we had our own kids, it was like, not all town kids know how to fix a flat tire or grow their own corn. Not all kids get the opportunity to milk a cow or ride a horse or have chickens. We made a conscious decision that we wanted to take our family back out to the ranch so they could have more practical, real-world knowledge.” Her children go to public school and aren’t losing out. Instead, she said, they’re gaining opportunities to have practical life skills. Technology, in a broad sense, has significantly changed ranching from what it was 100 years ago, Magagna said. Today, the emphasis is on things like soil health, grazing systems and land management. “Livestock ranching cattle and growing hay involves managing the land resource, and a lot of great science has come into how you manage the resource,” he said. “It used to be that you just turned animals out there, and when the grass was gone or low, you brought them in.”

Cowboys and cowgirls with the Double Rafter Ranch work on land owned by Miller & Sons Ranch. Photo courtesy of Cathryn Kerns

54

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


In recent years, ranchers have focused on measuring soil health, which leads to different management styles. No one way fits for all ranchers, though. Genetics, breeding and even the size of cattle have changed over the years, he continued. For many years, he said, the move was toward larger cattle. More pounds per animal meant more dollars. Now ranchers work to “right-size” their herds to fit the resource, calving schedules and other factors. While these are internal factors ranchers consider today, many look externally in the hopes of increasing revenue. Out-feeding, granting hunting privileges, bringing in recreationalists or tourists are all sources of revenue, Magagna said. On an even broader scale, an option that has played a role — but one that is not for every rancher — is allowing conservation easements on privately

owned ranch land. As land values in Wyoming have become very high in most areas, and in particular in areas with higher recreational values like Sheridan County, it is difficult to keep the land in ranching, Magagna said. Land value is often high for other uses, but families want to make it possible for the next generation to stay put. They also need to provide for retiring generations, ranch maintenance and other costs. “One tool that some ranchers have found very useful is to sell a conservation easement on their land, which can vary, but could bring maybe 40% of the market value, and then they can have the flexibility to do some of those planning things they couldn’t do otherwise,” Magagna said. As ranchers consider and plan for the future of the industry, they often look to its history for lessons and inspiration. s

WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

55


Wyoming research, development By Michael illiano

W

hile the future of Wyoming’s coal industry looks bleak, state leaders believe the Cowboy State may engineer a future for the sector that’s long served as the backbone of its economy through carbon capture and storage, a process that could mitigate or potentially eliminate carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. The University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources Director of Policy and Economics Kipp Coddington said the state’s researchers are at the forefront of developing new technology. “Without a doubt, the state of Wyoming is a world leader in research and projects related to carbon capture and storage,” Coddington said.

56

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


CARBON CAPTURE

Dry Fork Station in Gillette is home to the Integrated Test Center, a facility that diverts a portion of the power station’s flue gas into bays where researchers can test technologies designed to repurpose carbon gas. The facility is one of the foremost carbon capture research centers in the world. Courtesy photo

“Without a doubt, the state of Wyoming is a world leader in research and projects related to carbon capture and storage.” ­— Kipp Coddington

Director of Policy and Economics School of Energy Resources University of Wyoming

WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

57


And the technology could address a wider need. While the global focus on limiting carbon emissions has hurt demand for Wyoming coal, it has also partially driven the need for carbon capture technology. “Just about any global outlook for energy development considers carbon capture and storage (necessary) to meet the [CO2 reduction] thresholds,” said Scott Quinlan, a University of Wyoming geologist and the research director at UW’s School of Energy Resources. “There isn’t an outlook yet that says we’ll get there without carbon capture and storage.” Scientists have identified carbon dioxide as one the main greenhouse gases responsible for climate change and burning coal produces large CO2 emissions. While a number of people still challenge the science underpinning global warming concerns, international markets and regulators have bought in, making climate change, at the very least, an economic reality. The demand for coal has fallen globally as countries have entered into agreements like the 1992 Kyoto Protocol and the 2016 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, in which nations set goals involving the reduction of worldwide CO2 emissions. Those agreements have also led to increasingly stringent regulations on CO2 emissions, causing further contraction of coal markets. Wyoming exports most of its coal, which means it cannot insulate itself from the effects of shifting international markets — the only way coal can have a profitable future is through the development of low-carbon uses. The state has not been blindsided by these changes, however. For more than a decade, Wyoming has been at the forefront of researching carbon capture and storage — a process of collecting CO2 emissions and sequestering them underground, thereby preventing them from entering the atmosphere. Quinlan participated in a project dedicated to researching possibilities for underground storage in CO2 that began in the state 10 years ago. He said researchers participating in the project saw the direction markets for carbon emissions were headed and knew their home state would have to adapt. “We all knew that coal is kind of the economic backbone of Wyoming, and if it was ever going to be competitive in carbon-constrained markets, we would have to start figuring out what to do with CO2,” Quinlan said. Quinlan and his team studied carbon sequestration at the Jim Bridger Power Plant near Rock Springs, the state’s largest CO2 emitter. When that work began, Quinlan said there was little guidance available to his team regarding how to conduct sequestration research.

58

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

Carbon capture is a process that traps carbon emissions from coal-fired plants and stores them underground to prevent them from entering the atmosphere. Experts say further developing the process will be critical for the future of Wyoming’s coal industry. Courtesy photo

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

59


The group set about developing a foundation for carbon capture research that scientists in the state and the world could build on. “We spent a lot of time…developing a methodology that we could use in other places in the state and that others could depend on us for and use that cookie cutter in other places in the country,” Quinlan said.

Legislative buy-in Forward-thinking legislation also helped Wyoming take the lead in carbon capture development, Coddington said. Roughly a decade ago, Coddington said Wyoming lawmakers passed a package of legislation that supported carbon capture and storage research by clarifying legal ambiguities related to the process and removing regulatory obstacles to developing it. “Wyoming was one of the first states, and remains one of the only states, to have those laws,” Coddington said. State lawmakers have continued to support research through legislative appropriations, and Wyoming governors — including current Gov. Mark Gordon — have consistently urged investment into carbon capture development. Federal lawmakers have made efforts to support the technology’s development, also. U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, has worked on two pieces of bipartisan federal legislation — the FUTURE Act, which offered tax credit to researchers using and storing CO2, and the USE IT Act, which incentivized research into commercial uses for CO2 — designed to energize carbon capture and storage research.

Racing against the clock While Wyoming’s efforts to support and pursue carbon capture research have yielded progress, daunting questions about the technology’s ability to re-energize the state’s energy sector remain. And the deadline for answering those questions may be fast approaching. Wyoming researchers have proven that carbon capture and storage are possible but have done so using relatively smallscale projects. Before technology can be widely deployed, researchers will need to demonstrate it can both function on a larger scale and operate in a cost-effective manner. Quinlan said he is very confident that large-scale carbon storage facilities can function safely. “I’m confident today that we could go out there and stick commercial quantities of CO2 in the ground without any adverse effects,” Quinlan said. But researchers are less certain about the economic viability of scaled-up projects. “It’s still an expensive technology, but you could say that about any early technology,” Coddington said. “…There’s an urgency to get these costs down. Progress is being made, we just have to do everything faster and faster and faster because we’re racing against the clock.” As researchers work to advance carbon capture technology

60

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

and drive its associated costs down, the industry it hopes to save continues a steep decline. “There’s only 130 or 140 power plants left that are burning Wyoming coal, and over the next 10, 15, 20 years it is likely that a lot of those plants are going to shut down,” Coddington said. The loss of those plants would not only limit the economic potential of carbon capture and storage, it could hinder research into the process, much of which relies on emissions generated. Barrasso said a fully realized carbon capture solution to CO2 emissions would have to be embraced not just nationally, but internationally. CO2 emissions have a global impact, after all, and if the United States succeeds in perfecting carbon capture technology but other countries continue burning CO2, the benefits would be negligible. “If we don’t come up with a technology that works globally, you can do everything you want here in the United States, but it doesn’t address what’s happening with carbon worldwide,” Barrasso said. Whether that happens will, again, depend on how quickly and efficiently carbon capture processes can scale up. Coddington said he is confident carbon capture and storage can reduce CO2 emissions, and that research into the technology has full support in the state, but he’s unsure whether it will reward the faith Wyoming has placed in it. “Whether all of this is enough to convince the utilities and utility regulators that this technology is ready to be deployed — that all remains an open question,” Coddington said. “And trying to answer that question is why I lose sleep at night.” s

As the global demand for coal continues to plummet amid widespread climate concerns, the industry will have to implement low-carbon technologies like carbon capture if it hopes to continue utilizing coal. Wyoming researchers have spent more than a decade developing carbon-storage technologies, placing them at the forefront of carbon-capture research. Courtesy photo

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

61


EVENT

HIGHLIGHTS

Christmas Stroll

October through May

The WYO Performing Arts and Education Center opened its 2019-2020 season in September and has a high-caliber list of performances planned. From screenings of National Theatre Live and The Met Live in HD to shows such as the National Dance Company of Siberia, the WYO provides entertainment options for nearly every artistic taste. See wyotheater.com for a full list of events.

October through May

The Whitney Center for the Arts at Sheridan College opened just a couple years ago but has quickly grown into one of the top performing art centers in the region, complementing the downtown WYO. The center’s 2019-2020 season includes the Daniel Gwirtaman Dance Company, Lorelei Ensemble and Boston Brass. For a full lineup, see whitneyarts.org.

THE BRINTON 101: ANNUAL HOLIDAY SHOW Oct. 27-DeC. 22

The Brinton Museum, with its four high-level galleries featuring exquisite Western and American Indian Art in a foothills setting is art into itself. This year’s holiday show is the ever-popular annual “smaller works” exhibit by an array of local and national artists, ideal for holiday giving. For more information, see www.brintonmuseum.org or call 307-672-3173.

62

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

CHRISTMAS STROLL NOV. 29

Get in the holiday spirit at Sheridan’s 24th annual Christmas Stroll, the regionally acclaimed kickoff to the Christmas season in historic downtown, held the day after Thanksgiving from 4-8 p.m. Enjoy live entertainment in the stores; visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus; an array of food; giveaways, holiday decorations and lights; Christmas shopping; fireworks and everyone’s search for winning Stroll button numbers. Admission is free. For more information, call the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce at 307-672-2485.

TRAIL END STATE HISTORIC SITE HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE DEC. 6-8

Sheridan’s popular historic museum, Kendrick Mansion located at 400 Clarendon Ave., comes alive with the sights, sounds and scents of Christmas in the early 1900s, all rolled into one three-day event. Featuring live musical performances by local musicians, this event is free and open to all. For more information, see www.trailend.org or call 307-674-4589.

150th suffrage anniversary celebration

The Sheridan Press will present a free celebration of the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Wyoming at The Brinton Museum on Dec. 10 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. This event is free and open to all, courtesy of Jacomien Mars. Seating will be limited, however; complimentary tickets are available at thesheridanpress.com. FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

63


SHERIDAN COUNTY’S

MUST SEE SITES King’s Saddlery

Downtown Sheridan

HISTORIC DOWNTOWN SHERIDAN

Trail End Historic Site

Host to myriad events and activities, shows, boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops and bars, historic downtown is Sheridan’s grand centerpiece. Come for a stroll and enjoy the public art displays, historic buildings and more.

MINT BAR

151 N. MAIN ST.

have been furnished, but the theater has remained an architectural centerpiece for downtown Sheridan and a staple for live performances, film and entertainment. WYO Performing Arts and Education Center

KING’S SADDLERY MUSEUM

High on every visitor’s list of Sheridan experiences is the iconic Mint Bar, Wyoming’s legendary meeting place. Serving frosty brews and countless tall tales since 1907, the Mint has become an iconic piece of Sheridan history. Although the ice is no longer delivered to the bar via horse and carriage, the rustic cowboy character and tall tales live on.

184 N. MAIN ST.

HISTORIC SHERIDAN INN

WYO PERFORMING ARTS AND EDUCATION CENTER

856 BROADWAY ST.

Rich in history, legend and lore, the Historic Sheridan Inn is the former stomping grounds of Buffalo Bill Cody and his legendary Wild West Show. An iconic treasure of Sheridan since 1893, the Sheridan Inn has recently opened its renovated doors to overnight guests.

64

I

Truly a must-see, King’s Saddlery Museum is one of the best Western museums in the nation, showcasing a fabulous collection of cowboy memorabilia, including hundreds of saddles, wagons, chaps, spurs, antique gems and Native American artifacts, as well as a variety of wild game animals.

42 N. MAIN ST.

When the WYO Theater first opened its curtains in 1923 as the Lotus, newspaper headlines proclaimed it “Wyoming’s Wonder Picture Palace.” Throughout the years, the name has changed and updates

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

TRAIL END STATE HISTORIC SITE

400 CLARENDON AVE.

From its authentically-furnished rooms to its finely manicured lawns, the Trail End State Historic Site displays an elegantly different aspect of Wyoming’s colorful ranching history. Built in the Flemish Revival style in 1913, the Trail End was the home of John Kendrick, a cattle rancher who became governor of Wyoming and U.S. senator.

THE BRINTON MUSEUM

239 BRINTON ROAD, BIG HORN.

The Brinton Museum’s new 24,000-square-foot, $15.8-million, ecoconscious building houses one of the most significant and extensive Western and American Indian art collections in the Rocky Mountain West. The Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Building includes three floors featuring four galleries, a museum store and the Brinton Bistro. FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


Whitney Rink

Bighorn Mountains

FT. PHIL KEARNY STATE HISTORIC SITE

528 WAGON BOX ROAD, BANNER

Once the most fought over military post on the Northern Plains, Fort Phil Kearny is now a national historic landmark that offers four interpretive trails, a bookstore, museum, video and picnic grounds.

Kendrick Park

KENDRICK PARK

The wooded oasis of Kendrick Park is a fixture in the Sheridan community. Enjoy solitude along the tree-lined creek or stretch out and play on the grassy expanse. Meander around the park to find the chainsaw-carved tree sculptures, and swing by the barn to visit the resident bison and elk.

BIGHORN MOUNTAINS

The Bighorn National Forest and Bighorn Mountains are a recreational paradise, with 106 million acres of forest and 180,000 acres of wilderness at elevations ranging from 4,000 to 13,165 feet.

SAGE COMMUNITY ARTS

Ft. Phil Kearny

21 W. BRUNDAGE ST.

This nonprofit art center sits in the heart of downtown Sheridan. The organization aims to build community through the visual arts. To that end, SAGE offers its members gallery space, showcases various artists in another gallery and hosts a variety of classes and special events throughout the year.

WHITNEY RINK

475 E. BRUNDAGE ST.

Looking for a cold-weather activity but don’t want to brave the blustery winters of Wyoming? Stop by the Whitney Rink at the M&M’s Center for an afternoon of ice skating with the family. In addition to free

skates, the nonprofit ice rink offers learnto-skate classes, figure skating lessons and hockey.

SCENIC DRIVES

While just about any back road in Sheridan County will provide decent views, the Bighorn Scenic Byway is truly a site to behold. It follows U.S. Highway 14 through Ranchester and Dayton and includes views like Fallen City, Steamboat Point and more. At Burgess Junction, the byway continues toward the towns of Shell and Greybull. While en route, watch for various wildlife that call the Bighorns home.

WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

65


Peyton Harvey, left, and Daniel Ishanov spill out of their sled at Linden Hill.

THE GREAT

OUTDOORS

Ice Fishing

For some, the idea of sitting outside in the cold and wind, waiting for a fish to bite, sounds miserable. But for others, that activity is living the dream. For those hoping the fish will bite when the ice freezes, plenty of opportunities exist in the area to cast a line. Popular spots include Lake De Smet, off Interstate 90 just north of Buffalo at exits 44, 47 and 51; Kleenburn Pond, just north of Sheridan; Sam Mavrakis Pond in the city limits; and lakes in the Bighorn Mountains and just across the state line in Montana. Make sure you check weather forecasts and ice thickness before you wander into the cold.

Sledding

When the white stuff flies, so do sleds down local hills. Laughter, sore rear ends and sprays of snow are sure to be the results of a fun day. One of the most popular spots in the city to sled is Linden Hill in Sheridan, by the Child Development Center on the corner of Whitney and Jefferson streets. Another popular

66

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

spot is the hill on the west side of the creek in Thorne-Rider Park. For those willing to trek up the Bighorns, the Arrowhead Bowl is also a hot spot for sledding fun. Just head up U.S. Highway 14 outside of Dayton; you’ll see the sledding spot shortly after you pass Arrowhead Lodge. So, snow-suit up and head outside.

Snowshoeing, Cross-country skiing

Many avid hikers switch to cross-country skis or snowshoes when the snow covers the trails. The Bighorns offer a number of nonmotorized trails for those seeking quiet. There are three off U.S. Highway 14 west of Dayton and three off U.S. Highway 16 west of Buffalo. Trails are typically open December through May. Grooming is done by volunteers, so consider donating to the Black Mountain Nordic Club if you head up the hill often. In Sheridan, the pathways in South Park also offer adventurers opportunities to strap up and head outside.

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


Snowmobiling

For those seeking a little more power behind their outdoor adventure, snowmobiling offers the chance to cover plenty of ground in the winter months. For many eastern enthusiasts, the Bighorn Mountains are the closest mountains to explore, offering trails and powder. The northern Bighorns offer approximately 220 miles of trails and have been rated in SnoWest magazine’s Top 15. Lodges in the Bighorns offer a home base for those seeking to warm their toes, and plenty of businesses in town offer all the gear you need to power up.

Downhill skiing

One of the most popular local ski hills, Meadowlark Ski Lodge, can be found in the southern Bighorn Mountains west of Buffalo. The facility offers two lifts and 14 runs for a variety of abilities. For those willing to make their way up the hills without the help of a lift, numerous back-country skiing options exist. Antelope Butte Mountain Recreation Area started offering lift service for skiers for the first time in 14 years in 2018. They plan to open again for service in December 2019. Locals also head to Jackson or north to Red Lodge, Montana, or Big Sky Resort northwest of Yellowstone National Park for their downhill skiing treks.

WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

67


SHERIDAN COUNTY

COMMUNITIES

Big Horn

While small, Big Horn boasts a proud and busy community. At its center are half of the Sheridan County School District 1 schools. The downtown area also includes a mercantile that serves up woodfired pizzas, a bar, a woman’s club, and an event center. Outside of the community’s center, The Brinton Museum offers up first-class art collections and events. Big Horn also serves as a gateway to the Bighorn Mountains. The community sits on the foothills of the range, offering up breathtaking views and endless opportunities up Red Grade Road, such as ATV riding, snowmobiling, hiking, cycling and more.

Clearmont

Secluded on the eastern edge of Sheridan County, Clearmont was once a bustling terminal for cattle and other western goods. While primarily an agricultural community, the drive to Clearmont alone is worth the effort. Beyond the panoramic views, hunting opportunities and wide-open spaces, Clearmont also boasts a small café — The Clear Creek Stop — and a historic jail, built for $827 in 1922. The jail is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Clearmont is also home to the Ucross Foundation, which serves as a haven and residency program for artists. Stop by for a peek into the gallery and to enjoy the views.

Dayton

Serving as a gateway to the Bighorn Mountains, Dayton offers access to Tongue River Canyon and U.S. Highway 14, which lead to some of the mountains’ most popular destinations, including Steam-

68

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN

boat Point, mountain lodges and more. Dayton’s downtown provides visitors and locals alike with options for wining and dining, as well as some shopping. Plus, the Hans Kleiber Studio Museum offers a look at the art and studio space of one of the area’s most renowned artists. Kleiber was a U.S. Forest Service ranger inspired by the majesty of the Bighorns to write poetry and sketch with pencils and ink.

Ranchester

This small town has been growing, adding more houses to its ranks as families look for quiet homes and a tight-knit community. The Ranchester Information Center boasts an intricate diorama of the Connor Battle, also known as the Battle of the Tongue River. In addition, Ranchester is home to a mercantile, community center and several other businesses that serve locals and visitors alike. Plus, the local park offers entertainment for the family and cross-country skiing paths throughout the winter months.

Story

Nestled into the foothills and forests of the Bighorn Mountains, Story gives its residents a sense of seclusion and peace other areas in the county don’t. A small elementary school, which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, serves as a hub for the community that also boasts a library, woman’s club and other service-focused organizations. Each year, the community hosts Story Days, a weekend celebration of the mountain town, and a community Thanksgiving dinner, which typically has a line that stretches down the block. Take a drive around the shaded streets and say hello.

FA L L / W I NTE R 2018- 2019


bighorns A local’s guide to Sheridan and Johnson counties in the palm of your hand. Arts and culture, outdoor adventures, restaurants and bars, family activities, and much, much more.

Explore the all-new app at TheSheridanPress.com/MyBighorns. AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD AT

WWW.DESTINATIONSHERIDAN.COM

I

69


SHERIDAN COUNTY

AT A GLANCE

SHERIDAN COUNTY

CLIMATE

AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURES: February: 39, July: 87, November: 46 AVERAGE LOW TEMPERATURES: February: 14, July: 53, November: 19 ANNUAL RAINFALL: 13.26 inches ANNUAL SNOWFALL: 71 inches AVERAGE WIND SPEED: 7.3 miles per hour

POPULATION : 30,200 MEDIAN AGE: 42.2 HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE 94.1%

CITY OF SHERIDAN POPULATION AND AGE DISTRIBUTION EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT OF ADULTS 65 years and over: 17.5%

Attending college 5.1%

High school graduates 94.1%

55-64: 14.4%

5-17: 14.9%

Total Population 17,873

18-24: 10.2%

College graduates 29.6%

35-54: 21.7%

Population Population per per square square mile mile 87.4 87.4 (2010) (2010)

under 5 years: 6.9%

25-34: 14.4%

$$

Median household income Median household income $57,652 (2013-2017) $57,652 (2013-2017)

$$

Per Per Capita Capita

Per capita income Per capita income inin past 1212 months past months $31,177 $31,177

Wyoming INFORMATION CENTER YOU CAN FIND: • Sheridan Travel and Tourism offices

• Information kiosk

• 24-hour public restrooms

• Picnic area

• One-on-one assistance from travel specialists

• Brochures on the area’s points of interest

70

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

• Dog-walking area

• RV waste disposal site • Parking

• Panoramic view of the Bighorn Mountains • Wyoming Game and Fish Department regional office nearby • U.S. Forest Service office nearby

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

71


AD DIRECTORY 73

H&R Block

61

Sheridan College

25

Alpha Graphics

65

Heritage Woodworks

49

Andi’s Coffee

37

Holiday Inn/Fairfield Inn & Suites

61

Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce

59

Antelope Butte

17

JBD, Inc.

61

Sheridan Floor to Ceiling

63

Bagels and Beyond

21

J’Dan Builders

53

Sheridan Memorial Hospital

33

Balanced Living

37

Kane Funeral Home

41

Sheridan Orthopaedic

53

Billings Airport

49

Koltiska Distillery

59

Sheridan Stationery

63

Bistro 307

17

Martinizing Dry Cleaning

74

Sheridan Travel & Tourism

76

C&B Operations

36

Nest Home & Holiday

47

Sheridan WYO Rodeo

13

Carroll’s Furniture

63

Northeast Wyoming Pediatric Associates

29

State Farm – Jon Oman

Northern Wyoming Mental Health

41

The Sheridan Press

Pilch & Reed

65

Thompson Master Masons

71

Pioneer Realty

63

Tri County Gas

13

Powder Horn

7

Tru Finish Concrete

67

Turned Antiques

41

ACT

Century 21/BHJ Realty

9

Champion Funeral Home

53

Christensen Enterprises

29

Concept Z

75

CORE Physical Therapy

13

Crossroads Health

49

D&J Coins

29

Epiphany

41

ERA Carroll Realty

3

First Choice Builders

73

Fly Sheridan

43

Good Health Market

43

72

I

Powers Land Brokerage

33

Prevention Management

21 & 71

2

Shipton’s Big R

43 69 & 74

6

Weatherby

Rocky Mountain Discount Sports

59

WYDOT

71

Rocky Mountain Exteriors

13

Wyoming Buckshot Saloon

71

Rocky Mountain Spray Foam

13

WYO Theater

67

Roosters

29

WyoVision

29

SAGE Community Arts

47

YMCA

74

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


WWW.THESHERIDANPRESS.COM

I

73


74

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020


76

I

D EST INAT IO N SHER IDAN - BY T HE SHER IDAN P R E S S

FA L L / W I NTE R 2019- 2020

Profile for Kristen Czaban

Destination Sheridan Fall 2019 - The Sheridan Press  

Destination Sheridan Fall 2019 - The Sheridan Press  

Advertisement