Volunteer and stage coach at the Trails Center in Casper, Wyoming. Volunteers assist with the river crossing reenactment at the Trails Center in Casper, Wyoming. Volunteer at the Trails Center in Casper, Wyoming. The Inscription Wall in the Trails Center showcases exact replicas of emigrant names found along the trails. Volunteer with school children at the Trails Center in Casper, Wyoming.
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National Historic Trails Interpretive Center

2012 Summer Evening Programs

All summer evening programs are free to the public.
Programs begin at 7:00 p.m. and last approximately one hour.


  • July 7: Guard Your Horses: An Evening with Tom O’Day and “Bronco Nell”
    Wyoming outlaw Tom O’Day rode with Butch Cassidy, held up banks, and stole horses from future governor B.B. Brooks before landing in the Wyoming Territorial Prison. "Bronco Nell," from Meeteetse, sold moonshine and "misbranded" colts before serving time in the state pen. Ray and Jackie Maple will bring Wyoming’s outlaw past to life. Ray is a former Natrona County deputy sheriff, and Jackie’s grandfather was a teamster on the Oregon Trail. They live in Cody.
  • July 14: Archeology and Mystery at Legend Rock Petroglyph Site
    The mysterious images etched into stone at Legend Rock provide a glimpse of Wyoming’s ancient history and culture. Dr. Danny Walker, archeologist for Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, will present a program on 20 years of archaeological investigation at one of the state’s most fascinating historic sites.
  • July 21: A Wyoming Tragedy: The Journey of the Willie Handcart Company
    August 1865, over 400 Mormons left Winter Quarters in Nebraska, eager to reach Salt Lake City. In spite of warnings of early winter storms, the poorly equipped group of men, women and children began their journey through what later became Wyoming. Many of the emigrants would never make it to Utah. During the presentation, Gary Long will use maps, photographs, and illustrations to show the day-to-day progress of the handcart company. Long will provide details regarding campsites, campgrounds and burial sites. Long is author of the book, The Journey of the James G. Willie Handcart Company and lives in Cheyenne.
  • July 28: John C. Fremont: The Man, the Explorer
    John C. Fremont served as a U.S. military officer in both the Mexican-American War and the U.S. Civil War. Fremont became a U.S. senator from California and a Republican candidate for president. But Fremont was also one of the great explorers of the American West. Trails Center living historian Kevin Reddy will discuss how John C. Fremont’s youth and personality prepared him to become “The Great Pathfinder.” Reddy lives in Casper.


  •  Jalan Crossland
    Jalan Crossland will perform at the Trails Center on August 4.
    Photo by Tess Anderson

    August 4: Pioneer Days and Trails Center’s 10th Anniversary Celebration featuring “Buffalo Bill” Boycott and Jalan Crossland
    Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Trails Center with pioneer reenactors and Jalan Crossland. During the morning and afternoon, ride in a wagon, push a handcart, explore a homestead, check out a tipi and more! Award-winning singer and yodeler "Buffalo Bill" Boycott, of Lander, performs at 6 p.m., followed by Ten Sleep troubadour Jalan Crossland at 7 p.m. Pioneer demonstrations and activities begin at 9 a.m.
  • August 11: Independence Rock: "The Great Registry of the Desert"
    In 1840, Father Pierre Jean De Smet, a Jesuit missionary, marveled at the massive, granite rock that rose near the banks of the Sweetwater River, referring to it as "the great registry of the desert." In 1843, John C. Fremont observed the names inscribed in the rock, and called it a "giant gravestone." Casper historian Tom Rea will present a program on Independence Rock, a famous landmark on the historic trails of migration. Tom Rea is author of "Devil’s Gate: Owning the Land, Owning the Story.”
  • August 25: John Colter: Superhero
    John Colter traveled to the Pacific with the Lewis and Clark expedition, explored what is now known as Yellowstone National Park, fled for his life from Blackfeet warriors, and over the span of about six years, explored thousands of miles of American wilderness. Barbara Mueller will present a program about the mountain man, explorer, and soldier known as John Colter, an American superhero. Mueller is an anthropology instructor at Casper College.


  • Sept. 1: The Johnson County War: Myths, Misconceptions and Damn Lies
    The Johnson County War helped shape Wyoming and reverberates to this day. But much of what we know may be wrong. According to Bob Edwards, this was a dark period in Wyoming’s history and has much to teach us when wealth and arrogance clash with liberty and the rule of law. Special guest Jim Magagna, executive vice president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA), will also participate in the program. Bob Edwards is the former museum educator and assistant director at the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum in Buffalo. He is also the co-author of Frontier Wyoming, and author of Guns of the Gatchell