The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Historic Trails Interpretive Center (NHTIC) is hosting afternoon interpretive programs from June 26 until Aug. 29. The free 30-minute programs start at 1 p.m. and are open to the public.
The following is a schedule of programs:
- June 26 and July 3
From Lewis and Clark to the Civil War: Mapping the West
After the acquisition of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, geographical surveyors undertook the massive task of finding out what lay beyond the 100th meridian in the vast American wilderness. The West seemed the obvious place for future investment, settlement, and exploitation. This presentation examines the techniques used by the U.S. Corp. of Topographical Engineers to map the western territories, including how they fixed latitude and longitude and means of determining elevation.
- June 27
No Rest for the Weary
Life for the average woman in the late 1850s to mid-1860s involved a lot of hard work. On the pioneer trails, the work continued to be difficult, but it was very different than what they were used to. Learn about the daily life of the average woman as she made her way across the country to what she hoped would be a new and better life.
- July 4, Aug. 14 and Aug. 28
The Pony Express: History and Legacy
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Pony Express, a rapid mail delivery system that was organized and operated between St. Joseph, Mo., and Sacramento, Calif. “The Express” served as a vital link in the history of our nation during its 19 months of operation in 1860 and 1861. Today, the legacy of the Pony Express is larger than life. Join a BLM interpreter as he discusses the history and legacy of the Pony Express.
- July 10
In the Footsteps of Your Own Family History Trail: Genealogy
The study of our own family history can influence how we view many aspects of our own lives as well as the world around us. Have you ever wondered about the generations of your family that lived before you? Join Susan Haines for a basic introduction on the subject of family history research and the first steps you need to get started.
- July 11
Roho Delgado: Military Soldier and Galvanized Yankee
After being captured at the Battle of Antietam in 1862, Cpl. Delgado, a Confederate soldier, was imprisoned at Rock Island near Chicago, Ill. Prisoners of war were given the choice of staying behind bars or going out west as “Galvanized Yankees” to protect the telegraph lines. A presenter, in a period uniform, will discuss the life and times of Mr. Delgado and will present vivid, hands-on descriptions of his military uniform.
- July 17
As pioneers traveled along the trails, many of them suffered from various diseases and illnesses. Join us as a presenter gives a first-person account of the typical medicine man. Listen to him sell his miracle cures that alleviate everything from ingrown toenails to baldness.
- July 18
Making wise choices among the array of foods available in the mid-19th century was crucial to emigrants. Although the amount of food might change among different pioneer wagons, the specific items seldom varied. Join us as an interpreter dressed in period clothing discusses the various food items, cooking utensils, and the most important tool for the immigrant cook: the Dutch oven.
- July 24
Emigrants and Their Quilts: A Very Practical Work of Art
Emigrants very carefully pieced together scraps of fabric that provided warmth for their families as they traveled west along the pioneer trails. Learn more about emigrants and their quilts, or practical works of art.
- July 25
In Their Own Words: Pioneer Journals and Diary Quotes
Thousands of pioneers traveled on trails toward what they hoped would be a better life. Emigrants, including children, often kept journals of their remarkable journey, and history benefits from these records. A BLM interpreter reveals first-hand accounts of the trials and tribulations of which pioneers wrote in their own words.
- July 31
Civil War and Frontier Soldier of the 1860s
Civil War and frontier soldiers in the 1860s were faced with many different obstacles on a daily basis. Join us as a presenter in a period uniform discusses the harsh conditions the infantry soldier of the 1860s had to endure. Many artifacts from the period will also be displayed.
- Aug. 1
They Didn’t Really Wear That, Did They?
Have you ever wondered what women traveling across the pioneer trails in the late 1850s to the mid-1860s wore? Find out about all the garments a typical woman of the era wore while making the journey, and why she was crazy enough to wear them.
- Aug. 15
Life and Tales of the Mountain Men
Mountain men and their rendezvous are among the most recognizable symbols of the American West. The rendezvous brought together the converging lifestyles of trappers, traders, Indians and merchants, as well as opportunities for tall tales. These gatherings helped shape frontier free trade, Indian relations, and the western migration patterns for early pioneers in the mid-19th century. Join us as an interpreter dressed in period clothing discusses the animals they trapped, the importance of the rendezvous, and the survival skills needed to be mountain men.
- Aug. 22
Civilian Life Along the Pioneer Trails
As families traveled along the trails, men, women, and children were assigned specific roles and responsibilities. Generally, men were in charge of the wagon trains and animals and women cooked meals and washed clothes. For children, the primary responsibility was to stay away from the wagons. Join us as a presenter dressed in period clothing discusses the daily life and chores experienced by the wagon train party.
- Aug. 29
Of Man and Beast: Native Americans and Buffalo
The Plains Indians used virtually every part of the buffalo. Bladders were used as canteens, stomachs were crafted into cooking vessels, and bones were shaped into knives. A BLM interpreter will show different parts of the buffalo and explain how they were used. Ultimately, the destinies of the buffalo and the Plains Indians were linked.
The NHTIC is a part of the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). The areas of the NLCS are specifically designed to conserve, protect, and restore the exceptional scientific, natural, cultural, ecological, historical, and recreation values of these treasured landscapes.
The NHTIC is a public-private partnership between the BLM and the National Historic Trails Center Foundation. The facility is located at 1501 N. Poplar Street, Casper, Wyo. The Center is currently operating on summer hours and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.