The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center (NHTIC) is hosting summer afternoon programs on pioneer and Wyoming history. These short interpretive programs, ranging from 20-45 minutes, are free and open to the public.
- July 5, 1 p.m. Pioneer Cooking-Dutch Oven Style
Making wise choices among the array of foods available in the mid-19th century was crucial to those adventurous emigrants traveling west on the pioneer trails. Although the amount of food might change between different pioneer wagons, the specific items seldom varied. Join us as NHTIC volunteer Jean Smart describes the various food items of choice and demonstrates the versatility of the Dutch oven.
- July 6, 1 p.m. John Baptiste Richard and Tales Along the Platte
John Baptiste Richard influenced adventurers, gold seekers, pioneers, and Native Americans. His bridge over the North Platte River became a “crossroads” for westward movement. Join us as local author Jefferson Glass discusses the contributions of John Baptiste Richard to westward migration, as well as other events of the region that Mr. Glass discovered during his research for his book Reshaw: The Life and Times of John Baptiste Richard.
- July 12, 1 p.m. Story Time with Mississippi
Youngsters, come join us as NHTIC volunteer “Mrs. Sip” reads the wonderful tall tale Apples to Oregon, which tells the story of how a pioneer father brought fruit-bearing trees to Oregon. Afterwards, everyone will have a chance to discuss the book and create their own stamp art using the inside of an apple.
- July 13, 1 p.m. John C. Fremont and Mapping the West
After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, geographical surveyors and map makers, such as John C. Fremont, undertook the massive task of discovering what lay west of the 100th meridian in the vast American wilderness. The West seemed the obvious place for future investment, settlement, exploitation, and health. Join us as NHTIC volunteer and living historian Kevin Reddy examines the techniques used by the U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers to map the western territories.
- July 19, 1 p.m. The Arms Race of the 1880s – The U.S. Army and Native Americans
As weapons changed, both in their design and practicality, the “taming of the West” became a task that could not be accomplished without a reliable firearm. Join us as NHTIC volunteer and living historian Bruce Berst discusses this issue, as well as corresponding impacts on the American Indian Wars.
- July 20, 1 p.m. Trail Journeys: Civilian Life and Hardships, 1840-1860’s
As families headed west along the pioneer trails, hardships became a common occurrence. Men, women, and children were all tasked with specific roles and responsibilities. Join us as NHTIC volunteer Daniel Mattern shares stories concerning the daily life, chores, and trail experiences of a wagon train party.
- July 27, 1 p.m. Roho Delgado: Military Soldier and Galvanized Yankee
After being captured at the Battle of Antietam in 1862, Private Delgado, a prisoner of war and Confederate soldier, was presented with the choice of staying put or heading west as a “galvanized Yankee” to protect the telegraph lines. Join us as NHTIC volunteer Daniel Mattern presents the life and times of Roho Delgado, as well as vivid, hands-on descriptions of his military uniform.
- August 2, 1 p.m. 11th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry
The original men who enlisted in the 11th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry did so to fight the South in the American Civil War, but they were soon sent to the high plains of the West. While spending three years in the windy expanses of the plains, they were tasked with keeping hundreds of miles of telegraph line, overland trails and roads open. Join us as Con Trumbull, 11th Ohio Volunteer Calvary reenactor, shares their story.
- August 3, 1 p.m. Old Time Pioneer Fiddle Music
Various musical instruments were played and danced to at the end of a long day on the pioneer trail, and used to entertain the Native Americans that pioneers encountered along the way. Most of these instruments are still a part of our heritage and played for dancing and enjoyment to this day. Come clap your hands and tap your feet as local musical talents Kim, Ana, and Rachel Merchant perform and present the history of many popular tunes of the era.
- August 16, 1 p.m. Smugglers Delight
The journey west was a long and strenuous adventure for pioneers. As a pioneer woman, many journals divulge the mischief of smuggling important items into the wagon without others in the pioneer train even knowing. Join us as NHTIC volunteer Jean Smart shares some of these stories and keepsake items in this tempting tale.
- August 17, 1 p.m. Story of the Pony Express
The Pony Express, more commonly just called the “Pony,” caught the imagination of many, and still captures our imagination today. Although it lasted only a short time, the Pony is forever a part of history. Join National Pony Express Association members as they share this remarkable story. A Pony Express reenactment rider, horse, and mochila (a leather mail bag placed over the horse’s saddle) will be at the event.
- August 23, 1 p.m. The Art of Rug Braiding: Stories Through Time
The Casper Rug Braiders Guild, along with NHTIC employee Stacey Moore, will demonstrate the art of traditional wool rug braiding. Members will discuss how the art has impacted their lives and share stories of how the tradition has been passed down through the ages.
- August 24, 1 p.m. Pioneer Clothing of the 1800’s
Have you ever wondered what pioneers wore in the mid-1800s? Learn about the garments a typical pioneer wore while making the journey west. This westward trek was an arduous undertaking, and limited space on the wagons forced many to wear all the clothing they owned on their back. Join us as NHTIC volunteer and living historian Bruce Berst shares and displays the clothing styles of pioneers.
For more information, please contact Jason Vlcan at the NHTIC, (307) 261-7780.
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, Wyoming.