Area History


Click here for an Interactive Historical Map of Cody Yellowstone

Long before there was an Environmental Protection Agency and nearly a century before the first Earth Day, Americans were deeply moved by the spectacular beauty of an area of northwest Wyoming known as Buffalo Bill’s Cody Yellowstone.

Officially this area is Park County, Wyoming, which now includes or abuts a conservatory of the environment: namely, Yellowstone National Park, the nation’s first national park, (1872), and Shoshone National Forest, America’s first national forest (1891).

These national wonderlands are only a part of the story of this vast and colorful place. The area was also the chosen home of Col. William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. He founded the city of Cody, Wyoming in 1896. Today its broad streets, world-class museum and thriving western culture host over 1,000,000 visitors annually.

Bill Cody’s worldwide reputation as a scout, hunter, entrepreneur, showman and friend of the influential, provided attention to the area. For example, the visionary Buffalo Bill Dam and Reservoir made needed irrigation projects possible at the turn of the century long before works projects, as we know them, were approved by Congress. Because of Cody’s foresight, Powell, Wyoming is a prosperous agricultural area and a living study of the enterprising western pioneer farmer of yesterday and today.

Meeteetse and the East Yellowstone Valley fill out a visitor’s burgeoning “must see” list in Park County. Meeteetse, located in the rugged southern part of the county, is a surviving cowboy town of yesteryear. Its board sidewalks and “19th Century” establishments provide a glimpse of a rough and ready West where ranchers and desperados lived their lives and lost them to the circumstances of the times.

East Yellowstone Valley, the area’s pathway to the Park is a part of what President Teddy Roosevelt proclaimed as “the most scenic 50 miles in the world.” It is a stunning panorama of rugged mountain terrain, rushing waters and plentiful wildlife.

All of these inspiring sites and others await the visitor to Cody Yellowstone. It is a miraculous place where ecology and environment were jealously guarded long before the American public became aware of preservation.