Historic Artifacts and Structures Abound in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country
CODY, Wyo., December 29, 2015 – Throughout Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country are reminders of the area’s history as a Wild West outpost, an internment camp for American citizens and tourist destination for world leaders and celebrities.
Here are examples of local buildings and artifacts whose history helped shape the region’s character and appeal:
Barracks at Heart Mountain Interpretive Center. This award-winning museum opened in 2011 with new construction designed to look like original barracks where more than 11,000 Americans of Japanese descent were held during World War II. While the center’s poignant exhibits leave visitors with a better understanding of the challenges faced by those incarcerated, the recent return of an original barrack drives home the point.
The cherrywood bar at the Irma Hotel. In 1902, seven years after he founded the town of Cody, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody built the Irma Hotel on the town’s then main drag – 12th Street – and named it after his youngest daughter. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the hotel’s famous room-long cherrywood bar – still in use today in what is now the hotel dining room – was presented to Buffalo Bill by England’s Queen Victoria, who was charmed by Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show when the company performed in London.
Hemingway’s signature in the guest register at the Chamberlin Inn. In 1932 “Ernest Hemingway of Key West, Florida” had just completed the manuscript for Death in the Afternoon and was enjoying some time fishing the Clark’s Fork River by day and swapping stories with the locals in the Irma Bar at night. The register is displayed at the hotel and open to the page containing Hemingway’s signature. And the room in which Hemingway stayed is available to overnight guests.
Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge Pahaska Teepee. Located just outside of the East entrance to Yellowstone National Park, Cody brought his hunting pals – including Theodore Roosevelt and the Prince of Monaco – to this rustic lodge. Cody was named “Long Hair” by American Indians in the region, which in their tongue was pronounced “Pahaska.” The rustic log lodge displays many gifts given to Cody by guests. Modern cabins, a restaurant and gift shop make this a great stop for travelers before they head into the park.
Cabins and gravesites at Old Trail Town/Museum of the Old West. This enclave of 26 authentic frontier buildings includes one used by Butch Cassidy and his infamous Hole-in-the-Wall Gang. One of the town’s many gravesites belongs to Jeremiah “Liver Eating” Johnston – portrayed by actor Robert Redford in the 1972 film.
The Meeteetse Bank Museum. Speaking of Butch Cassidy, he once lived in Meeteetse, and despite his reputation as a prolific and highly successful bank robber, he pledged not to rob a certain bank in Meeteetse so he and his friends would have a safe place to stash their ill-gotten cash. That bank is now the Meeteetse Bank Museum, and it still displays the original teller’s cage, vault and many other artifacts.
Just about everything in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (BBCW). After a $2.75 million renovation and reinstallation, BBHC reopened its inaugural museum, the Buffalo Bill Museum, in May, 2012. The museum focuses on the life of the famous sharpshooter, showman and town founder. The family-friendly museum includes an array of interactive exhibits. BBHC also includes the Draper Museum of Natural History, which explores the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem; Plains Indian Museum; Firearms Museum and Whitney Museum of Western Art.
Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.
The area of Park County is called “Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country” because it was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West and thriving western culture host nearly 1 million visitors annually.
The Park County Travel Council website lists information about vacation packages, special events, guide services, weather and more. Travelers wishing to arrange vacation can also call the Park County Travel Council at 1-800-393-2639 or connect with Cody on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.