Corrie n. Cody's Travel Blog Dividing image

Have you heard the news?

February 26th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

“Have you heard the news?” As I was making the rounds on Sheridan Avenue on a clear February day last week, at least six of my friends and neighbors posed that question to me. Each time, I answered with the question, “which news?”

Cody Yellowstone is chock full of enough news to keep even the most prolific local journalists in stories. And there have been plenty of stories lately.

You already know about the 100th anniversary of the Cody Stampede this year. Planners are in meeting mode to nail down details like the parade theme and to choose a grand marshal. This year’s Stampede runs from Sunday, July 1 through Wednesday, July 4. We know there will be a great line-up of PRCA rodeos, parades, concerts, fairs and fireworks, and we’re all still waiting to hear about this year’s parade theme and grand marshal. Stampede tickets go on sale on March 1, and yours truly will be at the Stampede Park ticket office as soon as it opens that morning.

My history- and art-loving friends are super stoked that the By Western Hands Museum & Archives is opening in downtown Cody this summer. Years in the planning, this new attraction is Read More


My Favorite Niece is Coming to Visit This Year

January 21st, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

In my family I am hands-down the favorite aunt. It’s a rite of passage in my family to send the kids to visit me here in Cody Yellowstone so that I can indoctrinate the next generation into the joys of listening to cowboy music, riding horses, gazing at geysers and learning that history is more than stories found in a book.

I once heard “the cousins” comparing notes about their trips out West and what they liked best about spending a week with Auntie Corrie. They all had their favorite attractions, and I loved hearing them talk about whether or not Old Trail Town was better than the Wild West Shootout or who served the best ice cream in town.

I do worry that they might be getting a little too entitled when they argue which hotel rooms in Yellowstone National Park have the best views and which restaurants serve the best prime rib, but they are all good kids who understand the value of hard work.

And while she doesn’t know it yet, my favorite niece is coming to visit this summer after missing her annual trip to see me last summer.

Corrie will be waiting in the terminal at Cody’s Read More


Firearms-Inspired Western Colloquialisms

December 17th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Studying the firearms that have been possessed by Western soldiers, farmers, hunters, mountain men and pioneers as well as legendary personalities like Buffalo Bill Cody can be instructive for students of history like myself.

Some firearms are almost romantic in their artistry, like Buffalo Bill Cody’s Winchester 1873 lever-action rifle that features engravings of a standing buffalo on one side and Buffalo Bill Cody on horseback chasing a running buffalo on the other. Some firearms are clunky. Some are downright terrifying.

Buffalo Bill Cody was often photographed and depicted with firearms.

There are several places in Cody Yellowstone for visitors to learn more about the history of firearms and their impact on our lives. The Cody Firearms Experience lets visitors shoot replica guns at a high-tech indoor shooting range under the instruction of experienced staff. The Cody Dug Up Firearms Museum features an extensive exhibit of guns that have been unearthed from battlegrounds, farms, fields and other locations around the world. One of the best places to go for a comprehensive understanding of the impact of firearms is the Cody Firearms Museum, one of five museums at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The museum traces the evolution of Read More


Maps and Trivia: Who Could ask for More?

November 5th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

There are a couple of things (maybe more, just saying) about me that my friends like to tease.

One is that I love trivia. While some might comment on my recall of factoids and say that I am full of “useless knowledge,” I say that you never know when an item can spark a conversation or lead to something truly fascinating. I explained once to a friend’s daughter that Telluride, Colorado got its moniker from miners who shortened “To Hell You Ride” into the town’s name. She rolled her eyes like all good teenagers do and left the room. A few weeks later I caught her in the act of retelling one of her friends what I had shared.

She doesn’t tease me anymore, and we always get a good laugh.

A second quirk I have is that I love looking at maps. I get this from my dad who would spread out state and national maps on the kitchen table where he would plan a route for our vacations or holiday visits. The two of us would have deep discussions about tolls, speed limits, timing and such until we agreed on our best route to get two states over.

One of my friends spotted Read More


Enduring Friendships – With Fireworks

October 30th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

We all have that one friend. Or if we are supremely lucky, those handful of friends. Whatever you need, you can count on them, even if you don’t know you need it.

They are the ones who bring you homemade chicken soup when you are sick or teasingly bully you into doing another set of squats at the gym. They offer advice when asked and listen to your woes without judgment. And they always – always – defend and promote your honor.

Buffalo Bill Cody had one of those friends, and her name was Caroline.

Thing is, they weren’t particularly close.

Caroline Lockhart was a barrier-breaker just like the founder of the town where she chose to move. A successful novelist at a time when most women in the country didn’t even have the right to vote, the ambitious, talented and nationally famous Lockhart had produced several bestselling novels by the early 1900s. She was wry, quick-witted and an intuitive news-maker.

She also was notorious. She drank hard liquor at a time when many prominent citizens enthusiastically supported the coming Prohibition. She had many male friends, but she never married. She was also sentimental, and she loved the Old West. She celebrated with her pen Read More


The Do-Good Sinners of Cody

October 5th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Every frontier town had its ramblers, gamblers, “sportin’” women and robbers, and Cody was no exception. While many of these less-than-upstanding souls were downright dangerous – just ask the families of the doctor who was mysteriously murdered right on his doorstep or the First National Bank cashier who was shot by robbers in 1904 – some had a soft side that emerged at the oddest times.

Picture a group of frontiersmen, including Buffalo Bill Cody, sitting around playing cards, boisterous, trash-talking, drinking. The year was 1902. It was a big year in Cody. The town had been incorporated one year earlier, with a population of 300 citizens, and growing. The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad had completed the spur from Toluca to Cody. Buffalo Bill Cody opened the Irma Hotel that year. Named for his daughter, the Irma was promoted as the most modern hotel in the Rockies. And Buffalo Bill’s dream of damming the Shoshone River to supply water to his town and the surrounding ranchland was coming to fruition.

The country was experiencing the push of modernization, and citizens of all stripes were learning to adapt. Butch Cassidy, Harry Longabaugh and Etta Place had taken their well-honed bank-robbing skills on the road to South America by then. Stagecoaches were still being Read More


Getting Ready for a Great Dam Day

July 27th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

On August 18th I’m going to have a great dam day. That’s when the Buffalo Bill Dam & Visitor Center will stage its annual “Great Dam Day,” a celebration of one of the most extraordinary engineering accomplishments in the West. The free event includes a hike down the “old dam road,” kids events and interpretive information on display in the visitor center.

I try to always participate in this fun celebration, as it reminds me of the extraordinary accomplishments and uncommon determination of our town’s founder, Buffalo Bill Cody.

Corrie will be participating in the annual Great Dam Day to celebrate the town of Cody’s showcase Buffalo Bill Dam. Photos courtesy of the Buffalo Bill Dam & Visitor Center.

Not only was he a world-renowned showman, Buffalo Bill possessed unusual logistical abilities and the brain of an engineer. When he selected a barren, windswept region of northwestern Wyoming for the namesake town he would develop, Cody knew that its success would depend on the most valuable resource in the American West: water.

Buffalo Bill wanted his town to become the tourism mecca that it is, and he knew that a dependable water source was essential not only for residents and visitors but also Read More


I Found My New House

July 8th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Comments(1)

It seems everybody has a neighborhood in their town that they always wanted to live in. Maybe it’s the mid-century architecture, the mature trees or views of the lake (or mountains or city lights) that have always appealed to them. I’ve known quite a few people who worked hard and saved to make their dreams of living in a specific part of town happen.

I’m like those friends. There’s the coolest lineup of houses in Cody that, while the structures could use a few updates, simply calls to me. No matter how many hours I work and vacations I forgo, however, I will probably never be allowed to live in this neighborhood.

I’m talking about the collection of old homestead cabins near the rodeo grounds and site of the original downtown Cody. Old Trail Town does not actually house anyone even though I promise I would not be a bother, would not dramatically alter any of the original designs except for some reasonable improvements and would keep the number of visitors to a minimum. Dan Miller would only count as one, regardless of how many times he stops by, right?

Old Trail Town is the brainchild of one of Cody’s great characters. Bob Read More


The Woman Who Wrangled the Cody Stampede

June 26th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When hundreds of celebrants gather at the Cody Stampede grounds on July 4 to experience the 99th-annual Cody Stampede Rodeo, they can thank the relentless efforts of Caroline Lockhart for the fun.

The everyday frustrations of running the Cody Stampede caused Caroline Lockhart to complain that she didn’t have enough time to pursue her passion of horseback riding. ( Archival photos courtesy of theAmerican Heritage Center.)

A prominent citizen who had earned fame and financial independence as author of Western novels – some which were made into major movies – it was Lockhart’s vision that led to the creation of the world-renowned Cody Stampede, which is consistently named one of the top rodeos in the world.

Caroline Lockhart flouted societal norms such as drinking alcohol at a time most citizens supportedProhibition. She was known to through raucous drinking parties at her home.

Lockhart was well-known to the citizens of Cody, and she gleefully flouted societal norms. At a time when traditional domestic life was the primary option for women, she juggled multiple boyfriends but never married. She unapologetically and publicly drank when most Cody citizens voted for Prohibition. She was a passionate horsewoman who jubilantly supported almost any initiative that promoted Western Read More


Check out the new Cody Heritage Museum

June 18th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Yet another top-flight museum is already making its mark in Cody Yellowstone Country. After years of laying the groundwork, the new Cody Heritage Museum has opened in the historic DeMaris House on Sheridan Avenue. I think Charles and Nellie DeMaris would be tickled to see what has become of their family home.

The tiny museum packs a lot of Cody history into a small space. I spent an engaging afternoon recently perusing the photographs, artifacts and documents artfully displayed throughout the museum.

The DeMaris home is a fitting place for exhibits of historic treasures from throughout the region, including Cody, neighborhoods along the North Fork and South Fork of the Shoshone, Greybull and Crandall.

Charles and Nellie DeMaris built the house in 1907 so their son Bill could go to school in town. The house was the only building on the block until the Park County Courthouse was developed in 1912. After Charles and Nellie died, their son Bill continued to live in the upstairs of the house while a variety of businesses occupied the main level. At various times, the building has housed a bar, a law firm, a real estate firm and offices for the Fire District. The house was slated for demolition when the Park County Commissioners agreed to lease it Read More