Laramie, WY Part 2

As we left the Ivinson Mansion we headed towards the railroad and found the historic Old Buckhorn Bar.

Established in 1900, it is Laramie's oldest standing and most historic bar. It has the gorgeous, heavy timber carved, mirrored bar back. There are a number of taxidermy heads placed around the walls with antique firearms and signs.

A bullet hole features on one of the glass panels, enquiring minds had to know the story behind this. Alas not from an outlaw's gunfight but a disgruntled ex decided he would take a 30/06 and fire it towards his ex girlfriend in the 70's after they broke up. She survived, the original mirror panel still remains and now it's on a tshirt! A bullet hole glass break pic with 'I survived the Buckhorn Bar'. A beer and we head off to find one with food.

Around the corner is the Crowbar Grill. A neat little place, great food and a nice Belgian White Passionfruit beer. The place was packed on this 4th July considering the rest of the town was very quite.

Next, the Wyoming Territorial Prison, built in 1872 it was restored in 1989.

 

Before entering the Prison building itself we viewed the Warden's house built in 1875 by inmates it was constructed with 4 bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room and basement.

 

This is a self guided tour into the prison and features furnished cells, guards quarters, dining area, laundry room, an infirmary and the women's quarters.

 

The first room in is the processing room where prisoners were fitted with their black and white stripe uniform. Rules and regulations were cited to each prisoner regarding bathing, airing bedding, hygiene etc.

The walls are hung with pictures of prisoners who were here, information regarding the prison conditions, the locking mechanisms for cells, etc.

 

The Wardens office had also been restored back to 1890's glory. Faded patterns on walls were found and subsequent reproduction of exacting color's and patterns for wallpaper were used in the restoration.

 

Before the erection of the stockade and the calling of the mountains to the west 25% of the prisoners in 1875 escaped. The stockade prevented some but there is record of at least a few scaling the stockade wall and escaping.

 

As you move through the additions of the prison there are preserved excavation sections, an exhibit on Butch Cassidy. A very well presented display on the man, the myth, the legend, the Pinkerton Detective Agency, an 1888 blown up safe, and more.

 

In 1882 the first wing on the broom factory was built and later further additions plus steam pipes heating instead of wood and coal were implemented.

The broom factory building and equipment are still original except the flooring was replaced. Brooms are still made here during exhibit displays and are sold within the gift store.

 

Now in Part 1 I had referred to John Hjorth, the Swedish architect/wood carver. Two of his furniture pieces are on display here – a table and a bench. Other pieces made by prisoners such as horsehair woven hatbands, halter's and a very intricate model ship.

 

A great site which has another small town section that we didn't go into. Definitely worth a visit!

What a great way to spend Independence Day in Laramie, finished with dinner, cupcakes and fireworks looking like glitter against a burnt orange sunset.

Thanks to my darling man and a spectacular Wyoming backdrop!

Kat xo

 

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Laramie, WY Part 1

On Wednesday, 4th, Jack took me to Laramie for my birthday. We hadn't been out here before so it was another new place for exploration.

As we travelled further North into Wyoming we made a stop at the Ames Monument.

President Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of 1862 but it was not until a few years later after slow progress of the Union Pacific, commissioning of Oakes Ames to head the railway project took place.

Oakes Ames was known for taking on difficult projects and he and his brother Oliver contributed significant funds for that time period to head the Transcontinental Railroad project.

The Ames Monument is a memorial to the brothers and was built near the highest point of elevation (8247 feet) on the Transcontinental Railroad in 1882.

 

It is known as the pyramid of the plains as its granite construction resembles the rocky outcrops in the background. It has two relief pieces resembling the brothers and is 60ft wide at the base, rising 60ft into the blue sky.

 

Travelling along the Lincoln Highway (US30 and I-80) we made a stop at the rest area and information centre. There is a memorial to Henry Bourne Joy, first president of the Lincoln Highway Association (1913) and president of the Packard Motor Car Company. He was called the father of the nation's modern highway system.

 

Here at the rest area is the memorial stone for Henry B. Joy and a monument commemorating Abraham Lincoln's 150th birthday. The bronze statue of Lincoln's head weighs 4,500 pounds and is 13.5ft tall sitting aloft its hollow granite base. It is situated at the highest point along the I-80 at its highest point of elevation 8640ft.

 

We headed on into Laramie and found the Historic Ivinson Mansion. We were met inside the garden gate by two young girls who directed us to the carriage house to organise tour tickets.

 

Kaydence and Alicia, both Grade 7 honour students (going into Grade 8) are among a number of students up to Grade 10 who through history lessons etc have learned or are learning the history of the Ivinson Mansion and all its wonders, antiques and stories. They then host the tours of the mansion.

So off we set with Kaydence and Alicia for our tour. The Mansion was owned by Edward Ivinson, a banker, he owned the First Interstate Bank and contributed to a hotel in the area. He and his wife Jane and adopted daughter(?) lived and entertained many in this gorgeous home.

 

It was one of the first to have electricity, indoor plumbing and heating.

After his wife died, Edward left the home and gave it up for a girls boarding house. The boarding house was used for girls from outlying ranch's. After the boarding house period it was left abandoned for a period of time and was later saved from being turned into a parking lot and restoration began.

Some pieces were stolen from the house and some have been returned, like the original front door knob fittings. Some window sections were missing or smashed and pieces have been recreated to complete the original appearance.

 

The entrance, floating staircase, rooms are absolutely stunning. The foyer and entry light fixtures are the only two original to the mansion. There is a section in the kitchen that shows the differing layers of wallpapers throughout the time and wallpapers have been recreated to fit to as far back as they could see a legible print on the walls.

 

In the drawing room the fireplace is original but the mantle is not. The fireplace and mantle in the dining room however, are original to the house. A few tiles were missing from the dining room one but spares were actually found in the basement.

 

The front parlour has a beautiful piece of furniture, a liquor cabinet handcrafted by John Hjorth. A Swedish architect and master wood carver he was prisoner #458 at the nearby Territorial Prison. Hjorth was imprisoned for forging a $25 check (cheque) and spent much of his time carving and making beautiful pieces of furniture with mythical creatures and detail. There are 17 pieces of his furniture on this first floor.

In the drawing room is a record player owned by Melville C Brown. Brown was mayor for a short period of time when outlaws ran rampant through the time. A group of vigilantes took over the lawless town with some outlaws joining the vigilantes to avoid being hung.

The library holds an original desk from the bank and was used during the boarding school period.

 

The dining room is exquisitely displayed with Jane Ivinsons dinner setting and original napkin rings that were gifted them with the Ivinson initials. I love the knife rests etc. Inside a special case is a cut crystal punch bowl set, said to be one of 12 owned by the Ivinson's.

 

The butlers pantry windows are original to the home as is the punch bowl and pitcher on top of the cabinet, a replica has been recreated so the others are not damaged.

 

The kitchen although without its original fire stove has original squeaking floorboards, clock work spice rack that locked down of a night time.

 

There is a dumb waiter in the hallway and was actually electric.

Upstairs you find the the dormitory room and maids room. She was very important to Jane and even had her own bathroom however, shared with visiting guests.

The Ivinson Mansion is an exquisite piece of restored history and was an enjoyable tour by two fine young ladies. A quick look inside the small school building and we headed off for lunch and the Territorial Prison.

Kat xo

 

Greeley Stampede

Monday afternoon we headed off with Wild Horse John and Saginaw Sue to the Greeley Stampede in Colorado. The grounds were jumping with carnival rides, vendors and bars. John had organised great seats with a good view to the arena, the chutes and the bull riding when they made the arena shorter.

 

It was a well organised smaller rodeo with some great action throughout the course of the evening with events like Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding! Steer Wrestling, Tie Down Roping, Team Roping, Barrel Racing, Bull Riding and I think the highlight was the little kids doing the Mutton Bustin'. Hilarious! They would bring in a sheep, bucking and carrying on, grab a kid (rodeo riders in the making), get the kid situated on the sheets back and have hem hold on for dear life for as log as they could. One little cowboy in his lime green chaps rode the sheep just about the full length of the arena and of course won.

 

The rodeo announcer interviewed him after and as they say, kids have no filter when they are little and just tell it like it is.

Announcer: 'where did you get those chaps from?' Mini 5yr old cowboy in the sweetest voice: 'online'. The announcer was a little lost for words and then 'would you like to win a new pair of boots?' Mini cowboy: 'yes'. Announcer: 'would you give Miss Rodeo Colorado a kiss for a new pair of boots?' Mini cowboy: 'no!'

Haa haa haa, priceless, needless to say the boots were his prize for winning so he still got them and I think Miss Rodeo Colorado was just a little heartbroken lol!

 

The 5th generation of Beutler's (3rd, 4th and 5th generations to be precise) Bennie, Rhett and 11 yr old Jake rode the arena and Jake helped out rounding up stray steer's throughout the steer roping and the finale with the bronc's. The family from Elk City, OK are stock contractors and provide the horses and bulls for rodeos across the nation.

 

Had a blast, thanks very much John!

Kat xo

 

Hell On Wheels

As the Union Pacific roll's by on the nearby tracks of the Otto Road shooting club, the Border Vigilantes held their annual Hell On Wheels match this past weekend the 29 June-1st July.

Situated 8 miles west of Cheyenne, 233 shooters headed out for the match. Friday was side match day with a morning and afternoon 4 stage warm up, as well as speed side events and long range.

Saturday was 6 stages of main match and after coming from End Of Trail the target distances and sizes were somewhat different. The stages were reasonable with some longer runs between positions. At the end of the day I was clean and Jack had a couple of issues.

 

Saturday lunchtime after we finished shooting a storm came through which would be good for settling the dust and stopping the marble like granite dust from rolling under your feet across each stage! The temperature dropped by about 20 degrees.

 

Sunday took a cooler start for the morning requiring jacket and gloves for a few stages, we headed in to the next and last 6 stages of the match. We had an awesome posse headed by Pick along with Tin Lizzy, Avery Wade, Roy's Creek Dan, Highland Scottie, Gabby Gertie, West Okie Wayne, Loose Cannon, Coyote Cole, Burnt Bacon, Dapper Dynamite Dick, Della, Bandana Bob, Phantom, Mountain Menace, Pinewood Kid, Pinewood Rose and Cactus Jim.

 

Not fabulous for Jack and 1 miss for me so we would see how it would turn out in the wash. I won a few side matches and did the shootout – final round with Avery Wade.

 

Jack finished 2nd in category and 15th overall. Congrats to the other Silver Senior's and to Angry Tom who took 1st place.

 

Congrats to the fellow Lady Wrangler shooters!

 

I had a good finish 1st cowgirl and 8th overall with White Lightning Jack from New Zealand finishing 1st overall!

 

Congratulations to all who entered and thanks to the Border Vigilantes for our Hell On Wheels visit.

Kat xo

 

Perfect Pav

Well, given I am a faux kiwi this weekend…..they put the New Zealand flag on our tags for the Aussies….I think I mastered the latest pavlova for Wild Horse John and Saginaw Sue to sample!

Even have passion fruit pulp on it, thanks to Pearl Starr bringing some over!

Good stuff!

Kat xo

Cheyenne Visit

Thursday was a free day and after some gun cleaning and new stock cover replacement it was time to head out.

After a car wash Jack and I ventured downtown and coming to the historic Plains Hotel we spied some neat old cars parked there doing a run from Paris to New York.

We headed across the square to the Depot where we found Accomplice Beer Company – Agarita Annie and Neuces Slim worded us up on this one!

What a great place, not only for being situated in the original Cheyenne train depot and right next to the railway lines but the ultimate in beer experience’s for sure.

When you enter the craft brewery you hand over a card and name then you are given a beer card.

Inside the main bar and restaurant area is 14 different beer taps, a variety of glass sizes, styles and growlers.

The beer menu board shows the beer appropriate to the tap including your ABV (alcohol by volume), IBU (international bitter units), name and brief description.

Now the fun begins! You place your card in front of the beer tap screen and pour as little or as much as you want. It then tells you how many ounces and how much it cost you for that pour.

As you work your way through them it will give you a total spend also.

We had salads for lunch that were great, although a little light on the chicken inclusion. The salted caramel apple fritter and ice cream was divine and big enough to share.

There are yard games for the back patio area and tables out the front also.

A great place to experience and we will definitely be back before the week is out.

As we headed back to the car the other vintage cars had come to the square with others turning up for a small car show.

The rat rod and its almost 80yr old owner were a hit!

A great quick visit in Cheyenne, as much of it we have seen before with a trip to the range to pick up packs ready for side matches.

Kat xo

Torrington, WY

Today we took the ‘stage’ to Torrington to see the Pony Express re-ride. Here they did a changeover of horse and mail just as occurred in 1860-1863.

Outside Bomgaars Supply the horse and rider came through just as we arrived and managed to video! A minute later and we would have missed the changeover as they were slightly ahead of time!

One rider jumped off her horse, grabbed the mochila throwing it on to the next rider’s horse and then she was on and heading out of town.

The rider (Stephanie, hope that’s right) we spoke with has been doing it for 25 years now, she started with her Dad. Now her, her husband and kids do the re-ride each year.

The riders today do approximately 2 miles each (so as not to wear their horses out) compared to the past where the original pony express stations were 50miles apart. However they often rode 75-100 miles in a stretch changing horses every 10-15miles.

I had to laugh, her husband said they use 5 horses and a back up. Sounds like cowboy shooters – take what you need plus your backup’s.

I’m glad we got there in time to see it!

We headed into Torrington and made a short stop at the Goshen County Museum situated in the original South Torrington Union Pacific Depot.

It had some very interesting artifacts in there and also had the 1996 Pony Express mochila. The rider we spoken to carried the flame for the Atlanta Olympics during the 1996 ride.

Back we headed towards Hawk Springs (population 45) where The Emporium steak house was calling us for late lunch.

What a neat little place! Has a great cowboy decor and feel, beer garden and drive thru!

The steak and dessert were divine! Highly recommend a stop there or make the 80 mile trek from Cheyenne up there! It was worth it.

We headed back to Wild Horse Haven and doubt very much we will need anything much for dinner tonight!

Yours in touring

Kat xo