Old Trail Town

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Old Trail Town in Cody, Wyoming

Old Trail Town is a collection of historic western buildings and artifacts, dating from 1879—1901, located off the Yellowstone Highway in the resort city of Cody, the seat of Park County in northwestern Wyoming. Much of the collection was derived from within 150 miles of Cody, the town that Buffalo Bill and his associates surveyed and established in 1895.[1]

Restored cabins[edit]

250pxSite of log cabin of Custer's Crow scout Curly in Cody, Wyoming

One of the assembled buildings is the log cabin of the Crow Indian named Curly, a scout to General George Armstrong Custer, who escaped prior to hostilities at the Little Big Horn in Montana on June 25, 1876. In 1885, the United States government constructed Curly’s cabin as a reward for his military service.[1]

Kid Curry (Harvey Logan) and the Sundance Kid used a cabin at Old Trail Town as a hide-out before they robbed a bank in Red Lodge, Montana. Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and other desperados met at another cabin brought in from the Hole-in-the-Wall country in north central Wyoming. It was built in 1883 by Alexander Ghent.[1]

Historical perspective[edit]

Trail Town began in 1967 through the efforts of Bob W. Edgar, (born January 1, 1939),[2] an archeologist and a native of the Big Horn Basin region of Wyoming. Edgar explored the area and worked for seven years for the large Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody. He realized the need to gather the historic buildings and relics and display them at a common site, the actual location where Buffalo Bill Cody and his associates had surveyed the first town site, "Cody City".[1]

One-room schoolhouse at Old Trail Town
General store at Old Trail Town

Trail Town has more than twenty-five buildings, a hundred horse-drawn vehicles, and an extensive collection of memorabilia of the Wyoming frontier. The largest collection of its kind in Wyoming, Old Trail Town has enjoyed the support of area ranchers and the Cody community. Visitors can stroll between buildings along the boardwalk and access the cemetery, where some local and national folk heroes are interred.[3]

Liver-Eating Johnson's grave[edit]

Bronze statue of Liver-Eating Johnson erected over his grave at Old Trail Town

On June 8, 1974, the grave of mountain man Liver-Eating Johnson (ca. 1824—1900) was relocated to Old Trail Town. Johnson's legendary exploits were brought to film with Robert Redford in Jeremiah Johnson. Originally “Johnston”, John Johnson was a trapper, hunter, United States Army scout, marshal, and Union veteran of the American Civil War. More than two thousand attended the reburial service, perhaps the largest such gathering in Wyoming history.[4] The bronze statue of Johnson erected over his grave is the work of Peter M. Fillerup[1] (born ca. 1954) of Cody. It was dedicated on July 3, 1981.[5]

Museum access[edit]

Old Trail Town is open from May 15 until September 30.[6] Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $4 for children 6-12.[7] The Museum of the Old West, a separate entity within Old Trail Town established in 1971 as a 501(C)(3) Not for Profit Corporation by Bob Edgar and Frances Beldon, is seeking to purchase and administer Old Trail Town provided the financing can be secured.[8]

Elk horns stacked at Old Trail Town in Wyoming
Stocked cupboard in mountain man's cabin at Old Trail Town

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°30′55″N 109°06′15″W / 44.515412°N 109.104297°W / 44.515412; -109.104297