WHEATLAND - The Platte County Historical Society hosted the 69th annual meeting of the Wyoming State Historical Society in Wheatland this past weekend.
The chapter had people from across the state who attended and, while overseeing the business of the Society, registrants also got a chance to enjoy Wheatland and learn about Platte County’s history.
One of the highlights of the weekend was when the Society announced award recipients who have written books, developed media programming, hosted tours, etc. The prestigious Awards Luncheon was held at the all-new “10th Street Social Club,” followed by book-signings, tours and more. Saturday evening participants had a chance to enjoy special guest, WSHS member and award-winning author John Davis who spoke about Tom Horn. John shared his extensive research about Tom Horn’s trial and made himself available to sign books after his talk. Wheatland’s own Cheeky Ladies rounded out the evening with fun entertainment. Sunday participants traveled to Guernsey where the ladies of the VFW provided breakfast before the group headed to historic Sunrise for a private tour hosted by WSHS members John Voight, and Geri and George Zeimans.
2022 award winners and categories:
Publications books: nonfiction – first place, Anna MacKinnon, Public Waters: Lessons from Wyoming for the American West. Second place, T. Paul Stauffer, A History of Fishing in the Star Valley, Wyoming.
Publications Books: Self-published work – first place, Dr. Jeremy M. Johnston, Author of Narratives and David G. Paulley, Artist (posthumous). Second place, Betty Petranek, Ghosts of Newcastle.
Publications Books: reference – first place, Judy Slack, Teepee Lodge – The Fordyce Years.
Publications Books: fiction – first place, David A. Galloway, Burning Ground.
Publications: Newsletters – first place, Heart Mountain Foundation, Kokoro Kara – Winter/Spring 2021.
Publications: Newspapers – first place, Newsletter Journal – Kate Slaamot, A Piece of History.
Publications: Magazines – first place, Brandi Burns, Executive Director Museum of the Yellowstone – Yellowstone History Journal 2021.
Publications: Pamphlet – first place, Alex Deselms and Amy Phillips, The Mining Town of Kirwin
Audio/Visual: Non-professional – first place, Amy Phillips, Meeteetse Museums – Meeteetse Stories – season two.
Calendars: first place, Joan Martin, JoAnn Galloway and Ron Anderson – Calendar of Star Valley History 2022.
Social Media: Albany County Historical Society Facebook page Laramie
Junior Activities – grades 3-5: first place, Landon Riebel, Newcastle – 10 Native American Facts. Second place, Kaylee Lambert, Newcastle – Indian Village. Third place, Isabel Parsons, Newcastle – My First Buffalo Hunt.
Young Historians - grades 3-5: first place, Ashlyn Hatheway, Newcastle – My Dream. Second place, Brooklyn Hoffman, Newcastle – Indian Villages. Third place, Shelby Smith, Newcastle – Native American Tribes That Live in Present Day Wyoming.
Young Historians - grades 6-8: first place, Maggie Hicks, Halle Mickelsen, Platte County Historical Society – “Not a Drop to Spare,” a documentary. Second place Lily Anderson, Carly Robertson and Haidyn Sisson, Platte County Historical Society – “Wichowayake.”
Young Historians – grades 9-12: Josephina Blain, Park County Historical Society – Coal Slurry Competes in the Coal Market Against the Railroads.
Activities Award: first place, Jon Awakawa, Fitchburg St. University, MA – Heart Mountain Augmented Reality Tour App. First place, six individuals – Casper College, Valerie Innella Malers, PhD. – Wyoming Room Team. First place, Northeast Barn Tour, Campbell County Historical Society. First place, Wheatland Historic Preservation Commission – Wheatland Downtown Historic District.
Chapter Award: first place, Weston County Historical Society, Newcastle.
Mable Brown Cumulative Contribution Award: first place, Betty Petranek, Newcastle.
Henryetta Berry Award: first place, Wind River Heritage Center, Riverton.
Maurine Carley Award: first place, Craig Chevrolet Garage, Darren Downs, Newcastle.
Outstanding Historic Preservation Project: Barbara Townsend from Atlantic City for her efforts in finding gravesites of pioneers and preserving two Atlantic City cemeteries.
The Platte County Historical Society joined the Society’s federation of chapters in the mid-1950s. Since then, it has remained an active chapter of the Wyoming State Historical Society. The chapter meets the last Tuesday of each month from September to May. Officers and board members are each responsible for hosting one program a year (a total of nine). Over the years members and guests have enjoyed a plethora of presentations relating to state and local history.
Chapter activities have been many, including tours of Platte County ranches, conducting oral histories of Platte County residents, one of its members produced a booklet about the Airport and Landing Fields around Wheatland, and it assisted the Town of Wheatland with developing a gallery of past and current mayors. Chapter meetings have included talks about Johnny Gordon, a local rancher who made violins and was said to have given Governor Carey the idea to create the Wheatland Irrigation District. Several years ago, the chapter hosted a reburial and historic sign placement of three Oregon Trail pioneers whose graves had been disturbed. That project won them an Activities Award from the Wyoming State Historical Society. Additionally, the chapter assisted with moving the historic Axford Schoolhouse from its rural outpost to the Laramie Peak Museum. Locals often provide some of the best programs, like when Duane and Tiny Walker came to talk about their lives growing up on “The Peak.” One of the members, Nancy Curtis, is a successful publisher of western books out of her home in Glendo. We have a scientist among us (a couple of them), artists, authors, teachers, engineers, airplane mechanics, musicians, lawyers, archaeologists, and the list goes on, including those who are always there to set up and take down chairs. “Everyone jumps in and participates, no matter what is asked of them,” said Linda Fabian. “We could spend a lot of time bragging about what each of our members bring to the table, but we will let you experience it for yourself. The chapter has a strong partnership with the Platte County Library, the Platte County Record Times, KYCN/KZEW Radio, the Laramie Peak Museum, the Platte County Art Guild, the Sunrise Historic and Prehistoric Preservation Society (SHAPPS), museums in Hartville and Glendo, and the Wyoming National Guard. We consistently have 75-80 members, and more than 30 people attend each meeting/program.”
Rick Robbins, president of the chapter, says “We like to keep our business meeting short so our members and guests can enjoy the speaker.” Robbins said chapter programs will kick off September 27, the last Tuesday of the month. All programs are free and open to the public.
Current officers include Rick Robbins, President; Mary Jo Birt, vice president; Kathy Price, Secretary; and Diana McDonald, Treasurer. Our board members are Linda Fabian, Tara Jo Darling, Barb Schaffner, Sam Freedburg and Gail Thompson.
For more details about chapter participation contact Rick Robbins at 331-3024. Unfortunately, it is too late to register for the annual meeting, but everyone is welcome to the chapter’s program on Sept. 27.