Wyoming History and Museums

Wyoming became the 44th state in the U.S. on July 10, 1890, but the amazing and diverse history of the area dates all the way back to when dinosaurs roamed Wyoming’s landscape. Wyoming's heritage includes American Indian cultures and histories, a rich natural history, explorers and migrants of the Oregon trail, pioneering men and women as well as outlaws of the wild west. Experience Wyoming's history at world class musuems, hands on paleontological sites, historical sites and along historic byways

Stagecoach
Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum, Cheyenne

Wyoming’s Prehistoric History

Wyoming’s early residents, the dinosaurs, left a significant mark on the state. The state is home to some of the most significant fossil fields in the world and scientists and researchers from around the world visit Wyoming. Travelers can experience Wyoming’s prehistoric history around the state. Participate in a dinosaur dig in Thermopolis at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, take in Wyoming’s Paleontological history at the Tate Museum in Casper or learn about a time that Wyoming was once a sea floor at Fossil Butte National Monument near Kemmerer.

Wyoming's Tribal History

Wyoming is home to a diverse history for American Indian Tribes and was once home to several tribes known as the Plains Indians. Today, the Wind River Indian Reservation is located in the Wind River Basin is the home of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes. Visitors can discover many landmarks and experiences around the state by visiting the Vore Buffalo Jump, Medicine Wheel, attending a pow wow, or by visiting the only wild horse sanctuary on an Indian Reservation in the U.S. 

Pioneering Women of Wyoming

Women of Wyoming have been making a name for themselves throughout history. Wyoming was the first place that Women were granted the right to vote in 1869. Years later when invited to join the Union without women voters, Wyoming’s legislature said “We will remain out of the Union one hundred years rather than come in without the women.” Women continued their empowering legacy throughout Wyoming’s early years. The first female vote was cast in Laramie, the first female governor in the U.S. was elected in Wyoming in 1925. In addition, the Equality State is also the home to the first woman appointed to public office, the first all-female jury, the world's first female bailiff and the first town that was governed entirely by women.

The Old West

When you picture the old west, images of Wyoming likely come to mind. From early expeditions of the area to travelers along the Oregon Trail, Wyoming plays a large part in the story of the West. American icon Buffalo Bill Cody was a key player in the development of Wyoming's beloved town of Cody. Buffalo Bill loved northern Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park, so he founded the town of Cody just outside of the park in 1901. You can still stay at the historic Irma Hotel, which he built and named after his daughter. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody is home to 5 amazing museums that tell the story of Buffalo Bill and how the west was built. One of the most famous outlaw gangs, Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch, have ties to the Cowboy State. As the gang rustled the west, they would often hide out at the Hole In The Wall near Kaycee which can be explored along the South Bighorn Red Wall Scenic Byway. Butch Cassisdy's partner in crime, Harry Longabaugh, aquired the now famous nickname "the Sundance Kid" after time spent in the Sundance, Wyoming jail in 1888. At the Crook County Museum you can sit in a spectator chair of the Sundance Kid trial and learn more about this region's fascinating history.