When I first heard about Old Trail Town, I was skeptical. Really? A bunch of old cabins? It seemed pretty boring. It turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong and I've been back many times.
Trail Town is a collection of old buildings assembled from across the great State of Wyoming. It brings back a time long lost, reminding us of the rugged west tamed by human hands. Each building is outfitted with historical artifacts and authentic furnishings.
The attraction was assembled by Bob Edgar, an old cowboy and an expert marksman known for his sharpshooting skills with a Colt .45. As a younger man, he rented a cabin that was originally a trading post from 1878. He lived there for many years, even while married and raising a child!
As an archaeologist and historian, his passion for Wyoming history grew and he slowly started to collect these cabins and move them to Cody. Some were in good condition and could be moved in one piece. Others had to be carefully numbered, disassembled, transported, and painstakingly reassembled on site.
Just a few of the interesting sites:
- HOLE IN THE WALL CABIN, 1883: This two-room cabin was built on Buffalo Creek. It wa a rendezvous site for Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and other outlaws in the region.
- CURLEY'S CABIN, 1895: Curley was a Crow scout with the Custer Expedition. He lived in this cabin on the Crow reservation from 1885 to 1923. He relayed news of Custer's defeat at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. He was one of the Crow scouts to survive the battle.
- TAGGART CARPENTER SHOP, 1901: One of the first buildings built in Cowley, Wyoming. It was used by a Mormon pioneer, George Taggart, who traveled to the Big Horn Basin by wagon train.
- THE RIVERS SALOON, 1888: Built at the mouth of the Wood River, west of present-day Meeteetse. It was frequented by cowboys, gold miners, outlaws, and other colorful characters. Bullet holes are still visible in the door. It is the oldest remaining saloon in northwest Wyoming.
Along with the collection of buildings, wagons, and archaeological artifacts are some grave sites of historic persons. The most famous is Jeremiah "Liver Eating" Johnson, a trapper, hunter, woodhawk, Army scout, marshal, and Civil War veteran. Robert Redford starred in the movie Jeremia Johnson and was a pallbearer for Johnson's reburial at Old Trail Town in 1974.
Cody sees hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, most on their way to Yellowstone National Park, and they are regularly amazed by our rich history.
If you ever head this way, we hope you can take a moment to visit Old Trail Town, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the historic Irma Hotel, and the many other sites that make Cody, Wyoming a great place to visit!