Stagecoach conference Cody, WY Day 2

Stagecoach Convention, Cody, WY day 2

Saturday June 12, 2010

I forgot to put the date on day 1 of the Stagecoach Convention in Cody, WY Even though I am posting it in July it was held in June. Deal with it! :-)

Morning of day 2 started with breakfast for me at:

5 cent coffee

It is right next door to one of the most interesting stores with a huge addition on the back with a Miniature Village that took the owner 50 years to finish. It starts with the Indians and their buffalo cliff jumps, to when the settlers came, the army, the railroad and circling back around to the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show – all in miniature. The parimenter of the showroom is an incredible private collection of Indian Artifacts. Maybe one of the best deals in town – it is all free to see. donations are accepted and I left a donation twice. I found this place my first night in Cody. They were about the only place open at night and it was getting late so I went back on Saturday to take some photos. I won’t show all the photos but I have to say – I was impressed!

Trading post

Miniature Village

Miniature Village

Some of the collection of artifacts around the village

Even though I took those picture after the the mornings presentation, it just fit to put these in where I did.

The morning Conference started with an open forum to see where the members were from, what their interest is in the Association and where they would like to see go.

My interest was in recording the information in a book or DVD.

By the way, I did get to set up a small booth for my books and plans for Wild Horse Books and Art

Wild Horse Book Booth

I set up next to the Association’s back drop – just because it had good light and located next to the bathroom. People eventually have to go…. :-) I also took some plans for building a variety of stagecoaches, delivery wagons and Army Escort Wagons and a few stagecoach models. But the books received the most attention. I could not bring them all – but I did have a good representation of the material I provide for people interested in building, restoring, conserving or researching  horse drawn vehicles.

Jeff McManus gave a presentation on the Local Freighting Trails. He was able to find and photograph many of the old routes where the impression in the prairie was still evident from the heavy wagons taking good across Wyoming. After all these years the tracks can still been seen.

Jeff McManus, with Ashlee and Rawhide

I didn’t have a photo of Jeff’s presentation so I am using the one from yesterday.

Ashlee in the middle, is the Ramrod for getting this conference organized. Rawhide Johnson was the next speaker talking about and showingEvolution of Harness and Staging Artifacts.

Rawhide Johnson

It is wonderful that so much knowledge was shared and so many vehicles have been preserved. Now to get the Assoc to do a book!

The morning presentation was over but we were all invited to tour Old Trail Town right next door to the Cody Cattle Company – at a group rate. I wanted to see this and finally got the chance to go over for some photos.  Betty McCoy watched my booth for me. A fella from Texas went on the tour but told me not to tear down my booth until he could come back and shop. I am always willing to let people shop – expecially since we all came from so far.   It saves postage too. And buys gas to get home.

Old Trail Town

Trail Town sign

There is so many vehicles here – I took lots of shots but won’t put them all on.

Trail Town

Trail Town Tour Trail Town tour of the top historic vehicle minds!

Doug Hansen and David Sneed are showing a member things to look for.
Tour of the wagons

There were so many vehicles in all stages of rot and decay – a vehicle lover wants to restore them all. No possible – but at least these are brought together in a place where people can still see them, and where the experts can show how to identify the wagon makers.

So many wagons, so little time to talk about them all.
Trail town, inside the blacksmith shop

Trail Town in a building. Looks like a stagecoach in the back!
Trail Town – in the barn

There were better vehicles in the barn but I don’t think the Tour made it this far.

Trail Town Barn with sleighs and cutters

Trail Town – barn

Trail Town carriage in the barn


In addition to the collection of horse drawn vehicles, Trail Town has moved many old historic buildings to the area.

Trail Town school

Old Store – furnished!

What amazes me is many of the building still have goods on the shelves, beds and furnishings in the cabins and none of it is climate controlled! It is just there to be seen!

Yes, they exhumed Jeremiah Johnson and planted him here in Trail Town. I had to visit his grave and wave at him. One of my favorite movies was about him – played by Robert Redford.

I could show a bunch more photos – but I won’t. Still more to tell about the conventions.

The Saturday evening events took us to The Mountain Trails Gallery. Vic Payne is the owner and sculptor – following in his father’s footsteps and behind him is his son. I can’t find my notes right now, so I can’t give you his name or  a link.

Just let me say – it is worth a visit to this Gallery. The art is extraordinary! All mediums are displayed and by many artists. The bronzes are to drool over. If you are a collector of western art – this is the place. Vic was a warm and interesting man, his wife was wonderful to us and she made some of the best snacks and hors d’oeuvres. Very nice people – with lots of talent!


Gallery Bronze

Traveling west by stage, covered wagon or prairie schooner was a challenge filled with death, danger, hills, swollen rivers, attacks and not to mention weather extremes. This bronze shows some of difficulties and how the women had to help help in any way possible. I don’t know if you can see – but she has a rope tied to the brake on the wagon helping to slow its decent. I am always amazed at the hardships the pioneers endured and admire their determination, strength and dedication to make a better life- west.

The Gallery also had a nice collection of vehicles.

Monida stagecoach

Sheepherder wagon

Chuck Wagon

Stage coach

It was a wonderful evening and a spectacular Conference.

I came home via the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway and through Yellowstone National Park. I’ll save those photos for another blog.  I will end this post here.

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