It is true that the American state of Wyoming is renowned for its natural beauty from the mountains to geysers to sweeping expanse of dry grasslands. It is also true that Wyoming is the second smallest state when it comes to population at 577,737 as of 2018. But, did you know that Wyoming played a big role in shaping the political power of women in the United States?
Wyoming was the first state to allow women to not only vote, but also to run for elected office. These rights were not enacted federally until 50 years after Wyoming did. The women of Wyoming also played a role in shaping the history of, not only Wyoming, but also the country as a whole. If you are wondering about what to do in Wyoming to learn about how women shaped the history of our country, then I have you covered right here.
There are numerous attractions within Wyoming that are dedicated to the women who shaped or made history in the country. These attractions are spread out in multiple cities.
Wyoming House for Historic Women
The Wyoming House for Historic Women is located in Laramie, a city on Interstate 80 a short distance northwest of the state capital of Cheyenne. This museum is dedicated to multiple women who made history in the country. The first woman is Louisa Swain. She was the first woman ever in the country to cast a vote in an election. Eliza Stewart became the first woman in the country to serve on a jury.
The third woman is Martha Symons Boies. She is the first woman in the country to serve as a bailiff. The first woman to serve in a judicial position in the country is Esther Hobart Morris. Estelle Reel became the first woman to be elected to a statewide office in the country. Barbara Cubin became the first woman to be elected to federal office from Wyoming.
This museum houses galleries that showcases the lives of all these women. The admission prices are as follows: $2.50 for adults and $1 for students. If you would like to make a special appointment to tour this museum, you can do so here.
South Pass City Historic Site
The South Pass City Historic Site is located in South Pass City which is a ghost town located just off of State Route 28 about 2 hours and 45 minutes west of the city of Casper. This historic site is where the women’s suffrage movement originated. This is where William Bright first introduced the women’s suffrage bill to the Wyoming Territorial Legislature. That bill ultimately became law in 1869.
This historic site is where Esther Hobart Morris became the justice of the peace. It was also there that Esther became the first woman in the country to hold a political office. In addition to learning about this historic moment, you can also learn about the historic site’s history as a gold mining town and the role that women played in shaping it. You could also get access to the old gold mine tunnel too as well.
The prices for admission is as follows: $3 for Wyoming residents, $5 for non-residents, and free for children under the age of 18. It should be noted that at least one tour being offered at this historic site will require a reservation in advance. You can do so here.
The Sacajawea Cemetery is located in Fort Washakie, about 2 and a half hours west of Casper and about an hour north of the South Pass City Historic Site. This cemetery is dedicated to Sacajawea. She was an American Indian woman who was a part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the 1800’s. The Lewis and Clark Expedition was a defining moment in the United States’ westward expansion to the Pacific Ocean.
Sacajawea played a major role in the success of the Lewis and Clark Expedition because of her unmatched knowledge of the difficult terrains. She was also very talented in translating between the English language and the languages of the various tribes. That helped the expedition to communicate with the tribes that they encountered on their exploratory journey.
Sacajawea did these things while at the same time, taking care of her newborn son whom she gave birth during the expedition. The Sacajawea Cemetery also houses a statue of Sacajawea herself. The admission to the cemetery is free of charge for everyone.
Cowgirls of the West Museum
The Cowgirls of the West Museum is located in Cheyenne, the state capital of Wyoming. This is the museum where you can learn about the women who played a big role in the taming and settling of the American frontier (also known as the Old West or Wild West) in the 19th century. These women were known as the cowgirls.
In addition to showcasing the lives of the American frontier women, this museum also showcases the history of women in the rodeo circuit sport. This museums houses artifacts as well as a gift shop called The Emporium where you can buy souvenirs. The admission to this museum is free for everyone.
The Amelia Earhart Archives
The Amelia Earhart Archives is located inside of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in the city of Cody in northwest Wyoming. This attraction is dedicated to Amelia Earhart who was the first woman ever to attempt a flight around the world. Even though Amelia didn’t ultimately make it as she and her plane vanished during the journey, her legacy lives on.
Amelia was also well known for her admiration for Wyoming where she would take vacations. Housed into the archives are a collection of photos of Amelia, many of them from her Wyoming vacations.
The admission prices for the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, where the archives is located, are as follows: $19.75 for adults, $18.75 for seniors, $18.25 for college students, and $13.25 for ages 6 to 17. These aged 5 or under gets free admission. You can buy the tickets by going here.
These are all the attractions I would suggest you visit if you are wondering about what to do in Wyoming, particularly when it comes to the history of women in the United States. These are good reasons why the words “Wyoming” and “women” start with the letter “w”. The women who lived in or had connections to Wyoming played major roles in shaping the history of the country.
Hotels to Stay Overnight At
How about a place to stay at overnight? I have got you covered right here. As these attractions are spread out in multiple cities or sites throughout Wyoming, ideally, you would be somewhere in the center so that you can be in the best position to reach at least most of these attractions. I believe that Casper is the best place for staying at a hotel. So, the two hotels I will list right here will be in Casper.
Hilton Garden Inn Casper
The Hilton Garden Inn Casper is located on Poplar Street north of its interchange with Interstate 25. There is 24 hour front desk, room service, and baggage storage are all available at this hotel. There is a fitness center and a swimming pool available for your usage. A on-site restaurant called The Garden Grille & Bar is available to serve the hungry traveler.
Each of the hotel rooms come with a mini refrigerator, a microwave, and a coffee maker. There is WiFi available in all of the hotel rooms. The average rate for a standard room ranges from $90 to $178. You can book your stay and/or view the photos by going here.
Best Western Plus Casper Inn & Suites
Best Western Plus Casper Inn & Suites is located on Granite Peak Drive southwest of the interchange of Interstate 25 and State Route 253 in Casper. This hotel offers a 24-hour fitness center along with an indoor swimming pool and hot tub. While there are no on-site restaurants at the hotel, there are plenty of restaurants close by, including FireRock, Red Lobster, and Olive Garden.
The hotel does offer free breakfast though. All of the hotel rooms come with a mini refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker. There is WiFi available in every hotel room. The average rate for a standard room at this hotel ranges from $92 to $173. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or view some photos.
What are your thoughts? Were you surprised about the role that Wyoming played in shaping women in the United States? Feel free to leave a comment here.