There is a living history organization in Wyoming and it is associated with the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum! Living Historians of the Wyoming Frontier (LHWF) is made up of about 20 men, women, and children who present different aspects of 19th century civilian and military life. These include:
Laundress (Suzi Cox):
Mostly seen as an 1800s laundress, Suzi can also portray a Civil War widow. She loves interacting with children and adults during school and weekend events. With a full laundry set-up Suzi offers many hands-on opportunities for audiences.
Army Surgeon (John Goodell):
John likes to portray a Union Army Surgeon. With his large assortment of medical pharmacy tables, equipment, and medicine, John is a big hit with anyone who is interested in medical knowledge, blood, and old-fashioned surgical techniques.
Faro Dealer and Saloon Keeper (Richard Lenzer “Doc Fehr”):
Although most popular as an 1860s-1900s gambler and faro dealer, Doc can also portray an Infantry Private from the 1860s. There is nothing he likes more though than working with a group to present history or winning chips when others lose at faro.
1870s Cavalry (Bill Sinnard):
Bill can portray an 1870s Cavalry member during the Indian wars. He can present during the day or on weekends but would prefer to have his fellow Cavalry members with him.
1870s Cavalry (Dick Garrison):
With his numerous Cavalry equipment: tack, horses, weapons, and 1860 escort wagon, Dick enjoys portraying an 1870-1880 Cavalry Private. Comfortable doing one day and weekend events, Dick also can present by himself or with his fellow Cavalry members.
1870s Cavalry, Mountain Man, Cowboy (Gerald “Butch” Garrison):
Butch Garrison has many years of interpretation as a Cavalryman, mountain man, and cowboy under his belt. He has participated in many events and if you would like an 1870s Cavalry visit, Butch will be there with his comrades.
U.S. Marshal, Army Scout, Mountain Man (Gordon Zweigle):
Gordon can portray a scout, mountain man, or law officer from 1866-1899. He likes to interact with his fellow living historians during day events but also likes to participate in weekend events on occasion.
Pioneer Food (Carla Raymond):
Carla Raymond has several years of experience presenting frontier cooking and canning to schools, festivals, and other outdoor events. She specializes in late 1700s to 1800s cooking.
Map Maker, Civil War Soldier, Wyoming Frontiersman (Kevin Reddy):
Kevin Reddy is most comfortable in the time period 1830-1895. With period map making and Civil War equipment, Kevin is happy to participate in one day or weekend events at schools and festivals.
U.S. Marshal, Infantry Private (Dawson Osmundsen):
Dawson likes to portray 1860s Infantry or an 1800s U.S. Marshal. Whether you want him for a day or weekend event, Dawson can be sure to be there with his fellow Infantrymen and law officers.
Blacksmith and Chop House Cook (David Osmundsen):
A blacksmith in real-life, David likes to present 1800s blacksmithing techniques. David can also portray a chop house cook feeding civilians and soldiers alike after a hard day’s work. With the amount of material and tools he brings with him to schools and events, please contact him for more information. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
U.S. Marshal, Army Scout, Mountain Man (Bill Raymond):
Bill Raymond, aka “William Falls Behind,” has several years experience portraying a fur trapper, an army scout, a frontier cook, and a soldier. He has presented at schools, outdoor events, and festivals.
Mid-1800s Civilians (Todd and Sharie Prout):
Todd and Sharie like to concentrate on the civilian life of the 1800s when they are not busy during the year. They love to work together during evening or weekend events.
Frontier Woman (Debbie Reddy):
Debbie Reddy, like her husband, is most comfortable in the time period 1830-1895. She likes to participate in one day or weekend events at schools and festivals.
Laundress, Saloon Madam (JoAnn Mulcahy):
A Jill-of-all-Trades, JoAnn can also portray spinning, weaving, butter churning, and rope making from 1860-1890. The farthest traveling LHWF member, JoAnn can only participate in 2-3 events a year but enjoys doing day or weekend events.
Prairie Mother, Union Army Soldier, Children’s Games (Sue, Patrick, Timothy, & Hanna Goodell):
Patrick, Sue, Timothy, and Hanna enjoy portraying individuals from the Civil War era. Whether you would like to do day or weekend events or have them together or individually, they like to participate wherever they are needed.
Period Music and Dance, Trail History, Clothing and Young Adult Duties, Toys, and Games (Kim, Ana, Rachel Merchant):
Kim, known as Hiram Gee Bilgewater, along with daughters Ana and Rachel utilize a restored covered wagon to present trail history to their audience. They can also do pioneer-period dance and music, as well as offer a young adult’s perspective on pioneer life.
Cooking; Sewing; Basket, Doll, & Toy Making (Jean Smart):
Jean loves to demonstrate and teach life skills such as cooking and sewing, as well as recreational past times, including basket, doll, and toy making. She has over 27 years of living history experience and tries to do as many events as she can. The events she attends are usually a day or all weekend long.
For Teachers and Educators:
All of the LHWF members are volunteers; therefore not all programs may be available at the same time depending on their schedules. There are no fees for their services but an appropriate donation will allow the group to continue to operate. There are some members who are willing to be booked for classroom events.
For more information or to book members, please contact:
Living Historians of the Wyoming Frontier
c/o Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum
attn: Jennifer Romanoski
P.O. Box 596
Buffalo, WY 82834
Click on the photo galleries below to see some of the events the Living Historians of the Wyoming Frontier participate in: