Cody, Wyoming was founded in the late 1800s by William Cody and a group of businessmen from Sheridan, Wyoming. Cody, who was impressed by the fertile soil and hunting and fishing opportunities, established a cattle ranch along the Sheridan River and a dude ranch which he operated from his house. He also built a hotel in town to accommodate travelers on their way to Yellowstone National Park. In 1927, ten years after his death, the Buffalo Bill Museum was opened in Cody.
The museum, now known as the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, is excellent. It has five galleries - Buffalo Bill, Plains Indians, Natural History, Art, and Firearms. Admission is expensive but it’s good for entry on two consecutive days.
The Buffalo Bill gallery, which includes many personal artifacts, gives visitors an in-depth look at Cody’s adventuresome life. At eleven years old, to help support the family after his father died, he got a job delivering messages on horseback for a freighting company. By the time he was 25 he’d worked as a Pony Express rider, a teamster in the Union army, a US army scout and a bison hunter for the army and railroad. Drawing on his experiences he started acting with a “wild west” touring troupe which lead to the formation of his famous “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West” show.
The Plains Indian gallery has beautiful exhibits and covers the lifestyle of the Plains Indians before and after they acquired horses but falls short when covering the history of the invasion of their homeland, subsequent wars and banishment to reservations.
The art gallery, which is fairly small, has a nice collection of western art from the early nineteenth century through contemporary times.
We weren’t interested in the firearms and didn’t have time to see the natural history gallery.
Everything is accessible.
Follow the signs to the RV parking lot.