Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Our remaining time in Cody was used to take care of a few practical things like flu shots and picking up needed supplies. We did take the time to visit the Buffalo Bill Historical center which has grown a lot since our last visit. It now has five museums under one roof. There is, of course, a good deal of information about Cody’s life and times. While I have read a number of works on his life, I did learn one thing that surprised me. While most people know the dime novel stories about his scouting, buffalo hunting and Wild West show, his service as an army scout was not just grist for his future as a showman, but real quality service to the country. What I did not know was that he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions in engagements with several native tribes.
The center also contains exhibits on the Native American lives in the west, a truly huge collection of firearms that would satisfy any level of gun enthusiast, many works of western art and a section devoted to the Yellowstone NP.
Just six miles out of town is the Bill Cody Dam that turned this arid land into productive crop and cattle country. In 1910, it was the tallest dam in the world. It is still very impressive as you stand on the dam walkway and look at the lake on one side and the gorge on the other.
Finally, we strolled the downtown area and took in the Irma Hotel that became famous during the time that Bill Cody was living in the area.