In this issue
Be a Part of History!
The birds are singing, the weather is warming, the wind is blowing (hold on-- Sorry, the wind always blows in Wyoming--now, back to the narrative...), and Fort Laramie has pulled itself from its winter slumber to find Trappers, Traders, Tribes, Pioneers, and Cavalry on its grounds once again! No, we haven't hit a space-time continuum-- it's school tour season at Fort Laramie!
The Fort Laramie National Historic Site is booked solid through the end of May with fourth grade class tours. Forth grade is when the kids are studying Wyoming history and the tour that the Park Service puts on is one that is looked forward to by fourth graders, chaperones and teachers alike.
Fort Laramie National Historic Site has been offering these classroom tours, which they call "Project West", for about ten years. They offer four different tours, "Follow The Guidon", "Wagons West", "Trappers, Traders & Tribes", and "Cultures at Crossroads". What makes these tours special is how the kids are totally immersed in the history-- from donning period clothing to finding out first-hand what day-to-day life was like at Fort Laramie years ago. The hands-on learning approach is something that stays with the kids. We get so many visitors who are now bringing their kids to visit Fort Laramie. Most say their visit to the Fort in school was something they never forgot and now they want their kids to experience the magic of Fort Laramie too.
When I took over this position as Business Manager, I was tasked with finding a new supplier for our reproduction Cavalry mugs we sell in our Bookstore & Gift Shop. I figured I would probably have to look quite a distance to find someone who had the knowledge, skill, and equipment to reproduce them, but I was pleasantly surprised to find someone right here in Fort Laramie!
From a lead someone gave me, I was given Zelma Hofrock's name and in under a week I had found our new supplier! Zelma has been working in ceramics for over 40 years and owns a kiln, but she had never poured molds before. She did some research and received some training from a friend in the field, and now she is producing our awesome looking mugs.
The original reproduction mugs are on display in the Cavalry Barracks at Fort Laramie. They were designed in 1989 by the former Museum Specialist, Louise Samson. Louise had a mold made from a mug in the Fort Bridger museum collection and the logo on the mugs was redesigned off shards from a mug discovered at Fort Laramie. The same artistic design of the logo was used, but it was changed from the infantry (crossed rifles) symbol to the cavalry (crossed sabers) symbol.
Our Reproduction Cavalry Mugs retail for $12.95 and are made in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, USA, Planet Earth (just wanted to be exact!), and can be used for display or everyday use. They hold about 12 ounces of your favorite hot or cold beverage and they've been glazed with a lead-free glaze so they're food safe. We don't recommend dishwasher use since the harshness of dishwasher soap may fade the logo. We are proud to say you can once again have your morning coffee in an official Fort Laramie Reproduction Cavalry Mug!