May 2008

An Electronic Blast

From Fort Laramie Historical Association

In this issue

Be a Part of History!

  • Western expansion began at Fort Laramie and can only continue with your involvement. If you would like information on becoming a Fort Laramie Historical Association Member, please send us an email.

    Being a part of history benefits everyone!

School Tours

Cavalry troop from Kimball, Nebraska marching on Fort Laramie grounds

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!

Two trappers from Douglas Intermediate School learning what trapping is all about from a NPS RangerThe 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. Trappers, Traders and Tribes from Douglas Intermediate learn on the go with NPS RangerThe 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.

Cavalry Mugs Are Back!

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 mugsReproduction Cavalry mugs on display in Cavalry Barracks at Fort Laramie ©Swift Photography/Chase Swift 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 shardsShard of a mug found at Fort Laramie which is now in the museum collection 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. Fort Laramie Reproduction Cavalry Mug $12.95We 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!