National Historic Trails Interpretive Center

Jason Vlcan / National Historic Trails Interpretive Center

February is Black History Month, and an exhibit at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper is displaying photos and artifacts of a little-known piece of Wyoming History: an all-black town founded and then abandoned in the early 20th century. Shawn Wade is responsible for temporary exhibits and tours at the Center. He told Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard about the history of Empire, Wyoming.

Between 1840 and 1869, approximately 500,000 emigrants traveled through the Casper area on three National Historic Trails:  The Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail and the California Trail. They migrated for different reasons:  They sought free land in the Oregon Territory, religious freedom in the Great Salt Lake Valley, and free gold in California. These pioneers left behind not only trails, but important stories as well, stories that are significant to U.S. history.