Archives On The Air 44: The Dress And The Drought—"A Centennial Minute" Cassette—

Aug 16, 2018

Grace Raymond Hebard standing on an Oregon Trail marker in Wyoming while wearing a dress, 1914. Box 65, Grace Raymond Hebard papers.
Credit American Heritage Center

In 1908 a large drought hit Laramie and most of Wyoming. But Laramie’s residents loved to water their new lawns using their sprinkler systems, especially Grace Raymond Hebard, the first historian of Wyoming.

One particularly hot day, Hebard had her sprinkler running. Down the road, a police officer on his horse saw the sprinkler and came to confront Hebard.

Luckily, Hebard saw the police officer coming and took action when he looked away. As the police officer came around a large hedge and looked at her lawn, he saw Hebard, but no running water.

Hebard, wearing a large dress, was standing over her running sprinkler.Noting the drenched dress, the officer lauded her creativity and moved on.

You can hear this and other stories of Laramie’s more trivial history in the Centennial Minute recordings from 1986 at UW’s American Heritage Center.