Wyoming Stories

Inspired by the 2013 StoryCorps visit to Cheyenne, Wyoming Stories captures history through the memories of those who live here. Over the years, Wyoming Public Media has had the privilege to record stories at various events around the state that capture a full panorama of what it means to live in Wyoming.

 

Since its inception, Wyoming Stories has grown with a statewide oral history collecting campaign in 2014 and 2015 and a StoryCorps visit to Jackson in 2018. The rich history of the state is best preserved by the people who know it firsthand, and this project would not be possible without their support.

Click on each initiative to learn more: StoryCorps in Cheyenne | Wyoming Stories Statewide Initiative | StoryCorps in Jackson

The Wyoming Stories project has also been supported over the years by the following groups and organizations: The Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, ReMax Capitol Properties, Cheyenne Light, Fuel, and Power, Century Link, The Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, Center of Wonder, Teton County Library, The Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Powder Magazine

Bill Briggs, a Dartmouth graduate from Maine, moved to Jackson Hole and became North America’s “father of extreme skiing.” In Jackson he worked as a climbing and ski guide for many years, driven by his own passion and encouraged by the supportive outdoor community to surmount the insurmountable. In 1971, Briggs was the first person ever to descend the Grand Teton on skis, a feat most considered to be impossible.  His friend Spark M asks him to describe the experience.

Jennifer Tennican

Dail Barbour was twenty-four-years-old when she moved to Jackson Hole. She worked at the Wort Hotel, a historic inn in the heart of the city, where she was issued a remarkable uniform. 

Dail Barbour arrived in Wyoming the summer she graduated from high school, 1964. She and a few friends bicycled across the country. They spent a week in Yellowstone and Barbour swore she would return. Six years later, she moved to Teton County permanently, settling for some time in Wilson where she spent many days and nights at the legendary Stagecoach Bar.

Summer 2014 Community Recordings Schedule

Jan 24, 2014

Laramie: July 13 & 14 - Jubilee Days – Laramie Plains Museum

(To record your Wyoming Story in Laramie, click here.)

Micah Schweizer

Bert Raynes, a distinguished naturalist in Jackson Hole, tells the story of how he became interested in wildlife. Bert has published many books about nature, and he continues to write a column titled “Far Afield” in the Jackson Hole News and Guide newspaper. Fellow Jackson resident Rebecca Huntington interviews him.

Micah Schweizer

Teffany Fegler coordinates the University of Wyoming’s  Student Educational Opportunity Center in Ethete, WY. The daughter of two educators, she continues her family's legacy by helping students achieve the dream of going to college.

Micah Schweizer

Donna Robeson’s great grandmother came to South Pass in 1868.  She was a converted Mormon from Scotland and married English immigrant Richard Sherlock.  They heard there was going to be a big gold strike, so they came to seek their fortunes in mining.  This dream didn’t quite pan out.  Instead, the family started hotel and ranching businesses to earn a living.  Donna tells historian Susan Layman what she remembers from her childhood, at the ranch and with her aunt and uncle in the hotel.

Micah Schweizer

Pam Spencer-Hockett was one of Wyoming's first woman architects. The cabin she built with her husband in Atlantic City ties into her family's pioneer heritage.

Wyoming Stories Community Recordings in Jackson

Dec 23, 2013
Jen Faulkner

Jackson Listeners... Wyoming Public Media would like to record your Wyoming Story at the Teton County Library on Friday, January 3 rd.

To reserve a recording time, visit the registration siteJackson Wyoming Stories Registration .

Viktor Vasnetsov

This holiday season, the Wyoming Public Radio news team is sharing stories about memories and traditions that stand out to them. Reporter Irina Zhorov’s family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, but there’s still a tree and a Santa, sort of. She writes about her family’s tradition of celebrating the New Year the way they did in the Soviet Union.

This holiday season, the Wyoming Public Radio news team is sharing stories about memories and traditions that stand out to them. In this piece, news director Bob Beck tells us about a lonely Christmas in college.

It was 1981 and I was a junior at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.   Earlier that year my parents ended their 20 plus year marriage and my visit home after receiving that news was slightly uncomfortable.

Alexandra Gutierrez

This holiday season, the Wyoming Public Radio news team is sharing stories about  memories and traditions that stand out to them. In this piece, energy reporter Stephanie Joyce tells us about overcoming the challenge of spending Christmas on a treeless island in Alaska.

Around the country, families spend their December nights trekking to nearby forests or tree farms to cut down big, bushy evergreens for their living rooms, and pulling out Christmas decorations to adorn their branches. Houses fill up with the tangy smell of sap and the sharp bite of pine needles.

Chelsea Biondolillo

    

This holiday season, the Wyoming Public Radio news team is sharing stories about memories and traditions that stand out to them. In this piece, reporter Chelsea Biondolillo tells us about her family's tradition of welcoming those without anywhere else to go.

CHELSEA BIONDOLILLO: My family lives in Phoenix AZ, where a balmy 55 degrees is expected on Christmas Day. But our traditions started in Oregon, where my sister and I were born.

Willow Belden

This holiday season, the Wyoming Public Radio news team is sharing stories about  memories and traditions that stand out to them. In this piece, reporter Willow Belden tells us about her family's tradition of trimming the Christmas tree.

It’s the week before Christmas. Carols are playing, boxes of ornaments are strewn around the house waiting to be unpacked, and I stand in the living room, holding a pair of garden shears and scrutinizing the tree.

My uncle grasps a branch and holds it to the side. “How would it look if we got rid of this one?” he asks.

The Wyoming Public Radio news team offers some holiday memories.

P. Solomon Banda, Associated Press

Sergio Maldonado is a Mexican-Arapaho who grew up on the Wind River Indian Reservation outside of Lander, Wyoming.  He now teaches at Central Wyoming College in Riverton.  In these two stories, Sergio talks about his experience with the Arapaho and Shoshone tribes.  His personal history informs his understanding of Native identity.

Micah Schweizer

Tom Duncan grew up in Lander.  He comes from a family of Scottish immigrants that settled in Wyoming in the 1880s.  In 1900, Duncan’s grandfather trailed 5000 sheep to Fremont County, where he began a ranch along the western border of the Wind River Indian Reservation.  Duncan tells the family story of their Native American neighbor, Togwotee, for whom Togwotee Pass is named.

In honor of Veterans Day, stories from the Vietnam and Iraq Wars.

Wyoming Stories: Community Recordings in Cheyenne

Nov 25, 2013

Listeners in Cheyenne! Wyoming Public Media will be at the Laramie County Library on December 9th to capture your Wyoming Story or favorite Holiday Memory.

To reserve a recording time, visit the registration site: Wyoming Public Media: Wyoming Stories - Cheyenne 

Micah Schweizer

Jason Williams is an Iraq War veteran from Lander. In 2004, he was part of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed to Najaf.

Micah Schweizer

Following World War I, veterans were offered land in Wyoming. Laurie Quade's grandfather was one of the veterans who started a Wyoming homestead. Now living in Cody, Laurie remembers the home her grandfather built in Torrington.

Micah Schweizer

Steve Gyorvary first came to South Pass, Wyoming in 1978. Ever since, he’s been working as a geologist and hard rock gold miner. He tells how he got into gold mining and acquired his own mine.

StoryCorps

For Veteran’s Day we have a StoryCorps segment of veteran Ted Gostas telling his wife Jody Gostas about being taken as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War and his years in solitary confinement. Gostas remained a P-O-W for 5 years, 5 months, and 15 days. Of those captured in Northern Vietnam, he was one of only four POWs to stay in solitary confinement for more than four years. 

Micah Schweizer

Ruth Michels lives in Cody, but she grew up in Laramie. Here, she remembers a childhood encounter with a black bear at Yellowstone National Park.

Micah Schweizer

Meeteetse residents Jim and Joan Dunrud remember Jim's parents' famous neighbor at the Double D Ranch, Amelia Earhart.

Micah Schweizer

Cody resident Martha Kinkade tells her daughter Becky the story of a wild horse only she could ride. Martha’s future husband, Harley, needed someone to ride the horse while he was gone during the summer, so Martha took the reins.

And in this story, Martha recounts moments from her school days.

Larry Struempf

Laramie resident Larry Struempf recalls the challenge of learning to read as a college student. He now teaches at Laramie County Community College in Laramie and is working on his doctorate.

Micah Schweizer

Eric Quade remembers one of his teachers at Torrington High School. Since then, Eric has received a PhD in mathematics, which he now teaches at Laramie County Community College in Laramie.

Stories about domestic abuse, burlesque dancing, Buffalo Bill’s chef, and learning to read.

StoryCorps

We’re going to hear now from a woman who was blind for the first 38 years of her life. At that point, a doctor told her he could make her see. After four surgeries, she finally gained her vision.

The woman’s name is Pat Logan, and we’ll hear a conversation she had with Dave Stratton, the chaplain for the Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly, in Cheyenne. The interview was recorded as part of StoryCorps, a project that records conversations between loved ones.

Courtesy Story Corps

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we’re going to hear a story about abuse that stemmed from alcoholism. This interview was recorded as part of Story Corps, a project that records conversations between loved ones. In this case, 89-year-old Myrtle Forney talks with her grandson, Nate Swinton. After her first husband (Nate’s grandfather) passed away, she married another man, named Ken.

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