Wyoming, a Guide to Its History, Highways, and People

By Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Wyoming | Go to book overview

Architecture

SWEEPING winds and a rigorous climate, a great diversity of settings, and the availability in some localities of native building materials, lacking in others--all these factors have played a part in determining the architecture of the State. It is generally characterized by utilitarianism.

Early inhabitants of the region left many evidences of the use of rock caves as shelters. The best known of these are in Dinwoodie Canyon, now the center of intensive archeological investigation. Natural caves, with smoke-stained walls and floors strewn with charcoal scraps and flint chippings, are found at the bottom of the limestone cliffs in a gorge in Whalen Canyon, Platte County. A great part of the State served only as a summer camp or hunting ground for the later migrant tribes of Indians, including the Shoshone, Crow, Sioux, and Blackfoot. Their shelters were brush huts or movable skin tepees.

The first cabin in Wyoming of which there is a record was a crude structure erected by Robert Stuart and his Astorians at Bessemer Bend in 1812, on their return trip from the Pacific Coast to St. Louis. It was 8 feet wide and 18 feet long. Its walls, 6 feet high, were hung within with buffalo skins, and a hole in the roof served as chimney for the fireplace in the center of the dwelling.

Most of the early trappers and traders moved about according to the seasons or the game supply, and their temporary shelter was usually a one-room log hut on the bank of a stream. Jack Robertson, a trapper known as 'Uncle Jack Robinson,' is said to have established a permanent cabin on Black's Fork in 1834.

With the development of the fur business, trading posts were erected; the first one, built about 1828 by Antonio Mateo, stood near the forks of Powder River. Mateo's buildings, constructed of hewn logs, mortised to a heavy sill, were surrounded by a bastioned log stockade about 200 feet square and 8 to 10 feet high. These stockades, called Portuguese Houses, were used for trading. On the river bank, a few

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Wyoming, a Guide to Its History, Highways, and People
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction ix
  • Preface xix
  • Illustrations xxi
  • Maps xxv
  • General Information xxxi
  • Calendar of Annual Events xxxvii
  • PART I - Wyoming: Past and Present 1
  • Contemporary Scene 3
  • Natural Setting 11
  • Archeology and Indians 49
  • History 58
  • Transportation 79
  • Industry, Commerce and Labor 90
  • Agriculture 98
  • Education 109
  • Sports and Recreation 117
  • Folklore and Folkways 122
  • Literature 127
  • The Theater 137
  • Music 147
  • Art 155
  • Architecture 161
  • Part II - Cities 171
  • Casper 173
  • Cheyenne 183
  • Laramie 195
  • Sheridan 206
  • PART III - Tours 215
  • Tour 1 217
  • Tour 2a 251
  • Tour 2c 253
  • Tour 3 267
  • Tour 4a 292
  • Tour 4b 300
  • Tour 6 318
  • Tour 6a 339
  • Tour 7a 341
  • Tour 8 350
  • Tour 9 356
  • Tour 10 367
  • Tour 11 380
  • Yellowstone National Park 392
  • PART IV - Appendices 439
  • Chronology 441
  • Bibliography 449
  • Glossary 459
  • 1940 - Census Figures 467
  • Index 469
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