Laramie's Annual Archeology fair is back! If you are new to town and think "what a nerdy fair," don't worry, I thought so too. Back in Fall 2018, during my first semester at the University of Wyoming, for an Archeology class, I had to take to fulfill my science electives, we were required to attend the fair. My friend and I dreaded it. But, when we got there, we stayed longer than expected because we were so fascinated by everything and the activities were a whole lot of fun!

The Wyoming Archaeology Fair showcases Wyoming's rich cultural heritage from prehistory to the present day! It provides unique, fun, hands-on learning experiences for all ages, including flint knapping, atlatl throwing, pottery making, hide painting, and more.

The fair also features the Wind River Dancers, demonstrations of historic blacksmithing, and prehistoric ceramic production. Throughout the fair, attendees will have an opportunity to meet local archaeologists, ask questions, find answers, and get "hands-on" with these experts.

Event information

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Haven't been to the Wyoming Territorial Prison?

The Wyoming Territorial Prison was built in 1872, making it one of the oldest buildings in Wyoming. It was once used as a federal government prison near Laramie, Wyoming. To make history easier, here's a timeline of what happened to the building:

  • 1872 - 1890: The building operated as a federal penitentiary.
    • 1873: Accepted prisoners. The facility had problems from the outset, caught on fire, and had recurrent jailbreaks. Of the 44 prisoners accepted in the first two years of operation, 11 escaped.
    • 1877: The prison was overcrowded, and due to this, its reputation worsened. The facility became less used, being considered more appropriate for those with light sentences.
    • 1880s: The prison was under capacity, with as few as three prisoners at one time.
    • 1889: A second cellblock was constructed, expanding capacity to 150 and providing a central kitchen, dining hall, guards' rooms, and steam heat. There were at least five cells for female inmates, and several solitary confinement cells.
  • 1890 - 1901: In 1890, when Wyoming became a state, the facility was transferred to Rawlins. The building then operated as a state prison. Butch Cassidy was incarcerated here from 1894-1896. Prisoners were transferred to Rawlins in 1901.
  • 1903: The prison was closed and given to the University of Wyoming. The university operated the property to conduct experiments in livestock breeding until 1989.
  • 1978: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1991: The facility was opened to the public.
  • 2004: Designated as Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site.

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