Fort Caspar To Host Casper Collins Days Coming, July 24th-26th
Caspar Museum, the Fort Caspar Museum Association, and the 11th Ohio Cavalry Reenactment Group invite you to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battles of Platte Bridge and Red Buttes.
It was during the first of these two skirmishes that 20-year-old Lieutenant Caspar Collins, the namesake of our city, lost his life. This historic commemoration will span three days (July 24, 25, & 26) and will be the largest historical re-enactment in the Rocky Mountain region in 2015.
All events except those serving food are free and open to the public, and most will be held at Fort Caspar Museum, Fort Caspar, and near the fort grounds.
The two battle re-enactments will be held at nearby Morad Park, and other programs will be held at the adjacent Centennial Park. Parking for Caspar Collins Days events will be across Wyoming Boulevard at the Fairgrounds with shuttle service provided to bring guests to the fort and battle re-enactments.
Friday, July 24th: Public activities on the first day of the events begin around 4:30 pm. Spectators are invited to cheer the Cavalry Column of horses and uniformed riders who will arrive at Platte Bridge Station (Fort Caspar) after a 145-mile, five-day-long ride from Fort Laramie. A Dutch Oven Cook-Off, which will have begun at noon, will be ongoing until 6:00 pm when the food items will be tasted by the judges and the winners named.
The public will be invited to buy tickets to try the foods prepared at the Dutch Oven Cook-Off. Our first free historic lecture of the weekend will occur inside the Museum where John Steinle will present “The Story of George Bent" from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. From 7:30 to 8:30 pm, there will be a free performance by the Wind River Dancers.
Saturday, July 25th: A pancake breakfast begins the day on July 25th from 7:00 to 9:00 am. The public is invited to share breakfast with the re-enactors for $3.00 per person. Between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm at the fort grounds, enjoy ongoing civilian and soldier life activities as well blacksmithing demonstrations. There will be a Native American horsemanship session by Clint Chartier from noon to 1:00 pm on the fort grounds. Enjoy Wet Plate Photography demonstrations at the Event Tent with a formal talk presented at 2:00 pm by renowned photographer Robert Szabo. Visitors will also have the opportunity to stroll through a contemporary Craft Mart, which will include food concessions, from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm at the adjacent Fort Caspar Park along Wyoming Boulevard.
Re-enactments of the Battles of Platte Bridge and Red Buttes will occur at nearby Morad Park: the Platte Bridge Battle re-enactment will occur from 9:30 to 10:00 am and the Red Buttes Battle re-enactment will take place from 5:00 to 5:30 pm. Free lectures in the Museum on Saturday include "The 11th Kansas Cavalry at Platte Bridge Station, 1865" by Johanna Wickman from 10:30 to 11:30 am, and "The Life and Times of Caspar Collins" by author Eric Johnson from 3:30 to 4:30 pm, followed by a book signing of his study “No Greater Calling: A Chronological Record of Sacrifice and Heroism During the Western Indian Wars, 1865-1898.” Lisa Thalken will present "The Art of Fan Flirting: Victorian Fan Language" at 6:15 pm at the Events Tent. Lastly, the public is invited to join in the fun of a free historical “wagon train” dance from 7:00 to 10:00 pm, also at the Events Tent.
Sunday, July 26th: Activities resume at 11:30 am and continue to 2:30 pm on the final day of the anniversary events. View ongoing demonstrations of civilian and solider life, blacksmithing and wet plate photography, and infantry and cavalry drills at the Fort. A drawing will be held on this day for a Casper Commemorative Revolver ($10 raffle tickets are available at the Museum until 400 are sold). The final free lecture by Darrel Lone Bear titled "The Indians After Platte Bridge" will be inside the Museum from 1:30 to 2:30 pm.
Applications are still being accepted for the Dutch Oven Cook-Off (go to www.fortcaspar.com for more information) and for contemporary craft vendors and food concessions (downloaded an application form from www.fortcasparwyoming.com).
Fort Caspar Museum is located at 4001 Fort Caspar Road. Call the Museum with questions, 307-235-8462, or go to our website: www.fortcasparwyoming.com. Follow the 150th events at www.facebook.com/plattebridge150; or Twitter@plattebridge150.