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2022 Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association Events

Sponsored or co-sponsored by the Association.

June 5th Performance by the NEW Sheridan Cornet Band (3pm), preceded by a talk on Colonel Carrington by Sonny Reisch at 2pm.  The NEW Sheridan Cornet Band will perform popular music of the 1860s including pieces that may have been played by the 18th Infantry Band at Fort Phil Kearny.  The band, made up of area advanced amateur players and music educators, has been performing 19th Century band music since its beginnings in 1999, when it was a popular part of the Buffalo Bill Days celebrations at the Sheridan Inn.  The NEW Sheridan Cornet Band performed the actual wild west music originally played by Buffalo Bill Cody’s Cowboy Band. Between 1999 and 2010, the band played concerts at the Inn, in downtown Sheridan, and at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds.  The band played at Fort Phil Kearny during that time and also gave concerts at Buffalo, Cody, Powell, and Casper, and on two occasions, in Colorado. At Kearney Community Hall. No charge

June 14- 10am and 2pm - Program at the Fort - Topic of Flags by Linley Mayer, Interpretive Ranger, Absaroka District 


June 16th at 6:00pm - History of Native American Languages and Introduction to the Arapaho Language: Presentations by Professor Andrew Cowell, University of Colorado, and Wayne C'Hair, member of the Northern Arapaho Language and Culture Commission, and a native speaker of Arapaho. The significance, history, and the cultural impact of Native American languages are as vast as the territory where they were once spoken. About Professor Cowell: University of Colorado, Department of Linguistics, 2008-current; Chair, Department of Linguistics, 2015-current. One of his main research interests is the indigenous languages of the Western U.S., and he directs the Center for the Study of Indigenous Languages of the West (CSILW). He has published extensively on Arapaho, and also works on Gros Ventre, Arapaho, and Miwok. His interests include both formal linguistics and linguistic anthropology, and he is also involved with language preservation work in the field of endangered languages. Read more about Arapaho Language . At Kearney Community Hall. Free admission. With much appreciation this event is partially funded by the Johnson County Tourism Association and Wyoming Humanities.  


June 18, 1-3 pm - Tour of the Fetterman Battlefield by Bob Wilson

August 2nd, at 10am -Wagon Box Fight Anniversary Presentation, at the Wagon Box Site with Bob Wilson and Donovin Sprague. 


August 20th,  10:00am - 3:30pm Firearms That Influenced Powder River Country

Description: History along the Bozeman Trail, early cattle drives and western settlement were influenced by the technological advances and design innovations of firearms. Military and commercial firearms and their relationship to historic events from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s will be the focus of the day long program. The day event will be held Saturday, August 20, 2022 and the full event schedule will be announced closer to the event date. Admission will be free, thanks to Sheridan County Sportmen’s Association. The event, Firearms that Influenced the Powder River Country, is being held in partnership with Fort Phil Kearny Historic Site, Fort Phil Kearny/ Bozeman Trail Association, Sheridan Community Land Trust and Sheridan County Sportmen’s Association.   

Community members have the opportunity to share their historic firearms that are related to Sheridan County or regional western history within the timeframe of mid 1800s to early 1900s. Community presentations are 7 to 10 minutes in length with digital photos of the firearm. To find out more details and share your historic story please contact Carrie Edinger, Sheridan Community Land Trust Historical Program Manager via email: history@sheridanclt.org or office phone (307)673-4702.  

September 17th at 6:00 pm: Presentation on Ridgway Glover by Paula Richardson Fleming Photo Archivist, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, 1970–2003.  “In June of 1866 a young Quaker photographer from New Jersey set out on the adventure of his life to photograph the American West. It was an adventure from which he would not return, but one that would inspire many scholars to hunt for his photographs – the earliest ever made of treaty negotiations in the field, and maybe just maybe, of Fort Phil Kearny,” Paula Richardson Fleming, Lookout Vol. 37. Ms. Fleming has authored several books including “North American Indians in Early Photographs" and “Grand Endeavors of American Indian Photography”. At Kearney Community Hall. No charge.  Please note this event is pending Covid related issues. 


September 17th or 18th Mysteries of the Fort Phil Kearny Cemetery, TBD with a guided tour.   

October 7th & 8th: Full Moon Fort 

November 13th at 2pm Veterans Event -Effects of the Civil War along the Bozeman Trail by local historians Bob Wilson and Sonny Reisch.

Also, American War Uniforms will be exhibited.  At Kearney Community Hall. No charge.

December 21st, Fetterman Battle Anniversary. Tour led by Bob Wilson and Kearny's Frontier Regulars - meet at the Fort at 10am. No charge.


Other Programs at the Fort:

June 30- 10am and 2pm, TBD

July 13- 10am and 2pm, TBD


January 1st: First Day Hikes at Fort Phil Kearny and (weather permitting) Pilot Knob



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Past 2022 Events:

May 25th at 6pm, Wildflower and Native Plant Presentation at the Wagon Box Monument was fabulous! Thanks to the wonderful and knowledgeable Mae Smith of Sheridan College. 


May 14th from 1-3 pm - Tour at Fort Phil Kearny by Bob Wilson 


May 15th at 2pm:  Shining Mountain Interpretive Center Update by Sharie Shada, Fort Phil Kearny Superintendent, and

"The Bozeman Trail: A Journey to National Historic Trail Designation" by Dave McKee, President, FPK/BTA.

At Kearney Community Hall. 

January 1st: First Day Hike! Kick the New Year off right with us as we bring back First Day Hikes on January 1 with a 1-mile easy hike around the parade grounds at 1pm and a difficult hike to Pilot Knob at 2pm. Hot drinks and snacks will be provided by the Bozeman Trail Association.

Past 2021 Events:

December 21st: 155th Anniversary of the Fetterman Battle. Meet at Fort Phil Kearny 10 am for introduction and battle background, then caravan to Fetterman Battlefield for a tour by Bob Wilson and Kearny's Frontier Regulars. There will also be a period weapon demonstration.


August 12th Guest Speakers:  Dave McKee on the Bighorn Medicine Wheel

and Donovin Sprague "Lakota & Cheyenne History on the Bozeman Trail"

Free event at Kearney Community Hall

About the speakers:

Dave recently completed a 32-year career with the U.S. Forest Service as an archaeologist, tribal

liaison, and recreation program manager, working on the Medicine Bow, Black Hills, and Bighorn National Forests.  He received a master's degree in anthropology with an emphasis in plains archaeology from the University of Wyoming.

Dave served as the Bighorn National Forest liaison to the National Park Service and American Indian representatives in completion of the nomination for the Medicine Wheel /Medicine Mountain National Historic Landmark which is a sacred landscape fo American Indians. The program will cover current management and preservation of the Landmark.  Dave is a member of the Wyoming Archaeological Society, president of the Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trial Association, and co-chairman of the Bozeman National Historic Trail project. Dave and his wife Susan live in Sheridan, Wyoming.

Donovin Sprague was born and raised on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota and is a member of the Minnicoujou Lakota. He is a university instructor, author of ten books, a historian, and currently teaches history, political science including Wyoming Tribal History, American Indian History & Culture, Tribal Law, Treaties, & Government, and Plains Indian Art, among other courses at Sheridan College.  Donovin is on the Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association Advisory Board and the Bozeman National Historic Trail Advisory Committee.

June 5th: Wagon Box Birding and Wildflower Walk with Bighorn Audubon - Thank you to all the participants on this wonderful annual walk. It was gorgeous! Special thanks to Mae Smith of Sheridan College, and Jennifer Williams, Dr. Jackie Canterbury, and Annie Dunn of Bighorn Audubon. After a brief history of the Wagon Box Battle was given, the walk commenced with over 40 species of plants observed, and fourteen species of birds including Broad-tailed Hummingbird and Violet-green Swallow.


June 24th: Guided Tour of Fort Phil Kearny at 6pm; Sponsored by the Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association.Walking guided tour of the Fort Phil Kearny grounds on June 24th at 6pm led by local historian Bob Wilson, former curator, interpreter, and superintendent at Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site. Bob's tours and in-depth knowledge of the fort and associated events are unparalleled. No reservations are needed. Tour will last about 1.5 hours. State fees apply ($4.00 Wyoming residents, and $8 non-residents; children under 18 free)

July 12th: Book signing with Jerry Enzler, author of "Jim Bridger, Trailblazer of the American West" 6 pm at Kearney Hall, 4444 Highway 87, Banner, WY.

Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site and Fort Phil Kearny / Bozeman Trail Association will host
“Conversation and Book Signing” with Jerry Enzler, author of Jim Bridger: Trailblazer of the
American West. This free public event will be held on Monday, July 12th at 6 pm at Kearney Hall, 4444 Highway 87, Banner, WY. The author's presentation will focus on Bridger’s time serving as a guide for the Bozeman Trail. Conversation and discussion with the author are welcome during this event.


From Candy Moultan, author and Wyoming native:
“Jim Bridger's story is as big as the West he called his home, and now we have a biography that captures all the nooks and crannies, nuances and tales of Bridger. Just as Bridger left no area unexplored, biographer Jerry Enzler has left no stone unturned in writing Bridger’s life story. Following the iconic frontiersman’s archival trail from his 1804 birth in Virginia to his 1881 death in Missouri, Enzler delivers a comprehensive account in Jim Bridger: Trailblazer of the American West.” (Dust cover, Jim Bridger: Trailblazer of the American West)