2010 Conference Report

Buffalo Bill Historic Center

Cody, Wyoming

June 11-12, 2010

Conference Report


Set within the history-rich, picturesque landscape of Cody, Wyoming, the 3rd Annual National Stagecoach and Freight Wagon Association (NSFWA) meeting enjoyed a huge success, with attendees from all over the United States. From the official kickoff of activities, the event calendar was chock-full of educational opportunities, including a wealth of information from numerous presentations, extensive museum collections, hands-on demonstrations, western vehicle tours, artifact displays, and vendor booths.

Throughout the diverse and in-depth itinerary, member comments were overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. In fact, rarely do western enthusiasts have the opportunity to learn so much about early trails and vehicles in such a short time while networking with so many others of like interest. It made for an exciting atmosphere with new friends and faces quickly becoming an important part of the NSFWA family.

With goals committed to providing authoritative resource information that reinforces the legacies of early American trails, western vehicles, and the people and industry that supported it all, the NSFWA worked to make this a special experience for all attendees. According to event coordinators, Ashlee Ganoung and Rawhide Johnson, “We worked closely with area businesses, speakers, and museum curators to help provide an extensive, motivating, and inspirational excursion for all attendees. It’s been very rewarding to hear so much positive feedback.”

]Throughout the event, members invested their time into taking ownership and pride in this unique organization. A portion of the conference was in conjunction with the community of Cody since it covers so many of the same aspects the NSFWA promotes and emphasizes. We want to extend our sincere appreciation to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center for hosting the first day of the event.

The first day of the conference was filled with a number of presentations covering a wide range of informative and interesting topics.

Covering the history of his family’s Buffalo Bill Stagecoach, Gerry Groenewold took us back in time to the actual trail that it was used upon, told the story of its history and restoration, and emphasized the importance of studying and preserving the knowledge of these relics of the West.

David Sneed’s presentation, Western Vehicle Brands and Recent Discoveries, gave insight into the magnitude of the wagon builder’s industry, with a look into the companies, their history, what each contributed to the region they were produced in, and how they influenced other makers and the industry as a whole.

Doug Hansen explained in his presentation, Ft. Pierre Deadwood Trail Revisited, how reenactments and participation in reliving the actual trails answered many questions about how and why things were done and presented a number of new questions to be explored and discovered.

Paul Fees revealed the history of the BBHC’s Buffalo Bill Stagecoach and the part it played in entertaining audiences from around the world and giving them a taste of the Wild West.

Private tours of the inner workings of the museum gave participants insight into how museum pieces are acquired, cataloged, and preserved. This exclusive opportunity to take part in a vault walk of the archives gave members a good understanding of the importance of preservation.



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