Wide Open Spaces of Wyoming: Newly Added Photos from Carol M. Highsmith

Today, we turn our eyes to the wide open spaces of Wyoming for two reasons. On July 10, 1890, Wyoming became the 44th state in the United States of America. The second reason is the addition of thousands of modern, color digital photos of Wyoming to the ever-expanding Carol M. Highsmith Archive. Over the last couple of years, Highsmith’s effort to document America with her camera and her own detailed captions of those photos took her across the state that brought us our first national park (Yellowstone), first national monument (Devils Tower) and first national forest (Shoshone). While still a territory, Wyoming was also first in granting women the right to vote in 1869, gaining a nickname as the Equality State. Another state nickname is the Cowboy State, and you’ll see plenty of those in Highsmith’s photos!

Let these vibrant photos take you on a trip through Wyoming, a state where the old West can still be found in small towns and flatlands, in cities and up in snowy mountains. Witness the celebrations and traditions of American Indians, and watch cowboys working land and livestock as well as showing their skills in the rodeo. Drive down straight-as-an-arrow two-lane roads through grasslands, farms and ranches, all under wide blue skies. Look to distant mountain peaks, and the storms rolling in from miles away. Marvel at natural wonders, rock formations and of course, the wonderland that is Yellowstone National Park. Welcome to Wyoming!

Scene from the parade in downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming, that's part of the Cheyenne Frontier Days western celebration and rodeos, held annually in the Wyoming capital since 1897. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-07-21. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.33407

Scene from the parade in downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming, that’s part of the Cheyenne Frontier Days western celebration and rodeos, held annually in the Wyoming capital since 1897. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-07-21. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.33407

This apparent "road to nowhere" in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, once thrummed with traffic when its route across Wyoming (and America); old U.S. 30, the "Lincoln Highway"; was at its zenith in the 1930s and '40s. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2016-05-24. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.38536

This apparent “road to nowhere” in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, once thrummed with traffic when its route across Wyoming (and America); old U.S. 30, the “Lincoln Highway”; was at its zenith in the 1930s and ’40s. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2016-05-24. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.38536

Rodeo action at the Cheyenne Frontier Days celebration in Wyoming's capital city. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-07-23. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.33250

Rodeo action at the Cheyenne Frontier Days celebration in Wyoming’s capital city. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-07-23. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.33250

The striking Wrangler western-wear store in Wyoming's capital, Cheyenne. The store is famous for its namesake wrangler jeans, especially constructed for cowboys with no inside seam. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-06-07. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.32883

The striking Wrangler western-wear store in Wyoming’s capital, Cheyenne. The store is famous for its namesake wrangler jeans, especially constructed for cowboys with no inside seam. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-06-07. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.32883

Ayres Natural Bridge in Converse County, near Douglas, is considered one of Wyoming's first tourist attractions. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-08-16. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.34075

Ayres Natural Bridge in Converse County, near Douglas, is considered one of Wyoming’s first tourist attractions. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-08-16. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.34075

 

Remains of the old Carissa Gold Mine in South Pass City, a mining boomtown of 2,000 people in the 1860s in what is now Fremont County, Wyoming, that by 1949 was a ghost town. Over time miners, speculators, and businessmen, finding little gold and suffering in the region's winter blizzards and unrelenting summer heat, abandoned the town, which is named for the surrounding valley that proved the most reliable route through the Rocky Mountains for emigrants on the Oregon, Mormon, and California trails. Now a historic site, South Pass City once again has (in 2016) a few hardy residents. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2016-05-27. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.38565

Remains of the old Carissa Gold Mine in South Pass City, a mining boomtown of 2,000 people in the 1860s in what is now Fremont County, Wyoming, that by 1949 was a ghost town. Over time miners, speculators, and businessmen, finding little gold and suffering in the region’s winter blizzards and unrelenting summer heat, abandoned the town, which is named for the surrounding valley that proved the most reliable route through the Rocky Mountains for emigrants on the Oregon, Mormon, and California trails. Now a historic site, South Pass City once again has (in 2016) a few hardy residents. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2016-05-27. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.38565

Colorful Ferris wheel at dusk at the Wyoming State Fair in Douglas. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-08-15. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.34064

Colorful Ferris wheel at dusk at the Wyoming State Fair in Douglas. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-08-15. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.34064

The Mint Bar, a downtown landmark built in 1907 in Sheridan, Wyoming, where "meet you at the Mint" is still (in 2015) a common expression. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-09-08. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.34712

The Mint Bar, a downtown landmark built in 1907 in Sheridan, Wyoming, where “meet you at the Mint” is still (in 2015) a common expression. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-09-08. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.34712

Devil's Gate, a fissure in the mountains of what is now Natrona County, Wyoming, caused by erosion from the Sweetwater River. It was a noted landmark along the Oregon Trail (and California Trail, Mormon Trail, and Pony Express route that followed the same path before diverging farther west). While it gave no particular directional guidance, emigrants, who were walking or riding alongside, not through, the gap carrying the river, frequently stopped to hike around this feature and carve their names. The occurrence of several murders in this region led some emigrants to believe this was a bedeviled site. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2016-05-29. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.38443

Devil’s Gate, a fissure in the mountains of what is now Natrona County, Wyoming, caused by erosion from the Sweetwater River. It was a noted landmark along the Oregon Trail (and California Trail, Mormon Trail, and Pony Express route that followed the same path before diverging farther west). While it gave no particular directional guidance, emigrants, who were walking or riding alongside, not through, the gap carrying the river, frequently stopped to hike around this feature and carve their names. The occurrence of several murders in this region led some emigrants to believe this was a bedeviled site. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2016-05-29. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.38443

The Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River in northwestern Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park. Twice as high as Niagara Falls in the eastern state of New York, these are the highest-volume falls in the Rocky Mountains. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-09-14. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.35488

The Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River in northwestern Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park. Twice as high as Niagara Falls in the eastern state of New York, these are the highest-volume falls in the Rocky Mountains. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-09-14. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.35488

A bull elk advances through the snow before a herd of his species at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's elk refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a valley on the edge of Grand Teton National Park. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2016-02-07. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.35706

A bull elk advances through the snow before a herd of his species at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s elk refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a valley on the edge of Grand Teton National Park. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2016-02-07. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.35706

A cowhand lassoes calves on branding day at the Big Creek cattle ranch, near the town of Riverside in Carbon County, Wyoming. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2016-06-21. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.39086

A cowhand lassoes calves on branding day at the Big Creek cattle ranch, near the town of Riverside in Carbon County, Wyoming. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2016-06-21. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.39086

Elaine Ethel Weed and her granddaughter, eight-year-old Shilo Elaine Weed, members of the Eastern Shoshone tribe at the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming's Wind River Basin. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-08-25. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.34007

Elaine Ethel Weed and her granddaughter, eight-year-old Shilo Elaine Weed, members of the Eastern Shoshone tribe at the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming’s Wind River Basin. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-08-25. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.34007

A statue titled "A New Beginning," outside the Union Pacific Depot in Wyoming's capital, Cheyenne. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-06-07. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.32889

A statue titled “A New Beginning,” outside the Union Pacific Depot in Wyoming’s capital, Cheyenne. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-06-07. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.32889

Ominous clouds above Pine Bluffs, a small farming community on the Nebraska border in Laramie County, Wyoming. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-06-07. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.32921

Ominous clouds above Pine Bluffs, a small farming community on the Nebraska border in Laramie County, Wyoming. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-06-07. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.32921

A charging barrel racer at a large outdoor rodeo that's a feature of the annual (in this case 75th anniversary) Jubilee festival in Laramie, Wyoming. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-07-12. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.33132

A charging barrel racer at a large outdoor rodeo that’s a feature of the annual (in this case 75th anniversary) Jubilee festival in Laramie, Wyoming. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-07-12. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.33132

The first block of Ivinson Avenue in Laramie, Wyoming. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-06-07. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.32814

The first block of Ivinson Avenue in Laramie, Wyoming. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-06-07. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.32814

Father and son at the Wyoming State Fair in Douglas. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-08-15. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.35188

Father and son at the Wyoming State Fair in Douglas. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-08-15. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.35188

The Wind River runs through the canyon that bears its name roughly from Shoshoni up toward Thermopolis in north-central Wyoming. At the "Wedding of the Waters" toward the north end of the canyon, the Wind River gives way to the larger Bighorn River. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2016-05-28. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.38633

The Wind River runs through the canyon that bears its name roughly from Shoshoni up toward Thermopolis in north-central Wyoming. At the “Wedding of the Waters” toward the north end of the canyon, the Wind River gives way to the larger Bighorn River. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2016-05-28. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.38633

A colored hot spring in the Fountain Paint Pot section of Yellowstone National Park, in the northwest corner of the western state of Wyoming. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-09-17. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.35426

A colored hot spring in the Fountain Paint Pot section of Yellowstone National Park, in the northwest corner of the western state of Wyoming. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-09-17. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.35426

Scene from authentic Native American dances at the Indian Village on the rodeo grounds of the Cheyenne Frontier Days celebration in the Wyoming capital city. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-07-23. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.33285

Scene from authentic Native American dances at the Indian Village on the rodeo grounds of the Cheyenne Frontier Days celebration in the Wyoming capital city. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-07-23. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.33285

A mixed herd of wild and domesticated horses tests the snow on the Ladder Livestock ranch, a vast cattle and sheep-ranching operation that straddles the Wyoming-Colorado border, which the Little Snake River crosses 12 times on the ranch's property. This image was taken on the Colorado side, in Routt County. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2016-02-15. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.36142

A mixed herd of wild and domesticated horses tests the snow on the Ladder Livestock ranch, a vast cattle and sheep-ranching operation that straddles the Wyoming-Colorado border, which the Little Snake River crosses 12 times on the ranch’s property. This image was taken on the Colorado side, in Routt County. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2016-02-15. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.36142

An array of hay rolls on a farm in Converse County, Wyoming. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-08-16. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.34103

An array of hay rolls on a farm in Converse County, Wyoming. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2015-08-16. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.34103

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5 Comments

  1. David P. COleman
    July 10, 2017 at 10:23 am

    These are great photos capturing real life moments in America. This is the style of photography I like to shoot . I am curious is there a program or application process a photographer can apply for to document like Carol M. Highsmith’s photos?

  2. John Crowder
    July 10, 2017 at 11:28 am

    I lived in Casper for a little over a year and I really do miss Wyoming. When we first moved to Texas, I spent several of the next few summers vacationing in Wyoming. The topography, the weather, the people are all things that I miss. I hope to spend some time back there when I retire next year. Great photos and great memories.

  3. J. Nolan
    July 13, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Wyoming:
    Starkly beautiful; some things remain the same.
    – former resident, Laramie, WY

  4. Renee Blare
    July 13, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I believe Wyoming is where history and the present collide. It’s a unique place and is worth preserving. Only a blessed few can withstand the rugged climate and that’s okay. After all, where would we be without a bit of reality in this crazy world.

  5. jan hoekstra
    July 16, 2017 at 11:19 am

    great country!

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