Ft. Laramie, Wyo (RELEASE from NPS) May 11th, 2023 — Memorial Day marks the beginning of Fort Laramie National Historic Site’s Summer 2023 season, featuring daily talks, living history demonstrations & educational stations, and special events. Summer hours for the park’s Visitor Center will begin on Friday, May 26, 2023 (8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) and continue through Labor Day. The historic grounds and buildings will be open from dawn to dusk each day. After Labor Day Weekend, the park’s Visitor Center will transition back to 8-5:00 p.m. with Winter Hours being initiated October 1 (8-4:00 p.m.).
On Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day in the 19th century, rangers, and park volunteers wearing period clothing will initiate a Moment of Remembrance starting the day at the flagpole with the raising of a replica 1876 Garrison Flag to half-staff followed by a noon salute near the Post Hospital. The salute at 12:00 p.m. will recognize the memory of those soldiers, civilians (Milton Sublette, brother of famous William Sublette, who died on April 5, 1837, is buried at the Fort) and Northern Great Plains Indian Tribes including Mini-Aku (Water Carrying Woman), Spotted Tail’s daughter, who died on March 9, 1866, and is buried near the Post Hospital.
At 12:00 p.m., rangers and park volunteers will use a replica Model 1841 Mountain Howitzer to salute and recognize Decoration Day and highlight the Moment of Remembrance. During the ceremony, rangers will place wreaths on three unknown soldier’s graves near the Post Hospital. Throughout the day, as staffing permits, rangers will be in the Sutler’s Store, Barracks, Burt House, 1876 Bakery and an Infantry Camp.
Educational themes linked to the decade of the 1860s will be highlighted during this summer’s Living History programs. From the turbulent Civil War (1861-1865), Pony Express, Transcontinental Telegraph, Transcontinental Railroad, military operations in the Powder River Country and the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty are only a few of the historical events intertwined within the historical fabric of Fort Laramie’s Post history from 1834 to 1890. On May 6, the 11th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry Living History Group (11th OVC) from Casper, Wyoming, was in the park conducting their monthly School of the Soldier. The 11th OVC is a direct link to the volunteer soldiers who were assigned to Fort Laramie, Platte Bridge Station, Sweetwater Station, Fort Mitchell and Mud Springs Station during the mid-1860s conducting patrols and protecting the areas.
Admission to the park and all events is free, so bring out the family and visit Fort Laramie National Historic Site this summer!