1 - Letter of April 30, 1937, Dan W. Greenburg to Joseph Weppner. Files, Historical Landmark Commission of Wyoming, at the Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department, Cheyenne (hereafter designated HLCW).
6 - Mattes recollections. There was no inventory of furniture or other moveable items inside the buildings until Lombard's arrival in 1939. (In February of that year Fraser reported "practically all historical relics gone.") Our knowledge of what was spirited away prior to that year stems mainly from revelation of Fort Laramie odds and ends in the possession of various neighbors.
9 - Brown to Randels, November 8, 1937; Mattes to Regional Director, November 22, 1937; Wilfred Hill Report, December 20, 1937. SBNM files. According to Hill, Mattes and Henderson were to "inventory the ruins." Hill reported also that many local people visited the project, providing information which he recorded.
13 - Telegram of June 22, 1938 Regional Director Allen to Randels; Acting Associate Director Jennings to Mattes, June 22, 1938; Mattes to Regional Director, June 27, 1938; Associate Director A. E. Demaray to Mattes. August 12, 1938; Mattes to Director, August 2, 1938. SBNM files.
14 - Mattes recollections, and reports by E. A. Hummel of the Regional Office. One of the Harmeier girls later married Octavius Calgiore, who had been a CCC boy during the 1938-1939 clean-up, and is now (1978) a Fort Guard.
15 - Acting Regional Director Paul V. Brown to the Director, July 29, 1938, SBNM files. Also, Mattes to the Director, August 2, 1938; Mattes to Regional Director, August 19, 1938; Custodian's Monthly Reports for July and August, 1938, SBNM.
17 - General correspondence and Historian's Monthly Reports, December, 1937 to May, 1938, SBNM files. By coincidence, Dr. LeRoy R. Hafen's book, Fort Laramie (Arthur H. Clark Company, Glendale, 1938) was published while Mattes was pursuing his official Fort Laramie research project; he met Hafen in April in the latter's office in the Colorado Historical Society. In addition to library and archival studies, Mattes interviewed old-timers, among them James H. Cook of Agate, Ernest Logan and Russell Thorp of Cheyenne, Mrs. G. Freytag of Sidney, Nebraska whose father was married at Fort Laramie in 1856, and Bill Davis, a dispatch rider for General Crook, who stopped at the Oregon Trail Museum on May 30, "showing head-scars from Indian arrows."
20 - SBNM Daily Log, September 1938 to January 1939; Humberger's Monthly Reports, September, 1938 to February, 1939, SBNM files; Fraser's Monthly Reports, February to May, 1939, RMNP files at Fort Laramie National Historic Sites (hereafter FLNHS), transferred to the National Monument in 1951, when the Coordinating Superintendency was terminated. This was fortunate, because records kept at the Fort by Fraser and Lombard were badly scrambled, many missing, according to interview with Dave Hieb.
21 - Memorandum (Memo) of March 30, 1939, Ronald F. Lee, Supervisor of Historic Sites and W. G. Carnes, Acting Chief of Planning, Washington Office, to the Director, RMNP files. The Fort Laramie situation may have been a factor in precipitating the first set of guidelines for historic restoration issued by the National Park Service, in the form of a circular memorandum of June 20, 1938, for Washington and All Field Offices, signed by Cammerer. The emphasis was on the priority of research, and the necessity of close collaboration between historians, archeologists, and architects to ensure authenticity. Copy in SBNM files.
23 - Data pertaining to the Lombard period are derived primarily from his "Custodian's Monthly Narrative Reports," June, 1939 through May, 1944, and general correspondence and reports, RMNP files. Also, personal knowledge and recollections of the author as an active participant in the program. To avoid an undue proliferation of footnotes, we will specifically note further only those items which are sufficiently distinctive to warrant specific documentation.
25 - Custodian of Dinosaur NM at this time was Dan Beard, while Newell F. Joyner was Custodian of Devil's Tower. An incidental but tragic event of this period was the death of Custodian/Historian Mattes' wife, Eleanor, in late January, 1941, from uterine hemhorrage in childbirth, at Scottsbluff. In October, 1942 he married Clara Ritschard of Denver, a RMNP employee.
26 - Historic Base Maps, part of the Master Plan prepared by the Omaha Office, listed all buildings identified by the succession of Army ground-plans, numbering around 180. An arithmetical number was assigned to each building or building site (i.e., Old Bedlam as Building No. 1) but these numbers arbitrarily assigned tend to confuse, and have been little used. Incidentally, the Sawmill has always been so designated despite this statement by Bert Fraser in a memo of November 10, 1939 to Canfield: "The Wildes claim that the building marked on the Base Map as the Sawmill was actually the Pump House, and the Sawmill was south of it. I am inclined to believe they are right." RMNP files. The interview was with Louis Wilde, son of old Joe, then living at Lingle.
27 - Miscellaneous correspondence between Canfield, Lombard and Mattes; Memorandum of July 2, 1940, Historian Ed Hummel to Tom Allen, at Omaha, and Lombard's Annual Report for Fiscal Year 1941. RMNP files.
29 - Mitchell Index, August 1, 1940; Lombard's Monthly Report for August, 1940; Mattes' report on trek with officials of the Oregon Trail Memorial Association, Fort Laramie to Jackson Hole, August, 1940, SBNM files. (Mattes rode with Joe Weppner, HLCW; H. W. Jackson rode with Bob Ellison). See also Program "Wyoming Speaks, Historical Pageant Play, presented at Old Fort Laramie, August 15, 1940" in FLNHS research files (Rymill papers).
30 - The Cavalry Barracks underwent extensive changes by occupants Joe Wilde and the Latta Brothers (tenants for the Clarkes and the Aulds). In a memorandum of November 16, 1939 to the Regional Director, Region Two (later changed to "Midwest Region") Dave Canfield stoutly insisted that criticism by Architect Wilfred Hill about Fraser-Lombard "alterations to the historic structure" were unwarranted, since the structure had already been altered beyond military recognition. He enclosed copy of Fraser's memorandum of November 10 about the extent of Park Service alterations as well as some of the folklore of the converted hotel and saloon. (The RMNP files as well as the Regional Historian's files contain many such gems which must be preserved.)
31 - Although "Living History" is a concept of the late 1960s, it was practiced with a vengeance in the Lombard era when visitors needing a "rest-room" had to manage with an authoritative frontier military model officers toilet. At least they didn't have to use the General Sink reserved for enlisted men!
32 - Memo June 12, 1941, Wilfred Hill to Lombard; Hill report of visit June 29-30 by Ed Preece, Washington Office, Hummel, Hill and Lindauer from Omaha, Ken Mitchell from RMNP; Memo August 30, 1940 A. W. Burney, Acting Chief Engineer, Washington, to Regional Office re: C. E. Randels' "Field Report on Foundation Failure." Memorandum July 16, 1940 Allen to Superintendent. RMNP files.
33 - It has not been possible in this lengthy report to identify all visitors who proved to be valuable informants, so we apologize to anyone reading this history who may feel they have been alighted. It should be stressed that the second generation Sandercocks, mainly Meade and his sisters, who lived at the Fort as children, were perhaps the most important "resource" among many friendly and knowledgeable visiting neighbors. Interview with Ida Mary Melonuk (daughter of Meade Sandercock) at Fort Laramie town, November 11, 1977. See also records of interviews in Fort Laramie research files, and Lombard's memo of December 13, 1940 to the Regional Supervisor of Historic Sites, RMNP files.
34 - Custodian's Monthly Reports; G. H. Smith, Archeological Report, Summer, 1939; Memorandum, A. R. Kelly, Chief, Archeological Sites Division, Washington, to Omaha office, comments on ERA Job Number 12, Archeological Reconnaissance, Fort Laramie"; Jerome Hendron, "An Introduction to the Archeology of Fort Laramie," June, 1941. RMNP files, and FLNHS Library.
35 - Jess H. Lombard, "Old Bedlam", Annals of Wyoming (April, 1941) Merril). J. Mattes, "Fort Laramie, Guardian of the Oregon Trail," (January, 1945), and "The Sutler's Store at Fort Laramie" (July, 1946), both also Annals of Wyoming.
36 - Some indication is given here of annual appropriations and custodial salaries to record the sharp contrast between funding in "the early days" and the present (1978). No effort has been made to tabulate appropriations and salaries annually.
37 - Old Master Plan files in Curator's Office, Commissary headquarters (1978). Among other significant documents are the report by Landscape Architect Ken Mitchell, RMNP, of field conference of April 9-12, 1941; memo of November 8, 1943, W. E. Robertson to the Regional Director; Development Outline (General Information) and Interpretive Tour Plan, 1942 Master Plan; and Mattes recollections.
38 - Acting Custodian Moomaw's monthly reports for June and July, 1944, RMNP files. According to Associate Regional Director Baker's memo of August 8, 1944 to the Coordinating Superintendent, Moomaw's per diem was $5., the same as Mattes got on his frequent trips to Omaha during the War as "Acting Regional Historian." While Moomaw "batched" at the Cavalry Barracks for free, Mattes "batched" in a variety of Omaha hotels which, together with meals, cost him more like $10. per day out of pocket.
45 - The position taken by Kahler and Tolson reflect not only a rationalization based on the unstated "need to economize," but also the fact that planning wisdom is not conferred by virtue of being 1,000 miles away from the site. Dr. Waldo Leland of the NPS Advisory Board told Kahler: "As to the iron bridge, I have no strong convictions for its preservation. It came into use after the transcontinental railroad was built and the Oregon Trail was abandoned." (The inference here is that nothing of historical importance ever happened after 1869!)
46 The Canfield Plan, which became the orthodox Master Plan (at least until 1977), with visible buildings and approaching autos across the Laramie, would violate the setting to some degree, but that degree will be kept low by good siting and screening. Elimination of the residential area and hiding the utility area, as well as low-profiling the Visitor Center - Headquarters building, would make the difference. While autos cannot be made invisible, they could be viewed as surrogate covered wagons!
47 - Memo of March 2, 1945 from Baker to Superintendent, RMNP; Report to Regional Landscape Architect, Field trip, June 4-14, 1945, by Halsey M. Davidson; memo November 27, 1945 Borreson to Superintendent; memo December 15, 1945 Baker to Superintendent; Memo December 4, 1945, Mattes to Superintendent, RMNP files.
48 - Letters of May 10 and 15, June 4 and August 6, 1946, Regional Director Merriam to Dr. LeRoy R. Hafen, Collaborator; trip report of June 3, Jerome Miller, Landscape Architect to Regional Director; Mattes "Report on Field Trip, Chicago to Fort Laramie, May 22-24"; memo November 13, 1946, Mattes to Canfield. RMNP files. Mattes recollections. In his report Mattes commented, apropos of proposed boundary extensions, that "ideally we should take the whole tongue of land between the Laramie and the North Platte Rivers," thus anticipating by 30 years a Master Plan alternative of 1978.
49 - Memo March 19, 1946 Mattes at Scotts Bluff to Superintendent, RMNP; memo April 18 and July 13 Mattes at Chicago to Custodian, FLNM; Custodian's monthly report for July, 1945 revisit by Rymill and Flannery; RMNP files and Mattes recollections.
51 - Custodian's Reports, January to November, 1946; Acting Custodian Darnall's Report for December, 1946; Canfield confidential memo to Merriam, December 28, 1946; RMNP files and Mattes recollections.
52 - Data in this chapter not otherwise documented was derived from Dave Hieb's monthly narrative reports, RMNP correspondence files, and Mattes extended interviews with Hieb in September, 1977. Dave was a seasonal ranger at RMNP in the early 1930s; he was a permanent ranger at Carlsbad Caverns, Blue Ridge Parkway, and RMNP prior to his SBNM assignment. Hieb's history requires two chapters, in part because length and intensity of his experience, in part because of his unique role as his own restorationist.
53 - Although the term wasn't in use yet, it appears that Darnall's position was "permanent, less than full-time." No effort is made in this history to diagram every personnel appointment, permanent or temporary, with the exception of Custodians/Superintendents and later Park Historians.
54 - Custodian Lombard sent Canfield rough plans of his alterations to the Cavalry Barracks for offices and living quarters. Further alterations and improvements were made by Hieb but since it was all temporary, further details in this report are not warranted.
55 - It has been stated earlier in this report that the approach to Fort Laramie as of 1937-1977 is substantially the same used during the John Hunton period, 1900-1920. Its exact chronology is not known but this roundabout approach had to begin about the time when the fields north of the Cavalry Barracks were closed off for irrigated farming, which would be sometime prior to 1900. Visitors today (1978) lack the "Living History" experience of approaching the Fort by primitive roads and the precarious Iron Bridge!
57 - Memo April 21, 1948 Associate Regional Director Baker to Canfield, with Boundary Status Reports; memorandum March 17, 1948, Canfield addenda to the Master Plan; memo November 17, 1949, Mattes to J. Miller, RMNP files.
59 - Memorandum of July 22, Regional Director Merriam to the files; memo of August 31, 1948, Hieb to Canfield, "Summary of Work Accomplished 1947-1948 with Major Repair and Rehabilitation Allotment"; memo of July 20, 1948, Baker to Canfield, RMNP files. Also, 5 x 8 Card File data by Hieb re: Old Bedlam.
62 - Memo April 16, 1948, Baker to Canfield; Hagen memo to the files, August 24, 1948 re: Fort Laramie visit with Mattes, and Chief Historian Ronald F. Lee; memo of February 28, 1949 Mattes to the Regional Director; memo August 5, 1949, Merriam to the Director, RMNP files. Fort Laramie and the Forty-Niners was re-born as Chapter XV in Mattes' book, The Great Platte River Road, published by the Nebraska State Historical Society, 1969.
65 - Custodian's Report for August, 1948. Clarence S. Jackson, Pageant of the Pioneers: the Veritable Art of William Henry Jackson (Minden, Nebraska, 1948). W. H. Jackson was interviewed by Mattes at Scotts Bluff in 1936 and 1938, and at Cheyenne in 1941 where Jackson was in a hospital, recuperating from a fall. The Scotts Bluff wing was financed by $10,000 donated by Julius F. Stone of New York City, supplemented by public contributions by citizens in the Scottsbluff-Gering area. Here is the prime collection of original 1866 sketches of Oregon Trail scenes by Jackson as a young bull-whacker.
66 - The Waters contribution had been obtained earlier by Ed Hummel of the Omaha office. Memo of October 22, 1957 Mattes to Hieb, Regional Historians File (hereafter MJM/RH file). This is the Fort Laramie section of a very of correspondence, reports, photographs, research materials and miscellany accumulated by Merrill J. Mattes in 20 years as Regional Historian in Omaha, 1946-1966. The bulk of this collection, by agreement between the Midwest and Rocky Mountain Regions, has been donated to the manuscript and photo collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society; the Fort Laramie material may be donated to FLNHS.
67 - John F. McDermott, editor, An Artist on the Overland Trail: the 1849 Diary and Sketches of James F. Wilkins (San Marino, California, 1968). See also Mattes' articles on Fort Mitchell at Scotts Bluffs, an outpost of Fort Laramie, in the April 1943 and March 1952 issues of Nebraska History.
68 - Custodian's Report for October, 1948; Hieb's comments on the Mattes-Borreson report on "Historic Approaches," by memo of January 11, 1948 to Superintendent, RMNP; letters of October 11 and November 1, 1948 T. L. Green of Scottsbluff to Mattes; letter of October 22, Paul Henderson of Bridgeport to Mattes; memo of November 3, 1948 W. E. Robertson, Acting Regional Director to Superintendent, RMNP. MJM/RH files. Interviews with Dave Hieb, op. cit.
69 - Data in this chapter is largely derived from Superintendents Monthly Narrative Reports; general correspondence between Hieb and Regional Office in Omaha and Washington, D.C., 1950-1957, too numerous to itemize. RMNP files and MJM/RH files. Mattes recollections and Hieb interviews, op. cit.
70 - The format of a detailed typed Completion Report with photos superseded the former 5 x 8 Card File. (Though Dave called these "Preliminary Reports" they turned out to be "Final." The only thing that could have been done further would be to provide detailed drawings clearly identifying and distinguishing between old original work and new work. Clearly, Dave had no time for this refinement.) In addition to the set of Hieb's Completion Reports in the FLNHS Library, as of 1978 there is also a set in the Library of the Midwest Regional Office, notwithstanding the fact that the Rocky Mountain Region now has jurisdiction. Dave Hieb also has a personal set.
72 - Hieb notes on Card Numbers 4 and 5, "Sutler's Store, 1951-1954," in 5 x 8 Card File; Hieb, "Preliminary Report on Rehabilitation of the Sutler's Store, 1952-1953." Memo of November 6, 1952 reprogramming and funding for project. MJM/RH file.
83 - The phenomenon of the Hospital being built on top of the early Cemetery poses a historical dilemma. It is scarcely conceivable that the Post Commander and Staff did not know the cemetery was there; on the other hand, if they knew it was there, it is scarcely conceivable that they would deliberately build on top of it without first relocating the remains elsewhere!
85 - Because of its location at the junction of the Laramie and North Platte Rivers it would be reasonable to expect to find other pre-historic sites within or near the park area. There has been no systematic search for such sites because the entire archeological preoccupation of the NPS has been with 19th century historic sites. Whether other significant undiscovered prehistoric finds exist or not seems "relatively irrelevant" in view of the prime focus of the area on American frontier history.
86 - Memo May 19, 1950 Baker to the Director; memo May 16, 1950 Dr. Porter to Baker; Mattes trip report, June 20, 1950; memo April 28, 1954, Mattes to Hieb; memo July 26, 1954, Hieb to Regional Director; memo January 27, 1955 Historian Appleman, Washington, D.C. to Regional Director; memo January 19, Regional Director Baker to the Director; memo February 7, 1956, Mattes to Hieb; Letter February 17, 1956 Mattes to Dr. T. R. Schellenberg, National Archives, Washington, D.C.; letter April 26, 1956, Schellenberg to Mattes. MJM/RH files, and Research files, FLNHS.
87 - A detailed audit or inventory of the FLNHS Research files is recommended to determine whether all research items mentioned in correspondence and reports have been incorporated into these files; and to inventory old correspondence and reports accordingly.
88 - In a letter of March 21, 1950 L. G. Flannery advised Dr. Charles W. Porter of the Washington Office, NPS re: the John Hunton diaries, as follows: "I want to complete study of contents before relinquishing them to the National Park Service." MJM/RH files. Volumes I through V of the Hunton Diaries were published by Flannery himself, Volume VI by the Arthur H. Clark Company of Glendale, California. See Footnote Number 15, Part I of this History, "The Crusade to Save Fort Laramie."
89 - Memorandum June 25, 1953, Mattes to the Regional Director; memo December 15, 1953, Acting Regional Director Lloyd to the Superintendent, FLNM; memorandum April 5, 1954, Regional Director Baker to the Superintendent, in MJM/RH files. Hieb's report entitled "Tentative Summary of Rooms to be Refurnished in Buildings Restored or Proposed to be Restored" is mentioned in memo of June 7, 1954, C. R. Swartzlow to the Director. This was in response to Museum Chief Ralph Lewis' request of February 10, 1954.
90 - Memorandum February 1, 1950 and February 14, 1950, Hieb to the Regional Director; memo February 16, 1956, Raymond Gregg, Chief of Interpretation, to Hieb; Report of Hieb as Executive Secretary, Fort Laramie Historical Association (FLHA) December 20, 1956. MJM/RH files. Hieb indicated in this first report of the FLHA that 20 publications were handled. At the end of the first year there were 31 active and seven honorary members.
91 - Hieb interview, op. cit.; Mattes recollections. Specimens of proscribed pictures of Old Bedlam in the condemned genuine 1949 California Gold Rush framing survive at least in the personal possession of these two individuals.
92 - Among references to this delicate subject, including words of praise for Hieb's many achievements, are the following: memorandum of May 9, 1952, Regional Director Baker to the Director; memo of February 19, 1953, Regional Historian Mattes to Baker; memo of June 16, 1955, Mattes to Baker; memo of May 23, 1956, Hieb to Baker; memo of June 30, 1956, Mattes to Hieb. MJM/RH files, and Hieb interviews, op. cit.
93 - Memo of June 23, 1955, Regional Historian Mattes to Regional Director Baker; memo of July 8, 1955, Baker to Hieb; memo of December 9, 1955. Associate Regional Director George Baggley to Superintendent Hieb. MJM/RH files.
94 - The nation-wide Superintendents conferences were omitted for several years, after the Williamsburg conference of 1960 which Ringenbach attended. Recently the trend has been to Regional Superintendents conferences. In October, 1977 there was once again a general Superintendents Conference, at RMNP.
96 - Superintendent's Monthly Reports. Memorandum June 25, 1953 Regional Historian Mattes to the Regional Director, MJM/RH files. DeVoto suggested that the Ford Foundation or the Rockefeffer Foundation be approached refunding the completion of Fort Laramie restoration. Mattes had written a book review of DeVoto's prize winning book, Across the Wide Missouri, in which he pointed out a few errors; this also led to some spirited discussion at the Fort Laramie meeting. Mrs. Porter told the writer in 1957 that she paid less than $1,000. for the Miller sketches, which she had bought in Baltimore from descendants of the artist. She received something like $135,000. for them from a New York art dealer. The Northern Natural Gas Company of Omaha bought the lot, plus some Catlins and Bodmers for $650,000. and placed the collection with the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha.
97 - Memorandum of February 27, 1953. Canfield had reference to matters brought up by memorandum of February 27, 1953, Chief Landscape Architect Carnes, Washington Office, to the Regional Director, referred to in Mattes memo of June 25, 1953, Ibid. MJM/RH files. Dave Canfield, who died at Santa Fe in 1977 at age 72, could never be accused of being bashful about speaking his mind, a trait possibly not unrelated to the fact that he was independently wealthy. (His wife, Helen, was of the Stanfords of California.) He could be abrasive to subordinates, equals, and superiors alike, but he was basically a very affable gentleman and a totally dedicated Park Superintendent who gave a lot of time and thought to Fort Laramie's problems and their solutions. He should be remembered for his prime role in keeping FLNM afloat during its very lean early years, and sponsoring the basic Master Plan that the NPS has always come back to after frequent digressions; as of 1978 it still the basic plan despite up-to-the-minute concerns by a new generation of planners.
98 - Mission 66 was designed to produce a major goal of achievements by 1966, which would be the 50th anniversary of the NPS. Of course Fort Laramie history is so chock-full of exciting and colorful events that almost any year between 1934 and 1990 could be made to serve a Centennial of something or other! (One hopes that the Canfield Plan will be implemented by 1990, or it will be too late to tie it in with any kind of Centennial!) Baker's comment seems to downgrade Hieb's restoration achievements, but these were phrased only for dramatic effect.
100 - Memorandum of February 15, 1956 Baggley to Hieb; memo of January 24, 1956, Historian Appleman to Chief Historian Kahler; memo February 20, Scoyen to the Superintendent; memo May 26, 1956, Baker to the Director; memo August 27, 1956, Scoyen to the Regional Director; memo March 25, 1957, Superintendent Hieb to Regional Director. MJM/RH files; Hieb interview op. cit. If there hadn't been so much wrangling over the Master Plan a this time the new Visitor Center - Headquarters complex across the river might have been built by 1966.
102 - Memo March 8, 1957, Baker to Chief, WODC; memo January 7, 1958, Hieb and Mattes to Regional Director; memo May 6, 1958, Baker to Superintendent; memo November 12, 1958, Ringenbach to the Regional Director; memo December 15, 1958 Assistant Director M. H. Harvey to Director re: unwarranted criticisms in Appleman trip report; memo July 24, 1959, Mattes and Roberson to the Regional Director; memo of July 27, 1959, Regional Director Baker to the Director; Mattes to Chief Architect Dick Sutton and reply of August 31, 1959. MJM/RD files.
104 - Memo October 27, 1958 Ringenbach to Regional Director; memo June 12, 1959, Gann to the Superintendent; memo May 19, 1959, Baker to Chief, WODC; memo July 1, 1959 memo Mattes to Ringenbach and undated reply. MJM/RH files. Superintendents Report for August, 1959.
105 - Ray Ringenbach, "Survey Report, Stabilization of the Sawmill" (March, 1960). Bob Gann, "Completion Report, Rehabilitation of Sawmill Ruins" (undated). Bob writes, "While called a Sawmill, it actually housed a steam boiler, water pump, and steam for the sawmill engine", presumably outside the structure.
107 - Memo October 24, 1958 Mattes to Superintendent, MJM/RH files. The photo of the 1876 Guardhouse, viewed from across the parade ground, in possession of the Wyoming Historical Department, was from the Signal Corps Collection in the National Archives. By letter September 12, 1958 Mattes asked Josephone Cobb, National Archives for "a good clean photo enlargement," which revealed sufficient detail to warrant roof reconstruction.
108 - Memo October 27, 1958, Ringenbach to Regional Director; memo, December 3, 1958, Harvey to Superintendent; memo March 27,1959, transmitting "Report on Stabilization and Limited Restoration of the New Guardhouse" by Ringenbach and Gann; memo August 6, 1959, Baggley to Director, addenda to Historic Structure Report re: Original (1850) Guardhouse; memo October 14, 1959, Baker to Superintendent; memo October 20, 1959, Lyle Bennett, WODC to the Regional Director. MJM/RD files.
113 - Ringenbach, "Archeological Salvage Project, Water System" (July, 1958) Superintendent's Monthly Reports. No archeological report as such was written on the Original Guardhouse foundation exposure. There has been some stabilization of these remains, a portion of which lay open to weather.
114 - Memo December 5, 1958, Harvey to Robert Stephenson, Smithsonian Field Office, Lincoln, Nebraska. Charles H. McNutt, "Excavations at Old Bedlam" (1958). Although there seems to be a contrary opinion, the writer finds no evidence that there was any archeology at Bedlam except at the original kitchen wings. If there had been comprehensive archeology, both inside and around the perimeter of Bedlam, some interesting discoveries might have been made. See Footnote 186.
115 - Memo October 6, 1958, Raymond Gregg, Regional Chief of Interpretation to the Superintendent; memorandum December 11, 1958, ditto; memo August 28, 1959, Superintendent to Regional Director, MJM/RD files. Superintendent's Report for February and March, 1959, FLNM files.
118 - Elizabeth Burt's memoirs in the Library of Congress are the principal source of information for Indians, Infants and Infantry, but there was woven into it capsule histories of Forts Bridger, Sanders, and Laramie in Wyoming, Fort Omaha in Nebraska, and other stations where the Burt family resided. Mattes was asked by General Reynolds Burt to write the book, which he did on off-duty time. Correspondence on the subject, partly in Mattes' personal file, and partly in S. Johnson correspondence, would fill a whole file drawer.
120 - Superintendent's Monthly Reports; miscellaneous correspondence in Regional Historians (MJM/RH) files. The Nebraska History article is distributed in covered reprint form by the Nebraska State Historical Society.
122 - Ernst letter of January 4, 1960; memo March 1, 1960, Ringenbach to Regional Director; memo December 13, 1960, Mattes to Regional Director, re: trip report of November 28-30; memo November 4, 1960 John F. Aiton to Superintendent. MJM/RH files.
123 - Data given in this chapter, not otherwise documented, is derived from Superintendent's Monthly Reports through June, 1966; reports and general correspondence in FLNHS files., and MJM/RH files. Mattes interviews with Superintendent Sharp, early November, 1977, and Mattes recollections.
124 - The Old Bedlam "log" given here, while primarily derived from Sharp's Monthly Reports, include a few inserts from correspondence in the MJM/RH files, including the Regional Director's memo of April 4, 1961 to WODC rejecting recommendations by Lyle Bennett and Lada Kucera that Old Bedlam be dismantled and reconstructed.
125 - Official tabulation of building costs are provided with the usual Completion Report forms. When a job is spread out in several stages, it is not always possible to establish the grand total with precision. The writer believes that more effort should be made in the interpretive program to provide visitors with data on interesting architectural details of the various restorations, such as the following from Sharp's Completion Report on Old Bedlam: "No nails, spikes or bolts were used in the framing of the original structure. Structural reliance was placed on unique systems of notching, dapping, mortises, and dowels. At a few critical joints, a staple-like device of heavy iron bars had been forged and used to tie the joints together. From early days there were complaints that the roof sagged; nevertheless the roof never collapsed and in the restoration this sag was stabilized in position. . ." Perhaps a special booklet on this aspect, illustrated with details of restoration work, would be warranted.
126 - Data on Bob Gann is derived from personal knowledge of Sharp, Mattes, and Roberson, as well as official reports and limited correspondence in FLNHS and MJM/RH files. "Slim" Warthen is alive and well in Lingle, and was interviewed by Mattes during a tour of his old projects, in early November, 1977.
129 - C. Sharp, "Historic Structure Report for Stabilization and Rehabilitation of Old Army Bridge" (October, 1962); C. Sharp, Four Completion Reports for intermittent work on Old Army Bridge, 1964-1969.
131 - Robert A. Murray, "Part I, Historic Structure Report, Officers Quarters B, C, and D" (December, 1964); ditto, Part II (July, 1965). Anon., "Completion Report", ditto (1966); Anon., Division of History Studies, Washington Office, "Part II, Historic Structure Report, Administration Building"; Anon., "Completion Report", ditto, undated.
132 - James W. Sheire and Charles Pope, "Part II, Historic Structure Report, the 1876 Bakery" (May, 1969); Lewis Koue, "Specifications for Restoration of 1876 Bakery" (March, 1970); C. Sharp, "Completion Report, Restoration of 1876 Bakery" (November, 1971).
133 - James W. Sheire, "Part I, Historic Structure Report, 1883 Bakery" (November, 1968); Charles W. Pope and James W. Sheire, "Part II, Historic Structure Report, 1883 Bakery" (June, 1969). C. Sharp, "Completion Report, Repair and Conservation of 1883 Bakery" (November, 1971).
134 - Superintendent's Report for June, 1961; letters of May 18 and 25 Regional Historian Mattes to General R. J. Burt; letters of May 24 and June 12, 1961 Superintendent Sharp to Virginia Hill; memo June 8, Baker to Sharp re: program and escort.
137 - Superintendent's Report for July, 1962. Extensive correspondence in MJM/RH files, between Mattes, S. Johnson and C. Sharp, January to June, 1962. Sally hosted a banquet for Fort Laramie and visiting Regional Office employees in honor of Mrs. Hill, in Torrington, the evening before the banquet.
139 - Superintendent's Reports for July and August, 1964. Nan V. Carson, "Furnishing Plan for Old Bedlam" (April, 1964). The Old Bedlam historic house museum is Nan's masterpiece, as the Sutler's Store and Officers Quarters F are Sally's.
140 - Nan V. Carson, "Furnishing Plan for Post Surgeon's Quarters" (July, 1963). Other research reports of permanent value by Nan are "Guide to Interpretive Maintenance, Old Bedlam, Collins' Quarters" (May, 1965), and "Revision of the General Furnishing Plan." (1963)
141 - The official visitor count at Fort Laramie, as is the case with so many other NPS areas, does not represent an exact head count, which would require employees at the entrance gate during all visiting hours to tally everyone except employees and others on official business. What technique of obtaining the visitor count in early years is not known but presumed to be that of simply counting those visitor who showed up at the information counter, wherever that happened to be. Currently (1978) we were informed that it was a total based on a factor of 70% for all visitors counted entering the Commissary Museum. We are not in a position to judge if it is a valid assumption that 30% of all visitors now do not visit the museum. In any event this technique obviously gives the official count the benefit of the doubt.
143 - A checklist of all research contributions since 1938 by various NPS employees appears in a "Historic Resource Management Plan", by the Historic Preservation Team, Denver Service Center, May, 1973. But it is really not complete. It should be revised and updated, part of a general review of the status and future needs of a Fort Laramie Research Program.
145 - Wilfred M. Husted, "Archeological Test Excavations at Fort Laramie" (1963). The Midwest Archeological Center of the NPS at Lincoln, Nebraska replaced the old Smithsonian Institution field office there, set up in 1946 to implement the archeological program for the Missouri River Basin Surveys. . . A biography of Seth Ward, fur trader, Fort Laramie post sutler, and Kansas City millionaire, by Merrill J. Mattes appears in Volume III, Mountain Men of the Fur Trade (Glendale, 1963). Before he became the Fort Laramie sutler, Ward had a succession of trading posts at points between Scotts Bluff and Register Cliff, all of which were more significant than the post briefly occupied on the right bank of the Laramie.
146 - Wilfred Husted and James W. Moore, Jr., "Archeological Test Excavations at Fort Laramie, Circulating Roads, Utilities, and Residences 1969"(February, 1970). In 1973 Adrienne B. Anderson of the MWAC performed "Test Excavations, Proposed Entrance Roadway." These test yielded nothing of special significance.
147 - From 1969 through 1972 historical and archeological research in parks in the Western United States was handled by the Branch of History and Historic Architecture, Western Service Center, and the MWAC and the Southwestern Archeological Center were requested to do the field work. Prior to that date park archeology had been coordinated by Regional offices; since 1973 the tendency has been for Regional offices and archeological centers to handle such projects, with DSC coordinating programming.
151 - "Interpretive Prospectus, Fort Laramie," approved by Midwest Regional Office, May 15, 1972. Contrary to the thinking that prevailed for years, the Rickey plan would eliminate museum exhibits in favor of a movie and, to judge from its title the indicated movie itself eliminates the fur trade and Oregon Trail migration episodes. How is the visitor to get a balanced perspective on these major aspects of Fort history, or to see the wealth of Fort Laramie artifacts and early photographs?
153 - While all of the land acquisition data and commentary given here is to be found, in one form or another, in FLNHS files, this section could not have been put together in coherent form without the cheerful volunteer assistance of Charles C. Sharp of Torrington, Wyoming who came out to the Fort with Mattes for several days in November, 1977, to sort out the tangle.
154 - The Mattes-Gann report on Forts Fetterman and Bridger seems to be missing from the NPS records, but copy is believed to be with the Wyoming Historical Department in Cheyenne. When the Wyoming Recreation Commission was formed by legislative enactment, taking over functions formerly handled by the State Landmark Commission, it took over management and restoration of state historic sites; however, the Wyoming Historical Department has been given responsibility for historical exhibits in these areas. Bob Murray's resignation is a rare instance of a career NPS employee quitting the NPS to go into park-related business for himself, for which he deserves commendation for bravery. His business, called Western Interpretive Services, was based first in Billings, later in Sheridan.
155 - The old Western Museum Laboratory exhibits at Guernsey included several fine water color sketches pertaining to Fort Laramie history, such as overland migration scenes, and the Grattan Massacre. The NPS built the Lake Guernsey Museum with CCC funds and provided the museum exhibits, for the Bureau of Reclamation as work relief projects in the 1930s.
156 - Fortunately, by the time the valuable Superintendent's Monthly Reports were irrationally abolished in mid-1966, most of the major restoration work and major celebrations had already been reported. To put it another way, it seems that relatively few significant events have occurred during the NPS decade, 1967 to 1977, so the loss of the monthly reports was not as serious as it might have been earlier. The history of the last ten years reported in this work seem, at least, to be more of a settled routine, with few noteworthy new developments.
158 - Maeder's personnel records. Data in this chapter obtained primarily from Superintendent's Annual Reports, a compilation of recent correspondence in various categories, and information and leads supplied by Acting Superintendent McChristian, Administrative Officer Woodard, and other staff employees as of 1977.
159 - Except for the Custodian/Superintendent category, no effort has been made to keep up with the constant and bewildering changes in job titles. Neither has an effort been made to identify everyone on the present staff, or everyone who ever worked at Fort Laramie.
167 - It is difficult to comprehend how a limited theme movie in the theoretical new Visitor Center will be an adequate substitute for the fine "old-fashioned" Commissary museum. Retention of the Commissary museum after building the Visitor Center would seem to be incompatible with the philosophy of "separation of old and new" and would require extra manpower. The best idea is to re-think the Interpretive Prospectus.
170 - It is understood that a new storage building for the museum collection is to be part of the future headquarters complex. Presumably the Museum Laboratory, i.e., where the Curator operates, will be in the future headquarters building. The wisdom of separating the collection from the Curator seems questionable. . . The present Curator's duties, aside from handling accessions, cataloguing, and other forms of record-keeping (and occasional assisting in interpretation with school groups) involves actual curatorial work, that is, giving preservative treatment to the historic objects in the collection. Regional Curator Ed Jahns has a lot to say about the latter activity in a trip report of April 4, 1974.
171 - The primary purpose of valuation, presumably, is to impress all concerned with the preciousness of the objects in question, so they will get maximum care and protection. (Certainly it is not for insurance purposes, since no Government property is insured.) We can only assume that the guidelines for the disposition of that major portion of the collection engineered by the three Boards of Survey included the belief that the disposable items bore price tags of zero. But there is a lot of difference between historical items of "little value" or "no value" in monetary terms, and outright junk that one would normally have to pay a junkman to get rid of. Theoretically, if its disposable its "junk" and the NPS should not have acquired it in the first place.
172 - Interview with Tom Lindenmier and W. J. Petty, November, 1977. Virginia Hill Donation files. The question of what to do with the Commissary Building itself in the future has not yet been resolved. Full restoration? Storage?
175 - There has been no complete and up-to-date analysis of holdings to ascertain if all valuable research items are fully identified and incorporated in the Research Files. For more about the perennial Fort William puzzle, see Footnote 186.
176 - Data on recent restorations in file folders, FLNHS. Data re: plans and schedule for full restoration of the Cavalry Barracks obtained from George Thorson, Historic Preservation, Denver Service Center, December, 1977. The cost estimates make the usual allowance for inflation.
179 - An example of how cyclic maintenance of historic structures can drift away from authentic restoration was cited by Dave Hieb in interviews, op. cit. Since his original, authentic restoration of Officers Quarters E by artificial graining of interior woodwork, patterned after original treatment, this wood was repainted in such a way as to conceal the historically correct artificial graining.
180 - There seems to be an inherent legal contradiction in requiring the Federal preservation proposals to be cleared by the State Preservation Officer. NPS restorationists working in-house should have the exclusive responsibility for NPS restoration projects except when conflicts develop between them. In that case matters should be resolved by the President's Advisory Council. The NPS has problems enough getting everything cleared within their own organization.
182 - Files, FLNHS, and Superintendent's Annual Report. It seems doubtful that the 1973 flood was the worst on record. Although hydrographic records of Army days are lacking, there is ample evidence of severe floods during the 1880s that took out several Fort buildings.
183 - Files, FLNHS. Some landscape compromises are warranted. Encouragement of grass on the parade ground, for example, gives a park-like appearance instead of the dusty, trampled condition of historic times, particularly at the height of the Indian wars; but this is a park now for public use and enjoyment, and not an actual military post. The parade ground trees, on the other hand, have little to do with any important Fort Laramie history, and even less to do with public convenience. At Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site there is and will be no tree-planting to provide an artificial adornment. There a strenuous effort has been made, on the contrary, to preserve primitive conditions, including a long hike over a rough stretch of road from the parking area to the reconstructed Fort, with no shade, no benches, and no comfort stations. The idea, vigorously upheld by planners, was that the modern visitor should be forced to have a taste of a harsh frontier experience. It's all one Park Service. Does it have two different philosophies for the operation of its western historical areas?
184 - An attitude that the NPS should not concern itself with what happens to the terrain outside of established NPS boundaries would be disastrous to Fort Laramie's future. It is not an exaggeration to say that at Fort Laramie the setting is as valuable to interpretation as the historic buildings them selves. Consider, for example, the $5,000,000. reconstruction of 1775 Fort Stanwix in the middle of modern Rome, New York. The result is artificial, an expensive curiosity. . . This is not to say that Superintendent Maeder did not exert himself to monitor threats to the Fort Laramie environment, such as the Gray Rocks project eight miles up the Laramie River. This was a grave concern with him. But is the NPS conditioned to make the necessary studies and Congressional recommendations necessary to ensure that the Fort Laramie environment all of it is not impaired by this or other energy or water control or commercial proposals?
185 - Letter of August 14, 1977 Mattes to Lynn Thompson, Regional Director, Rocky Mountain Regional Office, Denver, with attachments, offering comment on "Draft Environmental Analysis, Visitor Center, Administration Building with Associated Developments and Boundary Adjustments, FLNHS" by Planning and Resource Preservation, August, 1977. The writer is an NPS retiree and has no official standing, but the NPS welcomes in-put from the public and he is now part of the general public.
186 - Although the writer has fulfilled his contract obligations with the completion of this History, there are three items of business left over in the Fort Laramie research department to which he hopes to make a personal contribution: (1) to assist the Superintendent and staff in an inventory and re-organization of research facilities and resources; (2) to research and write a history of John Hunton at Fort Laramie, both before and after 1890, if needed source materials can be released from present restrictions; and (3) to research and write a history of Fort William, including an analysis of the location problem as a preliminary to a full-scale archeological search for the site. The possibility that it is in the military parade ground area after all, despite the writer's earlier convictions to the contrary, arises from a recent disclosure to him by Earl D. Warthen of Lingle that he saw underground evidence of an earlier structure of some kind to the immediate rear of Old Bedlam in 1961, which went unreported because the architect, Bob Gann, was afraid the project would be held up if the archeologists had to investigate! A separate report on project No. 1 above will be made directly to the Superintendent. Project No 2 will be on the writer's own initiative. Project No. 3 will be the subject of a separate report made by the writer to the Regional Director and the Superintendent.
Last Updated: 01-Mar-2003