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Wyoming and the West
- WyoFile.com: Wyoming politics, policy, economics and culture from some local writers who know their stuff inside out. New colums every week.
- www.longcamp.com: 160 web pages at last count devoted entirely to John C. Fremont, poster boy of Manifest Destiny. Fremont came through Wyoming in 1842 on his first trip to the West, when he climbed Fremont Peak and capsized his rubber boat in Fremont Canyon. He came through again the following year, the first time he saw Oregon and California.
- Common-place: an online magazine of American History. Colonial times are the prime focus, but the West sneaks in from time to time. Stuff is lively and scholarly.
- New West: another online mag. Scrappy and various. Includes columns by Dan Whipple, coyote lover, mystery novelist, and one-time coal journalist. Don't miss them.
- Wyoming Tales and Trails: tons of information, some of it from uncertain sources, and tons of historical photos. Watch out for the guit-tar muzak, though.
- Wyoming Memory Portal: The University of Wyoming Library, the Wyoming State Library, and UW's American Heritage Center have teamed up on this site that offers lots of good content on Wyoming history and culture.
Wyoming-Pittsburgh dinosaur connections
- The Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh is about to open a brand-new dinosaur hall, with remounts of all its Jurassic wonders in a new, two-story skylighted atrium. Wyoming and Pittsburgh paleontologists working for the museum found a Diplodocus on Sheep Creek, north of Medicine Bow, Wyoming, in 1899. The specimen was the start of the museum's world-class dinosaur collection. Dubbed Diplodocus carnegii, it went on to world fame when Andrew Carnegie and later Margaret Carnegie gave full-sized plaster casts to emperors, kings and presidents in London, Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Vienna, Bologna, Madrid, La Plata, and Mexico City.
- Back then people weren't sure if dinosaurs walked like crocodiles or like, well, dinosaurs. The Dipolodcus carnegii mount settled the matter, at least in the minds of the Pittsburghers. Check out some fireworks on the question between Oliver P. Hay of the National Museum of Natural History and William J. Holland of the Carnegie Museum.
- The Apatosaurus at the University of Wyoming Geological Museum was excavated in 1901 near Sheep Creek by Charles Gilmore, originally from Laramie, Wyo., when he was working for the Carnegie Museum in 1901. Gilmore soon moved to the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., where he rose to curator of vertebrate paleontology. The Apatosaurus bones, meanwhile, spent 55 years on a shelf at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh before returning to Laramie in 1956, thanks to longtime UW Professor Sam Knight.
- Most likely, Gilmore's Apatosaurus would eventually have been mounted in the Carnegie Museum. But another Carnegie fossil collector, Earl Douglass, found a better one near Jensen, Utah, at a quarry that between 1909 and 1924 produced nearly all the rest of the Carnegie Museum's extraordinary Jurassic collection. The quarry was declared a national monument by President Woodrow Wilson in 1915. Today, Dinosaur National Monument covers more than 200,000 acres in Utah and Colorado.
- Things came full circle in 2006, when Wyoming rancher Allen Cook gave the University of Pittsburgh 4,700 acres of fossil-rich shortgrass prairie north of Rock River, Wyoming, only about 25 miles from where Diplodocus carnegii was quarried in 1899. Now known as the Spring Creek Preserve, the land is the site of summer field courses for students from Pitt's Honors College--with help from Carnegie Museum paleontologists and local and Pittsburgh naturalists.