To encourage our readers to visit this year’s winners of our Top 10 True Western Towns award announced in Jan/Feb, each issue will showcase the local flavor at one of these towns.
Buffalo Bill Cody and a group of investors from Buffalo, New York, and Sheridan, Wyoming, formed the Shoshone Land and Irrigation Company, establishing the present town site of Cody in 1896. Cody built the Irma Hotel (1192 Sheridan Ave.), his hunting lodge Pahaska (183 Yellowstone Hwy.) and the Wapiti Inn, and also had interests in local businesses. Settlement was helped along by the Burlington Railroad spur to Cody in 1901 and the Buffalo Bill Dam built in 1904. The showman’s mark remains evident pretty much everywhere you go in Cody today.
Who does everyone know in Cody?: Local artist Harry Jackson who has lived there for 70 years.
Who knows Cody’s history best?: Bob Edgar of Old Trail Town and Katie Brown, who has lived there for more than 90 years.
Best Cowboy Bar: Silver Dollar Bar (1313 Sheridan Ave.).
Best Place to Chow Down: Cassie’s Supper Club (214 Yellowstone Ave.).
What historic site do most of the schoolchildren visit?: Buffalo Bill Historical Center (720 Sheridan Ave.), with five museums: Buffalo Bill Museum, Cody Firearms Museum, Plains Indian Museum, Draper Museum of Natural History and the Whitney Gallery of Western Art. (Right, from the Plains Indian Museum Powwow held every June.)
Best Attraction: Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel.
Best Bookstore: Buffalo Bill Historical Center’s gift shop.
Best Western Art Gallery: Big Horn Galleries (1167 Sheridan Ave.).
Local Western Furniture: Santos Furniture (above, 2425 Big Horn Ave.); New West (2811 Big Horn Ave.); Norseman Designs West (3532 Cottonwood Ave.); How Kola (1627 23rd St.); Bill Feeley Art ‘n’ Iron (2450 Mountain View Dr.); Wildewood Furniture Co. (80 Hitching Post Dr.); Marc Taggart & Co. (1735 E. Sheridan Ave.).
What radio station is popular with locals? Big Horn Radio Network (KODI).
What’s the most popular local event?: Cody Stampede Rodeo, held the weekend of the Fourth of July.
What’s the average temperature? Yearly average is 50 degrees. Winter ranges from 20-40 degrees; Summer, 60-80 degrees.
Where’s the best spot to view wildlife? Nearby Yellowstone National Park. At the western edge of Cody, from the north fork of the Shoshone River, you can access the park’s eastern entrance.
Best Local Outfitter: Timber Creek Outfitters (644 S. Fork Rd.), which offers guided hunting and fly-fishing tours throughout Yellowstone Country.
Holiday Fun in Cody: The five museums of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center will have free admission during its Holiday Open House, with food and entertainment, on December 2.
Preservation Call for Help: Wanted: Investors to save Old Trail Town (left, call Russ and Patsy Fraser: 307-527-6276).