WYOMING TERRITORIAL PRISON TO OPEN NEW PERMANENT EXHIBIT “SCIENCE ON THE RANGE” REGARDING STOCK FARM.
Free Public Event on April 28 to Include Exhibit Dedication and Ribbon Cutting, Draft Horses, Wagon Rides and Hands on Research Activities
Laramie, WY- The Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site will be opening a new permanent exhibit highlighting the history of the University of Wyoming Experiment Station Stock Farm. The exhibit, entitled “Science on the Range” will open at the Territorial Prison on Saturday, April 28 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and is free to the public.
Site Superintendent, Ms. Deborah Amend says, “We invite the public to come to this educational and fun event on April 28. In addition to the exhibit’s opening, ribbon cutting and dedication, we will have wagon rides for children, hands on research activities and Percheron and Belgian draft horses on site.”
The University of Wyoming College of Agriculture occupied the former Wyoming Territorial Prison grounds from 1903 to 1989 as the Experiment Station Stock Farm. Researchers at the Stock farm made important inroads in livestock breeding, crop research and wool manufacturing. When a large number of sheep and cattle died in 1912 from a rash of poisoning incidents from plants such as death camas and woody aster, Stock Farm staff quickly responded by disseminating information to Wyoming ranchers and farmers about ways to avoid future incidents.
Site Curator Mrs. Misty Stoll states, “Changing farming and ranching techniques in Wyoming and around the world, the Stock Farm was an integral part of the Cowboy State’s history and heritage. The saga of the Stock Farm has been told nowhere else before. This exhibit’s grand opening at the Wyoming Territorial Prison should be educational and fun for all who come to it.”
Installed in the 100-year-old Horse Barn, visitors will learn about the importance of agricultural experiments in the context of the state, the country, and the world. Crops and animals were the focus of research for professors and students and their findings were published and distributed for agriculturalists who sought efficiency and improved product. In addition to research on parasites and food, the Station kept exemplary breeding stock in hogs, horses, sheep, and cattle.
The exhibit features a strong focus on the Percheron horses that were bred and kept on site. Visitors can compare their size to full-size Percheron silhouette and experience the sights and smells of a horse barn and working agricultural station at the sound and smell stations. The more adventurous can feel what it’s like to take a rumen sample from the “interactive cow” and learn about exactly how the fatal Death Camas affects test animals: “vomiting, claws mouth, spasmodic twitching,retching, jumping, gagging, squealing…”
Finally, visitors can tour the “Homestead Exhibit” and see an example of the kind of place that benefited from Experiment Station Research. A historic cabin, school house, and barn would have been the setting of implemented methods that were developed at the Station, and which ultimately made agricultural business more successful, and life on the ranch a little easier.