And just when we think we have a list of our favorite places across the country, we have another to add to the list! Sheridan sits at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains and offers the Western experience we all want to see. It is a lively town with a bustling downtown shop and restaurant area, but the town limits quickly empty to ranch and farm land with the Big Horns looming in the distance. In addition to visiting the Big Horn Medicine Wheel, we toured two attractions in the town.
Kings Rope & Saddlery This is a must see stop in Sheridan. King’s is a Western tack store. It carries all sorts of rope, saddles and just about any other related item. Perusing their offerings at their downtown store is fun, but it is their museum in the back building that makes this attraction a must. The museum houses a huge collection of Western and cowboy memorabilia. Spend some time viewing the hundreds of saddles, the historical photos, the Indian artifacts and so much more…
Trail End State Historic Site The main feature of this site is a beautiful Flemish Revival Mansion that boasts most of its furnishings as original, unusual in historic homes. But the true remarkable feature of the mansion is the story of its owner, John B. Kendrick. Kendrick was born in Texas in 1857 and orphaned at an early age. At the age of fifteen, he went out on his own to make his way in the barely post-Civil War America. He joined a cattle drive as a trail rider and went to Wyoming for the first time. He went on to marry in Colorado and eventually own the Kendrick Cattle Company, a collection of cattle ranches spanning 210,000 acres in southern Montana and northern Wyoming. Make is way he surely did. In 1908, he started construction on the Trail End Mansion in Sheridan, and it was completed in 1913. In a twist of life’s path that so often thwarts the best made plans, he was elected Governor of Wyoming in 1914 and moved his family to Cheyenne for the position. Two short years later, he became a U.S. Senator and spent considerable time in Washington, D.C. Trail End home became a summer home for the family until Senator Kendrick’s death in 1933. After his death, Trail End became the home for his wife and their son and the son’s family. They also had a daughter, but she married a military man and spent most of her time away from Wyoming. Senator Kendrick’s wife died in 1961 and several years later, the Sheridan County Historical Society purchased the home, which is now a museum open to the public.
While visitors will enjoy simply viewing the home and exploring its attic ballroom, the historical society has done an excellent job of exhibiting information about this western family. Visitors will learn about cattle ranching in Wyoming and Montana, the lives of politicians and more.
That wraps up our quick visit in Wyoming. Its wide expanses, terrific mountains and friendly Western culture make it a great state for RVing. So do me a favor, do yourself a favor, do the world a favor, and if you are an RVer, make a stop in Sheridan and stay at Peter D’s.
Fun Facts & Tips
- Our campground was Peter D’s Wyoming RV Park – he was the most welcoming and interesting campground owner we have met in our over 1 year on the road. We paid $34 a night.
- It would be great to plan a trip to Sheridan during their big summer Rodeo.
- King’s museum is free (if you can escape without being tempted to purchase something).
- Trail End had a small fee, $4 a piece.