First in the Nation
Interested residents of Wyoming have long been marking, preserving, and protecting its important historic sites. Groups such as the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Wyoming Oregon Trail Commission, inspired by Ezra Meeker, worked as early as 1908 to mark sites of historical importance.
In 1927, inspired by the work of its residents, the State of Wyoming created the Historical Landmark Commission, the first state historical markers program in the nation.
The Commission wrote in 1929, "Few states possess as many outstanding historic sites identified with the upbuilding and bringing of civilization into the West as does Wyoming. Our wealth in this respect should be regarded as a sacred heritage and a priceless asset."
The Texas Trail Monument
Multiple routes used to drive Texas Longhorns north became known collectively as the Texas Trail. One entered Wyoming near Cheyenne, headed north past Fort Laramie, Newcastle, Upton, into Moorcroft and then west to Powder River.
Dedicated in 1940, the frieze on this monument was originally unpainted. The State of Wyoming hoped to preserve the frieze by painting it in the 1970s. The frieze proved unable to withstand time and the harsh Wyoming weather and will be allowed to deteriorate naturally.
The monument continues to be cared for by Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources.
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"A wise nation preserves its records, gathers up its monuments, decorates the tombs of its illustrious dead, repairs its great structures and fosters national pride and lore of country by perpetual reference to the sacrifice and glories of the past." Joseph Howe, from Canadian National Park's Historic Sites Publications, Quoted in the First Biennial Report of the Historical Landmark Commission of Wyoming (1929)