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12th & Sheridan...Again by Mack Frost

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Mack Frost Mack Frost
Explore score
0.11 Gigapixels
Date added
Oct 19, 2010
Date taken
Oct 19, 2010

The intersection of 12th Street and Sheridan Avenue (Main Street) in Cody, Wyoming, USA. I took this 360-degree image on Oct. 10, 2010, as a follow-up to my image from February 23rd, 2010, which was a little dark. I decided to get a better view during the day and while the autumn color was still in the trees. Amazingly, the downtown traffic cooperated nicely as I stood rotating in the middle of the intersection.

The city of Cody was founded by William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody in 1895. He had scouted the region, looking for a place to found a town bearing his name. A few years earlier he had built a large hunting lodge on the North Fork of the Shoshone River, Pahaska Tepee, near the eastern border of Yellowstone National Park. After hunting and exploring in this area, he realized that it was ripe for settlement and tourism.

In 1902, after the fledgling town had more buildings than tents, he did two things: encouraged like-minded town citizens to help him construct a road from Cody to the eastern edge of Yellowstone and on into the Park, and built the famous Irma Hotel as a stopping place for guests heading west on the "Cody Road" to Yellowstone. He also expanded his hunting lodge into a rustic, but comfortable hotel in its own right.

With the new road, it became much easier to travel up to Pahaska Tepee. However, Pahaska was 50-miles west of town, well more than a day's travel by horse and coach in those days, so he built a third hotel, Wapiti Lodge, about half way between the Irma and Pahaska.

More and more people were now coming to Cody to make the trip into Yellowstone, or hire local outfitters, like my grandfather, to take them into the surrounding mountains to vacation and hunt. Buffalo Bill also wanted to see agriculture take root in the area, so he convinced his good friend, President Theodor Roosevelt, to lobby Congress to build a dam and reservoir just west of Cody. With the dam project approved and increasing tourism, the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad (now the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe) built a spur line to Cody. Tourism boomed right along with the town, and when the dam was completed and began operations in early 1910, agriculture now had an assured source of water and several smaller farming communities sprang up down-river from Cody.

In 1911, Cody became the seat of the new Park County, Wyoming, and the town continued to grow. Oil and gas were discovered nearby, timber products were developed, ranching and farming expanded, mining, and always there were the summer tourist and fall hunting seasons.

Buffalo Bill died in 1917, and town residents created the Buffalo Bill Memorial Association, funding a small museum, which has grown over the years to become the Buffalo Bill Center Of The West, with five world-class museums in a sprawling complex of buildings and landscaped grounds (centerofthewest.org Will open in a new tab or window/). It has been referred to as "...the Smithsonian of the West." Cody also hosts the world-famous Cody Nite Rodeo, every night from June 1st through August 31st, and the Cody Stampede each July 1st through the 4th, the largest Fourth of July outdoor rodeo in the nation.

In the above image, the streets run West to East and South to North. The Irma Hotel (www.irmahotel.com Will open in a new tab or window/), standing on the southwest corner of the intersection, is constructed of locally quarried brown sandstone, with accents of local red sandstone. All of the buildings on the other three corners were built using the same brown sandstone, as were several other major buildings in the downtown business district. A more modern brick addition was built on the western end of the Irma in the 1920s to accommodate the expanding tourist business that followed the opening of Yellowstone to cars in 1915.

The building on the corner opposite the Irma Hotel is the Bradbury Building, which now houses a fine-art photography gallery, Open Range Images, where I show my photographs, along with 14 other local photographers. You can visit our Face Book page at: www.facebook.com/pages/Open-Range-Images/429336787108705 Will open in a new tab or window Or, go to our webpage: www.openrangeimages.com Will open in a new tab or window/
While Sheridan Avenue is the "main street" of Cody, 12th Street was very important in the early days of the town. It ran north from the Irma Hotel about three blocks to the hill leading down into the drainage cut by the Shoshone River, across a wood beam bridge and up the other side of the river gorge to the train depot and stock yards. The C.B.&Q. RR built a very fine hotel near the depot called The Burlington Inn. East of the Inn was the depot, then the stockyards and later a sawmill, oil refinery and a plant that manufactures sheet-rock wall board out of gypsum, which is mined nearby.

(18 vertical images, hand-held, with a Canon EOS Rebel T2i and the 18-55mm kit lens, manual exposure of 1/250 second at f/10.0, stitched in Photoshop CS4's Photomerge, and adjusted for contrast. The final TIFF image is .3078-gigapixels.)

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