Ask An Archivist


Wyoming State Archives Speaker Series Features the Bozeman Trail and Fort Phil Kearny


Wyoming State Archives Speaker Series Features the Bozeman Trail and Fort Phil Kearny

The Wyoming State Archives hosts a collaborative Wyoming State Parks speaker series event, "The Bozeman Trail and Fort Phil Kearny: Past, Current, and Future Journeys," with a presentation and Q&A session led by Historian Dave McKee and Trey Wolfblack on Thursday, July 13, at 7 p.m. in the Wyoming State Museum classroom, located at 2301 Central Avenue in Cheyenne.

This will be a live, in-person event with an option for participating virtually. For those not able to attend in-person, registration to attend the event online is through Eventbrite at This free public event is part of the Archives’ monthly second Thursdays evening speaker series.

Dave McKee will present a program on the Bozeman Trail and highlight events sponsored by the Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association (FPK/BTA) and Wyoming

State Parks to promote and preserve this unique chapter in Western history. A special project

initiated this year is the American Indian College Student Interpretive Ranger Program,

undertaken by the FPK/BTA in partnership with Wyoming State Parks and the Bighorn National

Forest, with funding support from the Forest Service and Wyoming Council for the Humanities.

One of the students selected from this program, Trey Wolfblack, will share Cheyenne's stories as

part of the program.

The Bozeman Trail was established in 1863 as a 535-mile “shortcut” from the Oregon Trail onthe North Platte River to the gold fields near Virginia City, Montana Territory. In 1866 the U.S.military established three forts along the Trail including Fort Phil Kearny to protect travelers from Indian resistance to the incursion to their lands. The conflict escalated, resulting in what is commonly called “Red Cloud’s War” with numerous skirmishes and three major battles

including the Fetterman battle in 1866 and the Wagon Box battle in 1867.  Today, the Fort

Phil Kearny complex which includes the associated battlefields is a Wyoming State Historic Site

and National Historic Landmark managed by Wyoming State Parks with support from the FPK/BTA.

McKee is president of the FPK/BTA. He completed a 34-year career with the U.S. Forest Service as an archaeologist, tribal liaison, and recreation program manager, working on the Medicine Bow, Black Hills, and Bighorn National Forests. He received a master’s degree in anthropology with an emphasis in plains archaeology from the University of Wyoming. Dave and Susan McKee live in Sheridan, Wyoming.

Trey Wolfblack is a member of the Northern Cheyenne nation, and a student at Chief Dull Knife College. Trey and his family live in Busby, Montana.

The WSA Speaker Series hosts talks at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. The Wyoming State Parks Presents series will occur every other month and feature speakers from a different historic site. The alternating months will be our traditional historical topics. Upcoming topics include a special event with Evan Green presenting on Charles Allen Bristol: bicycle racer, soldier, businessman, and war casualty on July 20th and Dave Marcum will talk about Amelia Earhart in Wyoming on August 10th. To view the full schedule of upcoming events, check out the Wyoming State Archives events calendar at A recording of this talk will be available on the WSA YouTube channel the week following the talk.

The Wyoming State Archives is part of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. The State Archives collects, manages, and preserves Wyoming state public records that have long-term administrative, legal, and historical value. These records document the history of our state and the activities of Wyoming Government offices. The Archives also collects non-government records that contribute to the understanding of the state’s history.

For more information, contact Sara Davis, Wyoming State Archivist, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the WSA at 307-777-7826.

The Wyoming State Archives is accessible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. If you require special assistance, please contact the Wyoming State Archives at 307-777-7826.