The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill

Material Information

The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill
Series Title:
The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill
Friesen, Steve
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Center for Colorado and the West
Publication Date:

Record Information

Source Institution:
Auraria Library
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/7/2015 3:26:21 PM] Home The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo BillThe Great Plains Guide to Buffalo BillSubmitted by CLEAVITT on 7-22-2014 12:07 AMAuthor: Jeff Barnes Publishing: The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill: Forts, Fights and Other Sites. By Jeff Barnes. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2014. 127 pages. Black-and-white photographs, maps, bibliography, index. 6 x 9. $19.95 paperback. Reviewer: Steve Friesen Every year hundreds of thousands of people travel to Lookout Mountain to visit Buffalo Bills grave. Just like the many people who pilgrimage to George Washingtons grave at Mount Vernon, these folks want to see the grave of William F. Buffalo Bill Cody, Americas first great celebrity. Jeff Barness book, The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill is a guide along the road that led Buffalo Bill to that celebrity. William F. Cody built his career promoting the American West, a place and a period that was vanishing into myth during his lifetime. Yes, he became a showman and helped shape that myth, but what he did was based upon his real-life experiences. Barness book helps us wander through and understand the part of the West that created Buffalo BillAmericas Great Plains. Like so many important American historical figures, William Cody had humble beginnings. Barnes outlines those beginnings and then initiates a journey with Codys life in Iowa, where young Will spent the first eight years of his life. In addition to being a journey across the Plains, the book follows a general chronological order. This makes it a useful biography of Buffalo Bill in addition to guiding the reader to sites associated with him. Barnes provides biographical context for each location, then talks about sites specifically associated with Cody. Where appropriate, he gives information on other related attractions that might add to the experience. Fort Cody, a delightful stop in North Platte, Nebraska, is included in that last category. The Wild West show diorama, with hand-carved figures that come to life every thirty minutes, makes it a North Platte must-see. If time doesnt allow a visit to the rest of North Platte, a few moments at Fort Cody provide a refreshing break from the traffic on Interstate 80. Barnes refers to the Cody Trail throughout the book, although it is more figurative than literal. A pilgrim seeking to find Buffalo Bill sites would consider a map or series of maps of the suggested routes a useful tool. The Great Plains is a big region. Barnes does provide maps of specific areas (e.g., the environs of LeClaire, Iowa, where Cody was born, and town maps of North Platte and Cody) and a couple of general maps of the Cody sites on the Great Plains, but a larger route map would be helpful. The sidebars sprinkled throughout the book, with information on specific sub-themes in Codys life, EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanWhile on the Dominguez-Escalante expedition in 1776, Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco drew the first map of Colorado.


The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/7/2015 3:26:21 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us really add to the readers experience. We learn about some of Codys friends and acquaintances, like George Armstrong Custer and Wild Bill Hickok, fellow scouts Frank North and Jack Crawford, and business partners Nate Salsbury and John Burke. I particularly like the piece on Buffalo Bill and the Medal of Honor (actually two Medals of Honor, since one is at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody and the other at the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave in Golden). The book is well illustrated, with both current and historic photographs, and provides not only context but also helps the traveler better visualize the places that can be seen in following Buffalo Bills walk through life on the Great Plains. The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill serves as both a history and a practical travelers guide by providing information about the various sites hours of operation, locations, and admission fees where relevant. I like guidebooks and use them a lot in planning my own trips. My travels have led me to a variety of places associated with Buffalo Billplaces that have, on occasion, demanded no small amount of research to find. In the future, with Jeff Barness book in hand, I will save a lot of time and plan on encountering a few gems that I would otherwise have overlooked Reviewer Info: Steve Friesen is the director of the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave in Golden, Colorado, a position he has held since 1995. He received his MA in American folk culture in 1975. He is the author of Buffalo Bill: Scout, Showman, Visionary published in 2010 by Fulcrum Books.