Sheridan: A Unique Western Town

Sheridan, Wyoming, the perfect halfway point between Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park. On your way from one national treasure to another, you should take a break in this jewel of a town. Sheridan has much to offer those passing through the region. As you arrive you’ll notice Sheridan’s great history and culture along with our proximity to nature. You can easily plan a day or two exploring Sheridan and the surrounding area, and still not see everything. The cultural and historic options of this city at the base of the Bighorn Mountains are numerous.

One of your first stops should be the Museum at the Bighorns. Sheridan’s history is complex and hard to describe. At the museum you’ll learn about some of the diverse people who called this place home. See the history that makes Sheridan western, but unique. We pride ourselves on presenting the stories of Sheridan whether they are from our historic coal communities or our WWII veterans. Museums can be hard with kids, but never fear! There are plenty of interactive displays to keep you and the kids engaged with history. Watch our Facebook page and website for upcoming information about community days, events, walking tours, and cemetery tours. A museum event would be a great addition to your itinerary!

Trail End State Historic Site, rated the top historic house museum in the state, is right here in Sheridan! The Kendrick Mansion, which you can tour, is a Flemish Revival style mansion with large grounds. Trail End was the brain child of John Kendrick. Construction started in 1908, with Glen Charles McAlister of Billings, Montana, serving as lead architect. John and his wife, Eula, were very important in the early history of Sheridan and Wyoming. John went on to be the Governor of Wyoming in 1914 and then a U.S. Senator until his death in 1933. The Sheridan County Historical Society, which runs the Museum at the Bighorns, actually saved the mansion from demolition in 1968. Today, the Wyoming State Parks system runs the site, and thousands of visitors a year are able to enjoy the home.

Undated image of Trail End. Item ID: 2004.75.167 Elsa Spear Byron Collection.

Just down the hill from Trail End is Kendrick Park, built on land formerly owned by John Kendrick. While visiting Kendrick Park, you can enjoy Kendrick Park Ice Cream for a tasty summer treat. The City of Sheridan maintains a small bison and elk herd in a fenced in portion of the park, which is a must see for out-of-towners. On a hot summer day the Kendrick Pool is perfect for a relaxed afternoon. Kids especially enjoy the water slide! The park also has basketball courts, walking paths, and picnic pavilions for people to enjoy. The kids can also play to their heart’s content on the large playground while their parents enjoy the shade of the cottonwood trees. Since the park is just down the hill from Trail End, why not make it an afternoon by visiting both?

You don’t want to miss Sheridan’s Main Street! The downtown historical district is on the National Register of Historic Places. Our buildings date from the turn of the 20th century and are full of thriving businesses. You’ll find restaurants like Frackleton’s and the Cowboy Café, and coffee shops like Bison Union Coffee Company and Java Moon. There are many businesses on Main Street you won’t see anywhere else.  If your time is short, there are some Sheridan icons you don’t want to miss. Grab a drink at Sheridan’s oldest bar, The Mint, which opened in 1907. See a show or play at the WYO Theater, which has been in operation for over eighty years.  Stop by King’s Saddlery and King Ropes for a truly western experience. Their ropes are professional grade and some of the best in the world! While visiting the store, don’t miss out on the collection of saddles and western memorabilia on display in the back building.

Sheridan Main Street 1916. Item ID: 2003.58.019 Glen Sweem Collection.

Throughout downtown Sheridan you’ll also find over a dozen bronze statues made by various artists. These works are supported by the Sheridan Public Arts Committee, and are rotated periodically. Each time you visit Sheridan there will be something new to see. You can spend a good portion of an afternoon walking from statue to statue choosing your favorite. Mine is the rhino statue named “The Boss”. There are also several art galleries along and near Main Street; the art scene in Sheridan is alive and well. You’ll see pottery, painting, sculpture, and mixed media works in the local galleries. You can admire art from regional artists and take home a piece of Sheridan made art.

Need somewhere for the kids to burn off some extra energy? Need to take a short break from your exploring? Whitney Commons Park has great playgrounds and picnic tables, located just a couple blocks off Main Street near the library. The grounds are impeccably kept, and full of colorful flowers. The park has a fun splash fountain, and houses the historic Mandel Cabin. The cabin belonged to one of Sheridan’s founding fathers, John D. Loucks, and is maintained by the local chapter of the Colonial Dames. The cabin served as school house, post office, store, and residence among other functions during its long life. The Colonial Dames worked hard to make the cabin historically accurate, and interpret it for the public. The cabin is located in the Dorothy King Reflective Garden portion of the park.

For other adventures Sheridan is great to use as your central hub to explore the surrounding region. Consider taking a couple daytrips to explore the major battles of the Indian Wars that took place within 100 miles of Sheridan. You can visit five of the sites today! The Connor Battlefield Historic Site is only 18 miles north in Ranchester, the Wagon Box Fight took place 19 miles away in Story, and just a few more miles down the road is the Fetterman Fight battlefield and Fort Phil Kearny. Just over the border in Montana, is Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and Rosebud State Park where you can see the land where two major battles were fought between the U.S. Army and the Native American forces. While you are out exploring the neighboring communities, stop by the Brinton Museum in Big Horn to see more Native American items, explore their beautiful grounds, and admire their art collection.

Sheridan has something for everyone in your family! When planning your trip, add Sheridan to your itinerary. You won’t regret it! Regardless of how much time you have, we hope you visit us to discuss the voices of Sheridan and our place in the West!

learn more about the SHERIDAN areA

Shop our collection of books in the Museum Gift Shop

Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life

$ 26.95 

The Wyoming Blizzard of 1949: Surviving the Storm

$ 23.99 

World War II POW Camps of Wyoming

$ 21.99 

Nicholas Black Elk: Medicine Man, Missionary, Mystic

$ 21.95