Peter Seibert

Railroads and their impact on western tourism from 1880 to 1940 will be the topic of a presentation on Jan. 27 in Cody, Wyoming.

"Trains, Wars, Merchandising, and the Saga of Tourism in the West" will be presented by Peter Seibert, the executive director and CEO of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Seibert's talk, sponsored by the Pahaska Corral of Westerners International, will be preceded by a no-host dinner in the Governors Room at the Irma Hotel starting at 6 p.m. followed by the presentation around 7 p.m. The meal and the program are open to the public. Due to limited seating, please RSVP by emailing Lynn Houze ljhcody@tctwest.net by Jan. 24.

Seibert's presentation focuses on the evolution of southwestern tourism, the impact of the Indian and Mexican border wars, and the complexities of Yellowstone tourism. Using original postcards, visual texts about what people thought was important and sent home to their friends, the audience will board the Super Chief of the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe Railroad to explore how the Fred Harvey Company created a tourism industry that spawned a style of southwestern home décor and a passion for American Indian arts.

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Seibert will also examine the risks to tourism stemming from the Indian Wars on the Northern Plains and in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez during the Mexican Border War. Finally, the talk will touch upon the complex relationships of railroads and tourism in Yellowstone National Park.

Seibert's research on this topic began when he was leading a study tour of Fred Harvey hotels in the Southwest. Since coming to Wyoming he expanded upon this topic to include tourism in Yellowstone and the Northern Plains.

The Pahaska Corral of Westerners is the local chapter of Westerner International which is dedicated to stimulating interest and research in the history of the American West.