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  • Writer's pictureBrian Childress

Buffalo Bill Center of the West - Cody, Wyoming

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

(Post and photos by Rob Gilchrist and Brian Childress)

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West, formerly known as the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, is a complex of five museums and a research library featuring art and artifacts of the American West located in Cody, Wyoming. The five museums include the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Plains Indians Museum, the Whitney Western Art Museum, the Draper Natural History Museum, and the Cody Firearms Museum. Founded in 1917 to preserve the legacy and vision of Col. William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is the oldest and most comprehensive museum complex of the West. It has been described by The New York Times as "among the nation's most remarkable museums."

William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody (February 26, 1846 – January 10, 1917) was an American soldier, bison hunter, and showman. He was born in Le Claire, Iowa Territory (now the U.S. state of Iowa), but he lived for several years in his father's hometown in modern-day Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, before the family returned to the Midwest and settled in the Kansas Territory.

One of the most famous and well-known figures of the American Old West, Buffalo Bill's legend began to spread when he was only 23. Shortly thereafter he started performing in shows that displayed cowboy themes and episodes from the frontier and Indian Wars. He founded Buffalo Bill's Wild West in 1883, taking his large company on tours in the United States and, beginning in 1887, in Great Britain and continental Europe.

The museum includes exhibits of Annie Oakley (born Phoebe Ann Mosey; August 13, 1860 – November 3, 1926). Oakley was an American sharpshooter who starred in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show.

Coversations/Things we learned:

First it must be said this museum rivals the quality of museums operated by the Smithsonian. The exhibits are amazing and most are authentic.

As stated above, this museum is actually five separate facilities in one large building. The facility takes you back to the beginning of the exploration of the western United State, the nature in the west, the history of plains Indians, how the west was won by the white man, and the aftermath to include the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show.

Please give yourself an entire day to soak in the history and to take you back in time to the vintage frontier.

Contact Information:

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

720 Sheridan Avenue

Cody, Wyoming 82414

Phone: (307) 587-4771


Plains Indian Museum:

Buffalo Bill Museum:

Old Telegraph