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Casper, Wyoming, Feb. 26, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While it may seem like a destination full of cowboys, wide-open spaces and national parks, there’s more to Wyoming than meets the eye. Meet the city of Casper and its women. Modern-day trailblazers, the women who call Casper home are movers and shakers, business owners, moms and musicians. They’re also part of the group of women who carry on the legacy of those who came before them and continue the work of upholding the invisible-yet-vital mantle of the Equality State.
In 1869, the Wyoming Territorial Legislature granted women the right to vote and became the first known territory in the free world to do so. In 2019, Wyoming is celebrating 150 years of women’s suffrage—a full 51 years ahead of the 19th amendment.
"This is a monumental year for women everywhere,” said Brook Kaufman, CEO of Visit Casper. “It’s amazing to think that 150 years ago, this wild place knew how important it was for women to be treated as equals in the state we call home.”
Much of the women’s suffrage movement in Wyoming took place in Laramie and Cheyenne, but today Wyoming’s second-largest city of Casper stands out as a place where women have found their distinct voices. It’s also home to some of the area’s most incredible history.
Located about four hours north of Denver on Interstate 25, Casper sits at a historic crossroads of the Oregon, California, Mormon and Pony Express trails and is home to incredible pioneer history. Sitting at the epicenter of it all is the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center. Overlooking the city, visitors to the center can immerse themselves in interactive exhibits and learn more about the hundreds of thousands of pioneers that passed through this part of Wyoming.
One of the best ways to experience Casper, especially from a modern-day female’s point of view—is to get outside.
The North Platte River, one of the country’s premier blue-ribbon trout streams, runs through the heart of the city and provides anglers with access to some of the best fishing in the West, with popular locations that include Grey Reef and the Miracle Mile.
And while the fly-fishing industry tends to be male-dominated, women in Casper are making their mark on the fishing world, including Addie Dees, the manager for Ugly Bug Fly Shop and a fly-fishing guide for Crazy Rainbow Fly Fishing. Addie regularly guides guests on the North Platte River and is also a skilled teacher at the shop’s fly-tying classes.
Plus, to celebrate this year’s 150th anniversary, the North Platte Lodge is hosting a women’s event August 22 – August 25 that includes yoga, guided fly-fishing, nutritionist-inspired dinners and a cocktail clinic. The women’s event is open to all experience levels of fly-fishing and will provide beginner and novice anglers with a chance to connect with their peers on the waters of the North Platte River.
Women’s influence can also be found in some of the cultural offerings around the city, including at the Nicolaysen Art Museum and Backwards Distilling Company.
Ran by an all-female executive team, the NIC (as it’s commonly called by the locals) is celebrating the 2019 suffrage anniversary with four female-curated shows from Wyoming women throughout the year, with shows running from March until October. Plus, in 2020, the museum’s galleries will solely feature artwork from women.
Meanwhile, Casper’s only distillery—Backwards—is led by Amber Pollock (who co-owns the distillery with her brother and parents). While Pollock calls Casper home, she’s known and loved throughout the state for her commitment to creating custom cocktail menus from Casper-distilled spirits (made by Chad Pollock, her brother) and her drive to make something beautiful—including a circus-themed tasting room—among Wyoming’s rugged landscapes. The distillery celebrated their fourth anniversary in late 2018 and released their first-ever whiskey in January 2019. Pollock also credits Casper for the approach she and her family take in their work.
“This community influenced me,” said Pollock. “We’re all working for a common goal of making Casper a great place to be."
Pollock’s commitment to the community is one that’s shared by other female movers and shakers—including Kim DeVore (the Senior Vice President, CFO and Founding Director at Jonah Bank of Wyoming), Brooke Latka (a Casper native and fiddle player for Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band) and Diane McGinley (the Director of Operations at McGinley Orthopedic Innovations).
For many in Casper, it’s not surprising that the territorial legislature granted women the right to vote 150 years ago.“We’re empowered as a state,” said DeVore. “We rarely wait for others to do something first. 150 years ago, the people here acted like we do. They forged trails, they took chances. This is a legacy we should be incredibly proud of.”
More information on the women’s suffrage anniversary, and how to explore Casper and beyond, can be found at VisitCasper.com, while detailed itineraries can be accessed here and here.
About Visit Casper: Visit Casper is the official destination management organization for Natrona County and is dedicated to enhancing the county’s economic base through tourism. Casper is known for world-class fly-fishing on the North Platte River; is the annual host for the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR); and has been named one of the top mountain towns in the country by Men’s Journal. More information can be found at www.VisitCasper.com.
Editor’s Note: For more Casper story ideas or images, contact us at Media@VisitCasper.com.
Tia Troy Visit Casper 406-529-8314 firstname.lastname@example.org