Wyoming Arts Council

Rocky Mountain Land Library praises a classic book — "Sheepwagon: Home on the Range"

The Rocky Mountain Land Library blog waxed eloquently about two Wyomingites in an 11/28 post: 

In 2001, a wonderful Wyoming publisher, High Plains Press, published one of the Land Library’s favorite books, Sheepwagon: Home on the Range. Author Nancy Weidel offered one crisp, concise reason for our admiration: “The sheepwagon is a marvel of practicality and efficiency.”

But there’s more reasons to love this book, with its stories, photographs, and sensitive appreciation for hard lives lived in a starkly beautiful land. This book makes clear that the sheepwagon provided both a bit of warmth, and a touch of home. Weidel: “Designed to provide shelter and heat, mobility, and storage, the sheepwagon was the ideal home for the herder….It could easily be moved by two horses, a most important feature.”

Yes, as you can see, every inch counted, but space also needed to be found for the unexpected. Some sheepwagons had side boxes that “came in handy during lambing, when a weak newborn might be placed there overnight to be revived by the heat of the wagon stove.”

Nancy Weidel is wyomingarts’ colleague within the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. She is senior historic preservation specialist at SHPO. Nancy Curtis runs High Plains Press out of her ranch near Glendo. Nancy is a long-time supporter of the state’s writers and the statewide writers organization, Wyoming Writers, Inc.

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