Gold Rush begins Saturday

Jul 11, 2013 By Andrea Novotny, Staff Writer

The South Pass City State Historic Site will host the annual Gold Rush Days celebration from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 125 South Pass Ave. The event celebrates western life during the gold rush era, inviting participants to learn about the rich history of South Pass City through games, demonstrations and re-enactments.

Attendees will have the opportunity to see gold panning demonstrations then spin for their own gold at the Price Street Bridge.

The vintage baseball tournament, played with turn-of-the-century uniforms, begins at 9 a.m. on July 14, and will continue into the afternoon. Teams from Riverton, Hudson, South Pass City and Lander --last year's champions --will compete.

Baseball was a large part of the lives of miners and other citizens of historic South Pass City, who often wrote about the sport in their diaries, says Ben Pearson of the South Pass City State Historic Site.

The event also includes a wide range of demonstrations and reenactments showcasing different aspects of turn-of-the-century life in South Pass City, highlighting the stamp mill and local mining operations.

Historic site staff will demonstrate mining methods from 1869 through the 1950s, using both hand tools and pneumatic air power tools.

John Lane will demonstrate the anvil blasting technique, also known as anvil shooting or anvil firing, in which an anvil is shot into the air using gunpowder.

Members of the National Pony Express Association, most of them from Wyoming, will demonstrate horse and rider changes.

Participants can see printer Mike Parker set type on an authentic printing press.

Blacksmith David Osmundfen from Buffalo will give blacksmithing demonstrations from which participants can walk away with a square nail, ready for a horseshoe.

There also will be horse drawn carriages, wagons, military wagons and horses.

Refreshments will include cookies baked in the old wood stoves ovens in the Sherlock home, and bake sale items from the Friends of South Pass will be sold to raise money for site restoration maintenance.

For the third consecutive year, the Atlantic City Strum Lords will perform live music in the local saloons during the event. For more information call 332-3684 or visit

Print Story
Read The Lander Journal...