LCC Welcomes You to the 1800s

From Lakota tribesmen to traders and trappers, from Civil War soldiers to ranchers and farmers…visitors to Lamar Community College were offered a unique point of view to life on the Plains this past Friday and Saturday, October 4 and 5. 

The college’s bi-annual Frontier History Encampment provided a page of history in ten-year intervals, spanning important aspects of social, economic and technological development between the early 1800s up to about 1890.  Visitors were free to roam the campus acreage, viewing the living displays and interacting with those who were representing certain aspects of daily life.   

You could speak with a member of the Lakota tribe and his wife, gleaning a glimpse of how their tribes interacted with Sioux, Cheyenne and Ute and the early explorers who were pushing the eastern boundaries of city life along the Atlantic states out to the broad expanses of prairie land to the Rocky Mountain Ranges.  Homesteaders, Calvary officers, gamblers and saloon girls and their dandies were mixed together with trappers, blacksmiths and eventually the farmers and ranchers who followed those who had mapped out safer pathways for them to expand. 

The Encampment especially opens a look into our past history for visiting youngsters, taking the words from a printed history book, and bringing facts and figures into living form.  It’s one thing to read that you can make dye from boiling a root and soaking a homespun shirt in the liquid.  It’s another to have the smoke from the boiling pot sting your eyes as you sit and sit, feeding the fire, stirring the mixture while waiting for the process to be complete.  

Kelly Emick, LCC History Professor, who coordinates the bi-annual event, said the visitors have continued to grow since the first display in 2005.  She added that numerous schools have begun to visit, adding the Encampment to their roster of special trips in the fall.  This year the college and Encampment was visited by members of the State Board of Community Colleges.  They arrived Thursday evening and were treated to a campfire cookout during their visit as well as a viewing of to the Encampment. 

By Russ Baldwin


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