A Glimpse into the Past

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The Merchant Family
The Merchant Family

Folks stopping at the Burgess Junction Visitor Center on top of the Big Horns were in for a treat this past Saturday. Pioneer reenactors Kim Merchant and his two daughters, Ana, and Rachel were there, giving visitors a taste of pioneer camping during the late 1800”s.

The Merchant's live near Casper on the Oregon Trail. Kim is a retired school teacher and has been around horses all his life. He explains his passion.

Merchant detailed what life on the trail was like for pioneers making the cross country trek westward. It wasn't easy and for the most part, traveling fifteen miles a day, could be quite tedious.

Making camp at night was a treat for those pioneers that had fiddle players in their wagon train.

Dressed in period clothing, Ana and Rachel are Wyoming State Fiddle Champions and thrilled visitors with some old time fiddle music. Thirteen year-old Ana enjoys the summertime reenactment lifestyle.

Kim believes the emigrant wagon trains are an important part of our history that we tend to gloss over.

In addition to the violins, the girls play the banjo, guitar, viola, mandolin and piano.

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