Traveling Back and Forward in Time

View of Mirror lake near Centennial, WY

View of Mirror lake near Centennial, WY

Have you ever visited a new landscape and been transported back in time?

Over this past weekend, I traveled to the state of Wyoming for the first time, specifically visiting the old American railroad town of Laramie, home of the University of Wyoming.

While touring the Laramie Plains Museum at the Historic Ivinson Mansion in downtown Laramie, I had the opportunity to step inside an old-school American schoolhouse (the schoolhouse previously resided on land in the Wyoming countryside but has since been relocated to the museum location downtown):

inside view of prairie schoolhouse at Ivinson Mansion, Laramie, WY

inside view of prairie schoolhouse at Ivinson Mansion, Laramie, WY

Stepping into the log-cabin-style schoolhouse was like stepping back in time.  My mind immediately drifted back to my childhood and back to an old friend, Laura.

Laura, who?  Laura Ingalls Wilder, of course.  I remembered reading her Little House series of books that described what life was life for many American pioneers.  I also remember the hours I spent watching the Little House TV series, adapted from the book series and based on Laura’s life.

Laura was from Wisconsin rather than Wyoming, but the schoolhouses that she described in her books matched the one that I stepped in at the Invinson Mansion perfectly.  And, in a fast-paced world, it was nice to take a step back to remember a different time in America.

My Ivinson Mansion visit also made me newly aware of another pioneering woman from the past, Nellie Tayloe Ross:

framed photo of Nellie Tayloe Ross at Ivinson Mansion, Laramie, WY

framed photo of Nellie Tayloe Ross at Ivinson Mansion, Laramie, WY

Nellie was Wyoming’s Governor and the first woman Governor in the United States.  I should have guessed that the “Equality State” of Wyoming could tout a first for women.

My experience in Laramie was a reminder that travel can lead to new discoveries and rediscoveries.  When was the last time you traveled?  What new things did you learn?  What things did you remember?

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