Free lecture by award-winning author Laura J. Arata, who discusses her book Race and the Wild West: Sarah Bickford, the Montana Vigilantes, and the Tourism of Decline, 1870–1930 at noon on June 10 in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West's Coe Auditorium. She signs copies of her work in the Center’s Points West Market immediately after the free presentation.
The book is the first full-length biography of Sarah Blair Bickford (1852–1931), whose life story offers a window into the dynamics of race in the rural West.
Born a slave in eastern Tennessee, Sarah Bickford made her way while still a teenager to Montana Territory, where she settled in the mining boomtown of Virginia City. She established herself as a successful business owner, and eventually inherited her husband's shares of the Virginia City Water Company, acquiring sole ownership in 1917.
For the final decade of her life, Bickford actively preserved and promoted a historic Virginia City building best known as the site of the brutal lynching of five men in 1864. Her conspicuous role in developing an early form of heritage tourism challenges long-standing narratives that place white men at the center of the “Wild West” myth and its promotion.
Date and Time
Friday Jun 10, 2022 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM MDT
Friday, June 10, 2022
Noon – 1 p.m.
Buffalo Bill Center of the West
720 Sheridan Avenue
Cody, WY 82414