History of Cody

A Brief History of Cody


Top photo - The Burlington railroad yard at the end of the line in Cody, about 1955.

Cody Wyoming was founded in 1895 by the world famous William "Buffalo Bill" Cody and a few friends. It's always had quite a bit of "western" flavor, and bills itself as "The Gateway to Yellowstone National Park." In 1902, the Burlington constructed it's spur line into Cody.

This is a picture of Cody in the late 30s / early 40s. From this vantage point on Sheridan Avenue (the main street in town), we're looking east. To the far right is Buffalo Bill's Irma Hotel, named after his daughter. It's still in operation today. The rail terminal for the Burlington is a couple miles north across the Shoshone River, out of view to the left here.

This is the Burlington Inn in Cody. It was built by the CB&Q when their line to Cody was finished, in order to attract passenger traffic to the town. The Q provided a bus service from here to Yellowstone Park, about 50 miles west of Cody. In the early 1900s that would have been quite an adventure! Some parts of that old road still exist, and it must have been thrilling just to journey TO the park, let alone what wonders awaited WITHIN the park!

This is the Shoshone River near Cody. The rather substantial looking bridge is the road connection from Cody, on the plateau to the left, to the railroad terminus and refinery on the plateau to the right. I'm not sure if this is still considered part of the Shoshone River Canyon or not.  The main part of the canyon is in between Cedar Mountain, which I believe is the mountain on the left, and Rattlesnake Peak on the right (I may have those reversed). This photo is out of the 20s or 30s. This bridge is no longer in existence (although the pier in the river was still there a couple of years ago) -- it has been replaced by one of those non-descript, oh-so-boring concrete girder bridges so common on Interstate overpasses.

A view of the Shoshone River bridge from the town side of the river. This photo was taken in 1907.Out of the picture to the right is where the Burlington Depot was built.

This is the Buffalo Bill Dam on the Shoshone River. The dam is at the far end of the gap between Cedar Mountain and Rattlesnake Peak in the above photo. The photographer here is on Cedar, looking west, or away from us in the above picture. This photo was taken about 1925. At that time the road from Cody to Yellowstone was much more exciting than it is today - it wound deep through the canyon, crossing over the river from one side to the other several times, finally settling to the north side of the river after crossing the dam itself. Today visitors can walk the dam, but the road to Yellowstone goes past the dam to the right, approaching the dam on the north side through a 9/10 mile long tunnel through the mountain. The old road is still in place, and is used mainly for maintenance and dam personnel. There is no public access along that road anymore.