Kidder 150th commemorations begin June 2

Lt. Lyman Kidder

Lt. Lyman Kidder and his command lost their lives approximately July 3, 1867. Commemorations of the 150th anniversary begin June 2.

Kidder Massacre 150th anniversary to be commemorated in two events

Lt. Lyman Kidder, 10 enlisted men and a Lakota guide Red Bead left Fort Sedgwick, Colo., June 29, 1867, to take messages to Lt. Col. George Custer. They rode to disaster. The army never saw any of Kidder’s command alive again. They all died in battle approximately July 3, 1867. Custer discovered their corpses July 11, 1867.

Sherman County Historical Society and High Plains Museum are collaborating to commemorate the battle’s sesquicentennial with a symposium June 2, with a presentation and reenactment to be held July 3.

“Kidder’s Ride to Disaster”

Local historians Doug Whitson and Mike Baughn, along with reenactor Dr. Jake Bauer, DVM, will discuss the battle June 2 at 7 p.m. MDT at High Plains Museum, 1717 Cherry, Goodland. Whitson has explored the battle site numerous times and has found many artifacts. Baughn was first elected to the Kansas Historical Foundation board of directors in 1994 and has been involved in numerous other historical organizations. He is interested in western Kansas settlement and the history and culture of the Cheyenne people. Combining his lifelong love of horses and history, Bauer formed a cavalry reenactment group over a decade ago. He and his fellow troopers have appeared in numerous parades, historical functions and memorial services. Bauer and multiple others will be reenacting Kidder’s ride in July.

Join the Sherman County Historical Society and High Plains Museum to commemorate the battle’s sesquicentennial July 3. The commemorative events begin at 2 p.m. MDT at the museum. Whitson will give a presentation on those artifacts. Tea and cookies will be provided after Whitson’s presentation.

At 3:30 p.m., a caravan will leave the museum for the Kidder battle site. Arriving at the site at 4 p.m., Whitson will explain the sequence of events at the massacre site. Be prepared to walk up hills to the various battlefield locations. Bauer and other reenactors will end their ride from Fort Sedgwick to the battle site at some point during the presentation. A question and answer session will follow.

“We’re so pleased to honor the soldiers who lost their lives 150 years ago,” Museum Director Sami Philbrick said. “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to learn more about the battle and see the ride reenacted. We hope many people will learn about local history through the two events.”

More Independence Day weekend events to be held in Sherman County

The Kidder reenactment is only one of several events scheduled for the extended Independence Day weekend. The Great Western Cattle Drive will hold its third annual event July 1. Watch a different kind of drive at Sherman County Speedway later that day. Celebrate Independence Day at Freedom Fest July 4.

“We’re so happy these events are showcasing Sherman County,” Sherman County Convention & Visitors Bureau Donna Price said. “We hope many people will experience these events. They’ll be fun and educational.”

Great Western Cattle Drive

Release your inner cowboy at the Great Western Cattle Drive July 1. The reenactment drive begins at 10 a.m. MDT at Homestead Ranch. The ranch is along the original Wallace Branch of the cattle trail. This location is the site of the Bray Post Office, and the first opportunity cowboys had to send and receive mail after leaving Dodge City. The Bray Post Office was Sherman County’s first post office. Drive five miles east of Goodland’s Exit 19 or Edson’s Exit 27 to Sherman County Road 25. Turn north and drive approximately 12 miles to the cattle drive site. Follow the signs.

Sherman County Speedway

Watch IMCA hobby stocks, stock cars, northern sport modifieds, modifieds, sport compacts and econos race at Sherman County Speedway, 417 N. Main. Races begin at 6:30 p.m.

Freedom Fest

Head to Sherman County Fairgrounds on North Main in Goodland for Freedom Fest. At 6 p.m. MDT, Goodland Kiwanis Club’s concession stand opens and Goodland Rotary Club’s watermelon feed begins. Buy a $10 wristband to ride carnival rides all evening. Country Gold will play beginning at 7 p.m. The grandstand gates open at 8:30 p.m. Watch the best fireworks show between Denver and Kansas City at 9:45.

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