Casper's  National Historic Trails Interpretive Center (NHTIC) is presenting a program titled, “A Wyoming Tragedy: The Journey of the Willie Handcart Company.”  The presenter is Cheyenne author Gary Long.

The program, free and open to the public, will take place June 18, at 1 p.m.

In August 1856, over 400 Mormon emigrants left Winter Quarters (present-day

Florence) in Nebraska, eager to reach Salt Lake City.  In spite of warnings of dangerous winter storms, the poorly equipped group of men, women, and children began their journey through Wyoming.  Many of the emigrants never made it to Utah.

During the presentation, Long will use maps, photographs, and illustrations to show the day-to-day progress of the Willie Handcart Company in Wyoming.

Details are provided regarding campsites, campgrounds, and burial sites.

Long is author of the book, The Journey of the James G. Willie Handcart Company.  Long has spent 10 years researching and evaluating the journals and diaries of the Willie Handcart Company.

According to Long, his research has resulted in a much more accurate picture of the Willie Handcart Company as the emigrants made their way across Wyoming.  “This is truly a fascinating story in Wyoming history,”

Long said.

The NHTIC is a public-private partnership between the BLM and the National Historic Trails Center Foundation. The Trails Center and the Foundation provide educational programs and services with the goal of enriching the cultural and intellectual lives of visitors and local residents.

The NHTIC is a part of the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). The areas of the NLCS are specifically designed to conserve, protect and restore the exceptional scientific, natural, cultural, ecological, historical, and recreation values of these treasured landscapes.

The Trails Center is located at 1501 N. Poplar Street, Casper, Wyo. The Center is currently operating on summer hours, and is open daily, 8:00 a.m.

to 5:00 p.m.