The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center hosted its annual "Holidays on the Homestead" for the first time since the pandemic.

Lezlie Oliver is a director with the trail center, she said she's been there a little less than a full year. She hails from Arizona and Florida and is so far loving it in Casper. "It's been really fun and I've enjoyed meeting new people," said Oliver.

“This year marks the Trails Center’s 20th anniversary."

Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
Lezlie Oliver, Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
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One of the first people visitors met was Boston Krucheck, a volunteer and greeter with the trail center. He said he's been helping out since last January after the Trails Center did a presentation at his school.

K2Radio News asked him what he loves about history.

"How you can learn from it, and how it affects the future," said Krucheck.

Boston Krucheck, Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
Boston Krucheck, Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
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There were several volunteers dressed in pioneer regalia, many of whom are a part of Casper's historic club.

Most of the trains were supplied by a local train club, according to member Larry Heimtzman.

Heimtzman has loved trains since he was a little boy in Illinois during the Fifties and Sixties. He said he's not been a member for a very long time, but happy to have joined the club.

Larry Heimtzman, Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
Larry Heimtzman, Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
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None of the layouts is mean to depict a certain time or place. "We try to create scenes that depict the western United States and industries often found in Wyoming and the West. You may see a wide variety of equipment from older steam engines, box cars and cabooses to modern unit coal trains and Amtrak passenger equipment," read one of the informational pamphlets accompanying the setups.

"While we attempt to learn about and imitate real railroad operation, we always try to accommodate the varied interests of our community members and bring an eclectic approach to building and operating the layouts."

Visitors can view the train exhibits all month.

Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
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Heimtzman said he enjoys operating the trains. They meet once a month to add to their collections and make repairs.

The Central Wyoming Model Railroad Association began in 1987 as an informal group of local persons interested in railroads and model railroading. Over the years they developed into a not-for-profit corporation. The clubhouse is open Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4:00 p.m.

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There were several hands on activities for young and old, including festive crafts like rag dolls, origami cup and ball toys, tree ornaments, and cookie decorating.

Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
Rag doll station, Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
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Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
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Youngsters enjoyed writing letters to Santa, which were later picked up by the Pony Express to be delivered to Santa Clause on horseback.

Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
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Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
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There was also gingerbread houses on display.

Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
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Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
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Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
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The Prairie Sweet shop featured dutch oven hand dipped chocolates from pioneer women.

Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media
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Historic Trail Center Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary

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