State Historic Site

Trail End


Over a Century of History

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Trail End


THE TRAIL END State Historic Site is a fully furnished historic house museum. The site's mission statement guides decisions on exhibits and displays by providing a specific time period and interpretive focus. Within these guidelines, all exhibits at Trail End relate to life in the house during the period 1913-1933. 


We are fortunate that over the years, many of the original furnishings from the house, removed for various reasons, have been returned by members of the Kendrick family as well as members of the Sheridan community. Placed in their proper context throughout the historic rooms, these furnishings show what the rooms were used for, what the people who lived and worked here may have been like, and what objects were available for their use.

Many of the interpretive labels and signs at Trail End discuss the advanced technology installed in the house during its construction. In fact, the elementary school tours conducted each spring and fall focus on that technology, providing youngsters with an increased opportunity to learn more about the early days of electricity, plumbing, telephones and more.

Occasionally Trail End will mount temporary exhibits in closets and other small areas. For example: there is almost always a special exhibit in the second floor Maids' Closet around the time of our Holiday Open House (usually toys and games) and, as part of the Hands-On History Program, our Junior Curators create a new exhibit each year in the third floor Housekeeper's Bedroom.  

We have also co-sponsored exhibits with Sheridan Junior High School, the Wyoming State Museum and other organizations. If you have an idea for an appropriate topic that could be addressed in a small exhibit space, please contact the museum at 307-674-4589.


Since 1996, Trail End has installed a series of temporary whole-house exhibits which, by focusing on the local community, take global events and show how they impacted the everyday lives of small town Americans. Each exhibit has adhered to the site's mission statement and has worked in harmony with the museum's existing room displays, thereby interpreting topical themes within the context of the historic house setting. The textual components of these exhibits are contained on this web site. Newer exhibits have relied on previous research; don't be surprised if you see the same information contained in more than one exhibit.

Wake Up America! Life at Home During the War, 1917-1918

  • Commemorating the 100th anniversary of America's entry into World War One, this exhibit focuses on life at the home front. An online-only component, Letters Home, shares correspondence from soldiers and sailors serving both at home and abroad. 
  • On display April 2017-December 2018

Politics as Usual: Personalities, Scandals & Legacies in American & Wyoming Politics, 1912-1932

  • Commemorating the 100th anniversary of John Kendrick's election to the U.S. Senate, this exhibit explores politics and politicians during the first third of the 20th Century.
  • On display April 2016-December 2016.

The Ties That Bind: Exploring the Relationship between Sheridan and Trail End

  • ​Using original documents, photographs, diaries and artifacts, our current exhibit celebrates the community connections of friendship, service, consumption and production, and how they sometimes intertwined between Trail End and the Sheridan community.
  • On display April 2014-December 2015.

From Dream Home to Historic House: 100 Years of Trail End History, 1913-2013

  • This was a house-wide celebration of the Kendrick Mansion's first one hundred years. Illustrated with construction era photographs and documents, plus images from the Kendrick family's earliest days in the home, the exhibit chronicled how one cowboy's dream home became Wyoming's premier historic house museum.
  • On display April 2013-December 2013.

The Ad Made Me Buy It: The Power of Advertising in the Early 20th Century

  • This exhibit explored how potential consumers were influenced by the advertisements placed in their reading material. Illustrated with dozens of magazine advertisements from 1900 through 1933. Most of the images were scanned from magazines housed in the Trail End Archives.
  • On display April 2012-December 2012

No Time for Boredom: Making the Most of Leisure Time in a Screenless Society

  • This exhibit examined how people spent their free time before the introduction of computers, televisions, cell phones and other "screens." Illustrated with original photographs, magazines, and period artifacts, the exhibit proved that you don't have to be plugged in to be entertained.
  • On display April 2010-December 2011

Wedding Belles & Beaux: Sixty Years of Wedding Costumes & Customs, 1869-1929

  • This was an exhibit full of original materials from the Trail End vaults. Illustrated with original clothing, photographs, wedding dresses and gifts, the exhibit used the experiences of seven Kendrick family brides - plus several others - to show what weddings were like in bygone days.
  • On display March 2009-December 2009

Youngsters to be Proud Of: The Changing Nature of Childhood As Seen Through Three Generations of Kendrick Family Children

  • This exhibit examined the evolution of childhood from the mid-1800s through the end of the 1930s. By looking at the lives of the Kendrick family children, the exhibit showed visitors how childhood has changed as well as the many ways it has stayed the same.
  • On display March 2008-December 2008.

Independent of the Sun: Light, Energy & the American Home, 1913-1933

  • This exhibit showed how man-made power revolutionized not just American industry, but the American home as well. From food preparation to entertaining to sleeping habits, electricity changed everything in the early Twentieth Century.
  • On display March 2007-December 2007.  

Home Is Where the History Is: The Design, Construction & Decoration of Trail End, 1908-1913

  • This exhibit used information from hundreds of original construction-era documents, family correspondence and early photographs to show what went into making it the historic treasure it is today. Featured were stories of the people who lived in the home, both family members and staff.
  • On display March 2003-December 2006. 

Days of Wonder: Sights & Sounds of America's Past, 1913-1933

  • This exhibit examined some of the forces that shaped America during the first third of the Twentieth Century. It provided visitors with a close-up look at a time when Americans put their pasts behind them and went boldly into an unknown future.
  • On display April 1999-December 2001.  

Keeping the Home Fires Burning: Life on the Home Front During the Great War, 1917-1918

  • This exhibit used artifacts and photographs to explore World War One and its impact on Americans both at home and abroad. In 1999, the original exhibit was honored with a National Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History. 
  • On display April 1997-December 1998.

The American Wedding: Courtship & Marriage Rituals, 1889-1929

  • This exhibit used period wedding clothes, photographs and other personal items to examine just a few of the customs and rules of etiquette that ruled courtship and marriage from the late 1880s through the 1920s, as well as ways in which these practices affected the men and women who adhered to them.
  • On display August-December 1996.