Tom is available to give illustrated talks, based on research for his books, Bone Wars: The Excavation and Celebrity of Andrew Carnegie's Dinosaur, winner of a 2002 Spur Award for nonfiction from the Western Writers of America, and Devil's Gate: Owning the Land, Owning the Story, recent winner of the 2006-2007 nonfiction book award from the Wyoming State Historical Society:
The Bone Wars of Wyoming: How a fossil unearthed north of Medicine Bow, Wyoming in 1899 went on to achieve world fame and helped give birth to the public fascination with dinosaurs. The story focuses on the roles of five men: Wyoming fossil hunter Bill Reed; paleontologists Jacob Wortman--in charge of the expedition that discovered the dinosaur--and John Bell Hatcher; William Holland, imperious director of the recently founded Carnegie Museum; and the steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie, smitten with the colossal animals as he neared the end of his manufacturing career.
Ella Watson's Fence: The Story Behind the Lynching of "Cattle Kate" The six men who lynched Ella Watson in 1889 were furious about the wire fence she had erected on her Sweetwater valley claim. Tom Rea takes Watson's fence as a starting place to talk about changing land use patterns as more people moved onto Wyoming's open range late in the 1800s. Watson's murder underscored the tensions between cattlemen and homesteaders, custom and law. Rea also explores how sensational newspaper reports created a false portrait of Watson as "Cattle Kate," a rustler and prostitute.
The Martin's Cove Controversy: Public Land, Sacred Land? Bad weather, bad planning and their own zeal killed about 150 members of the Martin Handcart Company as they trekked across Wyoming in 1856. Today, the spot on the Oregon Trail near Casper where some of these Mormon pioneers died lies on BLM land--and at the center of a controversy over religious freedom and the right of public access. Tom Rea explores the history of Martin's Cove, using historical and contemporary photographs, and describes its later transformation into "holy ground" for the LDS Church. His presentation raises questions about who owns the past and how we preserve a balance between public and religious rights.
He's also availble to give talks based on the narratives he's writing for the Amerian History Cowboy Coalition. Eventually there will be 28 of these. They range from Crazy Horse to coal mine disasters to a Wyoming soldier's experiences in World War I. Contact Tom (see below) to book a talk.
Talk, The Death of Crazy Horse, 7 p.m. Saturday, July 17, 2010, National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, 1501 North Poplar, Casper, WY. Admission is free. FMI: Alex Rose, 307-261-7700.
Reading, nonfiction and history selctions, 7:30 p.m. Monday, August 2, 2010, ARTCORE Music and Poetry night, Downtown Grille, 128 E. 2nd St., Casper, WY. Aslo on the bill are Bob Meloy, trombon and Betty Walts, piano.
1756 S. Chestnut St.
Casper, WY 82601