If you spend any time in Colorado, you’ll quickly learn that Coloradans are proud of their Western history and heritage. It’s not uncommon to see the occasional cowboy hat, and many souvenir shops will reference the Wild West of days past. And no one embodied the Wild West more than Buffalo Bill. Here are a few reasons why Coloradans care about the life and death of Buffalo Bill Cody.
Who was Buffalo Bill?
William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody grew up doing all kinds of western things, from herding cattle and fur trapping to gold mining. He became famous scouting for the army, and as a hunter, he earned the nickname “Buffalo Bill” and began to appear in newspaper accounts and dime novels.
Buffalo Bill eventually turned to show business and toured “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show” around the country, and even to Great Britain. He used real cowboys and cowgirls and showed off bronco riding, roping, and other skills that would later become part of public rodeos. He also had some other famous names in the show, such as Annie Oakley and Chief Sitting Bull.
Why was Buffalo Bill important to Colorado?
Buffalo Bill spent a lot of time in Colorado. He first came to the state as part of the Pikes Peak Gold Rush during the spring of 1859 and spent two months in Black Hawk panning for gold. He would later come back to Denver, and other areas in Colorado, many times with his Wild West Show.
More importantly, Buffalo Bill also died in Colorado. In 1917, Buffalo Bill passed away while visiting his sister’s home in Denver. He chose to be buried on Lookout Mountain overlooking Denver and the plains.
Where can you visit Buffalo Bill?
Today, you can visit the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave on Lookout Mountain outside of Golden to pay your respects. There you will find a number of exhibits about Buffalo Bill’s life, artifacts from the Wild West Show, and pieces of history from the American West. You can also visit the gravesite of Buffalo Bill, which provides a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains and plains.
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