Riverton, Wy. Press of Riverton News, [ca. 1907]. 16pp. Illustrations and map. Original self-wrappers, stapled. Soft center vertical fold throughout, minor foxing. Small tear in lower edge of final leaf, and with a small ink stamp written over in black marker on rear wrapper. Overall, very good. Item #WRCAM56821
A rare land promotional produced by the Wyoming Central Irrigation Company (WCIC), touting the availability of newly-opened property on the Shoshone Reservation near Riverton, Wyoming in the first decade of the 20th century. The pamphlet details the many agricultural advantages and natural resources of the land, with specific and considerable attention paid to the "greatest irrigation system in the country," which was being built on the land by the WCIC. The land itself consists of "350,000 Acres of Virgin Land on the Shoshone Indian Reservation, susceptible of irrigation, opened by the Government to entry by the Farmer under the Homestead Law at $1.50 per acre; 50 cents per acre at time of entry and 25 cents per acre per year for four years." The land is open to anyone twenty-one years of age or older, "except a married woman."
The pamphlet is illustrated with a two-page, centerfold map of the Shoshone Reservation, highlighting the "irrigable land" in the basin of the Wind River. There are also numerous photographic illustrations within the text, showing the agricultural results of the Shoshone lands both before and after irrigation, the Bull Lake Reservoir, canal construction, a farmer standing neck-deep in a field of oats, and sugar beet fields. Other crops touted by the WCIC include wheat, barley, rye, beans, and alfalfa.
The irrigation of the Shoshone Reservation resulted from the Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902, which provided for federally-funded irrigation projects in twenty western states, including Wyoming. The lands on which the projects were built were bought back from the Shoshone Tribe by the federal government in 1904 with a combination of up-front cash payments, water rights to the new irrigation systems, new schools, and livestock. Irrigation of Wyoming lands was first promoted by Buffalo Bill Cody in the 1880s and '90s. The Shoshone Project was finally started in 1904, and eventually resulted in the Buffalo Bill Dam, among other irrigation- related construction. Irrigation projects such as the one proposed here helped to provide the American West with vital infrastructure for sustaining emigrants, residents, and Native American inhabitants on these lands.
OCLC records just two copies, at Yale and the University of Wyoming. OCLC 54640951, 26178459.