"Researching Calamity Jane: A Can of Worms" by Glenda Bell

“Researching Calamity Jane: A Can of Worms,” second program in the Wyoming Community Bank Speaker’s series at the Lander Pioneer Museum May 13, at 7 p.m.

Who really was Calamity Jane, and why are the facts about her life so hard to track down? The infamous western heroine will be the topic of a talk by author Glenda Bell at the Pioneer Museum in Lander May 13, at 7 p.m.

The program is the second in the Wyoming Community Bank Speakers Series at the museum. The series will feature speakers and programs on the area’s culture and history at all three county museums throughout the year. The programs are free and open to the public.

Martha Jane Canary, nicknamed “Calamity Jane,” has been the subject of books, movies and stories, but few hard facts are known. She was famous across the west and was a close friend to Wild Bill Hickock. She spent time in Wyoming at Fort Bridger, Fort Laramie and Fort Russell. She lived in Fremont County for a time and was a laundress at South Pass City during the gold rush there. She was known to have spent time in Lander. She was controversial, promoting and exaggerating her adventures. Most people never knew what the true story was. According to an army officer who knew her “She never saw a lynching and never was in an Indian fight. She was simply a notorious character, dissolute and devilish, but possessed a generous streak which made her popular."

Glenda Bell is a resident of Powell, a graduate of the University of Wyoming, and a retired librarian. She has researched Calamity Jane for 25 years,

 “Researching Calamity Jane: A Can of Worms” is presented by the Wyoming Humanities Council as part of its Humanities Forum. The Wyoming Humanities Council provides public humanities-based programs in partnership with local organizations and is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The next event at the Lander Museum will be on June 25 and will be a talk by Lander author Marjane Ambler on Yellowstone National Park, at 7 p.m. at the museum. For more information call the museum and 307-332-3373, on Facebook at: Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming


Photo credit : Calamity Jane poses with a rifle while part of a wild west show.