How do you know what Wyoming was like in the early days of the state? You look at as many photographs as you can.

I know you've heard the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words", when you head to the Lora Webb Nichols "Photograph's made, photograph's collected" exhibit at Casper College's Mildred Zahradnicek gallery, you'll know exactly what that saying means.

Wyoming's history is sometimes complicated, sometimes there are multiple versions of stories and sometimes the facts are a bit cloudy, because there isn't hard evidence of what occurred. When you have photo proof of what it was like in Wyoming from 1899-1935, it's hard to argue against it. Lora Webb Nichols began documenting life in Wyoming when she captured her first photo in 1899, just 9 years after Wyoming became a state. According to, she captured about 24,000 negatives of the town of Encampment, Wyoming.

The photos Lora took were sort of like you would see on Instagram or Facebook today. Normal everyday life in a mining town in southern Wyoming. Life in Wyoming in those days was pretty simple and when things got tough, that's when she began to shine. Her studio was a big part of how her family and the town survived. You can still visit her home in Encampment that will bring some of the photo's you see in the Casper College exhibit to life.

When you stop into the Mildred Zahradnicek Gallery, you'll be taking a glimpse into photographic proof of life in Wyoming during the early part of the 1900's. The photos will be on display at Casper College until September 28th.

Wyoming At The Turn Of The Century Through The Eyes Of Lora Webb Nichols

Nichols received her first camera in 1899 at the age of 16. Her earlier photographs are of her family and friends as well as self-portraits, and landscape pictures of the land surrounding the town of Encampment.

Wyoming's Castle Gardens Is Superb And The History Is Mind Blowing

The Castle Gardens Petroglyph Site is located in central Wyoming, between Casper and Riverton.