County Museum observes Native American Heritage Month

Several glass cases, wall poster labels, and miniature dioramas help tell the story of the early Native American history at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum.Four adults in traditional outfits sit and stand with two small children, one who is on a cradleboard. One woman wears a traditional elk teeth dress covered in elk tusks. Kate Enos sits in an elk teeth dress for her portrait.

Photo No. 1 - Among its many displays, the Sweetwater County Historical Museum features exhibits about Native Americans, marking November as Native American Heritage Month


Photo No. 2 - The late 19th-century photograph that set in motion a special research project:    Shoshone woman Kate Enos - upper left - and her sisters.


Photo No. 3 - The arresting solo portrait of Kate Enos in her dress adorned with elk tusks. Both this photo and the group portrait were taken by Charles S. Baker and Eli Johnston, who operated a photo studio in Evanston, circa 1880s. They were known particularly for their images of Shoshone, Arapaho, and Apache people.



(Sweetwater County, Wyo. - October 29, 2022)     November is Native American Heritage Month, and the Sweetwater County Historical Museum in Green River is marking it with its Native American exhibits and an article on WyoHistory.org about early 20th century events on the Wind River Reservation in Fremont County.

Recently a visitor to the museum inquired about an exhibit photograph of four Shoshone women and two children, a studio portrait probably taken in the late 1880s. Were the identities of the women and little ones known? That prompted museum staff to launch a research project, one that revealed their names:  Kate Enos and her sisters, Louisa Enos Wesaw, Mary Enos Rabbittail, and Emma Enos Lewis. There is a baby in a cradle board, believed to be Antoine Weed, and a little girl standing, Sousanna Weed, both of whom were Mary Enos Rabbittail’s children.

As the museum’s research progressed, it began to focus on Kate Enos, as also in the archives was a striking solo portrait of her in a dress studded with elk tusks, the mark of a prosperous Plains Indian family. Her story turned out to be a complex tale of mystery and murder, all grounded in the sordid history of misappropriation of Native American lands on the Wind River Reservation.

Kate’s life and the chain of events that led to the 1907 murder of her husband, Shoshone tribal council member George Terry in Fort Washakie, are the subject of a new article written by museum staff member Dick Blust, Jr.:  “Three Photos, a Murder, and a Murky Outcome: Troubled Times on Wind River,” which can be found online at WyoHistory.org, the online platform of the Wyoming State Historical Society at

https://wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/three-photos-murder-and-murky-outcome-troubled-times-wind-river .

For more information about Native American Heritage Month, go to the U.S. Department of the Interior website at


Located at 3 E. Flaming Gorge Way in Green River, the Sweetwater County Historical Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and there is no charge for admission.