Wood block pavement was strewn on Main Street after the Goose Creek flood in 1923. SCLT’s Big Goose Creek Virtual Tour explores how residents of the valley have interacted with the stream through time. Photo courtesy Wyoming Room Collection, The Wyoming Room Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library.

Rarely is the phrase “watershed moment” taken as anything other than metaphor. However, in September of 1923, the people of Sheridan experienced a literal watershed moment as a swollen Goose Creek breached its banks – swamping the town and forever changing the way the community interacted with its life-sustaining waterway.

Though it was this fall deluge that lifted and loosed Main Street’s wood block pavement that singularly stands out in Sheridan’s history, recurring floods were a fact of life for all who called the Goose Valley home.

SCLT Historical Educator Carrie Edinger has explored how the denizens of the valley adapted to the ever-changing stream in the Big Goose Creek Historical Tour.

“We can explore different perspectives on how people have interacted with an important natural resource through time,” Carrie explained.

Last fall, Carrie debuted the Big Goose Creek Walking Tour as part of Trailfest. SCLT also partnered with Downtown Sheridan Association to include four Big Goose sites on its Historic Downtown Walking Tour available through TravelStorys.

However, like the waters of the swollen Goose, there were too many fascinating stories of the valley’s past to contain in those four sites alone.

So, Carrie set about creating more ways people can connect with the special stories of our community’s past so they’re not forgotten in the future.

That led to the Big Goose Creek Virtual Tour – an expanded version of the walking tour that will be available anytime anywhere with a connected device.
“The Big Goose Creek Virtual Tour gives our community members an opportunity to learn about the history of this area from the comfort of home,” Carrie explained.

On May 6, the Big Goose Creek Virtual Tour will debut in an SCLT Discovery Session. Afterwards, you will be able to access it on our website. You can also schedule an in-person tour for families, groups, school classes, class reunions and more.

Little Goose Multimedia kindly donated videography and editing services to make the Big Goose Creek Virtual Tour a reality far sooner than it otherwise would. Above: Hesid Brandow and Kevin Knapp collect video in Whitney Commons Park for the tour site covering Mr. Edward A. Whitney.

The expanded tour expounds upon Goose’s rerouting, especially around the Lewis Street bridge, features original homes still standing on Marion Street, and details the contributions of Mr. Edward A. Whitney.

The tour is narrated by Bill Yellowtail, who helped Carrie dive deep on how Plains Indians Tribes utilized the valley and incorporates many stories of Crow heritage.

However, a spring debut would not have been possible without the kindness of Little Goose Multimedia who have spent much of the winter working with Carrie to collect and edit video that community members will enjoy for years to come.

“Without Little Goose Multimedia, it wouldn’t be ready until at least the fall,” Carrie said.

Volunteering to help with a project that makes history more accessible to community members was appealing for Little Goose Multimedia.

“This project is for everyone who has Sheridan living in their hearts even if they don’t live in Sheridan,” Hesid Brandow mused.

And that, too, is another watershed moment in Goose Valley.