By Tyson Emborg
In 1888, my great-great-great uncle James Glasgow signed the petition to create Sheridan County. Shortly after, he was elected as Sheridan County’s first road supervisor. In those days, transportation routes were the lifeblood of a community and an indication of its future survival. When his father, my great-great-great grandfather, visited Sheridan in 1890 it took days of wagon and train travel to Billings from Iowa and then another long wagon ride to Sheridan. It is no wonder he didn’t visit Sheridan for another 17 years!
Today the quality of our lives, and our most enjoyable travel, depends on Sheridan’s extensive pathway system. Our pathways connect our community and add life to our years. Everyday a who’s who of Sheridan young and old walk, bike, stroll, run and skate from places here to there with ease and comfort. That is why the pathway is my destination.
When I walk the pathway along Goose Creek, I often imagine that I am following the route taken by Crazy Horse in the hours before the Fetterman Massacre. Toward the west my imagination takes me to the Crow and Shoshone warriors who came to Sheridan with Chief’s Plenty Coup and Washakie to meet with General Crook, or to the immigrants who stopped near the Fifth Street bridge before crossing along the Bozeman Trail. On the ridge overlooking the city in the shadow of Mr. Kendrick’s mansion, I marvel at Howard Eaton and other local conservationists who brought elk from Jackson Hole to repopulate the Bighorn Mountains. To the south of town, I am often amazed by the variety of wildlife, especially the Great Blue Heron nesting grounds. All are part of the Sheridan pathway system.
The pathway adds economic value and a quality of life to the areas and residents it serves. A look at the Sheridan Pathway Plan shows some exciting extensions in the works. One of my favorites will connect the area around Meadowlark School with Kendrick Park by skirting the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery. This will be a great opportunity for families in that neighborhood to safely reach the heart of our city. The other major extension, and a much needed one at that, is from Sheridan College to the Woodland Park School. Our community has endured heartbreak in that location and enough is enough. This would include a crosswalk near Sheridan College.
Sheridan has changed a lot since 1888 with new roads, bridges, buildings, schools, even a railroad; but some things stay the same. Transportation enhances the quality of life and brings communities and people closer together. The Sheridan pathway system is my destination and I hope you make it yours.