By Charlene Smith
Pine Bluffs Post staff 

History opens eyes

 

Wyoming Lions Club state treasurer and Pine Bluffs club member Gary Roadifer is not shy about his enthusiasm for the Lions Club.

“Our job is to serve the community and help the eyes of its members,” Roadifer said.

But serving costs money and often eye care is not cheap. Roadifer explained the Pine Bluffs club hold small events throughout the year, but still struggles with funds. They noticed the Cheyenne club’s “Ride for Site” and how well it did and thought, “what can we do?”

“Our community is rich in history,” explained Roadifer. “We have the historical society, the historic high school, the Texas Trail Museum and so much more waiting to be discovered.”

So, the club mapped out a few of the more visible historic places and planned a tour. The club hopes this event will serve as their main source for funding their projects for the year.

The Pine Bluffs Lions Club sponsors the Easter Egg Hunt in Pine Bluffs, delivers the food baskets during the Christmas season, as well as offering the preschool screening for all students eyes at no cost to the families.

“We share a diagnostic tool with Cheyenne that can detect many different eye diseases and can get the children to the specialists for help sooner,” explained Roadifer.

The club also supports the Leader Dog organization that supplies seeing eye dogs for the blind. They also send support money to Rocky Mountain Eye Bank and the Lions Institute in Aurora Colo., which is in the top seven eye institutes in the world.


The Lions Club began in 1912 by Melvin J. Jones. At one of their first conventions, Helen Keller challenged the growing organization to be “knights for sight.”

The wealth of history for Pine Bluffs dates back to 1868, when the town was “Rock Ranch.” But the railroad, being the main source of commerce and growth for the little “ranch” soon changed the name to Pine Bluffs. They noticed the pine trees on the bluffs as they passed. Not much to the little town, a tent a slab with a chimney and a shed with some canvas covered poles, or as the town-folk called them a grocery store, bakery and a saloon.

The Union Pacific railroad would quickly change the humble little town into the largest cattle shipping point on the railroad.

“Frontier Crossroads” was also a nickname for Pine Bluffs due to the 10,000 years of traffic from humans, cattle and wild game crisscrossing the area.

Not unfamiliar to Wyoming, Pine Bluffs also had numerous Indian tribes call it home, and many tipi rings are still located in the area.

All this and more will be discussed on the tour. The Lions Club will also show participants sites such as the World War II Prisoner of War Camp, the old Laramie County Fairgrounds, the Historical Pine Bluffs High School, and the University of Wyoming Archeological Site.


The Historical Walk for Sight on July 6, 2013 will start at the Texas Trail Museum, 201 W. 3rd Street, at starting 8:30 AM. It will conclude with lunch at 12:15 p.m. back at the museum. The $25 registration fee will cover the cost of a t-shirt, a water bottle, a barbeque lunch and of course the tour. Contributions will be used to fund Lions Sight Preservation projects. Roadifer is encouraging everyone to sign up early for the event, but will take reservations up through July 3. And he is already looking forward to next year.

“We can go over one street off Main and have just as many historical stops,” smiled Roadifer.

“We will take as many that sign up. We just need a head count for lunch.”

For more information and to secure your place on the tour, call 421-7247 or 245-3794 email pblionsclub@ymail.com. They also have a website you can visit and download a brochure; http://www.e-clubhouse.or/sites/pinebluffs

 

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