Historic Contexts

Stone circles. Photograph by Mike McClure.
Stone circles. Photograph by Mike McClure.

Mission Statement

Historic contexts are an important component of the Historic Preservation Plan created by the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office to preserve and promote Wyoming’s heritage. It is the mission of the SHPO’s Historic Context Development Program to develop and maintain updated historic contexts to promote efficiency and better decision-making in the identification, evaluation, and management of Wyoming’s heritage resources.

What we do

The Planning and Historic Context Program of the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office oversees and aids in the research and development of historic contexts for use by academic researchers, federal and state agencies and industry in the evaluation and treatment of historic properties in the state. The program is guided by the Governor's Historic Context Development Committee on planning and historic contexts. The program is under the direction of Judy Wolf, 307-766-5366.

Available Contexts
Historic Context Development Plan (10 MB) PDF Document
Context Development Plan Executive Summary PDF Document
Frequently Asked Questions about Contexts (Select "Historic Contexts" from the dropdown)
Guidelines and Outline for the Development of Historic Contexts PDF Document

Historic Context Development Priorities

Priorities for the development of historic contexts depend on three factors: the significance of the historic context and property types; the severity of the threat to the property types within the historic context; and the fragility and condition of the resources. Public demand or desire to create historic contexts on a particular topic will also be taken into consideration. The primary goal of the Planning and Historic Context Development Program will be to oversee the preparation of new historic contexts that meet the needs of Wyoming residents and government agencies engaged in cultural resource identification and management.

The Historic Context Development Advisory Committee reconvened in August 2016 to discuss historic context needs for Wyoming for the next decade. The committee reviewed the 2006 priorities and revised the list of priority contexts based on current risks to cultural resources such as development, demolition, and climate change. The priority thematic contexts identified for development are:

Priority 1

Stone Circle Sites
High Altitude/Ice Patch Archaeological Sites
Prehistoric Housepit Sites

Priority 2

Recreation Residences
Contact Era – Protohistoric Sites

Priority 3

Post -War Architecture 1945-1970
Timber Extraction/Production

Priority 4

Mining - Hard Rock/Soft Rock
Water Development/Irrigation
Rock Art Sites– Statewide
Transportation – Railroads
Lincoln Highway

Priority 5

Prehistoric Trails/Migration Corridors
Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources