Friends Of Wind Cave NP

Friends of Wind Cave National Park hosted the Sanson Ranch Celebration on July 7, 2012.  The event provided participants the chance to  experience the newest addition to Wind Cave National Park, the 5556 acre acquisiton of the Sanson Ranch.

Park personnel were on hand at the homestead era ranch to share various alternatives (still under development) for interpretation of the ranch additon to the park, taking addional formal input from the public.  Park rangers guided tours to the prehistoric buffalo jump just a short hike from the ranch, with tours throughout the day.  An additional hike of four miles duration was led to the highest point on the new property, offering spectaular views of the surroundings. All park led activities were free to the public.

About 200 participants enjoyed an authentic “chuck wagon” supper with the mouth watering flavors of the old west.  They reveled in the sounds of live western music while they dined, provided courtesy of the Ramblin Rangers musical duo, Brad and Bonne Exton.  The event was held under a “big top” tent and was capped by a vigorous, educational and highly entertaining performance by Teddy Roosevelt.   Teddy told of his life in the west and the “Big Idea” that established Wind Cave National Park in 1903.  Teddy was performed by premier re-enactor Joe Wiegand, a performer whose credentials include appearances at the White House.  The Sanson Ranch Celebration served as the inaugural fund raising event for Friends of Wind Cave National Park. 



Teddy promo

Joe Wiegand is regarded as the premiere Theodore Roosevelt Reprisor in the country. In 2008, Wiegand was joined by his wife, daughter and golden retriever in a fifty state tour, highlighted by performances at Theodore Roosevelt’s birthplace and at the White House. Wiegand is a political science graduate of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and a former graduate assistant at the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University. Joe is a Harry S Truman Scholar, a Thomas Watson Fellow and an active member of the National Association for Interpretation and Rotary International. Wiegand, who lives with his family in Sewanee, Tennessee, continues his national TR Tour with details at  (Photo credit




Chuckwagon 2008


Authentic western dining, chuck wagon style!




RR promo photo


Brad and Bonnie Exton bring cowboy music alive!



buffalo jump 00


Rangers conducted  guided tours to the nearby “buffalo jump.”



Sanson Ranch 600


This historic ranch was the site of the “Sanson Ranch Celebration.”