Shelly Trumbull is a member of the Fort Caspar Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. At 2 p.m. Friday, a five-year project will be completed with the unveiling and dedication of the addendum plaque at the entrance to Fort Caspar. The plaque provides new, more accurate information about the Fort Caspar grounds.
How did the new plaque come about? My daughter, Kristen Moldaschel, and I both took on this project in 2015. The museum actually brought it to DAR’s attention in 2011, but it’s a big project. You have to run everything through nationals in D.C. to get approval for everything. This is an addendum plaque to our original plaque. These are revisions and corrections that Fort Caspar asked us to do, with dates and facts and so on. The new plaque goes directly under the original plaque on the pillar, so you can see the history at the time, and then ours is correct below it, and ours is much more detailed about the site. We started working on it and it has taken two years to get the approval and the money raised. The DAR local chapter and one state member donated and raised $900, and then we started working with the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund and they paid $810 for us.
What information is incorrect? The old plaque was dedicated 80 years ago from the day that the new one will be. My great-grandmother was president at the dedication in 1937. Fort Caspar Museum has worked to correct misinformation throughout the Casper area. When they placed the sign, they thought the fort was established in 1858, rebuilt in 1865, enlarged in 1866, troops were withdrawn in 1867 and it was burned in 1867 and restored by the city in 1936. A lot of that has been disproved now. Fort Caspar has done a lot of archaeological research, and archives and actual letters have been brought forward, and the Western History Center at Casper College was a great help to us.
What other work does the NSDAR do? We give money to both high schools for scholarships, we work with veterans, our goals are patriotism, education and historic preservation. Last winter, we did work with the Civil Air Patrol and Wreaths Across America and places wreaths at the veterans cemetery and we work with all of the citizenship ceremonies at the federal courthouse.
What are the requirements for NSDAR membership? You have to be able to prove that you actually had a patriot who fought during the American Revolution. It’s a big project for a lot of people because they have to trace from modern day and connect relatives clear back to the American Revolution and prove what part they took in it.
And what is your legacy? My great-grandmother, Mrs. B.B. Brooks, was one of the founders of the Casper chapter. Today it has just over 90 local members and I believe it is the largest chapter in Wyoming. In college, my daughter had a project on WASPS of World War II, and I saw that DAR was having a speaker, so we dropped in on one of their meetings, and that is how we joined.