Not quite 100 years ago, a small group of local women first started the carriages’ section of what is known today as the Cheyenne Frontier Days Grand Parades. On Thursday, September 7 at 5 p.m., they will host a ribbon cutting for a permanent home for their 1,500+ costumes, inside the Marietta Dineen Carriage Barn which also permanently houses the 60+ wagons and carriages seen in the four Grand Parades.
Originally a small group of ladies working to find riders, outfit them in appropriate costumes, and assign them to specific carriages, the W-Heels as they are known today will finally have a permanent home for their costumes with the opening of the Louise and Frank Cole Costume Room within the Marietta Dineen Carriage Barn.
As their 1890’s period costume collection has grown, finding space for 1,500+ women’s and men’s authentic apparel as well as 500 hats, bicycles, saddles and more from the 1890s, it became apparent the collection needed a dedicated space.
In the past 40 years, the W-Heels have moved their costume collection over seven times to include the basement of a dry-cleaning business and an abandoned gas station. With a generous gift from Louise and Frank Cole, both associated with the Cheyenne Frontier Days Grand Parades for much of their lives, the historic costumes will now be in a temperature-controlled area complete with dressing rooms, workspace to maintain the costumes, and office space to facilitate the checking in and out of costumes in and out for use in the parades.