Ah, There's the Rub

Some historians have grave reservations about the stories that rapscallions wanted to steal the body of Buffalo Bill Cody. But then, there's that mysterious photo of a tank guarding Buffalo Bill's burial plot on Lookout Mountain back in the '20s. And in the 1940s, when a major American Legion convention was held in Wyoming, the post based in Cody promised $100,000 to anyone who made off with the remains of Cody's founding father. The Cheyenne chapter was up to the task, until the Denver post dispatched its own American Legion members to guard the grave. "Folks in Wyoming have a lot of time on their hands," notes Steve Friesen, director of the Buffalo Bill Museum, which, like the grave, is part of the Denver Mountain Parks system.

No question, the grave is heavily fortified. Buffalo Bill, who died in 1917 at his sister's house near downtown Denver, was originally buried in a rather crude plot; ten years later it was fixed up, weighted down with cement and surrounded by an iron security fence. But that gate will swing open at noon today for the Buffalo Bill Burial Commemoration — "the only time of the year we're going to let people in there," Friesen says — complete with a reenactment of the burial, musicians playing "Tenting Tonight" (Cody's favorite song) and the chance to make rubbings of the grave. Other than a nominal fee for grave-rubbing supplies, the event, which runs until 4 p.m., is free; admission to the Buffalo Bill Museum next door is only $2 for adults, $1 for children. For more information, go to www.buffalobill.org.
Sun., June 4, 12-4 p.m.


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