Enterprise Plaza Celebrates Cody’s History and its Newspaper
Written by Andrew-Rossi on June 17, 2021
The new public plaza – adjacent to By Western Hands – occupies the spot of the original home of the Cody Enterprise and the beginning of an iconic Western city.
After a year of fundraising, the formal dedication and ribbon cutting for the new Enterprise Plaza was held on Thursday, June 17. Local officials and the public gathered at the new public place, nestled next to By Western Hands at 1007 12th Street in Cody.
Harris Haston, the interim director of By Western Hands, opened the event. He celebrated the beauty of the new plaza, saying it will look as good on its opening day as it will 25 years in the future.
The plaza celebrates the history of Cody and the Cody Enterprise – and the many Cody residents whose vision formed the future of the community.
Buffalo Bill Cody announced he wanted to start a newspaper in his new town in 1899. In his estimation, a paper was necessary for the successful development and promotion of the community.
Haston reminded the crowd that Buffalo Bill was the most famous person in the world when he helped found Cody. A celebrity moving to a desolate Wyoming location was a big deal at the time.
“It would be like if Kayne West moved to Cody – and stayed!” Haston jested.
The original Cody Enterprise was built and in use by 1901. The newspaper – under its various monikers – operated out of the building for decades.
Once the newspaper moved out, the building occupied other roles until its demise. The original structure was demolished in 1979.
By Western Hands planned to honor the history of the original Enterprise building since its inception. Ironically, the COVID-19 provided the time and opportunity to bring the idea to fruition finally.
Bruce McCormack, the longest-serving editor of the Cody Enterprise, spearheaded much of the historical research. That effort is now in interpretive panels installed at the site to add context to the plaza.
McCormack spoke at the dedication, describing the newspaper’s origins in “a shack in a humble alley.” Next, Lynn Houze of the Cody Heritage Museum provided more history on the paper, the structure, and the people associated with its early history.
Mayor Matt Hall celebrated the plaza’s installation as another welcome addition to the city’s public life.
In Mayor Hall’s eyes, this permanent public place adds to the ongoing effort to enhance “an accessible, walkable downtown” in Cody. He thanked the board of By Western Hands on behalf of the entire City of Cody.
Finally, Mayor Hall cut the ribbon for the Enterprise Plaza. He was surrounded by the likes of Alan and Pete Simpson and the current and previous owners of the Cody Enterprise.
The Enterprise Plaza is now open for public use.
The following donors were specifically mentioned for their contributions to the Enterprise Plaza.
- Wyoming Business Council
- By Western Hands
- Helping Hands, L3C
- Bob Coe
- Henry “Hank” Coe
- Harris Haston and Carlen Lebous
- Bob and Graham Jackson
- Anne Coe Hays
- Bob Kenney of Sage Publishing Co.
- Bruce McCormack
For more information on the creation of the Enterprise Plaza, listen to this Partyline interview with By Western Hands board member Graham Jackson & Mary Sims.