History Alive! Features Yellowstone Vic Smith

Arch Ellwein entertains a crowd with his stories as Buffalo Hunter Yellowstone Vic Smith.

By the State Historical Society of North Dakota

Buffalo hunter Yel­lowstone Vic Smith will appear at the Chateau de Mores State Historic Site in Medora on August 11 and 12, 2012.

Performances will be on the veranda of the Chateau at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (MT). Portrayed by Arch Ellwein in the popu­lar History Alive! program, Yellowstone Vic Smith will discuss his life as a buffalo hunter, frontier scout, and service as a hunting guide for Dakota Territory entrepreneur, the Marquis de Mores.

The free History Alive! perfor­mances are part of the summer pro­grams sponsored by the state’s history agency, the State Historical Society of North Dakota. The State Histori­cal Society of North Dakota sponsors History Alive! to explore the lives and times of decades gone by, combining theater arts with history. The charac­ter monologues, about 20 minutes in length, are based on original letters, diaries and other documents, many from the archives of the State Histori­cal Society of North Dakota.

Ellwein is an advertising consul­tant and Williston-Sidney area actor and children’s theater director. Since 1996, Ellwein has been bringing his­torical figures to life for audiences in nine western states.

Yellowstone Vic Smith, born Vic­tor Grant Smith (1850-1925), was a buffalo hunter, trapper, dispatch rider, scout and storyteller hired as a hunting guide by the Marquis de Mores, dur­ing the Marquis’s time in Medora in the 1880s. During the winter of 1881-82, he reportedly killed more than 5,000 buf­falo in southeastern Montana. Later in life, Smith wrote that he wished “my aim hadn’t been so good.”

In his memoirs, The Champion Buf­falo Hunter: The Frontier Memoirs of Yellowstone Vic Smith, he chronicled his encounters with notorious outlaws, buffalo and bear hunts, Indian fights, and natural disasters, as well as such frontier personalities as Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer, Sitting Bull and Theodore Roosevelt.

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