News

July 24, 2017

Second Historical Photograph Exhibit at Riverton Justice Center from the Fremont County Museums

The partnership between the Fremont County Museums and the Riverton Justice Center has continued with a second historical photograph exhibit, now on display at the Justice Center. For the 2017 exhibit, the photographs focuses on historical buildings in Fremont County; some of which are still in use today. The collection of photographs was selected by each site of the Fremont County Museums (Dubois, Lander and Riverton).

“People who come to the Justice Center really like the new exhibit, and we have received a great deal of compliments about them in regards to Fremont County history and how much brighter the photographs are this time,” said Chris Rohrbacher, Security Guard at the Riverton Justice Center. “The staff enjoys looking at the photographs while at work and learning about our local history.”

“The Fremont County Museums are very proud of the selection of photos that were used for this particular exhibit at the Riverton Justice Center. We played around more with the color spectrum and brightness of the photographs and discovered what backer-boards/framing suited each photograph best. These photographs focus on several historical buildings in Riverton, Dubois, and Lander. A fun aspect of this exhibit is that some of the buildings are still standing and in use today. We are also pleased to hear about the enjoyment the exhibit brings to the public who come into the Justice Center and the staff who work there,” said Karline Stetler, Curator at the Riverton Museum.

Printed on photograph paper, the images were mounted on black or white poster board and then mounted on black or white foam-core backing. The exhibit is currently on display at the Riverton Justice Center until next summer. The first exhibit, which was taken down, will be hung up at the Fremont County Courthouse.

June 15, 2017

Two New Temporary Exhibits on Display at the Pioneer Museum in Lander

The Pioneer Museum in Lander continues to showcase rarely seen artifacts in newly created temporary exhibits.

The first new exhibit is, “Pulp” an exhibit that features a collection of 1940-50s era western paperback novels.  The new display at the Pioneer Museum explores the colorful, often lurid, “Pulp” paperback western book that was popular from the 1930 to the 60s.

The books were known for their colorful cover art which featured gunfighters, violence, and often scantily dressed women to catch the eye of the book buying public.

The books were called “pulps” because a low quality “pulpy” paper material was used to print them to keep costs low.

At the time the books were considered “low brow” and cheap mass culture, “adequate, but not well written,” but they launched the careers of many writers who went on to become well respected authors.  Max Brand, Zane Grey, A.B. Guthire and Louis L’Amour all started writing western paperbacks (sometimes under an assumed name) and all came to be respected authors in their own right.

Many of the artists who did the cover art also went on to respected western art careers.

According to museum Curator Randy Wise many of the books didn’t survive. “They were produced cheaply on poor quality paper, with the idea they were disposable,” Wise said. “Today many are collectors’ items since they are so rare.”

One book on display is called “Showdown, Long Lope to Lander!” by Allan Vaughan Elston. It is set in and around Lander. The story is about a gunfighter taking on a corrupt rancher. “The author clearly did some research,” said Wise. “He has famous historic Lander names and locations and is pretty accurate in his description of Lander in the late 1800s.”

The second new exhibit is a group of historically accurate scale models by Lander Craftsman Jack Mease.  Mease creates scale model miniatures of wagons, farm equipment, weapons and tools at his shop outside of town.

A new display in the lobby of the Lander Pioneer Museum highlights some of the intricate work that Mease has created over the years, including working scale models of wagons, a steam hoist, a Sharp’s rifle, a windmill and many other pieces.

“The amount of time and detail that goes into these models is amazing, these are real pieces of art” said museum Curator Randy Wise. “Jack makes the models from scratch, creating the tools he needs down to the smallest nuts and bolts.”

Mease has had several exhibits at the museum, most recently a display of his hand-braided rawhide ropes.

Both displays are in the main lobby of the Pioneer Museum through the summer. According to Wise the display is part of a series of rotating displays in the lobby and Western Gallery at the museum.

The Pioneer Museum’s hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Call the museum at 307-332-3373 for more information, or visit the museum Facebook page: Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming.

 

 

June 13, 2017

New Exhibit at the Pioneer Museum in Lander Highlights Historic Businesses

Lander’s Main Street Exhibit

Lander’s Main Street has been the heart of the business district since the town’s birth and remains so today.  Over the last 140 years Lander’s Main Street has been the home of many successful, creative and colorful businesses.

The Pioneer Museum in Lander pays homage to Lander’s Main Street with a new exhibit that explores the wide range of shops that ran along Main Street from the 1870s to the 1920s. Stores like the Stacia Allen's Milnery Shop, the City Bakery, The Lander Commercial Company, the Golden Rule Store, The Opera House Bar, Shoo's Barbershop and dozens of others provided goods and services to Lander Valley residents.

The exhibit, on the 2nd floor of the museum, has many rare photos and ads, and artifacts from many of the businesses.

May 16, 2017

Grainger Donates $5000 to Pioneer Association

The Fremont County Pioneer Association is a big step closer to saving the famous paintings about the life of Chief Washakie that used to hang in the old Noble Hotel in Lander.

The Grainger Foundation donated $5,000 to the group this past week to help keep the paintings in Lander where they were created. The paintings are significant because painter J.K. Ralston is one of the most important painters of western art in America, and the paintings are about Chief Washakie, perhaps the most famous Wyomingite ever, and the Shoshone people.

With the Grainger grant and other grants, the Pioneer Association has raised $45,000. A total of $80,000 is needed to permanently keep the paintings in the Lander Museum.

Local fundraising has begun, with a fund raising event set for September. People interested in donating can contact members of the Pioneer Association or the Lander Pioneer Museum.

Patty Trautman who is organizing the fund raising for said the project is well worth the effort. “This is an irreplaceable part of Lander’s history, and it needs to stay here where it belongs, not be sold off and scattered across the world.”

The Grainger Foundation is an independent, private foundation, associated with the Grainger Company. This donation was recommended by Steve Donmyer, Branch Manager of W.W. Grainger, Inc.’s Casper, Wyoming location.

William W. (Bill) Grainger founded a wholesale electric motor sales and distribution business in Chicago in 1927. He established the company to provide an efficient solution for customers to access a consistent supply of motors.

The business was incorporated as W. W. Grainger, Inc. in 1928. Sales in the early days were generated primarily through mail order via post cards and a catalog. The MotorBook, as the catalog was originally called, was the basis for today's Grainger catalog. To improve customer service, Bill Grainger opened branches around the country. Today there are over 700 branches including one in Casper.

In 1967, Grainger became a public company, and its stock was traded in the over-the-counter market. Today, Grainger stock is sold under the GWW symbol on the New York Stock Exchange. Over the years, Grainger's product line has expanded to more than 1 million products and repair parts.

“The Grainger Foundation gives millions of dollars each year to worthy causes all over the country,” said Steve Donmyer. “In Wyoming we are happy to support worthy causes like this preserving of our wonderful Wyoming history.”

For more information about the paintings and how to contribute, please call the museum at 307-332-3339.

Photo caption: The Pioneer Association receiving a check for $5000 from the Grainger Foundation. Left to right is Scott Goetz, Fremont County Museums Central Director, Mardel Dorsey, Fremont County Pioneer Association, Patty Trautman, Fremont County Pioneer Association, Steven Donmyer, Grainger Foundation, Casper, Caroline Werner, Fremont County Pioneer Association

May 10, 2017

Saloons, Bars & Breweries

“Wind River Visions” is the traveling exhibit program from Fremont County Museums.  The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum and the Riverton Museum collaborate on the Wind River Visions program, which identifies significant themes in the Wind River Area and creates a photo exhibit to interpret those aspects of our shared history and culture.

The second exhibit in the Wind River Visions series is titled, “Saloons, Bars & Breweries” had been installed at the Riverton Museum and will remain on exhibit through mid-June before moving to the Pioneer Museum for six weeks. The Dubois Museum will host the exhibit from September through mid-October.  After having been exhibited at all three Fremont County Museums it will be made available to other institutions.

Wind River Visions: Saloons, Bars & Breweries contains 22 panels featuring historic photographs, historic advertisements and photos of historic artifacts and interpretation.

Scott Goetz, Fremont County Museum Central Director said, “The Wind River Visions program is a great way for the museums to collaborate and provide an opportunity for visitors to see important and fun parts of our shared history and to see how connected we actually are as communities.”

The first exhibit in the Wind River Visions series, “Ancient Images of Wind River Country” has recently returned from the Washakie Museum in Worland, WY and will be on exhibit at the Riverton Branch Library through mid-June.  Victoria Frisbee, Washakie Museum Curator, said, “The exhibit was very well received…We really did love it and it looked so nice in our temporary gallery.”

May 9, 2017

Reflecting on the Past

Despite the crummy spring weather the Dubois Museum: Wind River Historical Center had a great turn out for the “’Reflecting on the Past” trek. The trek started at the Dubois Museum gift shop where Steve Banks and Boyd Livingston talked about the history of the Dubois Cemetery. It originally was about where The Opportunity Shop in now. When the main road to Dubois was moved to where it currently is they had to move the cemetery, and they moved it up on the hill where it is now has the best views of the area.

There were 23 people that attended and all had a great time thinking about the past. We visited the graves of several people including Doc. Welty, Onley Green, the Becks, the Williamsons, Martin and Lydia Olsen and Maybel McFarland. We all enjoyed the day and the stories.  Because of interest we will be doing a repeat in August or September for those that want to come again and people who have not come home for the summer yet.

If you would like farther information on our programs please contact the Dubois Museum at 307-455-2284 or email duboismuseum@gmail.com.

Pictured left to right: Boyd Livingston, Darlene Wimmer, Betty Dolcater, Clyde and Nancy Woolery, and Steve Banks.

May 5, 2017

Crowheart Butte

Crowheart Butte has likely attracted travelers as long as there has been travelers. One of the most beautiful sites in Fremont County is seeing Crowheart Butte at sunrise with fog in the valley and the Butte seems to appear from the sea of fog. Not only is it a great photo object but it is also a neat geological feature and is certainly a very significant historical feature as well.

In 1866, there was a battle between the Shoshone and Bannock Indians on one side and the Crow Indians on the other side. The battle was over hunting grounds in the Wind River Basin. It was a very bloody battle and both sides had massive casualties. It was decided that the chiefs of both sides would fight to the death. Chief Washakie of the Shoshone Indians and Chief Big Robber of the Crow Indians fought one-on-one. Chief Washakie won. It is said that Chief Washakie displayed Chief Big Robber’s heart on his lance at the war dance after the battle. This would be why it has the name Crowheart Butte.
If you would like farther information about Crowheart Butte you should stop and read the sign in the parking lot. If the sign were there when these ladies were traveling, I am quite certain they would have stopped to read it too.

April 28, 2017

Fremont County Museum’s Program Sponsors Renew for the Third Consecutive Year

The Fremont County Museums (Dubois Museum, Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum) are thrilled to announce that McDonalds, Wyoming Community Bank and the Wind River Visitors Council have agreed to partner with the museums for the third year to be the title sponsors for the Children’s Exploration Series, Discovery Speakers Series and the Adventure Trek Series respectively.

Scott Goetz, Central Director for Fremont County Museums said, “These three programs have been very successful at all three museums with participation growing since their inception.  The support of our partners is essential to the success of the programs and would not be possible without them.  The museums look forward to continuing to provide special educational opportunities to our communities and our visitors from outside Fremont County.  Few museums within the State can match the numbers of extremely high quality programs we offer and that is a direct result of our partnerships with McDonalds, Wyoming Community Bank and the Wind River Visitors Council.”

“The Wind River Visitors Council loves to promote the Fremont County Museums' Treks to visitors. Because these treks feature our most unique people, animals, history, culture, landscapes and architecture, Wind River Country has many fascinating stories to tell about our area. These are the unique stories our tourists want to know about, and helps keep them in Fremont County for a longer visit.” Paula McCormick: Wind River Visitors Council  

 

April 26, 2017

Pioneer Museum Sheep Shearing Day a Wonderful Wooly Day

On the prettiest day of the spring so far, over 300 people came out to Lander’s Pioneer Museum to celebrate the history and heritage of the sheep industry in Fremont County and have fun.

It was the third annual Sheep Shearing Day, which has been a popular spring event at the museum. Designed to recognize the long history of the sheep industry in the area, there were shearing demonstrations, crafts for kids, a petting zoo, horseback rides and talks on the history of sheep. Sponsored by the Lander and Riverton McDonalds, it was the first Kids Exploration program of the summer.

A new addition this year were lamb burgers grilled up by the Fremont County Pioneer Association. The lamb was provided by  the Wyoming Wool Growers Association (WWGA), and was a huge hit with people.

Amy Hendricks of the WWGA said one of their missions was to get people more aware of how important the sheep industry still was to Wyoming’s economy. The fresh lamb is just one product produced in the state by the industry.

John Farr of Encampment did several talks on the history of the sheep business from the time of Christ to the present. “What a wonderful event,” he said. “It’s a great way to get young people involved in our history.”

According to Museum Curator Randy Wise Sheep Shearing Day will be back. “We are always adding new things and making it a bigger, better event.”

Wise said that there are many events throughout the summer at the museum, from Treks and Speakers to kids exploration programs. Two upcoming events for kids are Kids Gold Panning Day May 11, and Pioneer Arts and Crafts June 10.

Call the museum to sign up (space in the two kid’s program is limited) or check the museum website www.fremontcountymuseums.comfor more information.

April 25, 2017

Pioneer Museum: Miner’s Delight Adventure Trek Changed due to Weather Conditions

The scheduled Wind River Visitors Council Adventure Trek to Miner's Delight on April 29th at 10am has been changed to a walking tour of historic Atlantic City due to the amount of snow that is still present at Miner's Delight and the inability to access the sight.

The walking tour of Atlantic City will take place on the same day and attendees will meet at the Pioneer Museum at 10am.  Call 307-332-3339 for more details.

April 6, 2017

Lander Pioneer Museum holds annual “Sheep Shearing Day” April 22

For over a hundred years spring in Fremont County has meant gathering up the “woolies” for their annual haircut. The Lander Pioneer Museum is recognizing that heritage with the second annual Sheep Shearing Day at the museum, Saturday April 22. From 1 until 3 p.m. there will be shearing demonstrations, weaving, food, crafts and activities for the kids. The event is free and open to the public.

Sheep Shearing day is the first in the museum’s “Kid’s Adventure Series” sponsored by the Lander and Riverton McDonalds: activities and events for young people and families to learn about Lander and Wyoming history.

The Fremont County Pioneer Association will be doing a hot dog roast and serving popcorn. There will be a small petting zoo, sheep wagons, and crafts and other activities for kids.

Sheep industry historian John Farr will be giving a talk on the history of the sheep business the night before. His talk will be at 7 p.m. Friday April 21 in the western gallery of the museum and is free and open to the public. Farr will also be on hand on Saturday to answer questions.

The sheep industry was a huge part of the county’s economy. Many fortunes were made running sheep in the area, and in Lander a number of the large houses on the south side of town were built by money made from wool and mutton. Many sheep wagons are scattered around town, a relic from the days when families had sheep on the range. “Even today many people raise sheep and they are an important part of our agricultural economy,” said Lander Museum Visitor Services Coordinator Randy Wise. “The museum wants to recognize that heritage in a way that kids will have a fun time learning about.”

The Pioneer Museum, and the other county museums in Dubois and Riverton will have events all year including treks to historic sites, speakers and kids events.

The museum is located on the north end of town at 1443 Main Street. Call 307-332-3373 for information, or visit the web at www.fremontcountymuseums.com or on Facebook at Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming.

 

April 3, 2017

Dubois Museum Bluebird Project

The Dubois Community Mountain Bluebird Trail is currently being installed thanks to a partnership between the Dubois Museum and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation (JHWF). A bluebird trail consists of many nesting boxes spaced 100 yards or more apart and located so they can be conveniently monitored by people. Over the course of many years the loss of standing aspens, cottonwoods, and other riparian vegetation in our area has meant the loss of nesting habitat for cavity-dwelling birds. Bluebirds are cavity nesters, naturally using hollows in rotted tree limbs or holes in trees carved out by other cavity-nesting bird species (e.g., woodpeckers). JHWF’s Mountain Bluebird Nestbox Monitoring Project includes overseeing, for the past 13 years, more than 100 nest boxes on the National Elk Refuge. In response to significant habitat loss, the introduction of supplemental nesting cavities on the National Elk Refuge has aided in slowing the decline of Jackson Hole’s Mountain Bluebird population.

The Dubois Community Mountain Bluebird Trail is starting with 32 nest boxes that will be installed between Bull Lake Creek in Crowheart, through to the Town Park in Dubois. Some boxes have already been installed and all of them should be up by the first week of April. Volunteers will monitor the nest boxes at least once per week from April through August. Some of the information collected includes dates, number of eggs laid, eggs hatched, birds fledged. This data is entered into the Nature Mapping Jackson Hole database and will also be shared with the North American Bluebird Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch system. The data gathered as part of this project is helping to increase our understanding of the breeding success of the Mountain Bluebird.

If you are interested in helping with this project or just want more information on the Dubois Community Mountain Bluebird Trail, please contact the Dubois Museum at 307-455-2284 or duboismuseum@gmail.com.

Photo credit:

Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation

 

ABOUT NATURE MAPPING AND THE JACKSON HOLE WILDLIFE FOUNDATION

Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation (JHWF) promotes ways for our local community to live compatibly with wildlife. It accomplishes that mission through focused, on-the-ground projects and through wildlife education. For example, Nature Mapping Jackson Hole is a central program of the JHWF, which provides a platform for citizen scientists to record their wildlife observations. These collective observations create a long-term dataset of wildlife distribution throughout Jackson Hole. NMJH strives to fulfill wildlife observation and distribution needs not already covered by state and federal agencies or local research organizations, informing management decisions that favor wildlife sustainability.

March 29, 2017

Riverton Museum Installs New Exhibit at Riverton Library

"Fashion in the 21st Century"

The Riverton Museum has placed a new temporary exhibit on display at the Riverton Branch Library. The exhibit features cosmetics and fashion from the 1940s - 1950s and tells a bit of the history of fashion and beauty in the 21st Century.  

The exhibit features a special panel on “Poisons in Beauty” and talks about how dangerous chemicals have been used in the past in cosmetics as well as health. The exhibit will be on display at the Riverton Branch Library until October and will be available for viewing during the library’s business hours.  

“Fashions have greatly changed over each decade and this exhibit gives us a view of how fashioned looked in the 1940s-1950s, where hats, rouge, and dresses were essential for a ladies daily style. The addition of the “Poisons in Beauty panel shows us that we haven’t always been careful when it comes to beauty in the past.” said Curator/Assistant Site Director Karline Stelter.  

This is the 7th temporary exhibit that the Riverton Museum has placed at the Riverton Library. For more information about the Riverton Museum and our programs visit our website www.fremontcountymuseums.com, visit our Facebook page, or call the museum at 307-856-2665.

March 2, 2017

Winter Expedition to Brooks Lake Falls

McDonald’s Children’s Exploration Series: Winter Expedition to Brooks Lake Falls: Saturday, March 11, 10:30am-1pm 

Does cabin fever have a hold on you? If so, join us for a fun filled day snowshoeing in this record amount of snow! The event will be Saturday, March 11 beginning at 10:30am and returning around 1:00pm. We will start at the Dubois Museum and transportation will be provided. The trek is for kids 9 years and older, but everyone is welcome to come join the fun.

We will learn about the water cycle and see how water freezes to make snow and ice. We will learn what it takes to form a snowflake.

Be sure to dress in layers and for snowshoeing. Bring plenty of water and a lunch to eat in the outdoors.

If you don’t have snowshoes we will have some. We do need to know how many are going so please register in advance and be sure let us know if you will need a pair of snowshoes. To register call the Dubois Museum at 307-455-2284!

 

 

Riverton Museum Opens New Toy Exhibit

The staff at the Riverton Museum has a new exhibit on display. This exhibit features rotated artifacts that were previously in the museum’s collection as well as a selection of newly accepted artifacts. This exhibit showcases toys and games from the 1920s though the 1950s.   

               “We previously had some of these items on display here in the museum, but the exhibit they were a part of was in desperate need of an update. So we’ve revamped this exhibit and added some items that were added into the collection more recently. This display focuses on the timeframe that better relates to Riverton’s history and gives us an idea of some of the things kids would have done for fun in the past.” Said Felicity Boepple, the Visitors Services Coordinator.

The exhibit shows artifacts such as a Stereoscope, a Riverton themed Monopoly board game, and even a stuffed Bambi deer that is stuffed with straw. These items, along with the rest of the exhibit, gives a glimpse into fun and games in the past. It also provides a walk down memory lane for Riverton residents who possibly played with items like these as children and young adults.

This display will be on a semi-permanent display in the Riverton Museum. Stop by anytime Monday – Saturday from 10am -4pm to see the exhibit. Or call 307-856-2665 with any questions.

December 23, 2016

Dubois Middle School Visits “Wind River Visions” taveling exhibit

Mrs. Graff brought her 6th, 7th and 8th grade classes to the Museum as a follow up from a field trip early in the fall. Dubois Museum lead the classes on a field trip to the petroglyphs and Ring Lake Ranch early in the fall. This trip was great for everyone involved and the kids got to see things they may never have the opportunity to see again. They had activities to do that helped them think about the people that created the petroglyphs. 

The recent visit was to follow up with an exercise that related to the “Wind River Visions: Ancient Images of the Wind River Basin” traveling petroglyph exhibit that is currently at the Dubois Museum. This exhibit highlights petroglyphs from the county and really enhanced the educational experience for the Dubois Middle School kids who started this journey locally a few months ago. 

“Wind River Visions” is the traveling exhibit program created in partnership by the Dubois Museum, Fremont County Pioneer Museum and the Riverton Museum.  The program is meant to enhance the visitor experience and provide a more complete educational experience for the public.   

According to Scott Goetz: Central Director Fremont County Museums, “Ancient Images of the Wind River Basin” is the first traveling exhibit completed by the Fremont County Museums and will be sent to the Washakie Museum in Worland for a two month stay in March.  The program also provides us a valuable opportunity to promote our museums and programs to people from outside of this area and encourage visitation.  The second exhibit in the series is currently in development and due out in May.  The exhibit has yet to be titled, but will focus on historic breweries and saloons in the Wind River Area.  The newest exhibit will rotate through our museums over the course of the summer and fall before it will be made available to other museums.” 

For more information, contact the Dubois Museum, 909 West Ramshorn,

307-455-2284  duboismuseum@gmail.com.  www.fremontcountymuseums.com

 

Photo Caption:

Maggie McStay is discussing possibilities with her team about the area petroglyphs.

Photo credit:

Johanna Thompson

December 6, 2016

Harper’s Weekly Lithographs of Frederick Remington’s Early Work on Exhibit at Pioneer Museum in Lander

cowboys-riding-to-townA fantastic exhibit is on loan to the Fremont County Pioneer Museum for the next year.

A collection of 30 original Harper's Weekly magazine covers that date from the late 1880's to early 1890's and depict the early work of Frederick Remington in the form of lithographs.

"It is rare to find such pristine original examples of these historic magazine covers and is a real treat to have them on exhibit at our museum.  To see the detail created from the woodblock carvings that so accurately reflect the original work of the artist is remarkable." Scott Goetz Fremont County Museum Central Director

November 30, 2016

Merry Christmas From Fremont County Museums

wreath-with-logosThe staff, board and volunteers associated with all three of Fremont County’s Museums (Dubois Museum, Fremont County Pioneer Museum & Riverton Museum) wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. 

Each museum is hosting a series of special events and activities to celebrate the holidays and invite visitors to step back in time and enjoy the history, stories, memories that make our communities unique.  Each museum will have special seasonal Christmas exhibits that feature rarely seen artifacts, historic toys and photos that will have you taking a stroll down memory lane.

It begins in Dubois on December 3rd from 7-9pm at the Headwaters Center.  The Dubois Museum, Friends of the Dubois Library and the Dubois Museum Association are hosting the Annual “Spirit of Christmas Concert.”  Enjoy live music and dance to Packin’ the Mail, a treasure trove of special deserts and see Santa.

The Fremont County Pioneer Museum, the Pioneer Association and the Museum of the American West will host a Christmas open house and Pioneer Village Holiday Light exhibit along the board walk.  The open house will be from 6 to 8 pm and will feature live music, treats, crafts and plenty of holiday cheer, 15% discounts during the open house on all items in the gift store.

The Dubois Museum will also be hosting an open house on December 10th from 11-3pm.  Enjoy treats, the special traveling petroglyph exhibit Wind River Visions: “Ancient Images of the Wind River Country”, and 30% discounts in the gift store.

The Riverton Museum is hosting a special McDonald’s Children’s Exploration Series program on December 10th at 10am where kids can make their own Christmas Stockings.  Cut, decorate and sew your own stocking, just like your grandparents did.  The on December 17th from 5-6:30 pm the Riverton Museum is hosting its own open house with cookies, hot coco, holiday exhibits and discounts in the gift shop to help find something unique and special for friends and family.

From our Fremont County Museum family to yours, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years.

November 9, 2016

Pioneer Museum and Kiwanis Benefit from Mease Donation

mease-anvil-5The Lander Pioneer Museum and the Lander Kiwanis both benefited from the most recent Guns, Boots and Brands” fundraiser thanks to the generosity of Jack Mease and Fremont Toyota.

Mease, a local craftsman and artist made a historically accurate scale model replica of a pioneer anvil and all the tools. He donated the anvil to Kiwanis to help them raise money to support local youth activities with the stipulation that whoever bought the anvil would then donate it to the museum.

John New and Fremont Toyota purchased the miniature anvil set for $675.00. The money went to Kiwanis and the anvil will become part of the Pioneer Museum’s permanent collection.

Jack Mease is a genius in my opinion,” said New. His artistry in creating these miniatures is amazing. He does everything by hand and it is all accurate to the tiniest detail.” New said he and Fremont Toyota were proud to support Kiwanis and the museum. We want to help our community, and this was a way to support two very worthy organizations.”

All money raised by Kiwanis goes to support youth in the community. A wide variety of activities benefit from the money raised, including Little League Baseball, Lander schools 6th grade trip to Yellowstone and helping send History Days and Future Business Leaders of America to national competitions.

mease-anvil-4We are really grateful for people who are willing to invest in our youth,” said Kiwanis President Dennis Van Denbos. Supporting our youth strengthens our communities.”

Van Denbos said over 300 people attended the 3rd annual Guns, Boots and Brands” event and all the art, and guns were auctioned off.

“We’d also like to thank our art sponsor Mike Bailey of Bailey’s Tire, who sponsored Jack’s work,” said Van Denbos.

 

 

November 1, 2016

Historic Walking Tours in Dubois, Lander & Riverton Unveiled

delfelder-walking-tour-imagae-croppedThe Dubois Museum: Wind River Historical Center, the Fremont County Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum have worked together with Maker Space 307 to create the Historic Walking Tour program in each of their respective communities.

Each museum has selected a number of historic buildings in their communities to be included on the Historic Walking Tour. The staff at each museum has compiled the historic content and photos for each the historically significant buildings. Each of the individual buildings that have been included have a sticker in the window with a brief description of the building and a historic image of the building. Each sticker also includes a QR code that can be scanned and will take you directly to the Fremont County Museums website Historic Walking Tour pages at www.fremontcountymuseums.com where you can find more a map with the locations of each building and more information and photos regarding each building.

Scott Goetz, Fremont County Museums Central Director said, “This is a project that has been more than a year in the making, and we are pleased to have completed the initial phase of the project. We have designed the program so that more buildings can be added in the future as research can be completed. This is another great collaboration between the three museums and a great opportunity to tell more locals and visitors about our history and culture.”

Check out the website to see the entire Walking Tour in each town.

October 21, 2016

Lander’s Pioneer Museum Receives John Buckley Made Saddle from Family

saddle-1Lander Pioneer Museum has new donation of an unusual John Buckley saddle on display

One of the most important business’ in a rural Wyoming community in the late 1800s and early 1900s was the livery stable and a saddle maker. In those days everyone depended on horses and wagons to travel and work, and a reliable person to fix a wagon wheel, make or fix a saddle or a repair a harness was critical.

The Lander Pioneer Museum has an extensive collection of saddles made here in Lander. The museum has a saddle made by most of the early saddle makers including W. F. Chalmers, Finn Burnett, James Farlow, Hamilton Wort, and W.L. Vaughn.  Until recently, a major missing piece was a saddle by noted leather worker John P. Buckley, who had a shop in Lander from 1907 to 1914.

In the last year the museum has received three Buckley saddles, the most recent was donated by Buckley’s grandson in California. “My grandfather would have wanted his saddle in Lander,” said Charles Buckley. “He loved the town and was very successful there.” The saddle is unique because it has built in saddle bags, a Buckley trademark. According to museum curator Randy Wise the donation included Buckley’s saddle making stand. “The stand is actually even more important than the saddle in some ways, it dates to at least 1880 and was used by Buckley in his shop here and across Wyoming.”

Buckley’s well-made, elaborately tooled yet functional saddles sold for $35 to $80 for adult sizes; youth saddles were priced around $25.00.

Several Buckley saddles were sold to a troupe of “rough riders” with a wild west show in Philadelphia. Buckley claimed that a Wyoming cowboy working in the new film industry in Los Angeles had introduced Buckley saddles to his “actor friends,” and “if you look closely at the cowboy scenes prepared by one of the leading film houses there you will find the riders astride Buckley’s Royal Chief saddles. It pays to advertise!”

Buckley sold his business in 1914. His shop was described in the Wyoming State Journal as “The best harness shop in the state of Wyoming.” The paper said Buckley was suffering from rheumatism and was going to spend time in Thermopolis where he hoped the hot springs would help his health. The newspaper story continued with the writer hoping Buckley would return to town because “Lander can ill afford to lose a man of Mr. Buckley’s business abilities.”

Buckely did return to Lander in 1916 and bought the ornate “Bossert Building” in the 200 block of Main Street. He installed a movie theater in the building and called it “The Grand Theater.”

ocal men Ed Stelzner and E.A. McDonald bought Buckley’s saddle shop and continued to make saddles in the increasingly competitive business. The automobile was making the livery stable and saddle shop a thing of the past, and most business savvy blacksmiths were learning how to repair cars, converting their stables to garages.

October 17, 2016

Riverton Museum Continues Temporary Exhibit Program at Riverton Library

library-exhibit-fall-2016-fThe Riverton Museum is proud to announce their sixth installment of exhibits in their partnership with the Riverton Library. “We crafted this display over the course of 4-6 weeks. We wanted to focus on agriculture in this area because of how important it was and still is to the town of Riverton and Fremont County.” Said Karline Stetler the Riverton Museum's curator.

The exhibit is comprised mostly of equipment used in farming from the early 1900s through the 1950s as well as photos of farming operations around Riverton. It also features seeds from some of the most common plants grown around Riverton and Wyoming even to this day.

Felicity Boepple the Visitors Services Coordinator at the Riverton Museum had this to say about the exhibit. “We are very excited to have this exhibit on temporary display at the library. It’s a beautifully put together exhibit and it really gives adults and kids something to learn from and enjoy.” The exhibit is available for viewing for Free at the Riverton Library during their normal operation hours, Monday - Thursday 10am till 9pm and Friday-Saturday 10am-4pm. The Riverton Library is located at 1330 W Park Ave, Riverton, Wy.

Please call the Riverton Museum at 307-845-2665 with any questions.

September 19, 2016

Dubois Museum Hosts 2nd Season of “Jammin’ at the Museum”

jammin%20at%20the%20museumDue to popular demand the jams are back, not cherry either. The Dubois Museum is starting their second season of “Jammin’ at the Museum.”

The music jams will be the last Sunday of the month from September through March, excluding December due to the holiday season. The first jam will be Sunday, September 25. All of the jam sessions start at 2pm and will be held in the Main Gallery of the Dubois Museum.

Everyone is welcome to come play, sing or just soak in the sounds.

For more information, contact the Dubois Museum, 909 West Ramshorn, 307-455-2284 or by email at duboismuseum@gmail.com.  www.fremontcountymuseums.com

Explore future Dubois Museum events including Sunday, October 1st Wind River Visitors Council Adventure Trek : Respecting Dubois’ Past from 11am-1pm. The trek starts at the Dubois museum and will go to the Dubois Cemetery.

August 3, 2016

Wind River Visions: Ancient Images of the Wind River Basin

p4The three Fremont County Museums have again collaborated to create their first traveling exhibit.   “Wind River Visions” is the name of the traveling exhibit program that has been created and will highlight different aspects of Fremont County’s important and unique history. 

The first exhibit, “Wind River Visions: Ancient Images of the Wind River Basin” will be on exhibit at the Pioneer Museum in Lander, the Dubois Museum and the Riverton Museum over the next several months to give local residents the first opportunity to view the exhibit.  After its initial opening at each museum it will be made available to other State and regional museums.

People have lived in the Wind River Basin for thousands of years. Some of the most evocative evidence of prehistoric people are petroglyphs and pictographs on many rock faces across Fremont County.

A new exhibit put together by Fremont County’s three museums explores some of the distinct styles, imagery and techniques found across the area.

The exhibit showcases over 30 full color panels showing the unique Dinwoody Tradition found around Dubois, the Castle Garden Shield Style found East of Riverton, as well as pictographs (which are painted images).

“Each part of the Wind River Basin has unique and fascinating prehistoric imagery,” said Lander Museum Curator Randy Wise. “This exhibit will give people a nice introduction to an important part of Fremont County’s history.

The exhibit is on display at the Lander Museum through mid September, it will then be displayed at the Dubois museum followed by the Riverton museum.

The exhibit is designed to travel, and is expected to be displayed at other museums and cultural facilities around the state and region.

“This is another step in the growth of our museum system,” said Scott Goetz, Central Director for the Fremont County Museum System.  “By sharing our unique history with other institutions, we can increase the number of people who know about, and want to visit, the truly valuable collections found at the Fremont County Museums.”

According to Goetz this is the first of several traveling exhibits that will be developed by the three museums.

Contact Goetz at 307-332-1075 for more information about hosting the exhibit. For more information about Fremont County Museums visit the web at www. fremontcountymusuems.com

July 11, 2016

Ralston/Chief Washakie Exhibit at the Pioneer Museum Receives National Coverage

 

true west074Pioneer Museum in Lander Receives National Coverage for Ralston/Chief Washakie Exhibit

The Ralston/Chief Washakie Exhibit has recently been featured in the August issue of prominent western publication, True West Magazine.  Jana Bommersbach, an Emmy winning journalist and Arizona Journalist of the Year wrote, “Crusade for a Chief: A Wyoming town preserves the nerve and pluck of a notable Shoshone Chief”.  The article touches on the history of the paintings and Chief Washakie’s role in the development of the west, in addition to the Pioneer Museum’s storied history and recent 100th anniversary.

In October 2016 the Fremont County Pioneer Museum in Lander opened an exhibition of paintings by J.K. Ralston commissioned by Harold Del Monte for the Noble Hotel to tell the story of the life of Shoshone Chief Washakie in 23 paintings.  The paintings had not been seen in Lander for almost 50 years when the curtain dropped on the unveiling.  “This is a real honor for the exhibit, the museum and Lander,” said Museum Curator Randy Wise. “True West is read by people around the world, and it will really raise our profile as a destination for people.”

In addition to the extensive collection of artifacts from the Lander Valley, the museum is featuring classic western art like the Ralston collection. The paintings were commissioned by Harold Del Monte to hang in the Noble Hotel in the mid-1940s. Ralston was an up and coming western artist, and his epic oils about the life of Chief Washakie were a major feature in the old Noble Hotel.

Ralston went on to become a major western painter, and the Washakie Paintings were on display in the hotel until it closed in the 1960s. They went into storage, except for a brief appearance at the state capitol in Cheyenne. According to the museum staff Lander is where the paintings should be. “They were created here to be displayed here, and are about Chief Washakie, who spent the bulk of his life in the Wind River Valley,” said Wise.

The museum, the Pioneer Association and the Museum of the American West have started a campaign to keep the paintings permanently in Lander. People interested in donating should contact the museum.

The Ralston paintings will be on exhibit through mid-October, then in that part of the museum gallery a new exhibit of Frederick Remington lithographs will be on display. Titled “Dramatic Moments,” the Remington art will be on display for a year. A grand unveiling is set for November 5.

True West Magazine is recognized as the premier magazine about Western American History, and is the world's oldest, continuously-published Western American magazine.  Scott Goetz, Fremont County Museum Central Director said, “It is very gratifying for everyone associated with the museums to have our work recognized by such a prominent and popular western history magazine.  I am extremely proud of the efforts of all of the staff at the Pioneer Museum that put the exhibit together and thankful to Sandy Del Monte for the loan of the paintings, Dave Raynolds for his and his families patronage and the National Outdoor Leadership School for the loan of the Noble Hotel furniture that is used as part of the interpretation.”

The Lander Pioneer Museum was opened in 1915, and is the oldest history museum in Wyoming. For more information on the museum visit the website at fremontcountymuseum.com or Facebook at Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming. Hours are Monday through Saturday 9 to 5. Call 307-332-3339 for information.

July 8, 2016

Rare Collection of Toy Soldiers on Exhibit At The Riverton Museum

toy soldier 3 The Riverton Museum currently has a new display up, showcasing a collection of unique toy soldiers from Pre-World War II. The collection, donated by Paul Hughes, in memory of his Uncle Joe who played with these toys as a boy, shows the progression of toy soldiers and their importance to the time period of the late 1930s, into the 1940s.

“The collection is very unique,” says curator Karline Stelter. “We have soldiers dating back to 1935, prior to World War II when materials for crafting these soldiers were available before World War II.We have on display toy soldiers from the Auburn Rubber Company, The Bergen Toy & Novelty Co., and the Louis Marx & Company Soldier of Fortune . Anyone who once used to play with these styles and types of toys are welcome to stop by the Riverton Museum and take a stroll down memory lane”, says Karline Stetler.

The new exhibit will be up for the summer season and everyone is welcome to come in and see the toy soldiers on display. The Riverton Museum is located at 700 E. Park Avenue and is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Saturday.

July 6, 2016

Pioneer Museum Welcomes New Collections Manager

Kelsey Perrigo           The Fremont County Museums are pleased to announce the addition of Kelsey Perrigo to the Fremont County Pioneer Museum staff.  Ms. Perrigo will take over for Connie Shannon who retired in May after five years of dedicated service.

The Kelsey Perrigo grew up in Indiana and graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology. She moved on to New Mexico State University where she achieved her Master of Arts in Anthropology, while simultaneously completing the requirements for a Graduate Certification in Museum Studies. She comes to us from the Miami County Museum in Peru, Indiana where she was the Director/Curator.  Ms. Perrigo has worked at a number of facilities in her career including the Johnson County Museum of History in New Mexico, the New Mexico State University Museum, and the Branigan Cultural Center.

Ms. Perrigo will join the staff in early July.  In her free time, she enjoys exploring the great outdoors, reading, and trying new things.

Scott Goetz, Central Director for Fremont County Museums said, “We were fortunate to have a good number of qualified candidates for the Collections Manager position at the Pioneer Museum to interview.  Ms. Perrigo stood out based on her range of experience and understanding of collections management and how that relates to the overall management of a museum.  We are looking forward to getting her on board.”

June 30, 2016

New God Mining display at the the Pioneer Museum

sp 5x7The discovery of gold around South Pass brought the first significant permanent population of white people to this part of Wyoming. As the gold played out, miners moved from the mountains to the valley to become farmers, ranchers and businessmen in the new town of Lander.

A new exhibit at the Pioneer Museum in Lander traces the South Pass gold boom from the discovery of gold in the 1840s, to the big booms of the 1870s, and the eventual bust that left the mining district full of ghost towns.

The exhibit was created with the help of the staff at South Pass City State Historic Site, and features mining tools, including a rare Leyner drift drill. The display also looks at the geology of the gold district and has samples of ore bearing quartz.

According to Museum Curator Randy Wise, the exhibit helps explain the development of the Lander Valley. “Many of the prominent early names in Lander’s history started at South Pass, Atlantic City or Miners Delight. Amoretti, Baldwin, and Nickerson are all considered city fathers of Lander, and they all came here to work the gold mines.” Wise said the exhibit traces the lives of several of these pioneers from the mines to successful lives in the Valley.

The Pioneer Museum’s hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Call the museum at 307-332-3373 for more information, or visit the museum Facebook page: Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming.

June 29, 2016

New Prehistoric Pottery display at the Pioneer Museum

pottery 4x6 2Pottery is an important part of many Southwestern Native American cultures, and most visitors see many examples across the region. While pottery was used by prehistoric people in Wyoming, the state is not known for its pottery. Most people are surprised that Wyoming has pottery at all.

A new exhibit at the Pioneer Museum in Lander examines pottery used by Native Americans in Wyoming. The display has a large map showing what styles were used where, and several reproductions of pottery that would have been used. There are a number of sherds of actual pottery recovered by archeologists in Wyoming. “Unfortunately broken pieces are what are found,” said Museum Curator Randy Wise. “It is rare that intact vessels are found, and the history of Wyoming pottery is still being figured out.”

The exhibit was created with the help of the University of Wyoming    Archaeological Repository and Curation Facility. The shards on display are part of the collection held by the Repository.

The pottery exhibit is part of the Native American section of the Lander museum, which has seen several new exhibits developed over the last year.

“Pottery was used by people in Wyoming, and while it wasn’t as extensive as other places, it does help us understand people’s lives from long ago,” Wise said. According to Wise several Southwestern styles of pottery have been found in southern Wyoming, probably arriving in the state as trade goods from other states.

The Pioneer Museum’s hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Call the museum at 307-332-3373 for more information, or visit the museum Facebook page: Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming.

June 23, 2016

Dubois Museum: Wind River Historical Center Makes Improvements

New Boardwalk (2)The Dubois Museum with the help of the Dubois Museum Association and other volunteers finished two great projects projects recently.  One, was the replacement of the old boardwalk and the other was the installation of new LED lighting with motion sensors in all the historic cabins.

All of these much needed repairs were made possible by volunteer help provided by the Dubois Museum Association and local grants. Various grants were awarded to the Dubois Museum Association that include: Wyoming Community Foundation, The Opportunity Shop, Never Sweat Recreation Board and Fremont County Recreation Board. The Dubois Museum was also awarded a grant from The Opportunity Shop.

The crew of boardwalk volunteers included, Tom Lucas, Don and Cheryl Schlup, Doug Valentine, Betty Dolcater, John Angst and Mark Hinchburger. Homespun Electrical did an excellent job installing the lighting and going above and beyond to make the lighting a true asset to anyone’s experience in the cabins at the Dubois Museum. Connie Ticknor also volunteered on the lighting project.   "Thank you to the grant committees and everyone who volunteered with these projects, it would have never been done without you," Johanna Thompson VSC Dubois Museum.

Restoration of the stage area in the back of the museum is scheduled to begin June 27th and should be completed for the annual fun filled Dubois Museum Day on July 16th.

If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the day come rediscover the Dubois Museum & Wind River Historical Center, things keep changing for the better.  Checkwww.fremontcountymuseums.com for a complete schedule of events at all three Fremont County Museums.

Photo credit:

Betty Dolcater

June 7, 2016

Dubois Museum to auction the Dr. J David and Mrs. Jane Love Sheepwagon

 

Love SheepwagonOn May 19, 2001 Dr. David and Mrs. Jane Love bought the sheepwagon at an auction held at the Traingle C Ranch. They used the wagon at their property in the Dinwoody area east of Dubois. On July 31, 2012, Jane Love donated the sheepwagon to the Dubois Museum & Wind River Historical Center in memory of J. David Love for the purpose of sale with the proceeds to benefit the Dubois Museum.

Bidding for the Love Sheepwagon will begin on June 1, 2016. The bidding will close on July 15, 2016 at 12:00pm.

The Love Sheepwagon is currently on display at the Dubois Museum.

If you would like more information or a bid form please contact the Dubois Museum in person at 909 W. Ramshorn St., by phone at 307-455-2284, or by email duboismuseum@gmail.com.

 

May 26, 2016

Fremont County Museums add a touch of history to Riverton Justice Center

 

IMG_0051 JCThe new Riverton Justice Center located at 1160 Major Avenue has added eleven historic photos and interpretive text to interior of the Justice Center.

The project is a result of a partnership between Fremont County Building Maintenance, the Fremont County Sheriff's office, the Fremont County Attorney's office, Riverton Circuit Court and the Fremont County Museums.

The project started in 2015, J.R. Oakley, Fremont County Building Maintenance Manager asked the Museums to help come up with something that would enhance the interior of the new Justice Center.  The Riverton Museum staff carefully selected a variety of photographs they felt were representative of Fremont County from the photographic collections of the Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum.  The images were submitted to the Courts Security Committee who made the final selections.

“By adding some old photographs to the walls, we now have a progression of the town of Riverton, and photographs of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes to be seen by the public, with more to come in the future,” said Randy Trehearne, security guard at the Justice Center.

Karline Stetler, curator at the Riverton Museum worked with Randy Trehearne during the process.  The Riverton Museum mounted the images and crafted the text for the new exhibit. “We had the Pioneer Museum in Lander and the

Dubois Museum send photographs of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone to add to the collection. One photograph is of Chief Washakie’s camp up on South Pass; as well as a photograph of the Northern Arapaho camp with the Wind River Range in the background. Each photograph was carefully selected for the Justice Center and the Fremont County Museums are pleased to hear that the staff at the Justice Center are happy with the outcome.”

J.R. Oakley, Fremont County Building Maintenance Manager said, “I am excited about working with the Museums to put together other exhibits in public spaces within the County’s buildings.”

April 18, 2016

Vote for Wyoming’s Most Significant Artifacts

Dubois, Lander and Riverton Museums all represented in, “Wyoming’s Most Significant Artifacts” program

Wyoming’s Most Significant Artifacts program was launched in 2015 by the Wyoming State Historical Society in partnership with the University of Wyoming Libraries in celebration of 125 years of Wyoming Statehood.  Its purpose is to provide recognition to the cultural institutions throughout Wyoming that preserve and provide access to collections that enhance our enjoyment and understanding of Wyoming’s heritage and provide ongoing learning and research opportunities.

The program involves identifying some of our state’s most treasured artifacts. An artifact is defined as an artistic or historic item (or related group of items) and may include a wide variety of items such as documents, books, photographs, recordings, artwork, and 3 dimensional items. It does not include structures or buildings.

Each of the three museums within the Fremont County Museum System have submitted artifacts for consideration as, “Wyoming’s Most Significant Artifacts”.  Scott Goetz: Central Director for Fremont County Museums said, “It is great to see the artifacts submitted by the Dubois Museum, Pioneer Museum and Riverton Museum be selected by the jury to move to the next round where the public can help determine the Top 10 by voting.  We are fortunate to have many historically significant artifacts at our museums and are very proud to be considered for this year’s top 10.  I think it speaks to the quality and historical significance of the collections at our museums.”  The 25 artifacts that the public will have the opportunity to vote on can be seen at,

http://www-lib.uwyo.edu/wyoming/top_ten_historical_artifacts/home_wyoming_artifacts.cfm

DM Steatite BowlThe Dubois Museum submitted for consideration a steatite bowl made by The Mountain Shoshone also known as the Sheep Eaters. Steatite quarries have been found near Simpson and Soapstone Lakes in the Wind River Mountains near Dubois. These bowls were used to store herbs, minerals and other materials that could be ground into powder to be used as paint, medicine and other substances. Steatite also retains heat, and was used to make cooking pots by the Sheep Eaters. The steatite bowls are heavy and were too bulky to be carried with the Sheep Eaters on their migration routes, so they would leave them at old campsites to be used when they returned the next year. The steatite bowls that have been found in the Dubois area were near these old campsites. This steatite bowl was found in 1929 by a local Dubois, WY rancher in the Torrey Creek area of the Wind River Mountains, and was donated to the Dubois Museum in 1984.

ralston 1 smallerThe Pioneer Museum in Lander submitted a collection of 23 epic oil paintings currently on loan to the museum chronicling the life of one of Wyoming's most famous people, Shoshone Chief Washakie. Painted by famed Western artist J.K. Ralston in the mid-1940s, the paintings hung in the Noble Hotel in Lander for decades. When the hotel closed in 1969, the paintings went into storage except for a brief display at the state capitol in Cheyenne.  Currently on display back in their home in Lander.

RM 2016 Wyoming Nomination photographThe Riverton Museum submitted a collection of documents that refer to the opening of the Wind River Indian Reservation for settlement in Wyoming in 1906. The collection consists of a map of the Wind River Indian Reservation, drafted on June 2, 1906; Circular from the Department of the Interior; notice of Result of Drawing for Lands postcard, dated August 9, 1906; Proclamation from the President of the United States; Regulations booklet from the Department of the Interior; booklet listing the schedule of lands ceded, subject to disposition under the President’s Proclamation; and a souvenir medallion commemorating the opening of the reservation for settlement.

Voting is open to the public from through July 15th 2016 and can be found at

https://survey.uwyo.edu/TakeSurveyActionComplete.aspx

“I would like to encourage everyone to follow the link and vote for the artifacts represented in your Fremont County Museums, it would be great to see all three in the Top 10 this year.” Scott Goetz

Sheep Shearing Day at the Pioneer Museum in Lander

sheep 4Celebrate the history of the sheep industry in Fremont County

For over a hundred years spring in Fremont County has meant gathering up the “woolies” for their annual haircut. The Lander Pioneer Museum is recognizing that heritage with the second annual Sheep Shearing Day at the museum, Saturday April 23. From 1 until 3 p.m. there will be shearing demonstrations, weaving, food, crafts and activities for the kids. The event is free and open to the public.

Sheep Shearing day is the first in the museum’s “Kid’s Adventure Series” sponsored by the Lander and Riverton McDonalds: activities and events for young people and families to learn about Lander and Wyoming history.

There will be shearing demonstrations, and the Fremont County Fiber Arts Guild will be doing demonstrations of weaving, spinning and other uses of wool. The Fremont County Pioneer Association will be doing a hot dog roast and serving popcorn. There will be a small petting zoo, sheep wagons, and crafts and other activities for kids.

The sheep industry was a huge part of the county’s economy. Many fortunes were made running sheep in the area, and in Lander a number of the large houses on the south side of town were built by money made from wool and mutton. Many sheep wagons are scattered around town, a relic from the days when families had sheep on the range. “Even today many people raise sheep and they are an important part of our agricultural economy,” said Lander Museum Visitor Services Coordinator Randy Wise. “The museum wants to recognize that heritage in a way that kids will have a fun time learning about.”

The Pioneer Museum, and the other county museums in Dubois and Riverton will have events all year including treks to historic sites, speakers and kids events.

The museum is located on the north end of town at 1443 Main Street. Call 307-332-3373 for information, or visit the web at www.fremontcountymuseums.com or on Facebook at Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming.

April 4, 2016

Riverton Museum: Hosts Poetry Workshop

Carol DeeringRiverton Museum Association (RMA) is sponsoring a Poetry Workshop Saturday, April 9 @ 1:00 PM at the Riverton Museum.

Join local poets Echo Klaproth and Carol L. Deering for a fun afternoon of creating poetry through history. Bring your inspiration and your notebooks for an opportunity to learn from some of the best poets in Fremont County.

Welcoming High School & College students. This program is free to the public. Workshop will be held at the Riverton Museum.

Echo Klaproth

March 31, 2016

Story of the Wind River Rendezvous

RM Rendezvous2The Riverton Museum has updated an exhibit that has been in the museum for a number of years. Originally called the Trapper exhibit that showcased the tools of local trapper Jake Korell, the exhibit has been updated to reflect the gathering of rendezvous that occurred on the Wind River in 1830 and 1838.

The exhibit now details about the fur trade in the early 1800s. “The original exhibit had been up for quite a few years and was in serious need of updating. The items now in the Rendezvous case are related to the 1830 and the 1838 rendezvous, and gives descriptions of the rendezvous held on the confluence of the Wind Rivers. We are very excited to have this new exhibit up.” stated curator Karline Stetler

The new Rendezvous exhibit is located in the Main Hall of the Riverton Museum. The Riverton Museum has worked with the Wind River Heritage Center to create the new exhibit.  “Working with the Heritage Center is a great partnership, and we hope that we can continue the support that we give each other.” states Karline Stetler

March 23, 2016

Coming up at the Museums April 7, 9, 10

 

DM TetonsThis weekend at the Dubois Museum and the Pioneer Museum in Lander we have several great programs for people to enjoy.

First, the Dubois Museum will host a Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speaker Series program by Matt Stirn and Rebecca Sgouros, titled “Continuing Teton Archaeological Project”.  Stirn and Sgouros are with the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum and will present their findings from the 2015 summer of archaeological research. You will discover the results of new studies in terrestrial and ice patch archaeological sites. Everyone is welcome to attend and it is free to attend.

The adventure will be Thursday, April 14 at 7pm at the Headwaters Community Arts & Conference Center.

stockton Book CoverNext up is the Pioneer Museum in Lander, who host two programs this this week.  Beginning April 7th at 7:00 pm in the Western Gallery the Pioneer Museum hosts another Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series program by Kent Stockton titled, “Cowboy Poetry by Kent Stockton.  Kent Stockton has been writing cowboy poetry since the 1970s, and has been featured at many cowboy poetry gatherings around the west.  His poems have been widely printed, and he has several published books of his work. Kent and his wife run a cow calf operation near of Riverton.

The program will feature heart-warming tales about cowboys, horses, kids and the wide open landscape they live in. The program will last about an hour. The poetry program is also part of the “One County/Many Voices” series.  All ages are welcome and the program is free to the public.

Finally, the Grounds of the Lander Pioneer Museum will sprout canvas tents, muskets and U.S. Flags with 35 stars Saturday and Sunday, April 9 and 10. The Riverton based Living History group “C Company 6th U.S. Infantry” will stage a historically accurate Civil War army campsoldiers camp at the museum.

Kids, families and the general public are welcome to come see demonstrations of camp life, musketry, camp cooking and chat with the soldiers about their life. The camp will be active from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, and from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sunday. The event is free. The group did a living history demonstration at the Lander museum last year over the Fourth of July. “They did a terrific job and there was a huge amount of interest from the public,” said Randy Wise, museum Visitor Services Coordinator. “We are excited to have them back. Anyone interested in history will really enjoy this event.”

The 6th U.S. Infantry was one of the most decorated units in the Civil War. They also saw action on the Western Plains during the Indian Wars in the 1870s.

The camp is this year’s first McDonalds Children’s Exploration Series program; a program series dedicated to activities and events for young people and families to learn about Lander and Wyoming history. The next kids and families event at the Lander museum will be Sheep Shearing Day April 23.

The Dubois Museum is located at 700 West Ramshorn in Dubois and the Pioneer Museum is located at 1443 Main Street. Call 307-455-2284 to contact the Dubois Museum and 307-332-3373 for the Pioneer Museum, or visit the web at www.fremontcountymuseums.com or on Facebook at Dubois Museum and Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming.

 

 

 

Photo Caption:

What could be left to explore in the mountains?

Photo credit:

Sally Wulbrecht

 

Photo caption: Kent Stockton’s latest book

Photo caption: One of company C’s camps. The group does historically accurate depictions of Civil War soldiers in the field.

Company C doing a musket firing demonstration. The group, based in Riverton, does historically accurate depictions of a soldiers life in the late 1800s.

March 21, 2016

New displays on Oregon Trail, Hunting and Fishing and prehistoric artifacts at Lander’s Pioneer Museum

LM proj pointsThree new exhibits have just opened at Lander’s Pioneer Museum. A large case dedicated to the Emigrant Trails in Fremont County, a hunting and fishing exhibit featuring vintage rifles and fishing gear, and two cases of prehistoric tools and projectile points can now be seen in the main gallery of the museum.

According to Randy Wise, the museum’s Visitor Services Coordinator, the displays will help visitors understand the unique history of this area. “The Emigrant Trails, which included the Oregon, California and Mormon trails, went right across Wyoming and through South Pass. Without that easy path through the Rockies, the settlement of western America would have been very different, we may not have had a United States that stretched from the east coast to the west.” said Wise. The exhibit focuses on the hazards of the trip across the continent.

According to Wise the prehistory of the Lander Valley is by far the longest part of its history, and the new display features projectile points as old as 12,000 years.

“We have a huge collection and are working to update our main gallery displays to keep them fresh and exciting for repeat and first time visitors,” said Wise.LM em trail

The museum will continue to have rotating displays in the lobby and Western Gallery, featuring exhibits from other museums and new acquisitions by the Lander museum. The Chief Washakie paintings that used to hang in the Noble Hotel are still on display in the main gallery. This fall an exhibit of Frederick Remington lithographs will be a featured exhibit. The museum celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

The Pioneer Museum’s winter hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Call the museum at 307-332-3373 for more information, visit www.fremontcountymuseums.com, or visit the museum Facebook page: Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming.

 

Photo captions: The new Emigrant Trail Exhibit featuring cast iron pots discarded along the trail by pioneers; The hunting and fishing exhibit featuring vintage firearms; The prehistoric projectile points exhibit that has a chronological timeline from 12,000 years to the present.

“Nez Perce Trail”, by Dan Eakin, Senior Archaeologist

 

Dan Eakin

Dan Eakin

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery

Speaker Series: Nez Perce Trail

The Dubois Museum will host Dan Eakin, Senior Archaeologist, Office of the Wyoming State Archaeologist, who will present his studies on the Nez Perce National Historic Trail. You will discover the routes, events and artifacts that characterized the 1877 event. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The adventure will be Thursday, March 31 at 7pm at the Headwaters Community Arts & Conference Center.

This is the first in the Wyoming Community Bank Speakers Series for the Dubois Museum this year. This series continues all year at all three of the County Museums.

Explore future Dubois Museum events including April 14th Matt Stirn and Rebecca Sgouros, will give a talk about the Continuing Teton Archaeological Project at 7pm at the Headwaters Community Arts & Conference Center and May 12th Johanna Thompson, will give a talk about Dubois Area Geology at 7pm at The Dennison Lodge.

 

 

 

 

March 9, 2016

Wind River Explorer Guide: your passport to Art, Culture, History & Science

WR Explorer Guide Cover“Wind River Explorer Guide: your passport to Art, Culture, History & Science”

The Fremont County Museums are proud to announce their latest project in conjunction with our partner organizations throughout Fremont County.
The Wind River Explorer Guide is a souvenir booklet that can be purchased at each of the participating organizations. Similar to the National Park Service Passport program, only exclusive to the Wind River area, the booklet contains a page for each participating organization with their logo, contact information and a paragraph about what there is to do and see at that site. Each page in the book contains space for ink stamps and stickers that can be obtained at the individual sites and are unique to each site. Booklets can be obtained at each of the 16 sites represented in the booklet.

Participating sites include the Dubois Museum, Sinks Canyon State Park, Wyoming Game & Fish Regional Office in Lander, Fremont County Pioneer Museum, Riverton Museum, Museum of the American West, Tap Tapley Gallery at the Historic Noble Hotel, National Bighorn Sheep Center, Louis Lake Lodge, South Pass City State Historic Site, Children’s Center for Art Technology & Science, Wind River Heritage Center, Fremont County Pioneer Association, Lander Children’s Museum, Fremont County Libraries and the Lander Area Chamber of Commerce.

Scott Goetz, Central Director for Fremont County Museums said, “The Guide is meant to be something that people, especially kids, can keep for a long time and use to collect stickers and stamps associated with each of their visits to the sites. It is a program that we hope will encourage families to explore all of the museums, historic sites & cultural centers that are available in Fremont County and encourage their kids to learn about the area they live in.”

February 1, 2016

“Two New Temporary Exhibits at Riverton Museum”

Two New Exhibits at the Riverton Museum
 
RM eastern star 2The Riverton Museum has returned the "Farming In Wyoming" exhibit back to it's home at
the Wyoming State Museum. The traveling exhibit was a hit with locals and visitors
alike.
 
"We really enjoyed hosting this exhibit over the last few months. Our visitors and staff
really enjoyed these photos and information. We're hoping to host another exhibit over
the summer." Said Felicity Boepple, Visitors Services Coordinator.
 
The staff has also put together two new exhibits. First, they created a new exhibit from a
collection recently donated by the Riverton Masonic Temple. The Masonic Temple
donated a collection of items and documents from Chapter 21 of the Wyoming Order of
the Eastern Star here in Riverton. This exhibit will feature a few items that were already
in the collection at the Riverton Museum but will primarily feature the new collection.
 
The second exhibit is A Brief History of American Postcards. It will feature a collection of
vintage postcards of Riverton as well as a few other vintage postcards from different
parts of the country.
 
"We selected a few postcards pertaining to old downtown Riverton. I love seeing the
past and comparing it to the present days. I think it's neat learning about Riverton
becoming a town, seeing the changes thru pictures and postcards. I hope everyone
enjoys them." Said Christina Lawson, Museum Assistant.
 
Both of these exhibits are now available for viewing at the Riverton Museum located at
700 E. Park Ave. Please call 3072562665with any questions.

January 12, 2016

Fremont County Museums Announce Continued Partnership with Wind River Visitor’s Council

LM M Delight 3 web sizePress Release: The Wind River Visitor’s Council partners with Fremont County’s Museum again in 2016 to promote tourism

The Fremont County Museums (Dubois Museum, Pioneer Museum in Lander and Riverton Museum) created the Adventure Trek Series in 2015. Each museum felt it was an important to allow visitors the chance to explore the history, culture and geology that exists outside the museum’s walls and have contributed so much to the development of the region.

During the first year of the programs existence the three museums conducted 19 Adventure Treks to 16 different locations. The Museums served nearly 350 visitors on the treks from both inside and outside of Fremont County.

The Wind River Visitor’s Council became a sponsor for the program early in 2015 and much of the program’s success can be attributed to the partnership. There is a significant cost to the programs that the museums host. The partnership with the Wind River Visitor’s Council has been vital to the Adventure Trek Series because it helps us not only provide the programs but promote the programs.

Scott Goetz, Central Director for Fremont County Museums said, “The Museums play an important role in Fremont County’s economic development in regard to cultural tourism. It is important that we provide programs that are not only attractive to residents but also to non-residents of the County in an effort to attract visitors and keep them engaged, this is a great benefit to everyone in Fremont County and our partnership with the WRVC helps us achieve this very important goal.”

“The County Museum's Trek Series really allows the Wind River Visitors Council to showcase some of our most hidden, but interesting, places, people and historical events. Tourists are always looking for something "off-the-beaten-path," and each Trek offers an authentic experience that the tourist may never find on their own. The Wind River Visitors Council is proud to sponsor the Trek Series for the second year as a partner to the Fremont County Museums.” Paula McCormick, Marketing Director, Wind River Visitors Council.

This year’s Wind River Visitors Council Adventure Trek Series program line up is complete and offers a great mix of places and things to learn and see. Log onto www.fremontcountymuseums.com for a complete schedule of events associated with our County Museums and information to contact each museum for details regarding specific treks. Some treks limit the number of people who can attend, contact the specific museum to reserve your place.

Dubois Museum: Wind River Historical Center
May 14, 2016, 9:00 – 2:00 pm Geology of the Dubois Area
June 4, 2016, 10:00 - 1:00 pm Ring Lake Ranch Tour
June 25, 2016, 8:30 - 1:00 pm Geology of the Badlands: Mason Draw
August 13, 2016, 9:00 - 1:00 pm Torrey Lake Petroglyph Trek
August 27, 2016, 9:00 - 2:00 pm Sheep Trap Trek
September 10, 2016, 9:00 – 3:00 pm Tie Hack Trek
September 24, 2016, 9:00 – 1:00 pm Petroglyph Trek

Lander Pioneer Museum
April 16, 2016, 10:00-noon Historic walking tour Lander (with Makers Space) free
May 14, 2016, 10:00-Noon Wild Horse Sanctuary Trek
June 25, 2016, 10:00-noon Hudson coal mine/cemetery tour
July 23, 2016, 10:00-Nopon Lander cemetery trek – Crispin theme
August 13, 2016, 10:00-2:00 South Pass Trek
Sept. 17, 2016, 10:00-Noon Sinks Canyon petroglyph trek (or Red Canyon?)

Riverton Museum
May 14, 2016 Riverton Museum: Boysen Dam TBA
May 7, 2016 9:00-2:00 pm Riverton Museum: J.B. Okie’s Mansion
June 4, 2016 1:30-4:00 pm Riverton Museum: St. Michael’s Mission
July 21, 2016 10:00-Noon Riverton Museum: Delfelder House (meet at Delfelder House 222 S. Broadway)
August 6, 2016 8:30-1:30 pm Riverton Museum: Castle Gardens Petroglyph Site
September 24, 9:00-2:00 pm Riverton Museum: J.B. Okie’s Mansion

December 16, 2015

“It Takes Weather, Water, and Work: Farming in Wyoming”

RM Farmers Ex 3The Riverton Museum at 700 East Park Avenue will be showcasing a traveling exhibit from the Wyoming State Museum titled: "It Takes Weather, Water, and Work: Farming in Wyoming".

"We chose to host this exhibit because of the importance of farming and agriculture in Riverton and the surrounding areas. We are receiving these beautiful photos from the Wyoming State Museum, but we will be incorporating artifacts from our own collection for visitors to enjoy." said Felicity Boepple, the new Visitor Services Coordinator.

The exhibit will be on display in the museum through January 27th, 2016.

For those looking for a stocking stuffer, check out the gift store at the Riverton Museum.

 

“Santa’s Sleigh” & vintage toys on display at The Pioneer Museum for Holiday Season

Childresleigh 1n have always loved toys and anxiously awaited Santa’s annual visit. A new Christmas display at the Pioneer Museum in Lander features an antique sleigh full of vintage toys, perfect for the holiday season.

Rather than I-phones, mountain bikes, and playstations, kids in Lander’s early days were thrilled to get wooden tricycles, porcelain dolls and pull toys.

On display will be dolls, cast iron toys, toy trains. antique pull toys, skates, and many other vintage children’s toys. In addition, the entire museum will be decorated for Christmas.

The museum is still featuring the Ralston paintings of the life of Chief Washakie. According to Museum Visitor Services Coordinator Randy Wise, the museum is a great place to visit on a snowy day, or to bring guests who are in town for the holidays.

Coming up at the museum is the Lander Chamber’s Business After Hours December 17.

The Pioneer Museum’s winter hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Call the museum at 307-332-3373 for more information, or visit the museum Facebook page: Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming.

 

 

October 28, 2015

Dubois Museum’s “A Look at the Past” features Joe and Mary Back

Joe Back Painting cropedDubois Museum & Wind River Historical Center has a new temporary exhibit featuring Joe and Mary Back that will be on display through December.

Joe and Mary Back were well known artists from Dubois. They moved to Dubois in the 1930’s and lived the rest of their lives in the Dubois area doing various things from outfitting to their art work.

Joe excelled in painting, drawing, writing and sculptures. Mary was supportive in everything Joe did. Mary excelled in painting and drawing, as well as teaching art, and being involved in civic things like helping develop the Dubois Library.

On display are five paintings and drawings of Joe’s, a painting and a drawing of Mary’s and a sculpture of Joe’s. We also have the book “Mary’s Way” for sale in the gift shop, which talks about the life of Mary and Joe. This would be a great Christmas present idea for someone that appreciates the area history and the Backs.

 

Photo credit: Johanna Thompson, Dubois Museum

Over 700 enjoy Halloween Night at the Museum

HeOver 700 kids and parents visit Pioneer Museum’s “Halloween Night at the Museum”

The second annual “Halloween Night at the Museum” at the Pioneer Museum was a spooky success this Saturday with over 700 county residents attending.

Kids of all ages enjoyed crafts, spooky Wyoming themed stories, a marshmallow roast over a campfire, candy, hot chocolate and apple cider. “Skeletine” the fire dancer performed 3 shows on the west lawn to huge crowds.

New attractions this year included a hay ride which went across the grounds of the Museum of the American West and was decorated by scarecrows and ghosts. Madame Sophia Conestoga the “Mis-fortune” teller was parked in her sheep wagon in the front of the museum, and a line of kids was there all night finding out their fate. One fortune read to a youngster named Alex was “Beware the Snicky-Ugler, he will steal your Halloween candy and your shoes.”

At several points the line to get into the museum stretched far into the parking lot, but it was a beautiful fall evening and the line moved quickly.

Once in the museum there were multiple crafts table where kids could make masks, scratch off Halloween shapes, make spider wristbands, or color.

Groups of about 30 were guided through the museum where at 3 stops they heard spooky stories based on real unexplained Wyoming events. Storytellers Felicia Synowicki Rounsborg, Steve Faerber and Cheryl Wise captivated audiences with stories about “The haunted Jail cell,” “The Nimiriki,” and the “The Hidden South Pass gold.”

After the stories groups were escorted past ghosts and spider projections outside to glowing fire pits where they could roast marshmallows and have cider or hot chocolate popcorn. Volunteer Joe Crofts of the Pioneer Association said the treats table was busy all night. “We went through a case of popcorn!”

“We were here last year and it was cool, but this year was even better – I loved the hay ride – I went four times,” said 7 year old Dylan.

Volunteer Maggie Appleby said “This is what it’s all about, people from the community enjoying their museum. What a fun event!”

According to Pioneer Museum Visitor Services Coordinator Randy Wise the Halloween event was one of the museum’s “Kids Exploration” series events. The events are sponsored by the Lander and Riverton McDonalds.  Wise said the museum was already planning for next year’s Halloween event: “We’ll be adding stories, and expanding the attractions outside,” he said.

For more information contact the museum at 332-3373, www.fremontcountymuseums.com  or visit Facebook at: Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming.

Paranormal Presentation at Riverton Museum a Success

10_24_15  Paranormal Talk 002The Riverton Museum would like to thank all of the guests who came by for the presentation by the Wild West Paranormal Society on October 24th. The Wild West Paranormal Society explained their origins, some of the experiences they have had in the past, and what they were working on for the future. They were joined by a friend and a mother to one of the society’s members, Raenell. Though not a member of the society, Raenell had her own stories to tell of her childhood home and the ghosts who resided there. The stories and explanations were a hit with the crowd; the society even went as far as to explain some of the scientific side of paranormal events.
When asked about the success of the program, Riverton Museum’s Visitor Services Coordinator Felicity Boepple said: “It was a fantastic program! The society did a good job of explaining what all they do and answering questions from the crowd. It was a real treat, in fact it was standing room only! This is definitely something we hope to repeat next year. Next time we’ll be sure to have more chairs.”
We hope you had as much fun as we did hearing about some of the paranormal activity in our area. The Riverton Museum would also like to thank our sponsor The Wyoming Community Bank for making this event possible.

October 22, 2015

A Noble History Comes Home

A Noble History Comes Home – Chief Washakie paintings that hung in the Noble Hotel return to Lander for the first time in 50 years. An Open house to celebrate exhibit is November 7 

Kessler looking at paintings web sizeTwenty three epic paintings about the life of Chief Washakie by famed western artist J.K. Ralston will be on display at the Lander Pioneer Museum. The paintings used to hang in the Noble Hotel, but haven’t been seen in Lander since the hotel closed nearly fifty years ago.

The paintings and extensive history about Washakie and the Shoshone people will be on display in the main gallery of the museum for the coming year. There is also a display about the Noble Hotel featuring original furniture and a video on Washakie. The museum’s winter hours are currently Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The paintings were commissioned by Harold Del Monte, owner of the Noble Hotel in 1945. Del Monte, an avid historian, wanted guests to experience western history while they stayed at his hotel. He amassed a large collection of Indian artifacts, had western style furniture made to create the feeling of a mountain lodge, and used western themes throughout the hotel.

He hired Montana artist J. K. Ralston to create a series of paintings about the life of Chief Washakie, who Del Monte recognized as one of the most important Wyomingites. Ralston, then at the beginning of his career, spent time in Lander researching the landscape and clothing of the Shoshone. He then painted twenty three large scale oil paintings. The paintings cover important parts of Washakie’s life from his becoming chief, to the battle of Crowheart Butte, the coming of white settlers, the creation of the reservation and his death as a revered leader. Ralston went on to become one of the major western artists and his work is highly sought after by collectors.

When the hotel closed in 1969 the paintings went in to storage. They were on display for two years at the state capitol in Cheyenne. The capitol building is closed for renovation and the Governor declined to buy the paintings to permanently display. The Alice C. Del Monte Trust, which owns the paintings, approached the Pioneer Museum about displaying them in Lander again. “We were thrilled to have the opportunity to host the paintings,” said museum Visitor Services Coordinator Randy Wise. “This is a major western art collection that has so many ties to this area: The Chief Washakie story, the connection to Lander and the Noble Hotel. It is especially nice to be able to have this exhibit during our 100th anniversary. It is an honor to be able to share these with the people of Fremont County again.”

The paintings will be on display anytime the museum is open. The museum will have an open house to celebrate the paintings on November 7. Starting at 10 a.m. and running until 2 p.m.  there will be speakers about Washakie, Ralston and the Noble and special tours of the gallery. Refreshments will be served. The public is welcome to attend this free event.

An unveiling of the exhibit was held October 17. About 100 people attended the catered affair.  When the curtain dropped and the paintings were revealed against the deep red background an audible gasp was heard. Many people in attendance could remember the paintings when they were in the hotel. More than a few had worked at the hotel when they were younger.

“What a wonderful thing to have back in Lander,” said Lander resident Gene Thompson. “This collection should be seen here where it was created and where Chief Washakie lived.”

“We are grateful for all the hard work that has gone into getting this exhibit to happen,” said Fremont County Museums Central Director Scott Goetz. “We’d especially like to thank May and Dave Raynolds for their generous sponsorship of the exhibit. Without their support the display would not be nearly as complete.”

The “Noble History Comes Home” exhibit is one of many new and exciting things happening at the museum according to museum officials. New displays, programs and events will be coming up in 2016.

For more information visit the museum website at www.fremontcountymusuems.com, on Facebook at Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming or call 307-332-3373.

October 19, 2015

Dubois Museum: Annual Christmas Concert

Christmas Concert 2015 046“Annual Christmas Concert”

At the Headwaters Convention Center Saturday, December 5th at 7pm.

The annual Christmas concert is presented by the Dubois Museum and the Dubois Library. This year Dan Seelye and Packin’ the Mail will be playing old time western Christmas music. Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Library.

The next event will be our open house on December 19 from 1-4pm.

For more information call the museum at 307-455-2284, on Facebook at: Dubois Museum & Wind River Historical Center

October 1, 2015

Halloween Night at the Museum

LM Halloween Night at the Museum wy ghost story readingThe Pioneer Museum in Lander will host the Annual "Halloween Night at the Museum" event as part of the McDonald's Children's Exploration Series October 24, from 6-9 pm.

Kids can where their favorite costume and enjoy slightly spooky crafts, haunted tour of the museum with new ghost stories, roast marshmallows over a spooky campfire, sip hot apple cider, munch popcorn, and take a hay ride.

Cost is $2 for kids, $4 for adults and all proceeds benefit the Pioneer Museum.imlovinit_thumb

Call 307-332-3339 for details. www.fremontcountymuseums.com

FB: Pioneer Museum Lander, Wyoming

September 29, 2015

Braided Rawhide Cowboy Gear on Exhibit at the Pioneer Museum in Lander

Wherope 1n a cowboy needed a rope in the early days of Wyoming he usually had to make it himself. He would get a cowhide, cut it into strips, then hand braid the strips into a rope. The same process was used to create bridles, reins, hobbles and another other gear necessary for work on the range. Even though the product was utilitarian, many cowboys took great pride in braiding intricate knots and patterns.

Hand braiding is almost a lost art, but a Lander resident is keeping it alive and passing on the techniques to a new generation. Jack Mease taught himself how to make leather gear based on historic samples. A mechanic by trade, he also makes all his own tools to do the leather work. He is one of a handful of skilled braiders left in this country.

jack012A new display in the lobby of the Lander Pioneer Museum highlights some of the intricate work that Mease and his students have created over the years. On display are ropes, bridles, and halters made locally. “The amount of time and detail that goes into these pieces is amazing, these are real pieces of art” said museum Visitor Services Coordinator Randy Wise. “Just the preparation of the rawhide takes hours of work.”  Wise said that examples of the knots and braids are also on display. He said Mease uses many Spanish style braids, but has also recreated Argentinian and Australian styles.

The display is in the main lobby of the Pioneer Museum through the winter. According to Wise the display is part of a new series of rotating displays in the lobby and Western Gallery at the museum.  A previous display of Mease’s hand crafted miniatures of pioneer wagons and tools was very popular. The museum is celebrating its 100th anniversary with special events, displays and activities all year.

The Pioneer Museum’s winter hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Call the museum at 307-332-3373 for more information, visit www.fremontcountymuseums.com, or visit the museum Facebook page: Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming.

 

 

Ft. Washakie High School Class Visits Dubois Museum

ft washakie school tour DMThe Fort Washakie High School Dist. 21, Wyoming History class toured the National Bighorn Sheep Center and Dubois Museum on September 15th. Additionally Dubois Museum staff members took the students on a tour to local petroglyphs.

Mr. Joyes, their teacher, was the first of the year to borrow the Tie Hack Industry Educational Resource Trunk for use in his classroom to prepare for a Tie Hack tour on September 23rd. The trunk is one of three that are available for teachers to use in their classrooms.

The Wyoming History class returned to Dubois again on September 23rd and went with Dubois Museum staff members to tour the site of the headquarters of Wyoming Tie and Timber Co. at the town of Dunoir. Other remains from the Tie Hack Industry were also visited. Some of these remains included a head gate, flumes and cabins that were used for the tie drives that took place between 1914 and 1946.

Visiting local historical sites is an exceptional opportunity for students to learn history “first hand”. We are happy that teachers like Mr. Joyes have been given the opportunity to include these tours in their curriculum.

Other teacher trunks that are available include area geology and the Mountain Shoshone/Sheepeater. These trunks are designed to enhance learning in the classroom about local history.

The Dubois Museum is always willing to help guide tours to see our local history and also to share our educational trunks. If you are interested in tours or the trunks please contact us. Our phone number is 307-455-2284 or by email at duboismuseum@gmail.com.

September 8, 2015

Riverton Museum Partners with Riverton Branch Library for Third Exhibit

IMG_0144The Riverton Museum has continued to work with the Riverton Branch Library to bring history to the community through outreach and partnership.  This is the third in exhibit the Museum has installed in the Library since the partnership has been created and focuses on the Cobbler’s art.

A collection of shoe lasts, which are a few of the tools used to make shoes, are now on display for the public to view. Shoe lasts were typically made of iron, which held up to the rough treatment while molding the shoe to the form.

Gloria Brodle, branch manager of the Riverton Library appreciates the partnership that has developed with the Riverton Museum, “The continuing partnership with the Museum has been enjoyable and interesting to our patrons. They all look forward to what will come next! ”

“It is great to hear that people are enjoying our displays at the Riverton Library. We hope that seeing the unique pieces will encourage visitors to the Riverton Museum to see what other interesting items we have on exhibit and in our collection.” Said Ms. Schubach.

The Riverton Museum and the Pioneer Museum’s winter hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Call the Riverton Museum at 307-856-2665  for more information, or visit the website for all of the latest happenings at the County Museums in Dubois, Lander and Riverton.  www.fremontcountymuseums.com

“Sounds of the Pioneers” Exhibit installed at Pioneer Museum in Lander

fourt coverMusic written and composed in Lander to be heard for first time in decades

Three pieces of music written and composed by Lander residents will be heard again for the first time in decades at the Pioneer Museum in Lander.

Museum employees came across the music while putting together a new exhibit on pioneer music. “All three were in our archive of sheet music,” said museum Visitor Services Coordinator Randy Wise. “We first noticed the titles were specific to Lander, then realized they had been created by people that lived here.”

The first piece, called “Where the Rails End and the Trails Begin,” was written by Judge Edgar Fourt, a leading figure in the early history of Lander. Fourt was born in Wisconsin in 1864. After getting his law degree, he moved to Lander in 1890.  Fourt was a respected lawyer and businessman, and was elected to the Wyoming House of Representatives. In his spare time he was a talented writer, photographer and historian. He also wrote music, including the song “Where the Rails End and the Trails Begin,” in 1924.

“It is a very classical sounding piece, almost operatic” said Sarah Trembly who sang the vocals on all three pieces of music. “It is a complex piece of music vocally and instrumentally, and was a real challenge.”

Trembly, a graduate of Lander Valley High School and the University of Wyoming, teaches music in the Shoshoni School District.

Equally challenging was the second piece of music called “Sacajawea,” written and composed in 1923.  The words were written by Porter Byron Coolidge and the music composed by Frederick Boothroyd, both of Lander. The driving orchestral score tells the story of the Shoshone guide to Lewis and Clark.  One line from the song prominently mentions the Popo Agie River: “I stooped where the swift Po-po-sia flows and plucked for her a fresh wild rose.”

Porter Coolidge was another lawyer who moved to Lander from the Midwest. He was born in 1865 in Illinois, moving to Lander to practice law in 1906. Coolidge was also a poet and songwriter who had several volumes of his work published and had some of his songs used in several movies in the 1920s.

The third and oldest piece is called “By Popo Agie’s Silvery Stream,” words and music by Harry F.  Spealman, 1909. Spealman is listed in the census records as having been born in Colorado, but living in Lander in 1900. Little other information is available about him.

In the lyrics of “By Popo Agie’s Silvery Stream” the author proclaims his love for “Elsie,” and sings “In Wyoming’s lovely clime, where the sun shines all the time is the charming little spot I love so well, In a valley cool and green, on Popo Agie’s silvery stream…” The song is in the style of American standard music and is very melodic.

“We had two terrific musicians working on this project,” said Wise. “Singer Sarah Trembly and pianist Miyuki Cox spent many hours practicing this music, so people today can hear these interesting and long lost songs.” Cox is a professional pianist and piano instructor in Lander.

The music was digitally recorded by Rocky Harting and Ted Brigham. Harting is a professional musician who plays lead guitar with the Lander band Full Blown Mosey. Brigham ran a recording studio in Colorado, and offered his expertise. According to Wise playing the music was only part – a high quality recording was important to preserve the music and allow it to be heard in the museum.

The music will be on a tablet and visitors will be able to choose which song they want to hear. The display features instruments played and owned by Fremont County pioneers, old radios, Victrolas and photos of area musicians. According to Wise being able to actually hear music composed here will add an interesting dimension to the display.

The display is one of several new features at the museum. Wise said a new Emigrant Trail exhibit is in the works as well as a major exhibition of western art coming soon.

The museum begins its winter hours October 1 and is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information call 307-332-3373 or visit the web at www.fremontcountymuseums.com

Photos:

-The cover of “Where the Rails End and the Trails Begin by Judge Edgar Fourt

 

 

 

Taxidermy On Exhibit at Pioneer Museum in Lander

Rhodes & Gilbert Taxidermists-Exhibit features the infamous two-faced sheep

Here in Wyoming we are used to seeing big game animals mounted on walls. Taxidermy is part of our culture, but the art of taxidermy has been around in one form or another for thousands of years.

The ancient Egyptians practiced a form of taxidermy, mummifying animals to be buried with their owners, and in the Middle Ages alchemists and magicians used dangerous chemicals to preserve animals for wealthy clients.

In 18th century America almost every town had a tannery to preserve hides. Hunters began taking these preserved hides to upholsterers who would actually sew up animal skins and stuff them with rags or cotton. The term “stuffing” or “stuffed animal” came from this crude form of taxidermy. Modern taxidermy is much more refined using lifelike foam molds to mount the tanned hides on, but the idea of preserving a trophy is an old one.

Numerous taxidermy shops operated in Lander in the early days of the community. One of the biggest was a firm called Rhodes and Gilbert, opened by Swine Rhodes in 1901. His shop was located on the east side of the Popo Agie River to the north of the road, near where the Pronghorn Lodge sits today.  The shop did taxidermy for local hunters, as well as providing mounts for lodges, hotels and business’ all over the state.

A new temporary display at the Pioneer Museum explores the history of taxidermy and features some unique examples of the art. The display is in the main lobby of the museum through October. The display features a deformed lamb that was born with four ears and three eyes, a jackalope and other examples of the taxidermist’s art.

The Pioneer Museum’s summer hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Call the museum at 307-332-3373 for more information, or visit the museum Facebook page: Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming.

 

 

August 31, 2015

Fremont County Museum Board Meeting

September 10, 2015

Riverton Museum

Work Session Noon

Meeting 1:00

August 20, 2015

Beautifully Restored Wagons Donated to Pioneer Museum in Lander

sammons wagon full
Freight wagons, surreys and buggies were how goods and people got around Fremont County in the early days. A recent donation to the Pioneer Museum in Lander of three fully restored wagons will help the museum tell the story of the pioneers that settled this area.

Claude “Al” Sammons and his wife Myrna of Riverton donated a Mountain Spring Wagon, a Canopy Top Buckboard Surry and a Piano Box Buggy to the museum. All three wagons are circa 1890, and have been painstakingly restored to their original glory.

“It isn’t often anyone has a wagon this old in pristine condition,” said Museum Visitor Services Coordinator Randy Wise. “Al had three of them, he lovingly restored them, and he has graciously donated them to help future generations understand a little more about pioneer life in our county.”

Wise said that due to space only the Piano Box Buggy and the Mountain Spring Wagon will be on display at this time. He said eventually the third wagon will be displayed at the museum in the upper gallery after new displays are put in.

“The Piano Box Buggy is really unique,” said Wise. “Even though they were common in the late 1800’s, few are still around. It is a very interesting little wagon – a one seat buggy.” The wagon cost about $50.00 in 1890 and was made by the Martin Carriage Works of York, Pennsylvania. Similar to buying a car today, adding accessories to your wagon raised the price. Adding lamps, rubber tires, plush seats, a top or other accessories would have gotten the cost up to $100.00. The buggy is on display in the Livery Stable exhibit in the museum.

The Mountain Spring Wagon was owned by the great great granddaughter of Heber C. Kimball, one of the original 12 apostles of the Mormon Church.  Kimball sent some of his family to the Bear Lake country in Utah to colonize it and the wagon hauled the families’ goods. Sammons restored the wagon in 1990 and drove it in the Wyoming Centennial Wagon Train. The fifty strong wagon train retraced the old Bridger Trail freight road from Casper to Cody. That wagon is in the main gallery of the museum.

Sammons, originally from South Dakota, moved to Riverton in 1959 and became a school teacher and administrator. In 1977 he went into private business, starting Sammons Oil Company, a petroleum marketing business, based here in Riverton.

Sammons said he has always been interested in things of a historical nature - one of them being horse related items such as vintage carriages.   “A number of years ago I acquired an old Studebaker buggy.  Although it was pretty much a wreck I thought it might be fun and also a challenge to restore the unit.  That was my first restoration venture and since then I have restored some six carriages.  This has been a fun pastime not only because of the hands-on work required but also because of the historic nature of the hobby.  I try to research the units I have restored - for example the exact kind of carriage - as the name “buggy” is just a generic term which covers a whole variety of horse drawn vehicles,” Sammons said. He estimated he had at least of year of work in the Mountain Spring Wagon and almost as much ion the other two.

The museum hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information check the museum website at www.fremontcountymuseums.org, on Facebook at Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming or call 307-332-3373.

 

Photo caption: Al Sammons and Myrna Sammons beside the mountain spring wagon that Al spent a year restoring

August 17, 2015

Interactive Tablets Installed in Dubois Museum

Tablet photo for newsreleaseThe Dubois Museum: Wind River Historical Center has installed two of the five tablets purchased for th

The Museum by the Dubois Museum Association.  The tablets have been placed in "Geology: The Foundation of Dubois" and "Lifestyle of the the Mountain Shoshoni" exhibits.

 

The tablets have been placed in handmade wooden stands that complement the existing exhibit cabinets.  The stands were built by Dean Sursland of Dubois and donated to the museum.

July 8, 2015

Wind River Explorer Guide Now Available throughout the County

WR Explorer Guide Cover“Wind River Explorer Guide: your passport to Art, Culture, History & Science”
The Fremont County Museums are proud to announce their latest project in conjunction with our partner organizations throughout Fremont County.
The Wind River Explorer Guide is a souvenir booklet that can be purchased at each of the participating organizations. Similar to the National Park Service Passport program, only exclusive to Wind River area, the booklet contains a page for each participating organization with their logo, contact information and a paragraph about what there is to do and see at that site. Each page in the book contains space for ink stamps and stickers that can be obtained at the individual sites and are unique to each site. Booklets can be obtained at each of the 16 sites represented in the booklet.
Participating sites include the Dubois Museum, Sinks Canyon State Park, Wyoming Game & Fish Regional Office in Lander, Fremont County Pioneer Museum, Riverton Museum, Museum of the American West, Tap Tapley Gallery at the Historic Noble Hotel, National Bighorn Sheep Center, Louis Lake Lodge, South Pass City State Historic Site, Children’s Center for Art Technology & Science, Wind River Heritage Center, Fremont County Pioneer Association, Lander Children’s Museum, Fremont County Libraries and the Lander Area Chamber of Commerce.
Scott Goetz, Central Director for Fremont County Museums said, “The Guide is meant to be something that people, especially kids, can keep for a long time and use to collect stickers and stamps associated with each of their visits to the sites. It is a program that we hope will encourage families to explore all of the museums, historic sites & cultural centers that are available in Fremont County and encourage their kids to learn about the area they live in.”