July 19, 2022

Fremont County Museums: Now Hiring a Maintenance Lead Position

Fremont County Museums Maintenance Lead

The Fremont County Museum System is looking for a Lead Maintenance position to oversee maintenance at three facilities in Fremont County.  The Dubois Museum, Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum.  The position will be based in Lander, WY.  Facilities include three museums and 20 historic structures.

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Works with Site Managers and Central Director to obtain quotes and bids from established vendors for any required specialized work.
  • Understanding of historic restoration principles for log and frame structures including windows, doors, roofing, foundation, daubing, painting
  • Experience in scheduled maintenance planning and documentation
  • Ability to establish workplace safety guidelines, implementation and training
  • Experience in supervision of employees and volunteers
  • Experience in residential/commercial painting
  • Performs preventive maintenance and repairs to buildings
  • Strong background and understanding of plumbing, for sprinkler systems, sinks, and toilets.
  • Installs new or repaired parts.
  • Performs a variety of brick, cement and carpentry work.
  • Performs routine service and maintenance on equipment (mowers, trimmers, side by side etc.)
  • Responds for emergency repair.
  • Sidewalk and parking lot snow removal
  • Grounds keeping, lawn mowing, trimming
  • Light cleaning
  • Ability to interact with visitors in a professional manor.
  • Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Experience - experience in the full range of building maintenance and construction, including electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning.
  • Exhibit construction a plus
  • Knowledge of plumbing and electric principals.
  • High school diploma or GED.
  • Specialized training and/or technical training in building maintenance
  • Valid Wyoming driver's license.
  • CBI background check is required.
  • Random drug testing possible.


  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that may be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; walk; use hands and fingers to handle or feel; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop or kneel; crouch or crawl; talk and hear.


  • Includes both indoor and outdoor work in a variety of weather and the ability to interact with and work around the public to perform duties. Some travel between sites is required as well as work on the occasional Saturday during the summer.
  • Training opportunities available for specialized aspects of position.

Full Time-Starting Salary 36,000 annually. Competitive benefit Package includes health insurance and retirement.

Send a resume, cover letter & references or mail to the Fremont County Museums 450 North 2nd Street, room 320 Lander, Wyoming 82520.

March 7, 2022

Hank Overturf of Riverton Appointed to Fremont County Museum Board

The philosopher George Santayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." This statement has never been truer than it is today. Museums not only provide insight into local history but also provide a sense of community. The telling of history and cultures of a region provide a place to celebrate and understand our collective heritage. History and culture have many different facets and it is important that museums provide insight to all those facets. I applied for the Museum Board for all of the reasons above. We have a diverse history and culture that needs to be accurately preserved and told, warts and all.
The Fremont County Museum Board would like to welcome our newest member. Hank Overturf of Riverton.

Jessica Moore Becomes Riverton Museum Site Manager

Jessica Moore will begin her duties as the Riverton Museum Site Manager in April.
Jessica was raised in the rural community in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and attended Central Michigan University where I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Wildlife Biology. Jessica worked for the National Park Service as an Interpretive Ranger for nearly 5 years before returning to school at Michigan State University for a Master's Degree in Park, Recreation and Tourism Resources. At that time Jessica also earned her Certified Interpretive Trainer credential from the National Association for Interpretation.
In 2004, Jessica moved to Washington for a Lead Naturalist position at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. Over the course of her career there, I moved from a Lead Naturalist to the Conservation Program Coordinator and then on to the Education Department Manager where I have spent the last 7 years.
My family and I moved to Lander in August of 2021 and have enjoyed getting settled into the Lander community.  I like getting outdoors, walking our dog, reading and traveling, and I look forward to exploring more of the beautiful Wind River Basin. I am excited to join the Riverton Museum and become a part of the Riverton Community as well!

November 23, 2021

Riverton Museum Seeks Site Manager

The Riverton Museum is seeking a dynamic, energetic and creative Site Manager to oversee operations at the Riverton Museum.  Email your Resume, Cover Letter and References to

Site Manager

Essential Duties

  • Oversee all aspects of site management including planning, programs, events, maintenance collections, budget, fundraising, gift shop and delegates accordingly.
  • Perform historic research and assist with research requests
  • Manage full and part time staff, volunteers, interns
  • Work collaboratively with other Fremont County Museums staff to advance the mission of all three county museums
  • Deliver talks and lectures for public programs and special events
  • Assist with educational initiatives for various Museum audiences which may include developing and leading public curatorial and gallery talks, meeting with classes and other written materials for various audiences.
  • Takes the lead in planning and implementation of special events
  • Work with museum support groups to promote and advance the mission of the museum
  • Work jointly with other Fremont County Museum staff to produce ReDiscover the Winds Podcast
  • Ability to promote the Riverton Museum via social media
  • Ability to provide comprehensive/accurate written historical content for publication
  • Ability to research/prepare/deliver content for ReDiscover the Winds: A Wyoming History Podcast


  • Minimum Bachelor’s Degree in museum studies, history, art history, American Studies or related field:
  • Master’s Degree preferred
  • 3-4 years of progressive museum/historic site management experience preferred
  • Budget Management experience
  • Ability to work in an environment where teamwork professional respect, personal ethics and character are the foundation for achievement
  • Excellent organizational skills, computer literacy skills, preferred Past Perfect experience
  • Experience with Quickbooks POS
  • Candidate must possess effective oral and written communication skills and the ability to effectively manage multiple staff and volunteers.
  • Published writer a plus
  • Exhibit and Interpretation experience preferred
  • Collections Management experience preferred
  • Experience in full time staff management
  • Social Media Marketing and Podcast experience a plus
  • Professional, energetic and creative qualities desired


  • $38,300.00 Annually
  • Excellent Retirement Benefits Including Deferred Compensation
  • Excellent Medical/Dental Insurance

September 8, 2021

“The Arapaho Way” photographs by Lander Photographer Sara Wiles

“The Arapaho Way” photographs by Lander Photographer Sara Wiles on display at the Lander Pioneer Museum starting Sept. 24

Contemporary photos of Arapaho people will be on display at the Lander Pioneer Museum’s Western Gallery through the fall. The images were taken by Lander photographer Sara Wiles and published in her 2019 book “The Arapaho Way, Continuity and change on the Wind River Reservation.”

The striking black and white images detail life on the reservation today, showcasing the Arapaho people’s resilience and blend of modern and traditional lifeways.

Described as a profound glimpse into Arapaho culture, the 30 plus images and their accompanying narratives, bridge a gap between Indian and non-Indian communities.

Since 1973 Sara Wiles has worked on the Wind River Reservation, home of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes, as a student of anthropology, a social worker, consultant for language and culture projects, and photographer. Her first book of photographs of Northern Arapaho people, Arapaho Journeys: Photographs and Stories from the Wind River Reservation, was published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 2011. In 2019, a second book of photographs and stories of Northern Arapaho people, The Arapaho Way, Continuity and Change on the Wind River Reservation was published, also by the University of Oklahoma Press.

Sara’s photographs have been exhibited widely in the United States and Europe. Two major exhibits have been mounted at the Plains Indian Museum of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. Her photographs have been accepted into juried art and photography shows across the country, and she has won many awards, including the 2000 Wyoming Governor’s Art Award.

The exhibit will be on display at the Lander Museum through the fall. Call 307-332-3373 for more information or check Facebook at Pioneer Museum, Lander Wyoming.

September 3, 2021

Finnis Mitchell: Lord of the Winds

Finis Mitchell was a forester, mountaineer, outdoorsman and conservationist who came to Wyoming as a boy in 1906 with his parents.  They arrived in Wyoming in a boxcar with all their possessions and some livestock. They settled on the west side of the Wind River Range. They tried to farm on 160 acres of sagebrush near Boulder, Wyoming. Farming proved unsuccessful on the dry barren land. The family survived on antelope, fish and potatoes, and Finis fell in love with the mountains of the Wind Rivers.

To support the family, Finis’ father took a job working in the coal mines near Rock Springs. Finis’ father became ill with lung problems from working in the mines, so Finis left school in 8th grade to work in a sawmill to help support his family. He never officially returned to school, but continued to study and learn.

Finis married Emma Nelson, a teacher in a one room schoolhouse, in 1925, and they raised two children.

As a young man, Finis took a job with the railroad, but was laid off in 1930 at the start of the Depression.  Finis and his wife, Emma opened a fishing camp in the Southern Winds, but few of  the alpine lakes at this time had fish in them. With fingerlings supplied by the Wyoming Game and Fish hatchery in Daniel, Wyoming, Finis and his father packed 5 gallon buckets of fish up into the Winds and stocked the lakes and streams.  Finis estimated he planted 2.5 million trout into 314 lakes during the Depression.

After the Depression, Finis was rehired by the Union Pacific railroad, but in his free time he hiked and took photos in the Winds. Many of his photos became picture postcards sold to tourists.

Finis Mitchell served in the Wyoming House of Representatives from 1955 to 1958. Finis retired from the railroad in 1966 and continued hiking and guiding in the Wind Rivers.  He wrote a guide commissioned by the U.S. Forest Service to the trails of the Wind Rivers before he wrote his guide to the Wind Rivers, “Wind River Trails:  a Hiking and Fishing Guide to the Many Trails and Lakes of the Wind River Range in Wyoming.”  It is a 142 page book easily carried in a backpack.

In 1975, the US Geological services named a peak in the Wind Rivers, Mitchell Peak in honor of Emma and Finis.  It was very unusual to name a peak after a living people.   In 1977 the University of Wyoming awarded him an honorary doctorate for his service to conservation.

Dr. David Love, head of the USGS in Wyoming recognized Finis as the authority on the Wind Rivers. Love allowed Finis to recommend many of the names for the peaks and lakes of the Wind Rivers.

In the early 1990s, friends and I packed goats into Atlantic Lake to fish and camp.  We were joined by a fisherman from Rock Springs and his dog the next day.  We introduced ourselves because we were concerned about the dog and the goats, but the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was more interested in running to the top of a snowfield and sliding into the lake, which he did obsessively, than he was in the goats. The fisherman had caught two fine rainbows.  He gave the smaller one to us.  The larger fish he was taking to Finis Mitchell.  He had visited Finis in the nursing home, and Finis had requested one of the fish from his mountains.  Finis Mitchell died November 13, 1995 one day before his 94th birthday.

If you happened to be lucky enough to catch a fish in the Winds and cook it over a campfire, be sure to remember Finis Mitchell, “Lord of the Winds.”

Photo of Finis Mitchell courtesy of

Next up for the Fremont County Museum

Sept 3, 9-5 at the Dubois Museum, Pioneer Museum in Lander, Riverton Museum, “First Fridays”

State Farm Riverton – State Farm Lander

Sept 3, Noon at the Riverton Museum, “Jim Bridger: Trailblazer of the American West” by Jerry Enzler

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

Sept 11, 1-3 at the Pioneer Museum, “Apple Fest”

Bailey Tire/Pit Stop Children’s Exploration Series

Sept 18, 10-2pm at the Pioneer Museum, “Louis Lake Lodge Adventure Trek”

Wind River Adventure Trek Series

Thru October, 9-5 Monday-Saturday, at the Pioneer Museum, “Joseph Scheuerle Western Art Exhibit”

Handle With Care: Reed Schell


The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum need your financial support.  In the current economic environment, the museums are more reliant than ever on donations from the private sector to continue to provide the quality programs, collections management, exhibits and services that have become their hallmark over the last four years.  Please make your tax deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support.


August 31, 2021

Lander Souvenir Anyone”

The Lander Pioneer Museum has a new temporary Lobby exhibit on Lander and Wyoming tourist souvenirs. Spoons, plates, cups, postcards and more touting the areas tourist attractions are on display until the fall.

Souvenir anyone?  A souvenir, a memento, a keepsake, a reminder, a remembrance. Besides taking up space in your home your souvenir prompts personal memories of a previous experience.

Looking at the image or handling your keepsake brings you back to the event, the date, the place, the environment and your mood when you purchased or picked it up.

Types of Souvenirs

A “piece-of-the-rock” souvenir is one you pocket. Such as a rock, a shell or small piece of wood.

A “marker” souvenir is physically branded with the location it was made to represent.

A “symbolic shorthand” souvenir is a miniature replica. Could be a building, a statue, or that key chain                                       featuring a Van Gogh painting.

A “pictorial image” souvenir is a poster, postcards, photographs, or the images on your phone you are collecting.

August 3, 2021

State Farm Lander & Riverton Are Fremont County Museums Newest Corporate Partner

Fremont County Museums are happy to welcome State Farm in Lander and Riverton to our great group of supporters. Tyler Watson (Riverton) and Justus Jacobs (Lander) are coming on board as the title sponsors for the First Friday program. "First Friday" is a day for kids to visit the Museums for free on the first Friday of each month.

Tyler Watson believes, "The future of our county is our youth. Knowing that my team and I have the opportunity to help them expand their knowledge and learn more about the history of Fremont County brings us a lot of joy. We couldn't be more excited to be involved!" Justus Jacobs believes in supporting Fremont County Museums and our communities, "We are proud to support the youth in our community by sponsoring the "First Fridays" series. As a community we are stronger together."

Take the time to thank Justus and Tyler when you see them.

Joanna Kail Joins Fremont County Museum Board

Joanna Kail was raised in Lander, WY. She earned a bachelor's degree in Communications & Marketing with a minor in International Relations from the University of Wyoming in 1997.

She began her marketing career in Jackson, WY at St. John's Hospital as a Marketing Coordinator shortly after graduating from college. After having their first child Joanna and her husband, Jared Kail moved to Cheyenne where she took care of McKenna and their second child Seneca at home until both children were of school age.

After moving back home to Lander, WY Joanna operated a small marketing and communications company with her husband for six years. Joanna is now the Executive Director of the WyomingPBS Foundation and a graduate of Leadership Fremont County and Leadership Wyoming, as well as a current member of Public Media Women in Leadership Association.

Joanna loves spending time with her husband and is active in the lives of both of her daughters.

July 26, 2021

Friday: Warshinum: Black Spot: Arapaho American

One of the pivotal lives among the Arapaho in the 19th century was a man named Friday. He spoke English and frequently acted as an intermediary between the Arapaho and the Whites.  In 1869, Friday told the officers at Fort Fetterman there were 4 principal chiefs of the Arapaho: Medicine Man, Sorrel Horse, Black Bear and himself.  Their bands were scattered around Wyoming and numbered about 1000 people.  Wyoming territorial governor, John Campbell described Friday as, “an Indian of some education and of considerable intelligence.” His life’s story is worth noting.

In 1831, Tom “Broken Hand” Fitzpatrick, a fur trader and noted mountain man came across three young  Native American boys all alone on the Great Plains in the area of what is today Dodge City, Kansas.  The boys were hungry, thirsty and scared.  Fitzpatrick took the boys with him to Saint Louis.  He took a liking to one of the boys, who was called Warshinum or Black Spot by his people.  Fitzpatrick renamed the boy Friday, possibly a reference to the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.  Friday was enrolled in school, but travelled with Fitzpatrick on his fur trapping expeditions out West. On one of these trips they came across a band of Arapaho and a woman in the band recognized him as her lost son.  She claimed him,  and Friday stayed with his Arapaho family and resumed his family’s lifestyle.  Fitzpatrick and Friday remained close friends until Fitzpatrick’s death in 1854. Friday had spent approximately seven years living among the Whites.  What he had learned about the White men became very valuable to his people.

As a youth, Friday worked hard to establish a reputation for bravery including a battle with the Pawnee.  He was also an accomplished buffalo hunter often taking several animals in a single chase and was able to use both rifle and bow. These skills and his intelligence helped him to grow into a leadership role as he grew older.

In 1864, Friday’s band camped close to Fort Lyons in Colorado as directed by the  Colorado territorial governor.  When the Native Americans camped around the fort were told to leave, many of them went a few miles away to Sand Creek to camp. Luckily, Friday didn’t take his band to Sand Creek.  The Cheyenne and Arapaho who went to Sand Creek became the victims of one of the worst military atrocities in US military history when  peaceful women, children and old men were slaughtered by troops under the Command of General John Chivington. Did Friday recognize the impending danger, or was it just luck?  We may never know for sure.

After the Sand Creek Massacre, many Arapaho wanted revenge, but Friday argued for peace and refused to fight the Whites. This stance cost him prestige among his tribe, and his band became somewhat isolated as most Arapaho moved north to Wyoming where there were still buffalo to hunt.

In 1868, Friday was paid $315 to inform the various bands about the peace council at Fort Laramie. Later that Fall, Medicine Man asked Friday, who was camped along the Cache la Poudre River in Colorado to join him along the Powder River in Wyoming. Friday’s band, which by then consisted of mostly older people, was the last band of Arapaho to leave Colorado. With Friday as their interpreter, the Arapaho started lobbying the military and the government to find them a permanent home. They did not want to be placed on the Sioux reservation, but preferred to have their own reservation or to live with the Shoshone.

In 1877, Friday accompanied Arapaho Chiefs Black Coal and Sharp Nose to Washington D.C. as an interpreter to meet with President Rutherford B. Hayes.  They tried to persuade the President to give them their own reservation.

The Arapaho were temporarily placed on the Wind River reservation in 1878.  The Arapaho were happy not to be placed with the Sioux or sent to Oklahoma.   The placement became permanent over the objections of the Shoshone, .

In 1881, several Arapaho children were sent to the Carlisle Indian school in Pennsylvania, so they could learn to assimilate into the White culture. They were also held as hostages to ensure their parent’s good behavior.   Many of these children died of disease including two of Friday’s grandchildren. Friday died  May 13, 1891.

Until his death, Friday worked as an agency interpreter for $25 a month. He and his multiple wives left many descendants among the Arapaho people with a proud heritage. Roughly, thirty-five hundred out of approximately 10,000 enrolled Northern Arapaho trace their lineage back to Friday.

July 16, 2021

Hermitage/T Cross Ranch

The former Hermitage, now the T Cross Ranch, is located north of Dubois, on Horse Creek. The property was first homesteaded by Earnest O. Hadden round 1900 and although he built a small cabin on the property, he was ultimately unsuccessful in proving up his claim. Henry Seipt, a naturalized German immigrant, was the next homesteader on the property.

In 1918, Henry, who went by Dutch, his wife Ora, and their two children, Max and Bob, moved to the property. At that time there was no road from the Ranger Station to the homestead, they followed the creek bed instead and the family set up camp – literally moving into a large tent. One of Ora's favorite stories about their early days on the ranch was that she would place Bob (then only 6 months old) under the table in their tent when it rained because the table was covered with an oil cloth and it was the only dry place in the entire tent!

Improvements were slowly made to the ranch. Permanent living quarters for the family were built in 1919. Dining cabins, and guest cabins were all built next. Seipt designed the buildings to face east to protect the doors and porches from the harsh winter weather, and he extended the gable roofs to further protect doorways and windows from blowing and drifting snow. Once they were completed, Seipt name his ranch “The Hermitage” and vacationers, fishermen, and hunters began to arrive at the ranch to avail themselves of the scenery and abundant wildlife. According to many, Mrs. Seipt’s excellent cooking skills also helped draw in quite a few visitors! Eventually a road, built with a walking plow and a four-horse team grader, was built and it included two log bridges which allowed greater access even during high water.

Robert S. Cox purchased the property from Seipt in 1929 and renamed it the T Cross Ranch. In addition to renaming it, Cox expanded dude ranching activities. It continues to be run as a dude ranch by its current owners.

Next up for the Fremont County Museums 

July 17, 2-4pm at the Riverton Museum, “STEM/STEAM Day”

Bailey Tire/Pit Stop Children’s Exploration Series

July 17 11-2pm at the Dubois Museum, “Dubois Museum Day”

July 17, 11-2pm at the Dubois Museum, “Flint Knapping with Tom Lucas”

July 17, 11am & 1 pm at the Dubois Museum, “Draper Raptor Experience”

July 17, 10am at the Dubois Museum, “From Soldiers to Ranger: The Unique Assignment in Yellowstone National Park” By Brandon Lewis

July 22, 7pm at the Dubois Museum, “Butch Cassidy” By Bill Betenson              Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

July 23, 7pm at the Pioneer Museum, “Butch Cassidy” By Bill Betenson

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

July 23, 6pm at the Dubois Museum, “History Happy Hour with Jackson Hole Still Works”

The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum need your financial support.  In the current economic environment, the museums are more reliant than ever on donations from the private sector to continue to provide the quality programs, collections management, exhibits and services that have become their hallmark over the last four years.  Please make your tax deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support.

July 13, 2021

Dubois Museum Seeks Collections Manager

Collections Manager:

The Dubois Museum: Wind River Historical Center in Dubois, WY seeks an energetic professional to manage the collections for one of Fremont County’s three Museums. This individual will work collaboratively with other museum staff and other museum professionals within the Fremont County Museum System.

Position Description

Collections Manager

  • Oversee all aspects of collection management including planning, care, loans, conservation, accessions, storage, research, archival management, exhibits etc.
  • Perform historic research and assist with research requests
  • Manage part time staff, volunteers, interns
  • Work collaboratively with FCMS staff to advance the mission of all three county museums
  • Deliver talks and lectures for public programs and special events
  • Assist with educational initiatives for various Museum audiences which may include developing and leading public curatorial and gallery talks, meeting with classes and other written materials for various audiences, leading group hikes into a variety of historic sites and areas in the area surrounding Dubois.
  • Assist in planning and implementation of special events
  • Work with museum support groups to promote and advance the mission of the museum
  • Ability to research and write professional historic journal articles
  • Assist in preparation and production of ReDiscover the Winds: A Wyoming History Podcast
  • Fund raising experience a plus


  • Minimum Bachelor’s Degree in museum studies, history, art history, American Studies or related field: 1-2 years of curatorial experience preferred; MA preferred
  • Ability to work in an environment where teamwork professional respect, personal ethics and character are the foundation for achievement
  • Excellent organizational skills, computer literacy skills, preferred Past Perfect experience
  • Candidate must possess effective oral and written communication skills and the ability to effectively manage multiple staff and volunteers.
  • Published writer a plus
  • Exhibit and Interpretation experience preferred


  • $29,000/year plus very competitive benefit package that includes excellent retirement, health insurance, 10 paid holidays per year, sick leave and vacation leave.
  • This position will be open until filled.


  • Send, resume, cover letter and 3 professional references and unofficial transcripts to Fremont County Museums, Central Director, Scott Goetz, 450 N 2nd Rm 320 Lander, WY 82520 or email to

Dubois, WY is a small community located in the gorgeous Upper Wind River Range of Wyoming within an hour and a half of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.  Dubois is an outdoor enthusiasts dream!

May 27, 2021

“First Fridays” Kids are Free at the Fremont County Museums

The three Fremont County Museums (the Dubois Museum, the Lander Pioneer Museum, and the Riverton Museum) will begin a new promotion giving children free admission to the museums with a paying adult every first Friday of each month. The museums are open from 9am to 5pm.

The museums collect, preserve, and interpret artifacts that have direct association with the history of Fremont County, Western Wyoming, and the American Indian communities of the area. Each museum offers a robust program schedule including Adventure Treks, a Children’s Exploration Series, and a Speaker Series as well as rotating exhibits. A full calendar of events can be found at

This monthly promotion aims to allow for a greater accessibility to the museums within their own communities so they can learn, explore, and be proud of their own histories and hometowns.

January 25, 2021

Bates Battlefield

The National Register of Historic Places was created by the National Historic Preservation Act, which was signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson on October 15th, 1966.   This list, compiled by the National Park Service, was created to help support the nation’s efforts to preserve America’s historic and archeological resources.  As of 2019, there are more than 95,000 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places and almost every county in the United States has at least one place on the list.  On November 20th, 1974, the location of Bates Battlefield, located in Hot Springs County in the southeast corner of the Big Horn Basin where the Big Horn Mountains merge with the Owl Creek Mountains, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Bates Battle was fought on the Fourth of July in 1874.  The battle was fought between a band of Arapaho, who were camping on a grassy slope near Bates Creek, and men from the 2nd Cavalry lead by Captain Alfred E. Bates.  There are a few accounts of what took place at the Bates Battle, but there are discrepancies between each account.  These discrepancies are related to the motives for the battle, the events during the fight, the number of Arapaho who were attacked, and the losses suffered by both sides.  The main sources used in the National Register of Historic Places application to describe the battle were reports made by Captain Alfred E. Bates, Brigadier General Frank Robinson, and Assistant Surgeon Thomas G. Maghee.  There is little written about the Bates Battle from the point of view of the Arapaho, who were on the opposing side of the Bates Battle.

Events leading up to the beginning of the Bates Battle created an environment of heightened tension between the Shoshone and their traditional enemies, the Northern Arapahoe.  Until the late 1860’s, the traditional lands of the Shoshone were centered around the Upper Green River.  The Northern Arapahoe were settled mainly to the southeast of the bend of the North Platte River.  On July 3rd, 1868, Chief Washakie, from the Eastern Shoshone, signed a treaty that outlined what is now known as the Wind River Reservation.  However, the reservation we have today is much smaller than what was agreed upon in 1868n due to more treaties and successions.  The new reservation moves the Eastern Shoshone to land around the Upper Wind River, which brought them to lands that had been traditionally occupied by their traditional enemies, the Northern Arapahoe.

The Northern Arapahoe formed temporary alliances with the Sioux and the Northern Cheyenne, who were also traditional enemies of the Shoshone, to stage sporadic raids due to the Eastern Shoshone’s new claims on their territory.  As a result of the increased raids, Chief Washakie asked the United States Government to provide protection from the Northern Arapahoe and their allies.  As a result, Camp Augur was established on July 28th, 1869, where present day Lander is located.  In 1870, Camp Augur was moved to the Junction of the North and South Forks of the Little Wind River and was renamed Camp Brown.  Again, on December 30th, 1878, the government renamed Camp Brown as Fort Washakie in honor of their ally, Chief Washakie, of the Eastern Shoshone.

During late June of 1874, bands of Northern Cheyenne and Northern Arapaho were reported to be raiding the Shoshones who were settled near Camp Brown.  In addition, there were reports of horses and other livestock being stolen from the settlers living in the area.  Second Lieutenant Frank U. Robinson from the Second Cavalry described the situation as follows:

They could dash in and kill someone, steal what stock they could and then ride hard for their own country.  After putting in 75 or 100 miles they were perfectly safe.  Our only chance of punishing them was to overhaul them before they could get well out of our lines.  That was next to an impossibility for they would usually commit their depredations from 20 to 50 miles from our camp and, by the time we received word and got fairly on their trail, they would be well out of the country.  Our force was entirely too small to go further than 60 or 75 miles into the hostile country.  Our force at Fort Washakie at this time was Company E, 13th Infantry, Troop B, 2nd Cavalry, and 20 Snake (Shoshone) scouts, a force entirely too small, situated as we were directly west of the vast Sioux country in which all the Sioux and hostile Cheyennes and Arapahos were congregated.  It is true we had at this point the Snake Indians as our allies, as they were always deadly enemies of the Sioux, but they numbered, I am quite sure, not more than 300 warriors who were not fond of going very far into the Sioux country.  I was resolved to make the best of what we had and give the hostiles a lesson teaching them that they could not raid into our line of country with impunity.

Captain Bates asked Chief Washakie to use his scouts to find the bands of Cheyenne and Northern Arapaho who were conducting the raids and warn him of any upcoming raids.  On June 29th, 1874, a group of high-ranking army officers arrived at Camp Brown on a tour of inspection.  During the visit, a group of Shoshone scouts returned to Camp Brown to report a camp of Native American lodges ranging in number from 40 to 112 lodges and two thousand head of horses located in a valley near what is now known as Bates Creek.  At the time, the residents of the lodges had not been identified, but they were later identified a group of the Northern Arapaho.  Since the Northern Arapaho claimed the same land occupied by the Shoshones, their presence near Camp Brown was not surprising.  There are two recorded theories about why this band of Arapahoe were camped near Bates Creek.  The first theory was that Arapahoe and their allies had parted ways due to disputes over the objectives of the raids against the Shoshone.  So, the Sioux and Cheyenne went north and then headed west to head back to Camp Brown, leaving the Arapahoe behind at their camp.  The second theory was that the three tribes had met to celebrate the Sun Dance together.  So, the Arapahoe were either going to meet up with their allies for the Sun Dance or were returning home after the Sun Dance.

Soon after the announcement made by the Shoshone Scouts, an application was made to Indian Agent James Irwin to allow the Shoshone to assist the Army in an offensive against the camp of Arapahoe lead by Captain Bates.  On July 1st, 1974, Company B, which included 63 Cavalry men, 20 Shoshone scouts and white civilian scouts under the command of Lieutenant R.H. Young, the 4th Infantry, and 167 Shoshone Indians lead by Chief Washakie, acting Assistant Surgeon Thomas Maghee, the Assistant Surgeon’s assistants, and a pack train of ten mules left Camp Brown moving along the Little Wind River.  The group lead by Captain Bates only traveled at night to avoid detection from the camp of Arapaho reported by the Shoshone scouts.  By daybreak on the Fourth of July, the group had arrived at the reported location of the Arapahoe village, but found the location to be empty.  After a short survey by the scouts, the village was located about a mile and a half in the direction from which the troops had just traveled.  After backtracking along the trail, the troops were halted about halfway back to the camp by Captain Bates, who then rode ahead to survey the location of the camp and develop a plan.

The plan was for Bates to lead 30 of his men and about twenty Shoshones down the grassy slope into the village, while Lieutenant Young and his scouts would approach from the upper end of the village to prevent the villagers from securing a position on the bluff.  At first, the attackers had the advantage, and the battle was intense.  Later the Arapaho’s scaled the bluff and opened fire on the Army and the Shoshone located below them.  After a while, Captain Bates withdrew his men from the village, sent for the troops’ horses, and climbed above the battleground to observe.  Then, Bates learned that Lieutenant Young was wounded on the opposite side of the ravine and was being encircled by the Arapaho.  After Lieutenant Young was rescued by some scouts, Bates withdrew his forces from the battle and began the long march back to Camp Brown.

The reports of the Bates Battle’s aftermath state that the attackers had four dead and four to five wounded.  For the Arapaho’s, there were somewhere between 10 to 125 casualties.  In the end, the surprise attack meant to destroy the Arapaho’s camp and to drive away its occupants was not completely successful.  Although, the Arapaho experienced a large human loss, they maintained control of their village and the attackers were forced to retreat.  The troops were also unable to drive away or steal the villager’s horses, which would have been a blow to the Arapaho’s ability to defend themselves.  According to the reports, the loss was blamed on the Army’s allies, the Shoshone.  Bates claimed that he knew the importance of the bluff on the other side of the village and stated that he would have been able to occupy the bluff, had the Shoshones been quiet.  He explained that he was afraid to try to gain the height before mounting the attack because he believed the Shoshone’s would have aroused the village before he could advance.  In addition, Bates accused the Shoshone of cowardice during battle.  According to Bates’s report, his instructions to the Shoshones were to follow him and his men down into the ravine and cut off the Arapahoe so they could not reach the bluff.  The report written by Brigadier General Frank Robinson claimed that the Shoshone stopped in the middle of the hill and fired over the head’s for Bates’ men.  However, Indian Agent James Irwin defended the Shoshone by explaining that the interpreter could not translate accurately because Bates was talking too fast.  Bates’ attempt to blame the Shoshone was not supported or denied by Lieutenant General Phillip Sheridan, who was one of the high-army officials on the tour of inspection.  General Sheridan’s report declared the battle a success and praised Bates for moving promptly and completely routing the enemy.

After the battle, the Arapahos moved back to the Red Cloud Agency located in Nebraska.  Two bands of Cheyenne and Arapahos then sent a delegation to Fort Fetterman asking if the soldiers wanted war.  General Sheridan replied with a yes and stated that “we would kill as many of them as we could, unless they stopped their depredations and returned to their agency.”  In late 1877, almost 1,000 Arapaho were authorized by the United States Government to settle in the eastern half of the Wind River Reservation temporarily.  Chief Washakie knew that this arrangement was a long-term, but he continued to ask for the Arapaho to be removed from the reservation.

Next up for the Fremont County Museums

Joe Scheuerle Art Exhibit: “Native Americans of Wind River Country”, 9-5 Monday-Saturday Pioneer

Museum Lander

Handle with Care: Art Moving

The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum are seeing significantly decreased visitation this summer as a result of Covid-19.  As a result, the self-generated revenue we rely so heavily on to make ends meet is not keeping pace.  We are counting on private donations to continue to maintain successful and engaging museums during this time.  We urge you to make a tax deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support.

“Native Americans of Wyoming’s Wind River Country”

November was the opening at the Lander Pioneer Museum of a new western art exhibit called “Native Americans of Wyoming’s Wind River Country.”  The art, painted by Joseph Scheuerle, features tribal members from many Rocky Mountain tribes including members of the Shoshone and Arapaho from the Wind River Reservation.

Loaned to the Lander Museum by the Montana Historical Society, the exhibit will be on display through the fall of 2021.

“It’s a very big deal that the Lander Museum can host an exhibit like this from such a prestigious organization as the Montana Historical Society,” said Lander Curator Randy Wise. “It shows we have a growing regional reputation as a museum that has the ability to care for top quality exhibits.”

HWC white gloves [Converted] copy

Reid Schell of Handle With Care LLC was instrumental in helping get the collection to the Pioneer Museum.  Mr. Schell, of Lander,  had become familiar with the Scheuerle collection through some work for he had done for the Montana State Historic Society.  Mr. Schell approached the staff at the Pioneer Museum and worked closely with them to receive the collection on loan and to ensure its safe travel to the Pioneer Museum.

Joseph G. Scheuerle (1873-1948) was a remarkable but little-known Western artist. Beginning in 1909 he made many visits to Indian reservations in Montana, Wyoming and across the west where he painted exceptional portrait of American Indians that were, in his words, “all finished and done honestly and carefully from life and on the spot.” In many cases he provided notable documentation of the circumstances wherein the portraits were painted by including whimsical sketches and commentary on the reverse. Throughout his lifetime he created more than two hundred skillfully painted portraits, and established rapport and close friendships with his models.

Born in 1873 to German parents vacationing in Vienna, Austria, he and his family immigrated to the United States in 1882. They son settled in Cincinnati where he was enrolled in a local school, but was unable to speak English. Consequently, his teachers placed him in the back of the classroom where he was free to indulge his passion for drawing and to daydream of the west.

Scheuerle attended the Cincinnati Art Academy from 1892 to 1896 where he became lifelong friends with fellow artists Joseph Henry Sharp and Henry F. Farny. After leaving the Academy he became a commercial artist for the famous Strobridge Lithographing Company in Cincinnati. There, he produced numerous circus and “Wild West” posers, among other assignments.

In 1900 Scheuerle moved to Chicago to work for the National Printing Company where he had the opportunity to paint portraits of Indian performers travelling through the Windy City with the Buffalo Bill and 101 Ranch Wild West shows. In 1904 he married Carolyn Lohrey, the couple had one daughter, Margaret. Carolyn and Margaret accompanied Scheuerle on many of his painting trips out west.

In 1910 Louis Hill commissioned Scheuerle to travel to Montana to create promotional art for the Great Northern Railway’s See America First campaign, which featured Glacier National Park and other western wonders. Scheuerle also created the Great Northern’s Iconic mountain goat trademark.

On one of his western sojourns, Scheuerle and Charles M. Russell became fast friends; they painted together and frequented reservations during festival times. While in Montana, the Scheuerles were welcome quests at the Russell’s Bull Head Lodge in Glacier National Park.

Scheuerle made his last trip to Montana in 1938. Ten years later he suffered a fatal heart attack. He loved the portraits of his friends and was reluctant to sell them. Instead he kept them close, treasuring the memories they brought him.

While recognized by his friends and colleagues for his artistic skills, Scheuerle never received the acclaim given Russell and Sharp. Today, however, our knowledge of Plains Indian life is greatly enhanced by Scheuerle’s exceptional art.

September 28, 2020

Pioneer Museum Best Apple Pie Contest Winners

The 2nd annual Pioneer Museum Best Apple Pie Contest was a big success! We had a dozen pies entered and 6 Lander folks took home prizes and ribbons.

In the kids category Brooks Evan won 1st place, Avery and Tiny Tsentas won 2nd, and Alex Wise won 3rd. They all got ribbons and gift certificates to the museum store.

In the adult category Ruth Kress won 1st, Andrea Barbknecht took 2nd and Diane Perez won third. They won cash prizes and ribbons. Thanks to everyone who entered, helped, and donated money to the mini apple pie stand run by the Wise boys. Also thanks to our sponsor Bailey Tire and Auto Service and Pit Stop Travel Centers. Hopefully next year's contest can be part of the full Pioneer museum Apple Fest .

Riverton Museum Pumpkin Trail

The Riverton Museum Pumpkin Trail

The Riverton Museum will be hosting its first Pumpkin Trail on Saturday, October 17th around the museum with carved pumpkins donated from businesses in Riverton. The museum will begin lighting the pumpkins at 5:30pm and the event will conclude at 9:00pm. Admission is free. Hot chocolate and popcorn will be available with a donation.

Additionally, the museum will be offering a haunted walking tour of Riverton with Alma Law. Admission for the tour is $10. The tour will leave the museum at 5:30pm and will last approximately 2 hours.

If you would like to donate a pumpkin, please contact the Riverton Museum at (307) 856-2665 or by email to:

September 2, 2020

Megan Ostrenga: New Site Manager at the Riverton Museum

The Riverton Museum is excited to name Megan Ostrenga as their new Site Manager. Megan moved to Riverton from Lubbock, Texas and began working during the last week of August. She has hit the ground running with new ideas for updating the museum’s exhibits and programs and welcomes any ideas for the future.

Megan obtained a M.A. in Heritage and Museum Sciences from Texas Tech University and a B.S.Ed. in Secondary Education and Earth Science with minors in Biology and Music from Northern Arizona University. During her time in Flagstaff, Arizona, Megan worked as a Science Educator at Lowell Observatory, the home of Pluto, and decided to pursue a career in museums because of her experience. While in Lubbock, Megan worked for the Museum of Texas Tech University caring for both Paleontological and Anthropological collections and served as the President of the Museum and Heritage Student Association. Additionally, Megan was a group fitness instructor at the Texas Tech recreation center and discovered a passion for watching college basketball.

Megan was very excited about her move to Wyoming and for all of the outdoor opportunities the area offers. As the Site Manager, Megan is the most excited to learn about the history of Riverton and to weave the town’s story throughout the exhibits and programs offered at the museum. Feel free to stop on by for a visit or to participate in one of our upcoming programs!

May 15, 2020

Fremont County Museums Scheduled to Reopen May 26th.

The Fremont County Museums: Dubois Museum, Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum are scheduled to open to the public beginning May 26th at 9am.  All three museums will resume their regular open schedule Monday-Friday from 9-5 at this time.

The museums have been very busy during this closure, creating many new exhibits and taking care of a number of maintenance projects in preparation for our reopening.

Each museum has made changes to ensure the safety of our staff and visitors including changes in disinfection/cleaning protocols, spray disinfection of all areas that don’t contain collections, new signage, sneeze guards, etc.

The staff is looking forward to serving the public once again and playing our part in the economic development of our communities.

Joshua Terry

Joshua Terry was born in 1825 in Ontario, Canada.  He was an early convert to Mormonism, and came to Wyoming Territory sometime before 1851 when he met Jim Bridger at Fort Bridger.  Bridger offered Joshua a job, and Joshua worked as a trapper and a trader with the Native Americans for two years.  He learned to speak Shoshone and worked as an interpreter. Joshua settled around Fort Bridger and took a Shoshone woman, Ann Greasewood as a wife.  She was young and beautiful, and Joshua traded two blankets and a gun for his first wife. During this time, he became a friend of Chief Washakie. Joshua celebrated his wedding and acceptance into the tribe with feasting and dancing and sharing a jug of the “juice of life.”

Joshua settled down and ran a ferry and trading post on the Green River for several years and made a good income ferrying hundreds of gold seekers across the river.  His son, George Terry was born on February 1st 1853, and a daughter, Jane was born on April 26, 1855.

One day, Ann’s relatives stopped by the Terry home while on a hunting trip.  Ann took her children and returned with her relatives to visit her people.  She was gone for two years and refused to return to Joshua.

Joshua took a second wife, a widowed woman, Mary.  He sold his ferry business and moved to Draper, Utah where he built a cabin and started clearing the land for a farm and orchard.  His native friends and relations would occasionally stop by when travelling through.  One day Ann’s brother came for a visit and discovered Joshua had taken a second wife.  He relayed this information to his sister who then decided to return to her husband.  She returned with her children in the company of several members of her tribe.

There was quite a bit of jealousy and animosity between the two wives, and Ann plotted to kill her white rival with the help of her Native American companions.  One day while Mary was preparing the midday meal and Joshua was in the fields, a male Native American came after Mary with a butcher knife. Mary heard him sneaking up behind her.   To defend herself, Mary reached for a basin of boiling water and threw it on her attacker. He yelped in pain and dropped the knife. Mary then took a poker and bravely fought him off.

Joshua heard the commotion and hurried home to find Native Americans trying to set his cabin on fire.  He grabbed his gun and ordered them to leave.  Ann decided to stay with Joshua and took up residence in an Indian lodge with her children.  Joshua agreed to let her stay, because he wanted to keep his children close.

Joshua bought western style clothes for the children, but Ann destroyed them and dressed the children in the native style complete with war paint. According to his memoirs, Joshua gave Ann a talking to which is a euphemism for a beating, and then she behaved. Soon, Ann became Ill and died of consumption.

George and Jane were raised by Joshua and Mary with their half- brother and sisters.  They were educated and raised in the Mormon faith.  Joshua eventually became a bishop in the Mormon church.  There will be more about George Terry in a later lookback.

Check out more of our #lookback content on County10 and ReDiscover the Winds with Fremont County Museums.

April 2, 2020

Spanish Influenza 1917-1920

The Spanish Influenza 1917-1920 came in three waves.  The first wave circulated in the fall and spring of 1917- 1918 and seemed like a regular flu season without exceptional mortality. The second wave started in the fall of 1918; the virus had mutated and became much more lethal and contagious. People who had recovered from the first wave exhibited immunity to the second wave.  The second wave was the deadliest wave which reached its peak in the October of 1918.

Fremont County was struck by flu beginning in October 1918, and it lasted until Jan 1919.  State wide there were 780 fatalities.  One hundred and sixty-nine from flu alone and 611 from flu with pneumonia.  The Wyoming Board of Health recorded 26,725 cases of flu in 1918.  Out of a total population of about 181,000 or about 1 in 7 Wyomingites were infected by the flu.  By 1919 the total number of flu cases was reduced to 7,047.

Symptoms of the Spanish Flu were fever, headache, body ache, pain in the eyes and back, and shortness of breath. This was before the advent of antibiotics so secondary infections such as pneumonia were often fatal.

All ages were susceptible, but young healthy adults between 20 and 40 and pregnant women seemed to be particularly vulnerable to the second wave of flu.  Because so many young adults died of the flu, life expectancy decreased by 12 years in 1918.

On October 25, 1918, the Wyoming State Journal in Lander ran with headline: “R.C. Montgomery (Riverton Heath official) becomes overzealous in his attempt to prevent an epidemic of the Spanish Flu by ordering a quarantine in Riverton.”

A little more than week later, Dr. Thomas Maghee, the doctor serving at the State Training School was appointed the health officer of Lander. He issued a quarantine order that read as follows:

A quarantine, with all its objectionable features is imposed for the object, to stamp out and terminate an epidemic, thus preventing much suffering, and even loss of life.

The prime necessity is to PREVENT CONTACT of infected persons with those who are well.  Therefore, person will not be permitted to assemble on the street corners, in places of amusement or in business houses.

TWO PERSONS are an assemblage under the law.

Persons who have symptoms of the Influenza or who have recently had it, must remain at home or suffer arrest.

Visiting between families and acquaintances must cease at once.  Ladies with children must remain at home and keep their children with them.

Children are absolutely forbidden to be on the streets, or to visit neighbors.  Special arrangements will be made by the authorities when necessary to use a child to send on errands.  Children found on the street, without a permit will be arrested.

Hotels are permitted to allow only the guests from out of town to remain about the lobbies.  And the people of the town must not congregate there.

Merchants will deliver supplies to the quarantined houses, when requested.

Crowds assembling at newsstand, the depot or post office will no longer be permitted. Until further orders, one person ONLY at ANY ONE TIME, will be permitted to enter or remain in a saloon as long as it is necessary to get a drink, nor can persons frequent cigar or candy stand except under the same circumstances.

Lander hired two extra police officers to enforce the quarantine.  Gauze face masks were required to be worn. There was a question about if farmers coming into town without a gauze mask should be arrested.  Church services were suspended, school cancelled, movie theaters and saloons closed and District Court cases were dismissed or rescheduled and juries sent home.  Everyone was required to report any illness among their family or friends.

Even funerals were affected.  Visitors could come to view the remains but only one at a time.

Even though WWI had officially ended, U. S. troops were still stationed in France.  At least two local families received telegrams informing them their soldier had died of flu in France during the quarantine.

Thirty cases of flu were reported in Pinedale, but because of the war there was no attending doctor.

When the quarantine was lifted at the end of December 1918, the Baptist Church scheduled a memorial service for those who died during the epidemic.

Nationwide 675,000 deaths were recorded from Spanish Influenza.

There is much debate about where the Spanish Flu originated, but it most certainly did not originally come from Spain. During the war, news from the front was censored, but stories of flu came out of Spain which was neutral during WW I.  The Spanish king had suffered from the flu, so Spain appeared to many people to be the source of the flu pandemic.  The flu probably widely circulated in China during the first wave.  The Second wave of flu in 1918 largely spared China. Another theory points to the French battlefields or even a military camp in Kansas.  Soldiers living in crowded and unsanitary camps may have enabled the spread of the Spanish flu virus of 1918.

Postscript:  Dear Readers, this article was written several weeks ago when quarantine orders were first in effect in China.  As students of history, we can learn from our ancestors.  Dr MacGhee, as health officer made the unpopular decision to put Lander into a strict quarantine, and saved tens if not hundreds of lives.  Today, we are in another pandemic; another quarantine may save many more lives.  Be kind to each other.  We will get through this.

Next up for the Fremont County Museums 

Our April Schedule of events and programs is being rescheduled where possible 

Stay tuned for updates on our programs. 

Consider supporting The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander or the Riverton Museum with a monetary donation.  The museums are more reliant than ever on donations from the private sector to continue to provide the quality programs, collections management, exhibits and services that have become their hallmark. Please make your tax deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support.

Photo caption: A military hospital. The influenza epidemic hit the military hard.

March 27, 2020

Early Medical Help In Dubois

Esther Mockler titled her memoir Eighty Miles from a Doctor because that was the reality people dealt with for decades in Dubois, Wyoming. When someone asked her how one copes with living eighty miles from a doctor, Esther responded, “you become innovative and you pray.”

The Native Americans who occupied the Wind River Valley and Basin were the epitome of innovative. Not only did they adapt to living at different altitudes throughout the year, but they also used extensive plant knowledge to treat various illnesses or problems. People can find many of the plants they prescribed around the region still today, and some opt to use them in lieu of other over the counter medicines. As white settlers moved in to the valley, they contended with their fair share of breaks, bruises, and illnesses. The fur-trapping mountain men received assistance from the same plants the natives used as well as a few more “modern” remedies like mixed balms made of herbs and chemicals, handmade lancets, bottles of laudanum, or iodoform treatments.

Andy Manseau, the first permanent white settler in the Upper Wind River Valley, had his fair share of injuries and illnesses. From near drownings treated with warm campfires to blood poisoning (sepsis) treated with amputations, near death experiences filled Andy’s life. He survived thanks to the help of neighbors who either treated him with their own home remedies or drove him—by horse, wagon, or (eventually) car—to Fort Washakie. As an army station, Fort Washakie had medical staff on hand. Andy remembers receiving treatment from three specific doctors: Dr. Godfrey, Dr. Lannigan, and Dr. Francis Welty. Dr. Welty would move to Dubois and work as the town’s first resident doctor until his death in 1919.

Even when a medically trained doctors or nurses lived in Dubois, which was an irregular thing, some people still opted for home remedies. They did this sometimes out of preference, but often out of necessity. When Lydia Clark Olson went into premature labor during a winter storm while living in a remote tie camp, she only had her neighbors to assist her. When the baby arrived, tiny and weak, few people thought it would survive the night. Out of options and desperate, one woman on hand suggested they wrap the baby girl and lay her in the still-warm bread drawer of Lydia’s stove. The stove did the trick and Doris Clark lived to marry and have children of her own.

The town of Dubois got an ambulance in the 1930s, which was available for people to use in emergencies. Before then, people either rode wagons or drove their cars over the rutted gravel highway between Dubois and Lander. Finally, Mel Cooper of Riverton built the Dubois Medical Clinic on the edge of town in 1961. The Fremont County Commissioners agreed to underwrite the operating expenses of the clinic in 1969, but physicians only sporadically stayed at the clinic. Today, Dubois has more dedicated medical staff in town as well as easier transportation options for medical emergencies than ever before in its history.

Next up for the Fremont County Museums

(The following programs could be potentially rescheduled.  We will address each program schedule about 1 week prior to the program with an update)

April 11th at the Riverton Museum 9-5pm, “2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt”

April 16th at the Riverton Museum 6:30pm, “Family Documents, Book & Artifact Preservation”

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

April 18th at the Pioneer Museum 1pm, “Sheep Shearing Day”

Bailey Tire/Pit Stop Children’s Exploration Series

Consider supporting The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander or the Riverton Museum with a monetary donation.  The museums are more reliant than ever on donations from the private sector to continue to provide the quality programs, collections management, exhibits and services that have become their hallmark. Please make your tax deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support.

March 26, 2020

“Song of the Bishop” By Addie E. Holmberg

A Song for the Bishop is Holmberg’s tribute to and history of the Wind River Indian Reservation and Fremont County’s Episcopal minister the Reverend John Roberts, 1853-1949.

Holmberg died in 1941 so this tribute would have been written several years prior to Roberts death.

A Song for the Bishop

Oh, a song for the Bishop, gracious and kindly,
So gentle and old; refusing to pose

Oh, a song for the Bishop, gracious and kindly,

With saints, savants and heroes, eulogized blindly,

Too modest by far to be numbered with those.

He goes on his way, still responding to duty---

A little more frail, as his century mark nears---

Respected, beloved, in a sunset of beauty,

He rounds out the roll of the long, golden years!


Sometime, it may be at daybreak or even,

At noontime, at midnight, a summons may come,

The gates to be flung wide at the portal of Heaven,

And the Bishop be ushered, joyfully, home!

Lovingly, tenderly, brown hands will carry him,

And lay him to rest ‘till the last trumpets sound,

With flowers, and tears, and prayers will we bury him;

But whoso may fathom our feelings profound!


But why should we now seem careless, unheeding?

Ever hide in our hearts the things we should say?

Can we not make a scroll, a book of remembrance,

Or a song for the Bishop, gentle and gray?

‘twere fitting to bring him a tribute, an offering,

Like a wreath of green pine set with bright immortelles,

Though slight be the gift or the worth of the proffering,

If it point to a deep, flowing fountain that wells.


In his rugged young manhood he came to Wyoming,

Far from his hold home, to our mountains and plains;

His life has he given, unwearied, unroaming,

In such unselfish service, here still, he remains!

When, in Wind River Valley he founded this mission,

What prize did he seek? What ever his goal?

To serve the poor tribesmen, improve their condition---

He sought to administer peach to each soul!


The call of the Master, he heard it, obeyed it!

That message, he loved we would give to all men!

Unswerving he taught it, nor ever betray it,

Through each stress and disaster he triumphed again.

All those little white churches, he dreamed of and founded---

School houses, neat manses, great trees by the way---

He planned them and planted them, rooted and grounded

In the soil, and the hearts of his people, to stay!


Birdwoman, Chief Washakie, Chief Lone Bear, and others,

He knew them, baptized them, buried them too!

Their feasts he attended; babes, fathers, and mothers,

He cheered them, advised them, all the way through.

Shoshones and Arapahoes have buried the hatchet,

The old feuds are fading, the peach choral nears!

Still busy, the Bishop finds open each latchet!

He leads the thin line of grand old pioneers!


The old days are past, with their toil and their danger,

Their hardships, their problems, burdens and cares,

When, relieving the soldier, the rancher, the ranger,

Afoot, or ahorse, forth the missioner fares!

Near or far, at each call, his banner went flying,

New chapels to build, roads, bridges, or none!

New babies to christen, to care for the dying,

New couples to wed --- so the long years have run!


But, as long as the ripple shall run in the river,

Warm feelings shall run, that say human hearts;

These shall go on and deepen, forever,

These, these shall go on, though the Bishop departs!

Peoples and nations; men, native or alien;

Cultured or barbarous; passionate, cold

Traditions and creeds, pass; all, Episcopalian

Or other, shall gather, at least in one fold!


Medals and ribbons may honor the soldier,

Medallions and shields be inscribed to the strong;

Their deeds be applauded, heroically bolder,

Be sung or recited, in eulogies long!

But Ah, for the priest, the teacher, the pleader,

What tokens of favor, to these can we send?

How laud, so unostentatious a leader?

Just a lowly advisor, comforter, friend?


No high honors he craved; no rewards would he live for;

Love’s uplifted cross, for that he would die!

He sought out the lost, his life he would give for

The erring’s return, the redemption would buy!

But, Oh! when the mountains break forth into singing,

When all men shall arise, free from evil that mars,

When, for the new earth, all the joybells are ringing---

May the good Bishop wear, then, a bright crown of stars!

March 20, 2020

Trade Tokens from J.K. Moore Store

Part of a recent gift to the Fremont County Pioneer Museum is a set of Post Trader trade tokens from the J.K. Moore store. The full gift will be on exhibit at the museum in the summer of 2020 with select pieces being added to the J.K. Moore store permanent exhibit in the fall.

Post Traders – Trade Tokens

By the late 1850s in Wyoming trade tokens were being produced and used as a replacement for payment in American dollars to local Native Americans.  They were developed for commerce and payroll.

One purpose of the tokens was to place a firm value on a barter or trade between the store and a Native American wishing to purchase basic living supplies and European goods.  Native Americans were able to sell their wares, such as hides, pelts or beaded goods such as  moccasins or bags, to a trading post and be paid in trade tokens and, then in turn purchase goods and supplies from that post using their tokens.  Another use was for tokens was as payment for services rendered such as hauling freight and handy work around the shop.

The tokens were referred to as brass checks by the Camp Brown and Fort Washakie store clerks. Native American’s referred to them as yellow money or Oha-boo-u-way to the Shoshone and Ne-ha-yahbich-thay to the Arapahoe speakers.

Prior to 1870 there were no post traders. Individuals filling essentially the same role were called sutlers, which means a non-military shopkeeper or supplier to an army post.  In 1867 there was a congressional joint resolution that replaced sutlers with post traders and in 1870 congress established post traders.

Post traders were appointed by military authority and held their position indefinitely.  The stores were created to supply domestic goods to U.S. Soldiers and their families posted at military camps around the United States as an expansion of what commissaries and base exchanges offered. They were also open to the public.

The first Lander area sutler and then post trader was Mr. J.K. Moore who was commissioned in 1869 by the U.S. military to accompany soldiers establishing Camp Brown, in what is now downtown Lander, and set up shop.  Lasting less than three years in that location Camp Brown and Moore’s shop moved north in 1871 to a new military base also named Camp Brown but renamed Fort Washakie in January of 1879.

A quote dated March 26, 1878 from J.K. Moore states “It is my belief now that I will have no less than 1000 buffalo robes, and more likely 2000 for shipment” gives us idea of the size and influence Moore’s store had on the residents of the Wind River Indian Reservation and Fort Washakie.  The use of trade tokens by post traders went on for about twenty-five years until 1894 when they were withdrawn from circulation.

March 19, 2020

“The Leapin’ Lariat” by Addie Holmberg

In The Leapin’ Lariat Holmberg plays with dialect and accent she must have heard in some Lander residents speech.  It speaks in combination of the western pioneer either really or in spirit still existing in Lander, the rodeo and the roping skills of residents.

She may also be using the lariat as a metaphor for the attraction of the Lander valley.

This poem was published in The Lariat an Oregon literary magazine in 1927.

The Leapin’ Lariat

By Addie E. Holmberg, circa 1925


Pioneers er getting scurser

In fer corners o’ the yearth,

But ole Lander has ‘em plenty,---

Ther’ the kind that’s really worth,

Wurth to set a lot o’ store by,

Real owlthentic ones, you bet,

Spotted Lander, roped and tied it,

With ther leapin’ lariat!


Leapin’ lariat, got ther bronco good an’ set,---

Spotted Lander, roped an’ tied it,

With ther leapin lariat!


Then others, quite a sprinkling’

Drifted in and stayed till dawn,

The wuz dealt so appetizin’,

Thet they wouldn’t wander on;

An’ then others heered o’ Lander,

Drifted in an’ stayed an’ set,

Lander tied ‘em, snug and pretty

With her leapin’ lariat!


Leapin’ Lariet gets the frisky dudes to set,---

All the West is envyin’ Lander,

An’ her leapin lariat!


Lander’s right fer celebratin’

With a wooley Rodey Oh!

Bronc’s ‘en cowboys, wild and rairin’;

They kin throw a rope en’ go!

Lander’s got the makin’s, likely,

With the Landscape round her set,

She can rope the world and tie it,

With her leapin’ lariat!

Leapin’ lariat get your bronco good and set,---

Spot th’ world an’ rope and tie it,

With her leapin’ lariat!

March 18, 2020

“Wyoming You’re a Grand Old State” by Addie E. Holmberg

Wyoming, You’re a Grand Old State

(Air: There’s a Long, Long, Trail)

By Addie E. Holmberg, circa 1925


Days and nights I’ve been a’roaming,

Weeks and months drag through;

When I’m far from my Wyoming,

All the world looks blue!

All my heart is full o’ yearning, ---

Fears, and dread o’ fate,---

All my hopes are in Wyoming, dear,

Here’s my hand, she’s a grand old state!


You’re a grand, old state, Wyoming

Ohm you’re a reel o’ pictures, rare,---

Rare as priceless pearls, in most states,

Though they’re bountiful, here, as air!

You’re a fine background, Wyoming, mine,

For high, heroic actions, true,

Here’s my heart, and hand, Wyoming, dear,

With a long, strong cheer for you!


So, I’ll hit the trail, a homing.

To where my heart-strings pull

It’s there, in glorious Wyoming,

That hearts and hearths, are full!

All the world I’ll give Wyoming,

To share your crown, and fate,---

All your friends are mine, Wyoming, dear,

You’re my land, my grand old state!


You’re a grand old state, Wyoming,

Full o’scenes and wonders, fair,

Fair and free, as birds in May-time, ---

Hands that help, and hearts that dare!

You’re a grand background, Wyoming, mine,

For high, heroic living, true,

Here’s my heart, and hand, Wyoming, dear,

With a long, strong cheer for you!

March 17, 2020

“AN APOSTROPHE TO WYOMING” by Addie E. Holmberg, no date.


By Addie E. Holmberg, no date.


Awake! Fair Lady, of a sovereign sisterhood!

Wyoming, brightest, though a later star!

Who, that upon your Rocky peaks have stood,

Can fail to feel your glories, beyond par!

Behold! What record of Titanic birth,

Tremendous throes! The labor pangs of Earth,

That rent the vitals of the whirling sphere,

And brought to being the great wonderland!

None may o’er-match the marvels, showered, here!

This, the very masterpiece from Nature’s hand,

And His!  Who framed the Yellowstone and triple

Tetons, grand!


Here, on your plains and ranges, wild and high,

The bison thundered! And the Indian warred!

Through Two-Gwo-Tee, and South Pass, there

surged by,

Famed bands of scouts and rangers!  And the trap-


Lewis and Clark, led by that modest guide

Who sleeps, now in her burial-plot, beside

Chief Washakie!  Here, splendid Fremont climbed,

The peak that bears his name!  Bridger! Sublette!

Moran! And Owen, who first scaled your heights,


With many other heroes, in your annals, set!

Bold Carson, Ashley, Provost, Bonneville!

The trails they broke, the stockmen follow still!

Oh, your patriot pioneers! Some living, serving, yet,

Their chosen state!  These, may we never, once



But, wake! Fair warden of the shining shield,

Of equal rights! Equality! You gave an equal care

To high and low! All might the ballot wield!

You granted, first, to each an equal share,

Even to woman! Now, as your fields and mines

Their riches yield, you shed a gleam that shines

Afar! The Primitive! The wilderness, untamed,---

Your hidden treasures, that no dreamers, know,

Call, and will call!  To future sons, unnamed,

“Come, work and play!” “Come, hunt and fish!”

and, so,

Beyond your skyline of eternal snows,

Afar, the candle of your welcome, glows!


Then, wake! Oh Sleeping Beauty! So, ‘worth


Wyoming! Yours, the breath of sage and pine!

Above the Rockies!  Morning-star is showing!

A new day breaks!   Awake!  Stand forth!

Oh, dream-drenched State!  Transcendent State


January 21, 2020

High Country News: Chronicler of the West

color image of an interpretive display

High Country News Exhibit

The Fremont County Museum System is excited to host a great traveling exhibit to begin 2020.

The exhibit is a collaboration between The Autry Museum of the American West with High Country News. The Exhibit: "High Country News: Chronicler of the West" will be on display at all three Fremont County Museums beginning in February.
This fantastic exhibit will be at the Pioneer Museum in Lander from February 14th - March 11th, the Dubois Museum from March 2nd - April 1st and the Riverton Museum from April 2nd - April 24th. This is a great opportunity for everyone in Fremont County to see the exhibit.
High Country News traces its roots back to August of 1969 when Tom Bell, a native of Lander, Wyo., bought Camping News Weekly, a small outdoor recreation publication geared toward anglers and hunters. Bell, a World War II veteran, wildlife biologist and high school teacher, wanted to provide more than just fishing tips and camping hotspots. He was eager to inform people about what saw as an impending environmental crisis in his beloved West, one that was largely being ignored by the region’s newspapers.
In 1970, he rechristened his publication High Country News and began to focus exclusively on environmental issues.
Learn the rest of the story about High Country News in person at one of our great Fremont County Museums.

December 30, 2019

New Temporary Exhibit Highlights January Schedule at the Dubois Museum

Everyone can always learn new things at the Dubois Museum. The Dubois Museum currently has a temporary exhibit on loan from Fort Caspar Museum showcasing 40 United States Naval ships named after Wyoming people and places, including the USS Yellowstone, USS Wyoming, and USS Shoshone.

The exhibit is currently on display in the Dubois Museum through February 1, 2020. Annual passes are available through a variety of ways including our Trailblazer program. School groups are welcome free of charge. To schedule a visit for a group contact the Dubois Museum at 307-455-2284.

The exhibit was made possible by Fort Caspar Museum, Fort Caspar Museum Association, Casper Memorial VFW Post 9439 & Auxiliary.

August 22, 2019

Apple Fest Is Here at the Pioneer Museum in Lander

Get ready to celebrate Lander’s apple history. The first Lander Pioneer Museum Apple Fest is set for September 14, 1 to 3 p.m.

The event will feature apple cider pressing, crafts for kids, a petting zoo, an apple pie contest, a kid’s apple sauce eating competition and more.

Lander has a long history of apple orchards, and in the early days the community was known as “The Apple City.” A lucky combination of good water and soil, shelter from the wind, and farmers willing to experiment with many tree species to find ones that would grow well here, the Lander Valley developed many fine orchards.

In honor of this history, the Pioneer Museum is creating apple fest, which will highlight the many aspects of apples and apple use in the valley.

“Our spring Sheep Shearing event is hugely popular and looks at that very important part of Lander’s agricultural history,” said Museum Curator Randy Wise. “We hope apple fest will give people an understanding of how important apples were to Lander.” Wise said that attempts are being made to bring back some of the historic orchards in the area.

“This is a family event and should be a lot of fun for everyone,” Wise said. Apple fest will include an apple pie contest with cash prizes for the top three pies. People are encouraged to get out their yummy family recipes. The rules are available at the museum, or online at the museum Facebook page.

The judging will be at 1 p.m. with three lucky judges getting to pick the winners. The pies will then be cut up and slices sold to the audience with the money going to the museum.

Another fun event is an apple sauce eating contest for kids. There will be three age groups and the kid who can eat their bowl of apple sauce the fastest will win a prize in each age group. The catch is they have to eat the apple sauce with a straw and can’t use their hands.

For information call the museum at 332-3373.

Photo caption: A postcard from the early 1900s advertising Lander as the Apple City.

Rules: Lander Pioneer Museum 2019 Apple Fest apple pie contest Sept. 14, 1 to 3 p.m.

1st place $50.00 and a ribbon

2nd place $30.00 and a ribbon

3rd place $20.00 and a ribbon

Open to anyone wanting to bake an apple pie

Entry fee $5.00 per pie

Entry to be a pie that must include at least 60% apples in the filling.  It does not need to be a “traditional” two crusted apple pie and it can have a variety of fillings.

The entire pie must be submitted for judging in a disposable pie pan.  (All pans, plates, and dishes are considered disposable and will NOT be returned.)

The recipe for the pie and pie crust must be submitted with the entry.  The recipe must list all the ingredients, quantities, and the preparation.

Please do not write your name on the pie tin. Your entry will be assigned a number at registration.

Pie MUST be checked in by 12 p.m. on contest day for a one o’clock judging.

After awards are announced, pies will be sliced and individual pieces sold to the public. Proceeds are donated to the Lander Pioneer Museum


Overall appearance: crust and filling color, creative detailing, even distribution of filling, etc.

Overall flavor: fresh taste, texture, doneness, consistency, etc.

Originality: creativity in appearance and flavor

August 15, 2019

“Trailblazer” corporate membership program established to support Fremont County Museums

The Fremont County Museums (Dubois Museum, Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum) would like to invite you to join our “Trailblazer” program.

The “Trailblazer” program is a corporate support program that will enhance our ability to serve visitors and provide a benefits for your business and your employees.

Your business receives recognition in our monthly e-newsletter, “Discovery” that goes directly to over 1800 people per month, you receive a family annual pass good for free admission to all three Fremont County Museums and your employees each receive an individual annual pass good for free admission to all three museums.  In addition we will add your staff’s email addresses to the newsletter list so they can receive “Discovery” directly and keep up on all of our programs, new exhibits and special events.

Our Museums strive to be the highest quality repositories for our culture and history, we strive to provide the best cultural experience possible to visitors, and we strive to grow our economic impact on Fremont County by attracting 1000’s of visitors from outside Fremont County each year.

Benefits include

  • Annual Family Pass for you and an Annual Individual Pass each of your employees. (valid for general admission at all three museums for 1 year)
  • Special recognition for your business as a “Trailblazer” in our monthly newsletter “Discovery” and on our website
  • 15% Discount in Museum Gift Stores for you & your employees

Trialblazer Membership Form




July 10, 2019

Pioneer Museum in Lander: Seeking Gingerbread Builders

The Fremont County Pioneer Museum would like to display your gingerbread creation for the holiday season.  The display will be in the Museum lobby from December 7th, 2019 thru January 2020.

Entries will be due at the Pioneer Museum by December 2nd.  This is not a competition, kits and non-edibles may be used and group projects will be accepted.

For more information or to register to participate contact Robin Allison, Collections Manager at 307-332-2273 or or stop by the museum at 1443 W Main Street in Lander.

Need some inspiration? Think Fremont County 1919!!


Riverton Museum Installs New “Riverton Hero’s” Exhibit at Riverton Library

The Riverton Library contains an exhibit organized by the Riverton Museum near the entrance that rotates on a six month basis.  The current exhibit on display at the library honors the local heroes of Riverton who served our country in the military.

This exhibit features uniforms from four of the branches of the United States military which were worn by local Riverton heroes.  One uniform was the United States Army uniform worn by Laurence J. Olheiser who was the former manager of the Riverton City Campground and former Post Commander at the Riverton VFW.  This exhibit also includes blown up images from the Riverton Museum’s photograph collection and from newspaper clippings gathered from the Riverton Ranger.

One photograph pulled from the museum’s collection is a colorized photograph believed to be of Herman F. Stratton who served in the Air Force in World War II.

May 23, 2019

Camp Dubois POW Exhibit

At the request of Wyoming Tie and Timber Co., who faced a critical labor shortage, a group of 50 German prisoners of war arrived at Dubois in spring of 1944. These men came from a large POW camp in Scottsbluff, Nebraska to build a POW branch camp located about 12 miles west of town. June 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of these men’s arrival in the Upper Wind River Valley. To commemorate this unique part of history, the Dubois Museum installed an exhibit with original POW artifacts and photos that tell the story of “Camp Dubois.” What did they do? How long did they stay? What did townsfolk think about living down the road from their “enemies?” Stop by the Museum to find out!

Grand Opening of the Washakie Gallery

Twenty three epic paintings about the life of Chief Washakie by famed western artist J.K. Ralston will soon be on permanent display in the new Washakie Gallery at the Lander Pioneer Museum. The new gallery will also feature many Shoshone artifacts, and tell the story of Chief Washakie and his people.

The Grand Opening will be held June 1, from 4 to 6 p.m. and the public is invited. There will be light refreshments and a ribbon cutting at 4:30.

The paintings were acquired after a two year fund-raising effort led by the Fremont County Pioneer Association. Dozens of local people and many organizations generously donated money to keep the paintings here in Lander when they were in danger of leaving the state.
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. In 2015 the trust that owned the paintings approached the Lander museum about showing them and trying to keep them in Lander. “The community really stepped up with money and time to keep this part of our history here,” said museum Curator 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 an honor to be able to finally show the people of Lander what they put their money into keeping.”

With the creation of the Washakie Gallery, the museum will also be able to dedicate more space to the Arapaho people and their story, said Wise.

For more information visit us on Facebook at Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming or call 307-332-3373.

photo credit: One of the Ralston paintings “The Battle of Crowheart Butte.”

February 15, 2019

Episode 2 of a ReDiscover the Winds: A Wyoming History Podcast

In episode 2 of Rediscover the Winds, Kirsten and Zach talk about life, love, and family in Fremont County's past. We share one love story of a big city girl who moved west to teach in a remote town in Wyoming. Then, we look at some tender letters written by a local dad to his twin girls as they went off and sought their fortune far away.

ReDiscover the Winds: A Wyoming History Podcast is focused on telling the stories of Wyoming through museum artifacts, expert interviews, and organizational partnerships.


February 5, 2019

For the Love of Water

The Pioneer Museum in Lander will debut a new temporary exhibit to the public with a reception on February 16th from 4-6pm.

The exhibit is a partnership between Healthy Rivers, at Las, Popo Agie Conservation District, Popo Agie Gold, Lander Art Center, Lor Foundation and the Pioneer Museum.

The exhibit explores the historic importance of water in this region and its many uses.  This exhibit will feature historic photos and artifacts and will also be on exhibit at the Dubois Museum and the Riverton Museum throughout 2019.

January 25, 2019

ReDiscvoer the Winds: A Wyoming History Podcast

The Fremont County Museum System is excited to announce the creation of ReDiscover the Winds: A Wyoming History Podcast.

The Dubois Museum, Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum have teamed up to bring you the great stories, history and culture of the Wind River Region in a monthly podcast.

Each month the Museum's staff will bring you different aspects of the regions history.  The podcast will be available on itunes, utube, soundcloud and the Fremont County Museums website.  Be sure to like Rediscover the Winds: A Wyoming History Podcast on facebook.

January: Introduction to Fremont County in Wyoming

February: Love Letters

March: Women’s History Month (mini series)

April: Lander History/Industry

May: Riverton History/Industry

June: Dubois History/Industry

July: POW Camp Cheryl O’Brien

August: History of Tourism in Fremont County

September: Yellow Cake/Uranium

October: Lost Cabin/Other Abandoned Places

November: Native American Heritage Month (mini series)

December: 2019 Christmas Bird Count Anna Moscicki



January 16, 2019

Temporary Exhibit at Pioneer Museum Opens

The Lander Pioneer Museum just opened a new jewelry display in the museum lobby.

Mattie Ellan Darlington was a Lander woman who ran a local beauty shop and was a prolific jewelry maker. Dozens of her original handmade necklaces, ear rings, pins, bracelets and other pieces are on exhibit through the spring.  This collection by Mattie Ellan Darlington represents her personal cultural influences and talents in her art as a beadworker.

Born in Byers,Texas, by the  1930s she was in Lander where she married Elmer Darlington.  Mattie’s diverse work represents both European and Native American decorative design and reflects the mixed cultural influences she would have grown up with in western North America.

This collection  and photograph was donated to the Fremont County Pioneer Museum by the grandchildren of Mattie Ellan Darlington.

January 15, 2019

Murder Mystery Night at the Riverton Museum is Back!

Want something fun and exciting to do during the cold days of February, or better yet to take your sweetheart out on an evening of mystery and murder the week before Valentine’s Day? The Riverton Museum will be hosting their second annual Night of Mystery event this coming February 9th. Join in on a fun evening solving the murder of one of the characters during the event.

“We are very excited to be hosting a second Night of Mystery at the Riverton Museum. Our first event in 2018 was such a hit that we had several requests for another party and this year we have chosen Totally Rad 80s Prom – Gone Bad for this year’s theme. So pull out that bottle of aqua–net and tease your hair for this fun evening! All proceeds go to benefit the Riverton Museum to support our educational programs” stated Karline Stetler, Site Director for the Riverton Museum.

Tickets/character packets can be purchased at the Riverton Museum at 700 East Park Avenue, Monday through Saturday, 9am-5pm. There is a limited about of tickets so get yours before they sell out! We hope to see you on February 9th.

Call the Riverton Museum for details at 307-856-2665.  Ticket include food and beverages during the event.

November 15, 2018

Simply Support participants volunteer at the Riverton Museum

Cooler weather brings leaves that accumulate on the lawn, and create large piles. It makes you want to jump in like we did as children, hoping that there’s no surprises left from a pup or critter. Everyone in town is racing to get the leaves raked up before the winter weather brings in snow to cover the lawns until the spring. The Riverton Museum is no exception. Each year, leaves on the museum’s property need to be raked and taken to the Riverton Bale Station. This year, the Museum received well-welcomed help with their vast collection of leaves from Simply Support – a program designed for adults with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries.

Simply Support visited the museum earlier in the fall. They learned more about the history of Riverton and the surrounding communities. Following a Seek n’ Find activity, staff with Simply Support inquired about volunteer opportunities for their participants. Cleaning up the leaves came to mind. “We were so appreciative that the participants at Simply Support wanted to help us with our seasonal yard work. With a small number of staff on hand and with so many projects on our plate, it is sometimes difficult to get this task done. Simply Support was generous enough to come in and help the Riverton Museum out,” stated Karline Stetler, the Museum’s site director.

The whole group – Simply Support and Riverton Museum staff – worked together to prepare the lawn for winter. Thanks to the help of Simply Support, the leaves were raked up in just under an hour! Amazing work! The Riverton Museum would like to send out thanks to all past and present community groups and individuals that have volunteered at the Riverton Museum to help out with a variety of projects. Thank You!

October 19, 2018

Zack Larsen: New Collections Manager at the Riverton Museum

The Riverton Museum has happy to announce the hiring of the new Collections Manager.  Zach Larsen comes to the Riverton Museum from the LDS Church History Museum in Salt Lake City.  Zach has a B.A. History from Brigham Young University-Idaho and is currently finishing his M.A. History at the Utah State University.

Zach grew up in Fremont County, where he cultivated an interest in Wyoming's history of petroleum, mining and energy production.  He is currently researching and writing about Fremont County's Uranium indostry and the towns that it supported.

Zach says, "The Riverton Museum offered me a rare chance to work both in my chosen field, and in my area of expertise! I am very happy to be part of the Fremont County Museum team!"

Zach loves spending time with his wife and their two little boys.  He also enjoys photography, relaoding, and shooting, and tinkering with old computers.

October 9, 2018

Ghost Stories and Haunted Tales Spook Audience Members at the Riverton Museum

It was a full house at the Riverton Museum on Saturday, October 6th for one of their Discovery Speaker Series, sponsored through Wyoming Community Bank. For the month of October the program focused on ghost stories, urban myths, and legends of the Riverton and Fremont County area.

“This was a fantastic talk for this time of year,” stated Karline Stetler, site director for the Riverton Museum. “We had a full-house of community members from all over Fremont County that joined us for an hour of spooky tales. From the senior citizen to the ten-year old, everyone reported a great time.”

Alma Law, who is an English teacher at the Riverton High School, was the presenter for the afternoon where he spoke on his research on the various ghost stories from the area. Using photos via PowerPoint to help guide the presentation, Mr. Law regaled the audience with a number of haunting tales from around the area.

September 6, 2018

J.E. Stimson collection of Wyoming photographs on display at the Riverton Museum

A traveling exhibit from the Wyoming State Museum is on display at the Riverton Museum that examines the work of photographer Joseph E. Stimson, who captured the beauty of Wyoming in the early 1900s. Stimson was noted throughout the United States for his artistic skills with a camera and his hand-colored photographs. Coming from humble beginnings in Virginia where he was born and raised Stimson soon joined two of his brothers in Cheyenne and started up a photography business there taking portraits. He was later asked to join the Union Pacific as their photographer.

“I am really interested in this exhibit from the Wyoming State Museum. Joseph Stimson was given the opportunity to take photographs for the Union Pacific railroad as a publicity photographer which provided him the chance to travel across the state of Wyoming photographing various areas. The photographs on display are full of life and you can spend a good few minutes looking over each photograph because they are filled with so much detail” stated Karline Stetler, site director for the Riverton Museum.

Joseph Stimson’s career as a photographer spanned 59 years and he produced more than 7,500 images most of which reside in the Wyoming State Archives. The traveling exhibit on display at the Riverton Museum will run from the first of September into the second week of October where it will be packed up and returned to the Wyoming State Museum.

Stop by the Riverton Museum at 700 E Part Ave to take a look at this wonderful collection and enjoy more of Riverton's great cultural heritage.

July 30, 2018

Beginning in 2013, University of Wisconsin-Madison's Geology Museum researcher Dr. David Lovelace began exploring the classic red rocks of the Triassic aged (~252-201 mya) Chugwater Group that are well exposed along the eastern flank of the Wind River mountains. These outcrops stretch from south of Lander all the way up to Dubois. The Late Triassic Popo Agie Formation is the uppermost unit of the Chugwater Group and is thought to be around 230-225 million years old. This formation is named after the Popo Agie River near Lander and it preserves extraordinary fossils that represent an ancient terrestrial ecosystem that thrived during the dawn of the dinosaurs.

Lovelace, along with UWGM students have discovered a number of new specimens on both private and public lands throughout the region. Most of the fossils are still being extracted from the rock that has preserved them all this time. A new skull of a phytosaur - an ancient crocodile-like animal - was found on private land near Lander in 2013; it has been more than half of a century since the last phytosaur discovery in the state!

In 2014-2015 two sites were discovered near Dubois on public lands held in trust by the Bureau of Land Management. During the 2016 field season excavation was started and continued again this summer. Both of these sites preserve a mass-death assemblage of ancient temnospondyl amphibians that are most closely related to caecilians, a group of modern legless amphibians. The first site (known as Nobby Knob) has dozens of partially articulated skeletons of giant temnospondyls called Koskinonodon; these animals roughly resemble 6 foot long giant salamanders! The second site (known as Serendipity) preserves hundreds of burrows about the diameter and shape of a Pringles can, many of which preserve articulated skeletons of a new tiny temnospondyl species.

This year the UW-Madison crew, led by Ph.D. student Aaron Kufner and Calvin So, are spending nearly 2 months documenting and excavating the Nobby Knob and Serendipity sites. Eventually the material that is being collected will be prepared and studied at the UWGM, and will be highlighted in the museum's gallery. It will take years to complete the preparation (it takes about 12-15 person-hours of lab work for every person-hour in the field). Future collaborations with the Fremont County Museums are being developed, so stay tuned!

July 23, 2018

Fremont County Museums Take Part in High Plains American Indian Research Institute Project

The Fremont County Museums are sharing artifacts in a project to help understand and communicate the role of Elk on the Wind River Reservation.

The project, run by the High Plains American Indian Research Institute, the Wyoming Humanities Council and Wyoming School districts #14 and #21 is examining the role that Elk have in the culture of Native American people. Tribal members will play a lead role in incorporating the information into schools and communities on the Wind River Indian Reservation, and the work will help serve as a model to incorporate Native American curriculum throughout Wyoming schools as envisioned by the recent Indian Education for All legislation.

They visited all three Fremont County Museums (Dubois Museum, Pioneer Museum in Lander, Riverton Museum) this week to examine and do high resolution 3D scans of a variety of artifacts made of elk hide, bone and teeth.

At the Lander museum a team used state of the art equipment to scan and record Elk hide gauntlets, necklaces made from Elk ivory and other items.  The Riverton Museum has two artifacts that were part of the project, an elk antler hide scraper, and a hide purse made out of elk skin.  The Dubois Museum participated in the project with a painted elk hide and a beaded elk hide jacket.

The photographs and video recorded will be added to the Elk Culture Collection in the care of the High Plains American Indian Research Institute and will be available to everyone. The project has received financial support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to the University of Wyoming. Private fundraising is underway for UW to match the $150,000 NEH award.

July 20, 2018

Fremont County Museum Board Welcomes Mike Zirbel of 307 Financial

Born in Wisconsin raised and educated in Northern Minnesota I moved to Montana where I ran a small business selling agricultural equipment.  There I gained a respect for ag and small business and a love of the Northern Rocky Mountain Region.  Thirty six years ago I came to Fremont County with my degree in finance and economics and began my career as a financial advisor.  I still enjoy my job, the people I serve and this community.  Fremont county and Riverton in particular has been a good place to live and raise my four children who have grown to become fine productive young adults.

My motivation to be on the County Museum Board is twofold.  One, I enjoy history, the stories of how we came to be the community we are is fascinating to me and stories that I think should be shared with anyone willing to listen.  If we can learn to tell those stories to more people in a more effective and interesting way our museums become a more valuable asset to our county.  Secondly, I am concerned for the future of our Fremont County communities.  With the advent of internet commerce our towns become less important as retail centers.  So what then do we become?  One of the answers I think is that we become social and cultural centers.  That is where museums come in.  Museums are not just valuable sources of education but also a reason to come to town and a reason to get together.    I hope that my experience gained on numerous community boards and organizations will help make that happen.


Mike Zirbel


July 18, 2018

Riverton Museum Seeks Part Time Museum Assistant

Museum Assistant – Part Time (8 hours a week/$10 per hour)

  • Assist Riverton Museum Site director with daily operations of museum
  • Assist Riverton Museum Collections Manager with collection operations
  • Assist in the gift shop with costumer purchases
  • Light cleaning of the museum (vacuum, dust, sweep, bathrooms, etc.)
  • Greet visitors as they come in
  • Be a presence in the museum as well as the gift shop when visitors are in
  • Must be flexible with hours/ come in when scheduled
  • Assist visitors with any questions that they may have about the museum, exhibits, gift store, local amenities; promote community events and activities
  • Assist in the manual transfer of collection records
  • Assist with back-log cataloging, under the direction of the Collection’s Manager
  • Assist with research requests
  • Other duties assigned by Site Director


  • High School education or attaining education (high school, college, etc.)
  • Ability to work in a team environment
  • Organization skills a plus
  • Computer literacy skills
    • Experience with Mac computers
    • Experience with Dell computers
    • Experience with scanning software
  • Knowledge of Riverton’s history a plus

Contact the Riverton Museum at 307-956-2665 to apply.

July 17, 2018

Riverton Museum To Hire Collections Manager

Collections Manager: Riverton Museum, Riverton WY.  Open until filled

The Riverton Museum in Riverton, WY seeks an energetic professional to manage the collections for one of Fremont County’s three Museums. This individual will work collaboratively with other museum staff and other museum professionals within the Fremont County Museum System.

Position Description

Collections Manager

  • Oversee all aspects of collection management including planning, care, loan requests, conservation, accessions, storage, research, exhibits etc.
  • Perform historic research and assist with research requests
  • Manage part time staff, volunteers, interns
  • Work collaboratively with FCMS staff to advance the mission of all three county museums
  • Deliver talks and lectures for public programs and special events
  • Assist with educational initiatives for various Museum audiences which may include developing and leading public curatorial and gallery talks, meeting with classes and other written materials for various audiences.
  • Assist in planning and implementation of special events
  • Work with museum support groups to promote and advance the mission of the museum
  • Ability to research and write professional historic journal articles
  • Archival experience a plus


  • Minimum Bachelor’s Degree in museum studies, history, art history, American Studies or related field:
  • 1-2 years of curatorial experience preferred
  • Ability to work in an environment where teamwork professional respect, personal ethics and character are the foundation for achievement
  • Excellent organizational skills, computer literacy skills, preferred Past Perfect experience
  • Candidate must possess effective oral and written communication skills and the ability to effectively manage multiple staff and volunteers.
  • Published writer a plus
  • Exhibit and Interpretation experience preferred


  • $27,700/year plus very competitive benefit package that includes excellent retirement, health insurance, 10 paid holidays per year, sick leave and vacation leave.



  • Send, resume, cover letter and 3 professional references and unofficial transcripts to Fremont County Museums, Central Director, Scott Goetz, 450 N 2nd Rm 320 Lander, WY 82520 or email to

July 10, 2018

FC Museum Board Meeting

The Fremont County Museum Board will hold its monthly meeting Juyly 12th at the Dubois Museum. The work session will be at noon and the regular meeting will begin a 1pm.

June 28, 2018

Dubois Museum Completes Extensive Exhibit Changes

The area known as “Dubois” today acts a main crossroads for all of life, and the Dubois Museum tells the “crossroads” story through several new exhibits. “The addition of artifacts from the James D. and Iva Mae Stewart Collection, most notably the firearms collection, has made it possible for us to tell a better story about the crossroads that is now Dubois.” says Johanna Thompson, Site Director.

“Crossroads 1820s-1840s” talks about the Fur Trade era. Items on display include two authentic beaver fur hats, a Russian model 1819 musket from the James D. and Iva Mae Stewart Collection, and several other mountain man artifacts. There is also a painting depicting life of the Fur Trade by the local artist John Phelps.

Buffalo are the center of attention in the Museum’s “Crossroads 1840s-1880s” exhibit. Displayed alongside a buffalo hide coat is an 1874 Sharps Rifle. Also called a “Buffalo Gun,” this firearm could have certainly killed buffalo, but it is not likely the hunting of huge numbers of buffalo actually happened in the Dubois area. Still the demand for buffalo hides and the extensive trade routes that existed found their way to and through Dubois.

Many historical institutions in the United States celebrated the 100th anniversary of World War I, including the Dubois Museum. “Crossroads 1914-1918” illustrates the different activities people did on the Home Front. From practicing food conservation to holding book drives, the people of Wyoming did their part. A Red Cross veil, part of the CM Ranch Collection, and WWI sheet music, including a piece written and published in Dubois by the Clendening Music Co., create a diverse image of the home front for visitors to view.

The Museum’s newest exhibit reflects on the day an Army B24 Liberator bomber entered the crossroads of Dubois and never left. “Crossroads August 14, 1943” has a great deal of information about the history of the crew and aircraft of the ill-fated flight. One of the .50 caliber machine guns recovered from the sight along with the records of eyewitnesses who saw the large bomber before it crashed is on display. This year marks 75 years since the crash that changed the name of Henton Basin to Bomber Basin.

Explore these new exhibits and relive some older ones this summer at the Dubois Museum!

June 27, 2018

5 Roads in America That Define Adventure

There is a great article on that features the Centennial Scenic Byway in Wyoming (Wyoming Highway 26 over Towagatee Pass). Check it out.

5 Roads in America That Define Adventure


June 21, 2018

Tom Woodyard: Advocate & Benefactor

The Riverton Museum is extremely grateful to Tom Woodyard for his bequest to the Riverton Museum this past year.  The positive impact of Mr. Woodyard's extremely generous gift on the Riverton Museum cannot be understated.  It is so important for productivity and the sustainability of the museum to receive these kind of gifts.

The Woodyard family provide the following information about Mr. Woodyard so members of the community would have a better sense of who he was.  Many thanks to Mr. Woodyard and his family for their support and caring for the Riverton Museum.

"Tom Woodyard came to Riverton in 1958 as a 6th grade teacher. He enjoyed the people, lifestyle, and cool weather and was able to remain in his home until his death in October 2016. He was a native of Coles County, Illinois and maintained close ties to his family and friends there. Immediately after receiving his Masters degree from the University of Illinois, he was drafted and served proudly in the Army during the Korean War. He spent three years in Northern Arizona as a teacher and as a Seasonal Ranger at the Grand Canyon.

His Riverton teaching career spanned about twenty-five years and influenced many young people. He was an active member of the United Methodist Church and enjoyed other community activities. As family historian and genealogy researcher, he wrote and published two family books. He enjoyed traveling and was a lifelong learner with many interests. With his numerous charitable bequests his legacy continues."


May 25, 2018

New Children’s Exhibit Opening in the Riverton Museum

The staff at the Riverton Museum is proud to announce the grand opening of their new Hands on History room for children. This room is designed with younger children in mind (suggested ages range from 2 years to 3rd grade), however anyone is welcome to come in and enjoy what the room has to offer. Displays such as “Who’s Fur is This?” feature hands on interactive and educational items where kids are not only welcome to touch but encouraged to.

“Small town museums get a bad rep sometimes because of our “don’t touch” policies but with this room that no longer applies. We’re so excited to offer this unique experience to families especially those with young children. This room has been a labor of love for the staff and we are excited to be unveiling it to the world.”

The room will open with at least 4 interactive activities with more slated to come within the following months/years. The room will have some permanent exhibits with the rest being flexible and able to change as time goes by.

The opening exhibits will include a Weaving Loom, a 1950s typewriter, a touch and feel station for kids to feel animal furs, and a history road map with interactive magnates. There will also be coloring pages and books available for the smaller children to play with while their older siblings learn and play with the other exhibits.

The opening day for this new room will be Friday, June 1st. Free admittance to the museum will be available all day from 9am-5pm for families with children. As part of the grand opening from 1pm-2pm the Riverton Librarians will be having a special craft in the basement of the museum.

May 23, 2018

Yearbook Annuals Digitized through the OCI Yearbook Project now at the Riverton Museum

Fremont County residents can now take a walk down memory lane, browsing through Riverton High School and Shoshoni High School yearbooks via PDF format on a DVD. Several years of Riverton and Shoshoni school annuals were digitized by the Oklahoma Correctional Institution (OCI) at no cost. The annuals were sent out, digitized and later returned with a DVD copy.

“After I spoke with a few other libraries in Wyoming who used the project to digitize their collection of yearbooks, I determined it would be a worthwhile project to help preserve our counties history as well as provide another avenue for researchers that are unable to come to our museum to conduct research,” said Karline Stetler, site director and curator at the Riverton Museum. “While the project is currently only covering the 1950s and upward we are hoping they will move towards the older annuals in the future.”

The yearbooks digitized so far from Riverton are the years 1960 thru 1967, 1975, 1976, and 1989. Shoshoni annuals digitized were 1954, 1968 thru 1970 and 1973. “When we get more annuals in to help fill in those missing years we will send them out to OCI to be digitize which will help further preserve our history,” said Karline Stetler.

If anyone would like to contribute to this project and help the Riverton Museum with the missing years they can contact the museum at 307-856-2665 or stop in at 700 East Park Avenue. The DVDs are available for browsing at the Riverton Museum, Monday thru Saturday, 9:00 AM thru 5:00 PM.

May 15, 2018

The Wild Bunch Discussion with George Yarbarough

Wyoming Community Bank Speakers Series: The Wild Bunch Discussion: Saturday, May 19, 7pm, Dennison Lodge

George Yarbarough was raised in the Brooks Lake, Dunior  Valley, Crowheart and Dubois areas. He currently is a volunteer docent at the Pioneer Museum in Douglas, Wyoming.

The Johnson County War and the Wild Bunch are among the top questions that George receives at the museum. The Johnson County War was an attempt by the then ruling class of individuals to stop the newcomers or settlers from changing the game by maintaining the status quo, to freeze time in 1892. Similar examples include Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull trying to halt change in the 1870s, Red Cloud in the 1860s and prior to those times, the Crow tribe resisting the advance of the Sioux and their allies in the early 1800s.

By the late 1800s, might was right: the law of the land was the golden rule, he who has the gold...rules. The once all powerful, absentee, overseas owners of the large, public-land-based livestock operations had been wiped-out by the dry summer of 1886, followed by the hard winter of 1886-1887; only to be replaced by their ex-employees who, knowing an opportunity, were not going to accept new neighbors or homesteaders without a fight. The new arrivals were in direct competition for the limited natural resources, a bloody conflict resulted with many unrecorded atrocities committed by both sides, and desperate people do desperate deeds. When did the Johnson County War end? George thinks it is still occurring...just with lawyers not guns.

The Wild Bunch was a group of loosely organized, well-mounted outlaws that operated mainly in the Rocky Mountain region. The gang could not have moved around the rough terrain so easy without help from the locals, much like Robin Hood. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Good men can do bad things and bad men can do good things. Did the Johnson County War influence the bandits and their friends? Without a doubt!

Please come share your stories and learn some history with George and everyone else on Saturday, May 19 at 7pm, at the Dennison Lodge. For more information contact the Dubois Museum, 909 West Ramshorn, 307-455-2284 or by email at

Explore future Dubois Museum events including Wednesday, June 6th, “Create Your Own Fossil”, with Tate Geological Museum.

Photo Caption:

Back of the photo says, “Post Office for Dubois about 1894. Gene Amoretti, Hughey Youman, Lasso Bill?, Butch Cassidy”. The photo also says it belongs to Frankie Moriarty.

Photo credit:

Dubois Museum

May 10, 2018

New Deal documentary featuring Riverton mural to screen June 7th

A new documentary about five New Deal era muralists is complete and ready for viewing. “Wyoming Art Matters: The New Deal Artist Public Art Legacy” features stories about Eugene Kingman, Manuel Bromberg, George Vandersluis, Louise Emerson Ronne­beck and Verona Burkhard.

A screening is set for Thursday June 7th at the Riverton Museum. This year marks the 85th anniversary of the New Deal.

The mural in Riverton by George Vander Sluis is entitled “Farm Scene". It was completed in 1942," according the Riverton Museum Site Director Karline Stetler, who is also featured in the documentary. Also at the screening will be Northern Arapaho muralist Robert Martinez of Riverton.

“This is one of those documentary projects that kept getting more interesting the further I got into it,” Producer Alan O’Hashi said of the nearly three year production. “It became a labor of love that took me cross country from California to New York.”

In February 1942, the New Deal Treasury Section of the Arts invited George Vander Sluis of Colorado Springs to submit designs for a mural that would go in Riverton.

The 13×6 foot painting, completed some eight months later, was the last Treasury Section job done in Wyoming. Vander Sluis was picked for the $850.00 Riverton assignment on the basis of an entry he had submitted for a Denver mural competition.

By this time, the country was involved in World War II and complicated the Riverton commission in two ways. The artist was pressed to complete his work before military induction and the Section itself was unsure of its mission, in the new wartime setting.

Each installed mural, in five Wyoming communities - Kemmerer, Riverton, Powell, Greybull and Worland (relocated to Casper, Wyoming).

O’Hashi interviewed relatives or individuals who knew the artists.

“I wanted to get insight into the life of the artist, rather than just historical facts. I was able to catch up with Denver art dealer Norm Anderson who handled many of the Colorado works of George Vander Sluis."

The project funded by the Wyoming Arts Council, the Wyoming Cultural Trust and the Wyoming Humanities Council was completed in time to commemorate the 85th anniver­sary of the New Deal. For information about screenings contact the Riverton Museum at 307-856-2665.

May 2, 2018

Burlison’s Drugstore Exhibit at Riverton Library

The staff at the Riverton Museum recently installed their 9th temporary exhibit at the Riverton Branch Library. The exhibit features artifacts and photos inspired by the history of pharmacies in America as well as some of the history behind Soda Fountains and Milkshakes in pharmacies and drugstores.

The exhibit also touches on one of Riverton’s best known drugstores, the Burlison’s Drugstore. As many residents might remember Burlison’s Drugstore was one of the oldest drugstores in the state of Wyoming and was family owned and operated until it closed in the 60’s. A collection of items from the store is now housed in the Riverton Museum and a few of those items are included in this new exhibit at the library.

This new display will be up until October of this year

April 19, 2018

Historic Pipe Exhibit at Pioneer Museum

A pipe is not just an instrument used for smoking; it is as much a form of art and a cultural symbol of friendship, hospitality and peace. A new exhibit at the Lander Pioneer Museum explores historic pipes, many used by Native American people, soldiers and pioneers. The oldest pieces in the exhibit are hundreds of years old, the most recent pipes date from the 1870's.

Pipe smoking in North America may go back as far as 3000 years. People who lived in regions where tobacco was a native perennial plant utilized the plant for its narcotic properties.

Tobacco was used for leisure, for medicine, as an appetite suppressant, for ceremonial and religious ceremonies. These people traded or gifted tobacco to people from other regions who they encountered.

The first European explorer’s to the America’s encountered people who used smoking and tobacco in their cultural practices. These explorers brought tobacco and pipe smoking back to Europe.

Referred to as ‘tobacco drinking’, by the early 1700's the pipe making and tobacco cultivation industry was developed.

Tobacco became a form of currency and pipes were mass produced in both the United States and Europe.

Some of the clay pipes on display were made in Ohio and the Carolinas, then brought west by Mountain Men and other traders. Soldiers stationed on the frontier often smoked and would bring pipes with them from the east or buy them at fort sutlers. Several pipes on display were found along the Oregon Trail near South Pass and were likely used by pioneers along the trail, or soldiers that patrolled the trail.

A traditional twist or plug of tobacco is on exhibit. It was easier to store and transport the plant that way in the early days of Westward expansion. Tobacco was an important trade good between tribes, and between white merchants and Native Americans as well as settlers.

On display are a large number of Native American pipes, many from this area. Native people smoked tobacco (often traded over long distances from other tribal groups), and other native plants depending on the ceremony.

The exhibit shows a wide variety of Native American pipe materials, from catlinite, a reddish stone, to clay, steatite (a soft easily carved stone) or metal.



Chief Washakie, leader of the Shoshone people holding a ceremonial pipe.

Boney Earnest (with pipe) and his wife Mattie who ranched along the Sweetwater River.

Part of the new pipe exhibit at the Pioneer Museum in Lander.

March 26, 2018

World War I Posters Exhibit at Dubois Museum

Dubois, Wyoming -   Fort Caspar Museum has organized an exhibit of World War I-era posters to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into that global conflict.  The posters were created for a domestic audience and depict activities Americans were encouraged to undertake stateside to support the war effort overseas.  "Home Front Posters of the Great War, 1917-1918" consists of thirty framed copies of posters in the collection of the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City and will be on view at the Dubois Museum now through April 21st.

“Uncle Samuel’s Sons are on Their Way” by HM Clendening and produced by Clendening Music Co. Dubois, WY in 1918, sheet music is on display along with others. For an extra treat, visitors can sample audio clips of the sheet music on an interactive tablet. The tablet also has a speech by James Watson Gerard, American Ambassador to Germany during World War I. The exhibit also highlights the USS Wyoming and the important role that books played on this magnificent battle ship. During WWI everyone got involved in the fight, and on the home front certain food items were limited if they could not be totally removed from daily life. The Red Cross was becoming the organization that we know today and on display is a period appropriate Red Cross uniform veil.

After the exhibit closes in Dubois, the exhibit will continue to travel around Wyoming and the next stop will be Powell.  Communities in our state that will or have hosted the posters to display are Wheatland, Cheyenne, Laramie, Green River, Pinedale, Evanston, Alpine, Dubois, Powell, Riverton, Sheridan, and Gillette.  The exhibit is sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank, the Fort Caspar Museum Association, and the Casper Memorial VFW Post 9439 & Auxiliary.

Dubois Museum's hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday.  For more information, call the Museum at 307-455-2284 or stop by at 909 W. Ramshorn, Dubois, WY 82513

March 16, 2018

Barber and Beauty Shops in 1940’s Lander

In 1940 the Lander High School (then known as the Fremont County Vocational High School) Social Studies classes put together a lengthy report on life in Lander in the late 1930s and 1940.  150 students participated, interviewing old timers, business leaders and others. The purpose of the report was “to develop an interest in local history and an understanding of local problems and agencies and to place the information where it might be readily accessible.

The book length report is a fascinating snapshot of Lander at that time, showing many differences from life in the town today.

Two chapters in the book detail barber and beauty shops in the community. Jim Trimmer wrote his report on barber shops. He reported that there were five barber shops in Lander (there is only one today) in 1940, employing eight people.  Barbers did haircuts, shaves, shampoos, neck trims and massages, and made $100 to $150 a month.

One of the purposes of the project was to learn about jobs, how to get them and what training it took. Trimmer reported that a training course for barbers lasted six months and cost $100 for tuition, opportunity for advancement was limited unless you opened your own shop, and that barbers worked long hours.

Ruth Ansell and Betty Newinger wrote their chapter on Lander Beauty parlors. There were seven in Lander in 1940, two in private homes and the others on or near Main Street. They included Bett’s Beauty Shop, Fremont Beauty Shop, Yocum’s Beauty Shop, Dolorese’s Beauty Shop and Mary Janes Beauty Shop.

There were two employees in each shop, except for the ones in people’s homes, and operators had to train for nine months and pass a state of Wyoming test before they could open a shop.

The price for permanents was $2.50 to $6.00. The more expensive permanent was machineless.

In 1940 there were two dry cleaning shops in Lander and one laundry, employing 19 people. Ironers got $10 to $12 a week, while pressers earned $16 a week, the delivery man $17 a week and washers $20 a week.

Next up for the Fremont County Museums

March 17th, 3pm at the Riverton Museum, “Russell Hawley: The Feathered Dinosaurs”

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

April 14th, 2pm at the Riverton Museum, “Rabbit Hide Painting”

McDonald’s Children’s Exploration Series

April 19th, 7:00pm at the Pioneer Museum, “150 Year Anniversary of Atlantic City” by Bob Townsend

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

April 21st, 1-3pm at the Pioneer Museum, “Sheep Shearing Day”

McDonald’s Children’s Exploration Program

The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum need your financial support.  In the current economic environment the museums are more reliant than ever on donations from the private sector to continue to provide the quality programs, collections management, exhibits and services that have become their hallmark over the last three and half years.  Please make your tax deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support.

photo: The interior of Trimmers Barber shop around 1940.

March 8, 2018

FC Board Meeting Postponed

The regular meeting of the Fremont County Museum Board is postponed due to lack of quorum until March 15th with the work session at noon and the meeting at 1:00 at the Riverton Museum. Sorry for the inconvenience.

March 1, 2018

Bille’s Market

Over the years dozens of small businesses made Lander’s Main Street their home. The Lander Pioneer Museum recently received a donation of photographs, ledgers, a safe, meat cutting tools and more from Bille’s Market. Located in the 200 block of South Main, Bille’s market sold a little of everything. It was a butcher shop, sold tinned food and oil.

According to people that still remember him, Hans Bille had a kind heart and extended credit to people that needed it, especially during the Depression. Many of these customers were then unable to pay, which caused the Market to struggle financially. He also gave credit and did business with Native Americans, when many other Lander businesses wouldn’t at that time. Bille’s Market operated until 1956 when it had to close.

Some of the items from Bille’s Market are on display at the museum in a lobby display through the spring.

February 27, 2018

Rodger Weitzel: Cowboy Poet Recites Poems from Latest Book at Pioneer Museum in Lander

Cowboy Poetry by Rodger Weitzel at the Lander Pioneer Museum Saturday March 3, at 6:30 p.m.

The Pioneer Museum in Lander kicks off its 2018 Speakers Series March 3 with a program by respected local cowboy poet and author Rodger Weitzel.

Weitzel is known for his humorous and poignant poems about life in the Lander Valley from an old time cowboy perspective. Some of his well known poems are “The Fremont” about the old Fremont Hotel in Lander and “Memories in Mother’s Trunk.”

Weitzel was born in Nebraska. One of a family of 8, they raised horses. He moved to Wyoming at age 16 and continued to cowboy. After serving in Vietnam, Weitzel came back to Wyoming and began writing. His new book “Ribbons of the Past” came out last year and signed copies will be available at the program.

The program is part of the Wyoming Community Bank Speakers Series at the museum. The series will feature speakers and programs on the area’s culture and history at all three county museums throughout the year. The programs are free and open to the public.

The next events at the Lander Museum will be a talk on the 150th anniversary of Atlantic City, April 19 at 7 p.m. and the museum’s annual Sheep Shearing Day Saturday April 21. For more information call the museum and 307-332-3373, or on  Facebook at: Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming  or on the web at

February 22, 2018

Cowboy Poetry By Rodger D. Weitzel

Noted Lander author and poet Rodger Weitzel is known for his humorous and poignant poems about life in the Lander Valley from an old time cowboy perspective. Some of his well-known poems are “The Fremont” about the old Fremont Hotel in Lander and “Memories in Mother’s Trunk.”

Weitzel was born in Nebraska. One of a family of 8, they raised horses. He moved to Wyoming at age 16 and continued to cowboy. After serving in Vietnam, Weitzel came back to Wyoming and began writing. His new book “Ribbons of the Past” came out last year and signed copies will be available at the program.

This program is part of the Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series and is open and free to the public.

February 14, 2018

Murder and Mayhem at the Riverton Museum

Murder Mystery Event at the Riverton Museum

On Saturday February 10th the Riverton Museum hosted its First Annual Murder Mystery and Mayhem at the Museum event. The event’s 40 tickets were sold out almost a week prior to the event itself! The tickets included the price for a light dinner and bar that was catered by the Catering Company out of the Trailhead. Participants arrived at the museum starting at 6pm the night of the event, dressed to the nines in all manner of western wear. Folks received character packets prior to the event that held information about their characters and costume ideas. Characters ranged from Sally Starr the saloon girl to Banker Bob and his wife Banker Bonnie. Folks were encouraged to stay in character all night and many of the participants had no trouble at keeping the act going. During the course of the evening a “murder” occurred and the participants worked together to help, or hinder, the investigation. Many folks stated that they had been working out their costumes since they heard about the program weeks ago. As a whole the event was a smash hit!

“We’re definitely going to try to do another event like this next year but change up the theme. We got tons of positive feedback from this event, and honestly, it was fun for us to put something like this on. We learned a lot from the experience and we’re hoping to expand upon that knowledge for next year,” said Felicity Boepple, the Riverton Museum’s Visitor Service’s Coordinator.

Prizes were given out for the first person to solve the murder, Best Costume, Best Acting, and more! The staff at the Riverton Museum would like to thank everyone who participated in the event as well as everyone who helped to make this program a reality.

The event was proudly sponsored in-part by First Interstate Bank out of Riverton.

February 2, 2018

Early Boy Scouts Program in Riverton

The first Boy Scout Troop in Riverton was founded in 1917/1918. There is some dispute about which year it was founded, the Riverton Chronicle reports that the troop was started in 1918 but later editions of the Riverton Ranger reported that the first troop was started in 1917. However, both news sources agree that by late 1918 the Boy Scout Troop from Riverton was up and going strong.  Some of the early members of those first troops were Franklin Sheldon, Charles Wheeler, Lawrence Hunter, Billie Warren, and many more.

At this point the Boy Scouts of America was still a fairly new organization, having only been established about 10 years prior to Riverton’s First troop. Never the less, the Folks in Riverton were convinced a troop would do the younger generations good. Through their persistence a Scout Movement was founded. One of the first projects of this early Scout Troop was to play a role in the war effort in Riverton during the First World War. The Scouts would help to sell Liberty Bonds around Fremont County.

The first Scout Master of record was Mr. A. L. Arnold; however, before him there was Rev. Phillips of the Baptist Church in Riverton. The Reverend was the unofficial Troop leader for the first year or so. After he became the Scout Master, A. L. Arnold helped to organize bonds that were sold to many Main Street business owners to help fund the first Boy Scout building. Many of the Scouts themselves helped to build this early building.

By 1923 The Riverton troop was able to send ten Scouts to summer camp at Camp Kemp in the Big Horn Mountains located about twenty-five miles from Arminto. A year later in 1924 sixteen Scouts attended camp at Camp Carrey on Box Elder creek in Casper Wyoming.

In the late 1920s, the Riverton Boy Scouts from Troop 29 would be moving to a new building that was erected under the sponsorship of the Riverton Lions’ Club. This new building was a log cabin with an upper and lower level and a large fireplace on the inside. The new building was located where the Chamber of Commerce is today. The log cabin structure was used for community events as well as the Boy Scouts meeting location.

The early Boy Scouts would spend time camping on North Fork and hiking out in Milford. Later camps were on Rock Creek near Atlantic City. In 1975 the Boy Scouts hosted one of the largest Spring Camporee’s in the Wind River Campground, just north of the Boysen Dam. The troops present at this Camporee included Troop 89 of Lander, Troop 45 of Cody, Troop 45 of Worland, Troop 38 and Troop 2 of Casper, and more.

The early Boy Scout Movement in Riverton proved to be a huge success, teaching boys from around the county many Scouting Skills that they could and would use even later in life.

In the words of Ira J. Bureson, “Boys will be boys-but they need not be juvenile delinquents. The Boy Scout Movement has proved that they will not be if given the right leadership.”…“Let us not forget that the Boy Scout Movement trains boys to be of help instead of a nuisance at a fire.”

Next up for the Fremont County Museums

Feb 10th, 6-8:30pm at the Riverton Museum, “Murder & Mayhem at the Museum”

Feb 10th, 6pm at the Dubois Museum, “What are All the Lights in the Winter Sky”

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

Feb 17th, 3pm at the Riverton Museum, “History of the Delfelder”

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

Feb 24th, 2pm at the Dubois Museum, “Jammin’ at the Museum”

The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum need your financial support.  In the current economic environment the museums are more reliant than ever on donations from the private sector to continue to provide the quality programs, collections management, exhibits and services that have become their hallmark over the last three and half years.  Please make your tax deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support.

January 29, 2018

Dubois Museum hire new collections manager: Kirsten Belisle

Kirsten grew up in the suburbs of Rockford, Illinois, but spent many of her summer and winter breaks in Radisson, Wisconsin, her father's rural hometown of less than 250 people. There Kirsten hiked through forests, hunted crayfish in the creek, and skated on the frozen Chippewa Flowage. Kirsten was working as an intern at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West: Cody Firearms Museum during the summer of 2017 when she fell in love with Wyoming, its history, and its people. “When I found out about the collections manager job in Dubois, I knew I had to apply because 1) it was a job in the field I went to school for and wanted to work in, and 2) it was in a region of the country that was ripe with both beautiful views and fascinating history.”  In addition, Kirsten felt the job itself sounded interesting and challenging while offering opportunities for professional as well as personal growth as I go about taking care of the diverse collections the Dubois Museum holds.

Kirsten holds a B.A. History from Western Illinois University an M.A Museum Studies from Western Illinois University-Quad Cities, and a Collections Care Specialty Track Certificate from International Preservation Studies Center in Mount Carroll, Illinois.  Kirsten loves hiking and visiting historic places; bonus points if the two can be combined. Kirsten’s other interests include paleography (the study of old writing), learning about US railroad history, and researching the role firearms played in developing leisure culture.

January 26, 2018

Murder at the Deadwood Saloon

The Riverton Museum is hosting an evening of Murder & Mayhem at the Riverton Museum on February 10th at 6pm.

This fun evening will feature a great mystery, "Murder at the Deadwood Saloon", food, costumes, fun, prizes and more!  Participants will work together to solve a "murder" at the museum, themed around the 1840's in Deadwood!

Their will be a cash bar and light dinner will be served.  All proceeds for the event will help the Riveron Museums operations and programs.

Costumes are not required but are encouraged.  There will be a prize for the best costume!  You must sign up before February 8th 2018 if you want a character packet.

Tickets can be purchased for $20 from the Riverton Museum at 700 E. Park Ave or call 307-856-2665.

December 26, 2017

Fremont County Pioneer Museum in Lander, WY seeks Collections Manager

Collections Manager: Pioneer Museum in Lander, WY  Open until filled

The Pioneer Museum in Lander, WY seeks an energetic professional to manage the collections. This individual will work collaboratively with other museum staff and other museum professionals within the Fremont County Museum System.

Position Description

Collections Manager

  • Oversee all aspects of collection management including planning, care, loan requests, conservation, accessions, storage, research, exhibits etc.
  • Perform historic research and assist with research requests
  • Manage part time staff, volunteers, interns
  • Work collaboratively with FCMS staff to advance the mission of all three county museums
  • Deliver talks and lectures for public programs and special events
  • Assist with educational initiatives for various Museum audiences which may include developing and leading public curatorial and gallery talks, meeting with classes and other written materials for various audiences.
  • Assist in planning and implementation of special events
  • Work with museum support groups to promote and advance the mission of the museum
  • Ability to research and write professional historic journal articles
  • Archival experience a plus


  • Minimum Bachelor’s Degree in museum studies, history, art history, American Studies or related field:
  • 1-2 years of curatorial experience preferred
  • Ability to work in an environment where teamwork professional respect, personal ethics and character are the foundation for achievement
  • Excellent organizational skills, computer literacy skills, preferred Past Perfect experience
  • Candidate must possess effective oral and written communication skills and the ability to effectively manage multiple staff and volunteers.
  • Published writer a plus
  • Ability to Positively interact with visitors & lead tours


  • $30,000/year plus very competitive benefit package that includes excellent retirement, health insurance, 10 paid holidays per year, sick leave and vacation leave.


  • Send, resume, cover letter and 3 professional references and unofficial transcripts to Fremont County Museums, Central Director, Scott Goetz, 450 N 2nd Rm 320 Lander, WY 82520 or email to

November 27, 2017

Dubois Museum Spirit of Christmas Concert

Spirit of Christmas

Dubois Museum, Friends of the Dubois Museum, and Dubois Friends of the Library are once again hosting the Annual Spirit of Christmas. As always Packin’ the Mail will play true western fun dancing music, and some festive songs as well. The event will start at 7pm at the Headwaters Arts & Conference Center on Saturday, December 2nd. Donations are always appreciated at the door.

It is always fun for every age group and this year Mr. & Mrs. Claus have already let us know that they will be attending and look forward to it with joy. They also hope to share the night with kids, it’s never too late to tell Santa what you want for Christmas.

Desserts will be served at intermission and the winners of the gift basket raffle will be announced at this time too. The gift baskets include over $500.00 in value with various items generously donated by Dubois area businesses. Tickets can be purchased at the Dubois Museum Monday- Saturday 9am-5pm or at the High Country Christmas Extravaganza at the Headwaters Arts & Conference Center Friday, December 1st from 4-7pm at the Friends of the Library’s table. Tickets can also be purchased at the Spirit of Christmas event. The proceeds of the gift basket raffle will be split between the Friends of the Library and the Friends of the Dubois Museum support groups.

Don’t forget Saturday, December 9th is our open house with free admission and discounts in the gift shop. Purchase your stocking stuffer annual passes at any of the three Fremont County Museums.

For more information contact the Dubois Museum, 909 West Ramshorn, 307-455-2284 or by email at

November 17, 2017

November 2017 Wind River Mountaineer

The Fall issue of the Wind River Mountaineer is now available at the gift stores at the Dubois Museum, Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum.

This articles in this issue are, "Outfitters, Artists and Much More: Joe & Mary Back" by Johanna Thompson from the Dubois Museum, "The Landers, an 1860's 'Power Couple'" by Randy Wise from the Pioneer Museum and "The Masonic Lodge" by Karline Stettler from the Riverton Museum.

Click on the link to view the on-line version.

Wind River Mountaineer