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BV Heritage Museum tells local history

Posted: Monday, Oct 8th, 2012


Pioneer Reporter

LYMAN – Visiting the Bridger Valley Heritage museum is like taking a step back in time. Exhibits there gives visitors to experience a bygone era.

A new exhibit there shows what a “general store” might have looked like during the early part of the last century.

According to Bridger Valley Heritage Museum curator Kellie Hughes, the walls that back the new exhibit were recycled from the old Bates Lumber Company office, as it was being torn down. The walls were carefully preserved, cleaned and de-bugged before they were transported to the museum.

Included in the new exhibit are reproductions of ads that originally were printed in the Bridger Valley Enterprise. The exhibit includes a “Buy War Bonds” add dated 1918, a Lyman Mercantile Company add dated 1920 advertising ‘Ladies Drawers’ for 29 cents, wool bathing suits at $5.29, and sugar sold then for four pounds for $1.00, a Thunderbird Oil Company calendar dated 1965, and a Farmer’s and Stock grower’s State Bank calendar dated 1924.

The Bridger Valley is rich in history. The Mormon, California and Oregon Trails, as well as the Pony Express route converge here. The museum documents the “trails,” and those who traveled them.

Another exhibit in the museum, illustrates the 2,200 mile Oregon Trail.

Another exhibit in the museum, illustrates the 2,200 mile Oregon Trail.

There were 450,000 brave souls who passed through this area from 1840 to 1860 bound for the Oregon Territory. The journey for those early settlers lasted from four to six months. Included in the exhibit is a copy of J. L. Campbell’s Guide. The guide recommends a list of provisions settlers needed to purchase before beginning their journey west on the Oregon Trail. The cost of these supplies totals $575.85. First on the list is three yoke of oxen at $75 per yoke.

An exhibit showcasing the Wyoming Experimental Farm is also a part of the museum. The farm, which was located at the present day site of The Heritage Barn near Lyman, was established in 1915. When settlers first came here, there were no trees, Hughes said. All of the trees in Lyman came from the experimental farm.

Museum visitors can view a cash register circa late 1800’s that was used to ring up purchases at the Piedmont Hotel, and was then moved to Carter, and then to the Lyman Implement Company. Also at the museum is a ledger from the Lonetree Store dated 1913.

Personal histories stored in the museum have been authored by many Valley residents, and may be read and copied there. When I asked curator Hughes how many personal histories are housed in the museum, she answered, “not enough.” Hughes is seeking Bridger Valley residents who will write and contribute personal histories. Personal histories preserve memories, incidents and document what life was like in the distant past.

The museum is on the second floor of the Lyman Town Hall. Hours of operation at the museum are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. The museum is closed on holidays and week-ends. Groups may visit the museum by calling 787-3525 to schedule their visits.

For the complete article see the 10-05-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-05-2012 paper.

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