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Pinedale Online > News > June 2006 > Museum a treasure-trove of local history

Green River Valley Museum. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Green River Valley Museum
The Museum is open for the summer season.

Big Piney in early 1900s. Photo by .
Big Piney in early 1900s

Ice on Derrick. Photo by .
Ice on Derrick
This photo is part of the Oil & Gas display at the Museum. This is the Bud #1 Gas Well in Big Piney. The well blew in on December 4, 1938. Tons of ice covered the derrick before it was shut in, six weeks later.
Museum a treasure-trove of local history
Green River Valley Museum in Big Piney
by Dawn Ballou
June 15, 2006

The Green River Valley Museum in Big Piney opened for the season on Thursday. This museum houses a remarkable collection of exhibits related to the settlement era of the Upper Green River Valley. The Museumís goal is "to honor the many hard-working families who have built a unique community."

The Museum began in 1990 through the hard work of local enthusiasts and volunteers. The Town of Big Piney provided the building for the museum and two additional lots were donated in 1993. The main building for the museum has historically served as the Town Hall for Big Piney, fire station and jail.

Inside the main building are displays and exhibits on the ranching and oil & gas history of the area, the Wardell Buffalo Trap prehistoric Indian site, and Big Piney and Marbleton early settlement history.

New additions to the grounds include the Burnham building, which was the old Big Piney store and drug store; the Black Homestead Cabin; and the Price-Sommers school house; and the Halfway Post Office.

The Museum will be publishing a new book this summer on the history of the Halfway Post Office, researched by local historian Jonita Sommers. This in-depth book will have information on many of the rural post offices that were significant to mail distribution in the Upper Green River Valley.

The Museum is open June 15-October 15, Tuesday through Saturday from noon until 4 pm. Admission to the Museum is by donation. They also have a small gift shop with t-shirts, books on local history and related items. Gift shop purchases, and museum memberships, go towards helping support the operation of the museum.

The GRVM is a non-profit corporation. They receive some funding support from the Sublette County Commissioners, but it largely dependent on private source donations for their operations. They also hold an annual fundraiser auction, Hardhats & Stetsons, each year in March. They welcome all contributions, large and small.



Related Links
  • www.grvm.com - Green River Valley Museum

  • Wardell Buffalo Trap Mural. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Wardell Buffalo Trap Mural
    The Wardell Buffalo Trap Mural is one of the impressive displays in the Green River Valley Museum. The Wardell Trap is a pre-historic Indian site approximately 10 miles from Big Piney.

    New Addition to Museum. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    New Addition to Museum
    A new addition to the Museum houses many more exhibits.

    Halfway Post Office. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Halfway Post Office
    The Museum is publishing a new book about the history of rural post offices in the Green River Valley, researched by Jonita Sommers. The Halfway Post Office building is on the museum grounds.

    Big Piney Examiner. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Big Piney Examiner
    Big Piney Examiner building.

    Big Piney Examiner presses. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Big Piney Examiner presses
    Printing presses from the Big Piney Examiner newspaper.

    1937 Chuckwagon Days. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    1937 Chuckwagon Days
    1937 article in the Big Piney Examiner describing an early gathering which ultimately evolved into Big Piney Chuckwagon Days over the 4th of July.

    Early Allen Agency Ad. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Early Allen Agency Ad
    This ad for Allen Agency appeared in the 1953 Smoke Signals newspaper.

    Boyds Cafe in Pinedale. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Boyds Cafe in Pinedale
    'We used to log with them, now we EAT them,' proclaims this 1953 ad for Boyd's Cafe in Pinedale in the Big Piney Examiner.

    Early Burneys ad. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Early Burneys ad
    1953 Burney's ad in the Big Piney Examiner. Burney's still exists today selling groceries in Big Piney.

    1953 Classified Ads. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    1953 Classified Ads
    Classified ads from a 1953 Big Piney Examiner newspaper.

    DDT Not Harmful. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    DDT Not Harmful
    Farm topics column in a 1953 edition of the Big Piney Examiner newspaper proclaims that DDT danger is overplayed.

    River Ice and Coal. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    River Ice and Coal
    In 1937, Big Piney residents could get river ice and coal from H.C. Dunham.

    1909 Big Piney Phone Book. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    1909 Big Piney Phone Book
    Kemmerer-Big Piney Phone Company 1909 telephone directory.

    Camp Fire Girls Article. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Camp Fire Girls Article
    Reprint of a 1935 article describing the start of Camp Fire Girls in Pinedale.

    Phone from Frontier Hotel. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Phone from Frontier Hotel
    Phone from the Frontier Hotel in Big Piney.

    Green River Crossing 1913. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Green River Crossing 1913
    Crossing the Green River in 1913.

    Dynamite Powder House. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Dynamite Powder House
    Powder House to store dynamite on the Kleinstick Mine on Cottonwood Creek in the Wyoming Range. A booklet entitled, "From Hills to Hearths", has more information about family-operated wagon coal mines in the Green River Valley.

    Coal from Wyoming mine. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Coal from Wyoming mine
    The Upper Green River Valley had 17 different coal mines served by wagons rather than the railroad. Coal was used by ranchers for forges and heating homes. Later, it was hauled to nearby towns, and used in the oil fields to operate equipment.

    Marbleton Republic newspaper. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Marbleton Republic newspaper
    "In the early part of this month we will print a newspaper at Marbleton, headed with good equipment, and edited with a fair amount of intelligencey along Republican lines. We will endeavor to give the news of the Green River Valley, and at the same time BOOST for the coming town of this community." A Live Paper in A Live Town. Published every Wednesday, $2.00 per year. 1913.

    1000 Shares. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    1000 Shares
    1925 stock certificate for 1000 shares in the Mid-Mountain Oil Company.

    1864 Birth Marker Stone. Photo by .
    1864 Birth Marker Stone
    This birth marker stone was found at Middle Piney crossiing on the Lander Trail about 10 miles west of Big Piney. It reads, "Monto?? Hefflemann born here July 3, 1864." Birth stone markers are very rare.
    Pinedale Online > News > June 2006 > Museum a treasure-trove of local history

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